How to Spend a Day in Portland’s East End Neighborhood
Portland's East End neighborhood, also known as Munjoy Hill or just the Hill, is the best neighborhood in the entire city. I may be biased since this is my neighborhood. But really, in what other neighborhood in Maine can you see views of the majestic ocean and the sparkling city, all in one place? Not to mention, the outdoor space for walking and exploring paired with the cozy neighborhood shops, stores, and eateries offer plenty of entertainment for any visitor.
If you're new to Portland's East End, here's how you should spend a few hours in my 'hood.
10 a.m. Brunch at East Ender
Chicken and waffles, classic eggs and bacon, or one of the daily specials will get you fueled up for a day of exploring Munjoy Hill.
11:30 a.m. Take a self-led walking tour of the Eastern Promenade Trail
After leaving East Ender with a full belly, walk towards the water, cross Fore Street, and find the trailhead for the Eastern Promenade Trail just behind the Portland Company Complex. You'll know you're in the right place if you see the Narrow Gauge Railroad, the ocean, and a paved path along the shores. This trail wraps all the way around Back Cove, but follow it until you read the large sweeping hills of the Eastern Promenade, where you can link back up with Congress Street. If you have a pup with you for this portion of the day, stop by East End Beach. They'll love romping around in the sand.
2:00 p.m. Get your afternoon caffeine fix at Hilltop Coffee Shop
You can't beat a little neighborhood coffee shop to get the caffeine fix you need to power through your day. Try an iced latte or a hot mocha or literally anything on the menu.
4:00 p.m. Climb to the top of the Portland Observatory
Just another quick walk from the coffee shop is the The Portland Observatory. The observatory has stood atop the Hill since 1807 as a communication hub for Portland Harbor. I won't give away the whole story before you get to see it for yourself.
6:00 p.m. Eat an upscale homestyle dinner at The Front Room
You can't go wrong with any of the Rooms restaurants in Portland, but The Front Room at the very top of Munjoy Hill is the coziest, homiest eatery in the city. Get the mac and cheese with hot dogs. Trust me.
7:30 p.m. Grab a front row seat for the sunset at Fort Sumner park
Full belly, lots of fresh air, plenty caffeinated, and now you're ready to soak in one of Portland's most gorgeous views. Take a front row seat as the sun sets over the west end of the city. Fort Sumner Park on North Street is perched on the edge of the hill with unobstructed views of the city and Back Cove.