A local’s guide to Portland, Maine
- By Kate Gardner
- Photos by Sarah Rice
Some may call it the “other Portland,” but to Mainers, this is the big city. With its highly regarded restaurants, abundant craft breweries, and world-class artists and writers, Portland is a hot spot of American creativity. And while the locals love these attractions, it’s the cozy feel and sense of community that truly make it home. Portlanders have their bartenders, their coffee shops and their booksellers, but they also love welcoming new people as much as they like seeing a familiar face.
There’s a reason every other person you talk to here will say they moved back after a decade away in Boston or New York. Portland has the vibe of a city while still being quintessentially Maine. So grab a beer and a lobster bib, and come see why this little hub is making so much noise.
Meet Kate Gardner
A New Hampshire native, Kate grew up camping in Maine most summers and always knew she’d one day make the rocky coast her home. Since moving to Portland in 2014, she’s worked as a reporter, mentored teen writers at the Telling Room and holed up in coffee shops to write her first novel.
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- Portland is all about buying local, so skip the national coffee chains and head to one of the city’s many charming independent shops. At Speckled Ax, you can request Fruity Pebbles milk in your drink.
- Parking is pretty terrible, and the garages and lots near the water will gouge you. Try to park farther up in the Old Port or in one of the other neighborhoods. The good news: Sunday street parking is free.
- Spend at least part of your visit off the peninsula. Take a ferry out to an island in Casco Bay or explore Woodfords Corner on your way to the breweries.