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New England B&B Weekend: Portland, Maine

September 29, 2009
by Sarah Amandolare
Most recently in the spotlight for its enviable restaurants and superb local seafood, Portland presents an attractive range of possibilities for travelers. Few cities can claim to offer Portland's combination of small town atmosphere and fine culture, along with a lively arts district flanked by North Atlantic Ocean scenery.

Portland B&Bs

To find a charming bed and breakfast in Portland, visit's travel guide to Portland, Maine, and explore several inns within and around the city.

Travel + Leisure suggests a stay at the Pomegranate Inn, a "stylish inn" that offers more modern, eclectic decor than many of the bed and breakfasts nearby. The innkeeper can even pre-order your tickets to the Portland Museum of Art to help you avoid standing in line. Maps of Portland's arts district galleries and eateries are also available at the inn's front desk, Travel + Leisure reports.

Learn more and check for rates and availability at the Pomegranate Inn official Web site.

Planning a Portland Weekend

There's so much to see and do in Portland that the best strategy is simply to "take it slow: savoring the food, lingering over the beautiful wares, and sauntering rather than racing," writes Suzanne Russo for offManhattan. She makes suggestions for where to grab a morning cup of coffee, and find cute antique shops and a culinary-minded bookstore called Rabelais. As for where to dine, the options are endless, but Russo narrows it down to a few memorable spots serving locally sourced ingredients and featuring the most interesting chefs and menus. During the day, work up an appetite at Peaks Island, "a diminutive two-mile long isle, for its charming New England homes, craggy shores, and tucked away restaurants," Russo advises. The Portland Observatory, presenting panoramic views of the city and Casco Bay, is another must-see attraction.

The UpTake blog, "I Left My Heart in Portland, Maine," is full of photos of the pretty Maine city, along with travel insights from a former resident. Take a look to get a feel for Portland's cozy atmosphere before you arrive.

Where to Eat in Portland

The food is reason enough for some to visit Portland, a city named "America's Foodiest Small Town 2009" by Bon Appetit magazine. Writer Andrew Knowlton extols his picks for where to eat in Portland now, including Hugo's, led by husband and wife Rob Evans and Nancy Pugh. Hugo's menu is carried by weightier items like house-made lamb sausage with falafel, and olive oil-poached Casco Bay cod in chorizo and mussel broth, according to Knowlton. "Long before local, sustainable, and organic became industry buzzwords," Knowlton writes, "Portland chefs were using native ingredients, from corn and fiddleheads to oysters and mussels, and, of course, lobsters."

Day Trip From Portland

For a day trip, consider driving the half-hour to Prouts Neck, a private community where Winslow Homer painted many great works and lived in a small cabin for "much of his last 25 years," according to The New York Times. Prouts Neck's 160 homes are part of Scarborough, which "juts into the sea," creating dramatic views of the rocky coastline. Although most of Prouts Neck is not open to the public, Scarborough Beach on Black Point Road welcomes visitors, and "has partial views of the Neck."

Maine Foliage

The Maine foliage map from shows foliage conditions, such as leaf color and vibrancy, in areas throughout the state.

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