Portland was recently listed on Zagat.com as one of “20 Awesome Winter Foodie Destinations”!
Why go: The charming town of Portland, Maine, and the Portlandia of Portland, Oregon, might share many of the same values, but the northeastern location remains down-to-earth, wholesome, and do-it-yourself without the hipster factor. Another difference: Maine is a state of seafood and cold weather, so those beards aren’t ironic, and the woolen caps help keep the lobstermen warm. This also means you can get some of the best seafood around, and Portland folk know how to do it right, making it a great foodie destination.
What to do: First up, check out Coffee By Design, the perfect place to get a pastry and a steaming cup of micro-roasted beans, which you will need to keep your hands warm if you want to walk around the small downtown. After checking out some of the darling shops, tuck into a hearty bowl of clam chowder and get a lobster roll at J’s Oyster Bar in the Old Port area. Once your belly is full, it’s a good time to dine on some culture by way of the Victoria Mansion, a beautiful historical landmark showcasing pre-Civil War grandeur. By that point, you might be hungry again, so head over Hugo’s, a decades-old local fish joint owned by Rob Evans, who also churns out some of the best fries at his sandwich shop Duckfat.
Where to stay: The Portland Harbor Hotel is one of the prettiest hotels around, and the only boutique lodging in the area. It’s small, but each suite comes with a large bathroom, and some have fireplaces. Plus, they offer a gym and bike rental services. Starting at $139.