The Weekender: Portland, ME
This quaint coastal town will win your heart over with its charm and history, but it’s the endless restaurants, coffee shops and boutiques that will have you coming back for more. Behold: an itinerary and a few packing essentials for both sexes.
This modern, chic B&B is located in the West End neighborhood of Portland, just a 15-minute walk down historic, tree-lined streets to the waterfront. The breakfast holds up its end of the bargain as well — plentiful, fresh and well-thought-out. You’ll want to get the Maine blueberry pancakes at least once.
Pack: a unisex duffle that prompts the question: yours, mine or ours?
Skip the touristy lobster joints and duck into J’s, an unassuming spot on the pier that's a local favorite. Trust us, you won’t regret it. Grab a seat outside with a view of the wharf and enjoy steamed clams or a classic lobster roll sandwich (Maine style, of course).
Sport: a spunky surf hat with character in spades.
This boutique is filled with artfully selected housewares, from lush Egyptian cotton bedding to rustic and nautical vintage finds. Allow at least 30 minutes to wander around and learn about the talented artisans — the owner takes pride in the fact that every piece has a story behind it.
Stay on (vacation) time with: a vintage-inspired timepiece.
Tucked off the street, this taproom and beer garden is a little tricky to find, but it is a must for craft-beer seekers in downtown Portland. Knowledgeable bartenders will happily help you navigate the extensive, rotating list of fairly priced drafts and bottles. Plus, there’s wine, cheese and charcuterie to please those who aren’t hopheads or beer geeks.
Keep your beer money: in a weathered leather wallet.
Have time for a day trip? Head to Bar Harbor on Maine’s coast to explore Acadia National Park, the oldest national park east of the Mississippi. Glimpse shimmering lakes in late summer or wait until fall, when the woodlands’ greenery gives way to fiery red, orange and yellow from atop Cadillac Mountain, the highest peak on the Atlantic.
Wear: comfortable cotton-chambray shorts — with pockets!