1 Perfect One Day in Portland Maine Itinerary 1
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1 Perfect One Day in Portland Maine Itinerary

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Greetings Internet Stranger! I’m Stella Jane, and welcome to a one day in Portland Maine itinerary. Many tourists have their One Day in Portland Maine Itinerary during the summer. They like to kick back, relax, and become one with the lobsters.

Stella’s Top 3 Picks: One Day in Portland Maine Itinerary

#1 TOP PICK

1 Perfect One Day in Portland Maine Itinerary 2

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
PORTLAND FOOD TOUR
✔️ Tons of amazing food!
✔️ Great bang for the buck

#2 PICK

1 Perfect One Day in Portland Maine Itinerary 3

SIGHTSEEING AND LIGHTHOUSE TOUR
✔️ Lighthouses are pretty
✔️ Surprisingly affordable

#3 PICK

1 Perfect One Day in Portland Maine Itinerary 4

ALL OTHER PORTLAND TOURS
✔️
Choose your favorite
✔️ Find the best deals!

But even though Portland is small, it has many exciting cultural attractions, like the Portland Art Museum. So don’t just spend your time in Portland on the water! There’s fun to be had on dry land too, unless you are a mermaid.

Follow me for a One Day in Portland Maine Itinerary, and I’ll teach you about one of Portland’s most famous sons, give you a typically ridiculous docent tour of the Portland Art Museum, and finally take you to the best secret restaurant in Maine. You won’t want to miss an hour!

1 Perfect One Day in Portland Maine Itinerary 5

One Day in Portland Maine Itinerary

Where to Stay?

Did I mention that Portland was the second most expensive hotel city in the United States? I think I did. So that means you really have to save your pennies if you want to afford a room in the city itself. Since I don’t drive, I really wanted a central location, and I also wanted a hotel that wouldn’t put me in the poorhouse.

That’s why I was thrilled to find the Portland Regency Hotel and Spa. Was it cheap? Absolutely not? Did it wipe out my travel budget so I could even afford one bite of lobster during my one day in Portland Maine itinerary? No, no it did not.

And it was within walking distance of pretty much everything in the city, so I could drink as much craft beer as I wanted and still get home safely. Can’t ask for more than that!

If you’re looking for a great deal at this hotel, click here.

And if you’re looking for great deals at many hotels in Portland Maine, click here.

This search engine will help you find the most affordable and convenient hotel during your one day in Portland Maine itinerary. With hundreds of options to choose from, I’m sure you’ll find something for your schedule and budget.

one day in portland maine itinerary

One Day in Portland Maine itinerary

Morning: Old Port Culinary Walking Tour

Of course the most famous food in Maine is the lobster. During August, lobster eating is practically a religion there. In fact, I think they should change the name of the month to Lobster-gust.

But Portland has become a sophisticated foodie scene, and not just for shellfish. No one day in Portland Maine itinerary is complete without sampling all that the city has to offer, nourishment-wise.

That’s why I suggest starting your 24 hours in Portland Maine with the Old Port Culinary Walking Tour. Our guide, whom I shall call Wadsworth, knew seemingly everything about the food scene in the city. He not only gave us oodles of information; he helped many people on the tour make dinner reservations for that evening.

You can book this fantastic tour for yourself by clicking here.

I don’t want to tell all of Wadsworth’s secrets, so I’ll just get you curious with…

approximately top 5: one day in portland maine itinerary food

1 Perfect One Day in Portland Maine Itinerary 6
1) Fancy Food Store

Our first stop was at a fancy food store that seems to sell everything a person might want to season their food. It was started by a local couple who quit their jobs to travel. That’s definitely the sort of business this blog wants to support!

We tried so many delectable things at this store in their special tasting area in the back. It was hard to keep in mind this was only the first stop on the tour. Your exact tastings might be different, but I hope you’ll get to sample the local mead made with honey and yeast. It was just the perfect amount of alcohol to start off the day.

We moved on to a snack, which was fresh fruit paired with their flavored vinegars. Wadsworth suggesting pairing the blueberry vinegar with pineapple and the chocolate balsamic with strawberries. In all things, Wadsworth’s judgment was impeccable.

But the Maine event here was the lobster mac and cheese. You could top it with some of Vervacious’s salts and spices: harissa, smoked salt, or jalapeno powder. Or you could do what I did, and season each bite with a different spice so you could try as many flavor combinations as possible.

The smoked salt was my favorite, so I bought some to take home. It sure makes my daily turkey burger lunch more exciting!

one day in portland maine itinerary
2) craft beer + lobster = bliss

The only thing better than craft beer is getting craft beer at a brew pub that actually serves good food. Wadsworth in all his wisdom took us to a local gastropub. He explained that this place played a special role in bringing beer back to Maine.

Many people know that the United States made alcohol illegal in the 1920s. But Maine actually had Prohibition back in the 1800s. Yikes! Hasn’t anyone told them that all work and no play makes Jack a dull boy?

Fortunately for Mainers who like a cold one, brewing came back to Maine in the 1980s and Gritty’s led the charge. So I was excited to try some of their award winning beers.

The beers change with the seasons, so you might not sample the refreshing summer IPA or the even more refreshing blueberry beer. But you’ll definitely get to sink your teeth into this toothsome lobster roll with fries. So I’m sure I’ll hear no complaints from you, Internet Stranger!

one day in portland maine itinerary
3) Blueberries

In the mood for something sweet? Then you’ll be glad we’re heading to this next stop. This food company’s goods can now be found all over the country, but it was founded in Maine. (In York, though, not Portland.) However they now have a large store in Portland with all the artisanal jams and mustards a girl could desire. (This shop is closed, but they are working on opening a new location soon.)

We got a private tour of the store’s droolworthy test kitchen. The woman who worked there said that Stonewall Kitchen’s first product was just blueberry jam, which is about the most Maine thing there is. Everything in Maine during the summer is blueberries. And lobster. In fact, I think the mayor of Portland is a blueberry flavored lobster.

one day in portland maine itinerary

But no one wants to just read about the history of blueberry jam. You want to eat it! We got ours on top of freshly baked scones because eating jam with a spoon is just sad. And I like that the food tour was providing more value than just having us sample the jam because that’s available to anyone who shops at Stonewall Kitchen.

In fact, everyone else in the store was looking at us with jealousy because we got scones and they didn’t. Suck on it, Other Tourists! You should have booked a food tour!

one day in portland maine itinerary
4) surprise!

Our next stop was one of the best values I’ve ever gotten on a food tour. We stopped at a bakery/soup shop, and we were given the option of any pastry in the store to take with us. Yes, every single person on the tour got to pick their own pastry.

I chose a blueberry turnover to save for my breakfast the next day. My one day in Portland Maine itinerary had taken me over to the darkside, and now I could only eat blueberries and lobster. REDRUM! REDRUM!

one day in portland maine itinerary

But we didn’t only get the pastry for later. We also got to have some hot fresh soup. There were several choices but I selected the corn chowder because it was seasonally appropriate.

I was amazed at how creamy the soup was considering it was vegan. My only complaint was that the soup didn’t have either lobsters or blueberries in it.

one day in portland maine itinerary
5) Chocolate Time

Our last stop on the tour was for a little dessert at a sweet shop. Thoughtfully, it was another dessert you could take with you in case you were too stuffed from the rest of the food tour. I appreciate a food tour that lets you go at your own pace.

The owner of this place is another career changer, as he used to be an architect but gave it all up to make chocolate. You know, if I meet one more architect turned chocolate maker, I swear I’ll scream from boredom.

Here we got two different chocolates: a normal sea salt and caramel and a freaky little number called a Needham. Needhams are traditional Mainer candies made with coconut, chocolate…and blueberry coated lobster pieces. (Just kidding, it’s actually potato.) Dean added vodka to the Needham which is certainly appropriate considering it’s made with potatoes.

24 Hour Tip

That’s all for the food on the food tour, but if you want to try the food yourself and experience all the fun facts and tips I didn’t share with you…

Check rates and availability by clicking here.

Stella’s Top 3 Picks: One Day in Portland Maine

#1 TOP PICK

1 Perfect One Day in Portland Maine Itinerary 2

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
PORTLAND FOOD TOUR
✔️ Tons of amazing food!
✔️ Great bang for the buck

#2 PICK

1 Perfect One Day in Portland Maine Itinerary 3

SIGHTSEEING AND LIGHTHOUSE TOUR
✔️ Lighthouses are pretty
✔️ Surprisingly affordable

#3 PICK

1 Perfect One Day in Portland Maine Itinerary 4

ALL OTHER PORTLAND TOURS
✔️
Choose your favorite
✔️ Find the best deals!

One Day in Portland Maine Itinerary

One Day in Portland Maine itinerary

Afternoon: Portland Art Museum

Now that I’ve become the first person to discuss Henry Wadsworth Longfellow and Shame in the same blog post, it’s time to move to our next destination of our time in Maine: the Portland Art Museum. The Portland Art Museum claims to be the 7th oldest museum in the United States.

Considering Portland is such a small city, the Portland Art Museum has an impressively large collection. You can easily spend several hours here, and if it’s a nice day, the Sculpture Garden is the perfect place to soak up the Maine sunshine.

Opening times and admissions change, so check their website for the most up to date information.

Now that the preliminaries are out of the way, let’s get down to…

approximately top 5: portland art museum

one day in portland maine itinerary
1) wreck of the dt sheridan

All right, our tummies are full and it’s finally time to enter the Portland Art Museum. Nothing can be more appropriate here than focusing on art that depicts the sea. The painting above is American artist Rockwell Kent’s depiction of the wreck of the DT Sheridan, which was a real boat that actually sank.

It’s intriguing how calm the sea, sky, and birds look now that the storm is over, even though there was a devastating fog that wrecked the ship. The birds are perched so peacefully on the shipwreck. They don’t even give a what.

The moral of this painting is that birds don’t care when humans die. They’ll come for us all one day. Hitchcock warned us, but we didn’t listen.

one day in portland maine itinerary
2) winslow homer

Winslow Homer is one of the best-known artists in the Portland Museum of Art. This makes sense because Homer spent a good portion of his life in Maine, even though he wasn’t born there. The Portland Museum of Art even owns the Winslow Homer Studio, his old home in Prouts Neck, Maine. You can visit it through tours that leave from the Portland Art Museum.

This painting above, “Weatherbeaten”, was painted at Prouts Neck by Winslow Homer’s Studio. So in a way, it’s advertising for the Portland Art Museum tours of the studio. “Weatherbeaten” is basically the opposite of “The Wreck of the DT Sheridan” because there’s a storm, and there’s neither boat nor birds. (Unless the birds are lurking in the background, waiting to strike.)

one day in portland maine itinerary
3) confidences

Much of the art I saw at the Portland Museum of Art was American. But here we have “Confidences”, by a Frenchie named Renoir. (Yes, that Renoir.) My audioguide told me that there are clues that this young lady is a courtesan, also known as a highly paid sex worker.

Some of these clues include that she is with a man unchaperoned even though she doesn’t wear a wedding ring, the fact that you can see her pink shoes, and the little white dog in the corner.

So I guess pink shoes and a little white dog were the 19th century French equivalent of thigh-high boots and fishnets? I feel like Pretty Woman would have been a very different movie if Julia Roberts had been wearing this outfit when Richard Gere met her.

one day in portland maine itinerary
4) dark harbor fishermen

Next to Winslow Homer, the artists most associated with Maine are the Wyeths. Andrew Wyeth was extremely famous in his own right, but I’ve chosen to talk about this painting by Andrew’s father, N.C. Wyeth. It’s called “Dark Harbor Fishermen”.

The title of this painting sounds ominous even though the waters and fishermen are peaceful. But things won’t stay peaceful for long. The birds are waiting and watching. They always are.

PS. N.C. Wyeth’s full name was Newell Convers Wyatt, and I don’t know why he shortened it. If my name were Newell Convers Wyatt, I would insist on everyone in my life calling me by my full name at all times.

5) mclellan house

This adorable building used to house the entire Portland Museum of Art, but now the museum is much too big to be contained within its walls. However, you can still explore the McLellan House. It’s included with the price of admission to the museum.

My favorite feature of the house is this floating staircase. I’ve never seen one like it before. It truly seems to be suspended in mid-air. But wait! Maybe it’s not. Maybe it’s secretly being held up by a group of evil birds waiting to crash the staircase when you start to walk up. That’s why I didn’t head up these stairs. Better safe than sorry.

one day in portland maine itinerary

One Day in Portland Maine Itinerary

Late Afternoon: Soakology

After all that art and history, you’ll probably be a little tired. So let’s stop for a relaxation break at Soakology. This place is one of the most genius business ideas I’ve ever heard. Here you can have a foot soak and drink tea at the same time. What could be more relaxing? Just be sure to make a reservation in advance for your One Day in Portland Maine Itinerary because they fill up quickly.

I opted for the salt soak for my feet. They leave you alone during the soak, but they refill your water as many times as you need. Plus you get a hot pack for your back. Bring a book or a friend, put your feet in the water, and let your troubles melt away!

Stella’s Top 3 Picks: One Day in Portland Maine

#1 TOP PICK

1 Perfect One Day in Portland Maine Itinerary 2

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
PORTLAND FOOD TOUR
✔️ Tons of amazing food!
✔️ Great bang for the buck

#2 PICK

1 Perfect One Day in Portland Maine Itinerary 3

SIGHTSEEING AND LIGHTHOUSE TOUR
✔️ Lighthouses are pretty
✔️ Surprisingly affordable

#3 PICK

1 Perfect One Day in Portland Maine Itinerary 4

ALL OTHER PORTLAND TOURS
✔️
Choose your favorite
✔️ Find the best deals!

One Day in Portland Maine Itinerary

Evening: Dinner at David’s Opus Ten

I promised you a secret restaurant, didn’t I, Internet Stranger. And I always keep my promises. David’s Opus Ten is a secret restaurant inside David’s Restaurant. David’s Opus Ten is only open for a few nights a year, during the summer. If you’re in Portland when David’s Opus Ten is available, you have to try it.

David himself prepares a tasting menu using the best ingredients from the farmer’s market that day. So you never know what you will get. It’s the perfect place to end our One Day in Portland Maine Itinerary.

If you’re not in Portland when David’s Opus Ten is around, I’m sure you’ll have a great dinner at David’s Restaurant. But if you are…get ready for a treat with…

approximately top 5: david’s opus ten

one day in portland maine itinerary
1) lobster boudin

Only in Maine can you eat lobster twice in one day and have it be NBD. The lobster boudin was served with scallop mousse, ricotta and corn porridge, anise cream, and pickled cabbage and peppers.

The pickles added a needed crunch to this soft dish. It sort of reminded me of an Extremely Not Kosher gefilte fish. (Shellfish is definitely treyf.)

one day in portland maine itinerary
2) codfish

Let’s remember that lobster is not the only fish in the sea, even in Maine. The next course was Atlantic cod. This dish was full of summertime flavors: succotash, parsnip puree, and minted pea sauce. I always think of minted pea sauce as something to serve with lamb. But why not serve it with cod? Pescatarians deserve mint sauce too.

3) coup du milieu

One thing that makes a David’s Opus Ten tasting menu unique is he serves a coup du milieu, or refreshing cocktail, in the middle of the dinner. I had seen this before because some restaurants in New Orleans do a coup du milieu. (We never need an excuse to drink in New Orleans.)

This cocktail was just as summery as everything else on the menu: peach, lime, and mint sorbet served with frozen spiced rum. I felt like a pirate on spring break when I was drinking it.

one day in portland maine itinerary
4) quail

The coup du milieu cleared the way for the more substantial courses. Up first we have quail served with gnocchi, mushrooms, foie gras, and Madeira jus. It was as rich as the cod dish had been light. And you’ll never hear me complain about having lobster and foie gras in the same meal.

I did feel a little guilty at this point in the meal, though. Not because of the calories, but because the couple next to me called the little potato dumplings in this dish G-Nocki instead of pronouncing it “nyoh-ki” and I giggled a bit. But all foodies have to start somewhere. Good on them for trying a tasting menu when they don’t know what gnocchi is.

5) duck

The final Maine course was Magret duck with bacon, risotto, and plum and ginger gastrique. This was a simple and delicious way to finish out the meal.

There wasn’t a lot of bells and whistles, just a perfectly cooked duck. And though duck is often served with fruit, I appreciated the inventive plum and ginger sauce instead of a more typical orange or cherry.

6) dessert

The final course of our One Day in Portland Maine Itinerary is a mouthful: pistachio-almond dacquoise (a type of nut meringue), blueberry curd, poached pear, mascarpone, burnt orange cookies, and mint.

And thus the Most High Law of the State of Maine was fulfilled because we were served lobster and blueberries in the same meal. The burnt orange cookies were my favorite part of the dish, as they absolutely melted in my mouth.

But I was also excited about the blueberry curd. I had experienced all manner of citrus curd, but never blueberry. Oh, I just love finding new ways to eat curd! And it’s the perfect end to our one day in Portland Maine itinerary.

One Day in Portland Maine Itinerary

Shopping List

  • An excellent small cell charger so you can keep taking pictures of your One Day in Portland Maine Itinerary
  • My favorite guide to New England, including Maine
  • These great TSA approved clear toiletries bags, so I can always keep spare toothpaste and travel sized toiletries in any carry-on
  • The most reliable travel umbrella that is small enough to fit in my purse, but strong enough to stand up to powerful winds
  • My book Get Lost, that I wrote myself with all my best travel tips. This book will show you how travel can take you on a journey of self-discovery.
portland art museum

That’s a Perfect One Day in Portland Maine Itinerary

What would you do with a One Day in Portland Maine Itinerary? How terrible a husband did you have to be for your wife to leave you in 1850? And when the birds come for you, will you be ready? Please email me at stellajane@aroundtheworldin24hours.com.

Stella’s Top 3 Picks: One Day in Portland Maine Itinerary

#1 TOP PICK

1 Perfect One Day in Portland Maine Itinerary 2

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
PORTLAND FOOD TOUR
✔️ Tons of amazing food!
✔️ Great bang for the buck

#2 PICK

1 Perfect One Day in Portland Maine Itinerary 3

SIGHTSEEING AND LIGHTHOUSE TOUR
✔️ Lighthouses are pretty
✔️ Surprisingly affordable

#3 PICK

1 Perfect One Day in Portland Maine Itinerary 4

ALL OTHER PORTLAND TOURS
✔️
Choose your favorite
✔️ Find the best deals!

Note: If you want to know how I put my travel itineraries together, just click here. Keep in mind that while each article is about how to spend 24 hours in a place, that doesn’t mean you should ONLY enjoy a One Day in Portland Maine Itinerary.

Try 24 hours in Burlington Vermont. Try another day with a Burlington walking tour. Go for 24 hours in Portland Maine. Find the best attractions in Portsmouth NH. Enjoy the best things to do in Downtown Portsmouth NH!

1 Perfect One Day in Portland Maine Itinerary 16

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