Every October, leaf lovers in the South start dreaming of New England. While we’re still wearing shorts and tank-tops in Nashville, Maine’s offering brilliant foliage, crisp weather and all kinds of harvest festivals. So how about you? Up for some daydreaming? Here’s a little inspiration for a fall foodie weekend in Portland!
Inviting Accommodations to Set the Stage
Nothing says cozy getaway like a charming bed and breakfast, but Portland’s also got some stellar hotel options. Take a peek at some of these luxurious destinations:
- Pomegranate Inn: This B&B’s high-end decor sets bold wallpapers against eclectic furnishings and lush linens. So fun! Set in the architecturally distinct Western Promenade area of Portland, Pomegranate Inn has been described as “shabby chic,” a “visual treat” and “eccentric and cozy.”
- The Danforth: History meets modern amenities in this almost-two-centuries-old inn, first founded in 1823. Inside you’ll find nine luxurious bedroom suites, most with fireplaces. Each room is distinct from the others, and the Federal-style mansion features a rooftop cupola. If you feel like walking to dinner, the inn is just a mile from the restaurants and shops of the Old Port.
- The Portland Regency: In the heart of downtown Portland, the Portland Regency is a beautifully designed boutique hotel that belongs to the Historic Hotels of America. It pairs all the charm of a historic setting with all the conveniences of a large hotel chain.
Leaf-Peeping Day Trips from Portland
As long as you’re in Portland in October, you may as well soak up all the fall-foliage pleasure you can. So here are some of the best places to spot changing leaves in the area:
- Camden. Just under two hours from Portland, Camden is a sweet village on the water, nicknamed “Jewel of the Coast.”
- Freeport (and the LL Bean flagship store). Skip the highway views of I-95 and enjoy the backroads leading up to Freeport from Portland. In this quaint coastal town you’ll find a host of outlets, including LL Bean.
- Rangely Lake Region. Create your own driving tour of Maine’s finest fall colors when you head from Portland to the Rangely Lake Region. There’s even a 1.5-hour cruise available on the lake itself, focused on showing you the peak color changes!
- Acadia National Park: This park’s about a three-hour drive from Portland, but you can stretch your legs (and then some) by hiking the wooded areas you find there. Bonus idea: check out this list of stops along the way from Travel Midcoast!
A Bucket List of Food Destinations in the Portland Area and Beyond
No fall foodie weekend in Portland would be complete without a long list of dining establishments to try–and Maine’s has no shortage of them. Dubbed America’s Foodiest Small Town in 2009 by Bon Appetit and just recently ranked as top (small) city in America to spend the weekend by Thrillist.com, Portland makes it easy to enjoy a good meal out. Here are some of the reasons to put this city’s food on your bucket list!
- Chaval / Spanish- and French-inspired seasonal cuisine
- Duckfat / sandwich shop known for its duckfat fries
- El Rayo Taqueria / authentic, locally sourced Mexican food
- Five Fifty-Five / upscale eatery with American fare
- Fore Street / upscale American fare
- Green Elephant / vegetarian bistro
- Hugo’s / sophisticated, farm-to-table cuisine
- Isa Bistro / neighborhood bistro, seasonal menu
- Maine Juice Co. / local, organic, cold-pressed juices
- Piccolo / modern, classic Italian
- Primo / upscale Italian
- Scratch Baking Company / small neighborhood artisanal bakery
- Standard Baking Company / family-owned bakery often using local, organic
- Street and Co / snug bistro in a cobblestone alley, offering local fish
- Vinland / 100% local, organic food
For Even More Maine Daydreaming, Trip Inspo
- Follow the Map & Menu blog for reviews and photography of Maine restaurants and accommodations–or follow Michael and Meredith on Instagram.
- Keep up with @MainetheWay or @VisitMaine for stunning pics of all things Maine.
- Explore the food festivals in this state (I mean, hello, Artisan Bread Fair)!
- Here’s some inspiration from Forbes Mag.
- And if this post hasn’t already talked you into planning a Portland visit someday, this post from BedandBreakfast.com just might.