24 Hours in Portland, Maine


This list was inspired by this Buzzfeed post, which mentions Portland as a destination town. What is particularly funny is that it is illustrated by a picture of the old Portland Public Market, which hasn’t been open for years, suggesting that the author has never actually been to Portland. I am thankful for the input of Patrick Banks, Sam Frankel, Liz Woodbury, Mark High and Jaime Steed.

NOTE: Reader Stephen Quirk did some digging and found out that the author had attended Colby [hilariously]. To be fair to her, the old Portland Public Market was probably thriving that one time she took the bus to the Old Port to see Scratch at the Movies on Exchange.

But really, inclusion of the photo was likely an error on the part of an editor or intern.



  • Start the day off right and put some extra cash in your pocket by trading in your music at CD Exchange or CD Spins.
  • You’re in for a great deal of walking, so should you need a comfier pair of shoes, head to Porteous on Congress St. for those and all of your other department store needs.
  • Fuel up for the day ahead by grabbing a fresh cup of Java at Green Mountain Coffee Roasters.
  • Now head on down to Deering Oaks park and grab brunch at the Barking Squirrel before enjoying a nice late morning paddle boat ride.


  • Once you have finished working off that brunch, head on over to grab a book at Books Etc.
  • If you want a book and a coffee, Casco Bay Books should do the trick. There, you can get a coffee or espresso drink as well.
  • In fact, there is no shortage of options for coffee in Portland. Consider perking up with a Joe Cool and see local favorite Subject Bias strum some chords downstairs at Java Joe’s, or head on to Acoustic Coffee for even more caffeine and local entertainment.
  • Those looking for souvenirs to take home to the family should head down to Communiques.
  • The bargain-happy shopper will find plenty of discounted threads at the Army Surplus Store near One City Center.
  • Uh oh. Is the sky clouding up? Not to worry. Check out a movie at the Keystone Theater.
  • Round your afternoon out with a quick meal before hitting the town the evening. With garlicky pesto at Fresh Market Pasta, Sicilian slab pizza at Sophia’s, and organic and vegetarian fare at O’Naturals, you won’t find any trouble satiating your hunger in Portland’s historic Old Port.
  • For those looking for a classier endeavor, head to Oolong on Commercial Street for a fine steak and a high end cocktail.


  • Dance the night away at The Pavilion, where girls get in free on ladies night every Wednesday.
  • Those looking for an edgier experience should visit Zootz, particularly on Goth night.
  • For a more-ahem-adult endeavor, Marks Showplace is worth a visit—their donut shop is also worth a titillating visit in the morning.
  • If you’re just looking for a no frills beer, head on down to the Bitter End.
  • Those not yet of age but still possessing a penchant for dancing should check out The Industry on Wharf Street.
  • For a cocktail and a metropolitan vibe, stop by the White Heart, or for a glass of wine and something more chill, Una is well worth a visit.
  • Those looking for something hip and live should head on down to The Skinny.
  • Want a beer and a show? Head over to Stone Coast Brewing.


No matter how you spend the day, or where you end up, Portland has a lot to offer for the curious visitor. This is only a fraction of what we have to offer. Keep an eye out for Metro, Face Magazine, and Casco Bay Weekly to stay up to date on what’s good in Portland. Or just check out one of our local news stations:

IMAGE SOURCE: Freeze Tagging

Alex Steed

About Alex Steed

Alex Steed has written about and engaged in politics since he was an insufferable teenager. He has run for the Statehouse and produced a successful web series. He now runs a content firm called Knack Factory with two guys who are a lot more talented than himself.