Adventures / Americana

Three days in Portland, Maine

Call Me Katie - The Lobster Shack at Two Lights, Inc. new Portland Maine 3

Jeff and I recently went to the USA for a week around Easter to visit my family and friends in Massachusetts. While we were there, we decided to treat ourselves to a mini break in Portland, Maine, about a three hour drive from my mom’s house, for two nights. Here’s what we got up to in Portland.

Monday

Call Me Katie - Lobster Sushi in Maine

We drove up in the afternoon through a horrendous rain storm and made it to Portland, Maine around 5pm. We were tired and a little-bit-but-not-really-hungry, so after checking in to our hotel we headed out to get some sushi for a light dinner from Yosaku. It wouldn’t be New England without lobster, and when we ordered the lobster sushi it was loaded high!

Tuesday

Call Me Katie - Portland Maine 2

Tuesday was our only full day in the city, so after a small breakfast at the inn we headed into the city to look for coffee (me) and pastry (Jeff) and explore.

Call Me Katie - Tandem Coffee + Bakery in Portland Maine 1

We ended up at Tandem Coffee + Bakery on Congress Street, which is based in a 1960’s build which was once a gas station then laundromat.

Call Me Katie - Tandem Coffee + Bakery in Portland Maine 2

But on the inside it feels just like a trendy coffee shop designed with Instagram in mind!

Call Me Katie - Tandem Coffee + Bakery in Portland Maine 3

I got myself an almond milk latte (they make their own almond milk!) and Jeff got a malt iced coffee. We also got a sticky bun to share, even though he ate most of it!

Call Me Katie - Tandem Coffee + Bakery in Portland Maine 4

Call Me Katie - Tandem Coffee + Bakery in Portland Maine 5

Call Me Katie - Portland Maine 5

After we were fully caffeinated we headed back to the inn to get in the car and head out of Portland to check out some nearby state parks.

Call Me Katie - Portland Maine 4

But I couldn’t help myself from photographing the front doors and firehydrants – they just looked so perfectly Americana!

Call Me Katie - Portland Head Light near Portland Maine 1

About a twenty minute drive later we arrived at Portland Head Light.

Call Me Katie - Portland Head Light near Portland Maine 2

Portland Head Light dates back to 1776 when the Town of Cape Elizabeth posted a guard of eight soldiers there to warn citizens of coming British attacks. Then in 1787 the Genearl Court of Massachusetts provided funds to begin construction of a lighthouse. Over the years the structure has been changed and adapted.

Call Me Katie - Portland Head Light near Portland Maine 3

We visited out of season so the museum was closed, but it also meant we were able to take lots of pictures without many people in them!

Call Me Katie - Portland Head Light near Portland Maine 4

But it was still March and we were up north in Maine and were hanging out along the coast on a very blustery day. So after about 15 minutes we raced back to the car, put on the heat, and took off to the next location…

Call Me Katie - Two Lights State Park new Portland Maine 1

Our next stop was a short drive away to Two Lights State Park.

Call Me Katie - Two Lights State Park new Portland Maine 2

Opened in 1961, the park encompasses 41-acres of rocky headlands and offers sweeping views of Casco Bay and the open Atlantic.

Call Me Katie - Two Lights State Park new Portland Maine 3

The park’s name originated from the twin lighthouses located nearby at the end of Two Lights Road. Built in 1828, these were the first twin lighthouses on the coast of Maine.

Call Me Katie - Two Lights State Park new Portland Maine 4

Again, we didn’t see many people while we were there so we had those beautiful views all to ourselves!

Call Me Katie - Two Lights State Park new Portland Maine 5

By the way – you see the ‘wood’ in these pictures? Well, that’s actually rock that’s been weathered away by the ocean!

Call Me Katie - The Lobster Shack at Two Lights, Inc. new Portland Maine 1

For lunch we drove to nearby restaurant The Lobster Shack at Two Lights, which is an award-winning restaurant that’s been a local landmark since the 1920s.

Call Me Katie - The Lobster Shack at Two Lights, Inc. new Portland Maine 2

But, more importantly, it does a damn good lobster roll.

Call Me Katie - The Lobster Shack at Two Lights, Inc. new Portland Maine 3

And along with that damn good lobster roll you can enjoy a damn good view.

Call Me Katie - The Lobster Shack at Two Lights, Inc. new Portland Maine 4

Native to the area, lobster just doesn’t taste this good in London!

Call Me Katie - The Lobster Shack at Two Lights, Inc. new Portland Maine 5

So the only time I ever eat it is when I’m home in New England.

Call Me Katie - bicycles in Portland Maine

After lunch we headed back to Portland to drop off the car at the inn and explore the city.

Call Me Katie - graffiti in Portland Maine

Call Me Katie - Books in Portland Maine

Call Me Katie - Bomb Diggity Arts in Portland Maine

Call Me Katie - Portland Maine 1

Call Me Katie - Portland Maine 3

Call Me Katie - Maine Squeeze in Portland Maine 1

After wandering for a while, we ended up at Maine Squeeze drinking fruit and veg juices.

Call Me Katie - Maine Squeeze in Portland Maine 2

We also took the opportunity to do some reading, and I finished up All The Light We Cannot See. It was a beautifully written book, so if you’re looking for your next read and haven’t read this one I highly recommend it.

Call Me Katie - Berlin Wall in Portland Maine

From there we wandered to the waterfront to check out the coast, and stumbled upon a piece of the Berlin Wall! Jeff and I both knew that pieces of the wall had been sent around the world, but we weren’t aware that a segment had ended up at Long Wharf in Maine. You learn something new every day!

Call Me Katie - love locks in Portland Maine

Then, not too far from that segment of the Berlin wall, we stumbled upon a bridge covered in love locks which reminded us of Pont des Arts in Paris.

Call Me Katie - Union Wharf in Portland Maine

Finally, I will leave you with this picturesque view from nearby Long Wharf complete with lobster traps.

Call Me Katie - Duck Fat restaurant in Portland Maine 1

It was evening now, and while we weren’t the hungriest we decided to get a snack instead of dinner at Duckfat.

Call Me Katie - Duck Fat restaurant in Portland Maine 3

We started out with craft sodas (made in house!) – an All Maine Tonic for me (the waitress compared the flavour to Kombucha, and it was a bit sweet and also vinegary yet delicious) and a Roots, Barks, Sticks & Leaves for Jeff – and deep fried brussel sprouts, with pickled apple, bacon and garlic croutons from the specials menu.

Call Me Katie - Duck Fat restaurant in Portland Maine 2

And finished off our snack with a portion of Belgian hand cut fries cooked in duck fat, with garlic mayo – yum! – before heading out for a drink.

Wednesday

Call Me Katie - Holy Donuts in Portland Maine 1

We started our our final day by treating ourself to a dozen donuts from The Holy Donut.

Call Me Katie - Holy Donuts in Portland Maine 2

Highlighted as making some of the best donuts in the USA, we weren’t about to miss out.

Call Me Katie - Holy Donuts in Portland Maine 3

The donuts are handmade with local ingredients and offer a special not-so-secret ingredient: fresh Maine potatoes. The result is denser than your normal donut, but lighter than your normal cake. And totally scrumptious. We filled up a box with loads of different flavours, from plain to vegan to maple and everything in between!

Call Me Katie - Holy Donuts in Portland Maine 4

And about the dozen donuts? Well, we drove these back to Massachusetts and shared them with my whole family! (There are a lot of people in my family.) And everyone was a fan.

Call Me Katie - Arabica Coffee House in Portland Maine 1

We didn’t actually eat those donuts for breakfast, so we went into town in search of coffee and hot drinks and ended up at Arabica Coffee.

Call Me Katie - Arabica Coffee House in Portland Maine 4

Call Me Katie - Arabica Coffee House in Portland Maine 2

As much a I was craving a latte, they had a speciality drink on their menu called ‘Moo Drinks’ – which are essentially steamed milk with a flavour syrup. Jeff got himself a chocolate option, I went for maple.

Call Me Katie - Arabica Coffee House in Portland Maine 3

And they were delicious! Sugary and sweet, but hot and warming. I’ll be adding maple syrup to my hot milk instead of cocoa powder next winter, thank you!

Call Me Katie - Arabica Coffee House in Portland Maine 5

On the way out I couldn’t help but snap a #FromWhereIStand for my Instagram.

Call Me Katie - what I wore in Portland Maine 1

On Wednesday we were walking around a fair bit before driving three hours back to Massachusetts, so I opted for loafers (which are comfy for walking in!), jeans, a warm jumper, wool coat and a scarf.

Call Me Katie - what I wore in Portland Maine 2

And instead of a handbag, I spent the whole of my time in the USA using my new pink Zara rucksack.

Call Me Katie - Perception of Beauty Portland Maine

Before we headed out, we went down to the waterfront one last time for lunch – and spotted this thoughtful warning on the way.

Call me Katie - Gilberts Chowder House Portland Maine 1

For lunch, I enjoyed my final foray into seafood for this USA holiday at Gilbert’s Chowder House.

Call me Katie - Gilberts Chowder House Portland Maine 2

And it was everything I know a good New England seafood place to be.

Call me Katie - Gilberts Chowder House Portland Maine 3

Call me Katie - Gilberts Chowder House Portland Maine 4

I went for a special of fried clams, chips and clam chowder.

Call me Katie - Gilberts Chowder House Portland Maine 5

Jeff got a lobster stew… and was immediately sad about his portion size compared to mine! Still, we’d asked for extra plates to share my main and he was welcome to tuck in.

Call me Katie - Gilberts Chowder House Portland Maine 7

Lucky for me, he had about a dozen MASSIVE chunks of lobster in his stew and was happy to share.

Call me Katie - Gilberts Chowder House Portland Maine 6

New England, I love you so much!

“See, I come from Boston. I’m gonna tell you about how I love New England. It’s my favorite place. I’ve been all around the world, but I love New England best. I might be prejudiced. But it’s true, I love New England best.”

Much love, Katie xo

11 thoughts on “Three days in Portland, Maine

  1. The food – THE FOOD!!! And I also read ALL THE LIGHT WE CANNOT SEE (sorry for the caps, it’s a publishing thing – I’m just so used to it since I’ve always had to write titles in all caps at work!) when I was on holiday and it was such a gripping page-turner!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Love the caps! And it was an incredible book. I’m starting on Black Eyed Susans today, finished Girl At War yesterday. Any recommendations for what to ready next?

      Like

  2. Great post! We loved Portland when we visited last September, even though I’m allergic to shellfish, it was the first place I could find a plethora of fish chowder that I could eat and enjoy! So yummy. And the donuts from The Holy Donut? Out of this world! Also, love your style and your glasses! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  3. We just got back from Portland, Maine as well. So much good food, beautiful sights and a growing arts scene. Such an amazing place! You visited some different places than we did. Thanks for sharing your experience!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Pingback: A Tale of Two Portlands – Part 1 Portland, Maine – Our Tripy Life

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