Guess What Small US City Was Just Named the Best to Spend a Weekend? Hint: It’s in Maine
Out of 300 small US cities (under 90,000 pop) this city was named THE top city to spend the weekend.
Thrillist.com looked at 300 cities with populations under 90k and then whittled that list down to the top 25.
Portland, Maine (pop: 66,318) topped the list as THE small city to spend the weekend. Why?
Must-eat/drink: Steamed lobster from the waterside seafood shack at Portland Lobster Company. Or... if you're looking to put less work into cracking and declawing, Eventide's brown-butter lobster roll is your best bet.
Don't leave without: Experiencing the Working Waterfront and Old Port: walk the piers, pop into fish markets where the catch is literally boat-to-counter, grab lunch and drinks at J's Oyster (a local haunt with a lot of history and no-nonsense service in the best way possible), or snag a bread bowl of fish chowder at Gilbert's Chowder House.
Weekend highlights: You can't visit Maine and not see an iconic lighthouse: the Portland Head Light at Fort Williams affords beautiful views of the bay and ocean, as well as of waves crashing over Maine's classic rocky coastline. It's easy to see why Stephen King uses his home state as the setting for nearly every one of his books. An ocean visit should also come with some obligatory beach time -- Scarborough Beach, Higgins Beach (where you can see a shipwreck at low tide), or Willard Beach are your moves.
Portland's ratio of restaurants to people is tilted in your favor so eat as much as possible. Ribollita offers classic refined Italian with a grandmotherly dining room, Street and Co. is known for masterful upscale seafood and a vanilla bean panna cotta with wild Maine blueberry, Pai Men Miyake's ramen menu is bolstered with great sushi and pork belly buns, and The Front Room's brunch is top tier -- order the Munjoy Hill mimosa (a High Life with OJ). Portland wasn't named one of the most underrated food cities in Americalast year for nothing.
An afternoon should consist of sampling beers at Allagash, Bissell Brothers, Shipyard, and Rising Tide. An evening should be spent getting weird with karaoke-ing locals at Silver House Tavern, eating popcorn and playing darts at Rosie's, or shooting pool and seeing live music on the patio at Amigos. Reggae Sundays at Jones Landing -- take the ferry from Commercial St to Peaks Island-- are an institution.
Look at that. I couldn't have said it better myself!