UNE Online Portland City Guide 2019
Congratulations, graduates! We’re so excited that you’ll be joining us for Commencement!
Portland has so much to experience – each year we have fun listing our favorites out of all of the uniquely “Maine” things that Portland has to offer. These are our favorites here at CGPS – we hope you enjoy them!
Portland Maine Visitors Guide
What should you do while you’re in Portland?
- Visit the Old Port – shopping and people watching on Commercial and Exchange Streets
- Tour local breweries, or take the Maine Brew Bus
- Explore Portland Trails – more than 70 miles of trails in Greater Portland
- Take a Lighthouse Lovers Cruise – a great, inexpensive way to see beautiful Casco Bay
- Ride the Casco Bay Ferry ride to Peaks Island – ride bikes, ride horses, eat!
- Get a lobster roll and walk the Eastern Promenade
- Express your creativity at Muse Paint Bar
- Go whale watching
- Rent a kayak and paddle out to Fort Gorges or SUP around Casco Bay
- Take the Casco Bay Mail Boat Sunset Cruise – BYO drinks and food for a lovely evening!
- Go running – the East End and Back Cove Boulevard are a couple of favorite routes
- Explore Thompson’s Point – have cocktails at Stroudwater Distillery, go wine tasting at Cellardoor Winery, or sample a local beer at Bissell Brothers, and take in the beautiful scenery from the point.
Top things to see in Portland
- Take selfies in front of Portland Headlight at Fort Williams Park – the most photographed lighthouse in America
- Walk out onto the breakwater to the Spring Point Ledge Lighthouse
- Visit one of the many area beaches
- Go across the bridge and look at downtown Portland from across the water from Bug Light
- Stroll around the Old Port and the working waterfront
- Catch a show! There are many great theaters and music venues in Portland.
- Walk the Eastern Promenade
- Take in the art at the Portland Museum of Art and sculpture garden (Insider note: the PMA is free on Fridays after 4pm!)
- Catch a touring Broadway show at Merrill Auditorium
- Go to a gig at the State Theater, Port City Music Hall, Portland House of Music, or one of the many other music venues around
- Take in the sunset view from the Top of the East at the Westin
- Watch the sunrise from the East End
Best places to get lunch within walking distance of the Portland Campus
Do you have just a few minutes to grab lunch? Here are a few of our go-to places for lunch.
- Otto’s Pizza – thin crust gourmet pizza by the slice or by the pie
- Ameera Bread – Authentic Mediterranean dishes from all over the middle east
- Po’ Boys & Pickles – New Orleans-Style sandwiches
- Pat’s Meat Market – locally-owned deli with fresh sandwiches
- Susan’s Fish & Chips – fresh fried seafood with truly unique decor
- Bogusha’s Polish Restaurant & Deli – family-run, offering authentic Polish food
- Thai Esaan – family owned, good for small groups or for takeout
- Luis’s Venezuelan Arepera – great plantains and empanadas **
- Quality Shop – mom and pop corner store, take out only, great Italian sandwiches
- Elsmere BBQ and Wood Grill – family-friendly BBQ with vegan options
Top lunch places in Downtown Portland
These spots aren’t really walkable from campus, but they’re all pretty much within walking distance of one another once you’re downtown. Most of these restaurants are also open for casual dinner, but check before you go.
- Flatbread Company – wood-fired pizza in a family-friendly atmosphere
- Big Sky Bread Co. – organic bread and sandwiches
- Blue Rooster Food Co. – gourmet hot dogs and American comfort food
- Market Street Eats – an Old Port staple – creative sandwiches and wraps
- Duckfat – tiny spot, famous for their Hand-cut Maine potatoes fried Belgian-style in duck fat
- Micucci Grocery – best known for their Sicilian slab pizza
- Salvage BBQ – kid-friendly, great music on Saturday nights, Texas-style BBQ
- Portland Public Market – lots of lunch options in one spot
- The Works – casual gourmet cafe
- The Porthole Restaurant & Pub – best known for their waterfront deck and for live music
- Pai Men Miyake – exceptional ramen bowls, hand-made pork buns, gyoza, sushi
- B. Good – locally-sourced healthy comfort food
- Miss Portland Diner – American fare in a vintage dining car – what’s not to love?
- Silly’s – family-friendly, vegan-friendly, creative menu
Top dinner places in Portland
If you are a foodie or a fan of craft beer you have certainly come to the right place. Bon Appetit named Portland, Maine, the 2018 Restaurant City of the Year!
- Emilitsa – beautifully prepared authentic Greek food, unparalleled hospitality
- The Treehouse – located above Pat’s Meat Market – fresh local food, charmingly decorated
- Great Lost Bear – a local favorite with 80 beers on tap – casual and family friendly
- Petite Jacqueline – fresh and lively French fare
- Boda – creative Thai street food, open late
- Lazzari – wood oven pizza (we recommend the bacon and brussel sprout), creative cocktails
- Central Provisions – trendy, small plates, craft cocktails
- Eventide Oyster Co. – fresh oysters, phenomenal brown butter lobster roll
- Yosaku – Japanese restaurant and sushi bar
- Scales – local seafood, gorgeous views
- Street & Co. – upscale preparations of local seafood
- Fore Street – arguably the best table in the city
- Tiqa – contemporary Pan Mediterranean dining
- Five Fifty-Five (permanently closed) – an upscale fixture in the Portland dining scene
- The Front Room – quaint and local, upscale comfort food
- The Grill Room – urban steakhouse, outdoor dining available
- The Corner Room – Italian cuisine, house-made pasta
- Portland Lobster Co. – casual outdoor dining on the water – fun live music – dog-friendly
- DiMillo’s on the Water – very popular – family-owned and family-friendly dining on a boat!
- Empire Chinese Kitchen – dim sum, ramen, dumplings, and perfect garlic green beans
- Isa Bistro – cozy neighborhood spot with a seasonally-driven menu
- Binga’s Stadium – restaurant and sports bar, known for their wings and special hot sauce
Family-friendly places and activities
- Stretch your legs and feed the ducks at Evergreen Cemetery right next to UNE’s Portland Campus
- Jump around at Urban Air or play on the indoor playground
- Want to go bowling and have great food too? Choose from
- Bayside Bowl – bowling with a hipster vibe, good food, excellent rooftop deck
- Spare Time – traditional bowling alley with burgers and fries
- Easy Day – bowling, plus great food, beautiful views of Portland, and outdoor dining options
- Round 1 – located in the Maine Mall, go bowling, play the arcade, or sing some karaoke
- Explore the interactive exhibits at the Portland Children’s Museum
- Catch a Portland Sea Dogs baseball game and have one of their famous Sea Dog Biscuit ice cream sandwiches
- Take a short ride on the Maine Narrow Gauge Railroad and browse their museum
- Visit a park playground or play in the sand a nearby beach
- Learn about our galaxy and beyond, at the Southworth Planetarium
- Embassy Suites – 15% discount for UNE
- Courtyard Portland Downtown/Waterfront
- Hampton Inn Portland Downtown-Waterfront
- The Hilton Garden Inn Portland Downtown Waterfront
- Holiday Inn By the Bay
- Hyatt Place Portland Old Port
- Portland Harbor Hotel
- Portland Regency Hotel & Spa
- Residence Inn Portland Downtown/Waterfront
- The Press Hotel
- The Westin Portland Harborview
Parking garages around the Cross Insurance Arena for graduation parking
- Spring St. Parking Garage – city-owned– closest to Cross Arena but fills up quickly
- United Parking Partners – private lot – Free St., across the street from Cross Arena
- Fore River Parking – private lot – 44 Free St. – cash only
- One City Center Garage – private garage – open 24 hours
- Temple St. Garage – city-owned – 11 Temple St.
- Monument Square Garage – 53 Brown St.
- Elm St. Garage – city-owned – 21 Elm St.
- Portland Public Market Garage – 315 Cumberland Ave.
There you have it – our top recommendations for Portland visitors in 2019. It’s not a comprehensive list, but these are our happy places. And as everyone knows – the best way to multiply your happiness is to share it with others.
Please feel to multiply your own happiness by sharing this guide with your friends or other Portland, Maine visitors. Those little icons at the bottom of the post are shortcuts for sharing.Commencement