Best of Portland, Maine | 2013 Editors' Choice Awards
Portland is the largest city in Maine and its historic Old Port has never looked better. See what attractions, food, and places to stay have earned a spot on our list for the Best of Portland.
BEST THINGS TO DO IN PORTLAND, ME
BEST STUDIO TOUR
WINSLOW HOMER STUDIO, Prouts Neck
After a major restoration, the Portland Museum of Art has opened this American master’s studio to the public for small-group tours departing from the museum’s campus.
Museum location: 7 Congress Square, Portland. 207-775-6148; portlandmuseum.org
BEST HISTORIC LIGHTHOUSE
PORTLAND HEAD LIGHT, Cape Elizabeth
In Fort Williams Park, just 4 miles from downtown Portland, Maine’s oldest lighthouse, commissioned by George Washington, guards the harbor. Visit the museum in the keeper’s house and picnic in the park.
1000 Shore Road. 207-799-2661; portlandheadlight.com
BEST EASY ISLAND WALK
MACKWORTH ISLAND trail, Falmouth
Tethered to the mainland by a causeway, 100-acre Mackworth was deeded to the state by Governor Percival Baxter. Borrow a map from the gatehouse and follow the easy 1.5-mile perimeter trail for great views of Casco Bay. Kids love Baxter’s pet cemetery.
Andrews Ave. Causeway (off Route 1). 207-775-2411; trails.org/our-trails/mackworth-island-trail
BEST CASCO BAY SUNSET SAIL
PORTLAND SCHOONER COMPANY, Portland
Let daylight fade to night while cruising by lighthouses, forts, and islands on a two-hour sail aboard the historic windjammers Bagheera and Wendameen, both elegant ocean schooners built in East Boothbay.
Maine State Pier, 56 Commercial St. 207-766-2500; portlandschooner.com
BEST PLACES TO EAT IN PORTLAND, ME
BEST FARM-TO-TABLE DINING
THE WELL AT JORDAN’S FARM, Cape Elizabeth
Gaze over the Spurwink River and Marsh while dining al fresco. Chef Jason Williams offers a four-item menu drawn from the farm’s bounty. Cash only.
21 Wells Road. 207-831-9350; jordansfarm.wix.com/thewell
BEST EVENING IN PARIS
PETITE JACQUELINE, Portland
Traditional French bistro fare–Nicoise salad, onion soup, cassoulet, dessert crêpes–plus daily cheese and charcuterie plates and a raw bar are the draws at this unpretentious Arts District restaurant.
190 State St. 207-553-7044; bistropj.com
BEST NEIGHBORHOOD RESTAURANT
Chef/co-owner Abby Harmon elevates traditional comfort foods, drawing from local sources to create the daily Mediterranean-accented menu at this cozy West End restaurant.
58 Pine St. 207-772-1110; caiolas.com
BEST PLACES TO STAY IN PORTLAND, ME
BEST BEACHFRONT FAMILY ESCAPE
INN BY THE SEA, Cape Elizabeth
A pool, boardwalk, onsite butterfly and bunny preserves, kids’ programs, lawn games, and a dog-friendly policy make family vacations easy at this seaside inn.
40 Bowery Beach Road. 800-888-4287; innbythesea.com
BEST BOUTIQUE HOTEL
PORTLAND HARBOR HOTEL, Portland
Built around a courtyard in an enviable Old Port location one block off the waterfront, the hotel pampers guests with handsome updated rooms and suites, a cozy lounge and restaurant, and concierge and spa services.
468 Fore St. 888-798-9090, 207-775-9090; portlandharborhotel.com
BEST ISLAND ESCAPE
CHEBEAGUE ISLAND INN, Chebeague Island
Only 15 minutes by ferry from the mainland but a world away, this meticulously renovated seaside inn blends simple charm with contemporary style and a topnotch dining room.
61 South Road. 207-846-5155; chebeagueinn.com