Winter in Maine | My Weekend Guide for Portland

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Nothing can compare to a summer in Maine, but should you be brave enough to bare it,  bundle up and take a trip to this winter wonderland during the off season!  There's still so much to do and see during the cold winter months, the entire state has so much to offer ~ from skiing & snow shoeing to shopping & dining!  Here's a few of my favorite things to do when in Portland, Maine during the winter months!  
If you're into photography, of any kind, the scenery is out of this world!  The natural backdrop creates a great place for portraits, the historical downtown has a plethora of architectural interest and of course the fishing ports provide never-ending inspiration.
Downtown Portland offers a wide variety of shops and restaurants.  Commercial Street is the place to be.  And of course it wouldn't be a trip to Maine without lobster!  While most restaurants have lobster included on the menu, it's sometimes those side street cafes, or road side stops that offer the very best.  Ask a local where they go for their lobster roll and I promise you won't be disappointed!  Add a side of chowder and what you've got there is the perfect meal!
Wanting to ship a lobster home?  
Harbor Fish Market off Custom House Wharf is my personal favorite!  If nothing else, take a stop inside to see what a real fish market looks like.
 While on Custom House Wharf, you have to stop by Sea Bags.  
Not only is this my favorite Maine shop, but if you're lucky, you may just see them making their signature bags first hand!
Behind Custom House Wharf, between Portland Pier, 
is my absolute favorite working pier in Portland!
From Commercial Street make your way up to the Eastern Prom.  On a clear day the view of the Calendar Islands is to die for!  Fun fact: the islands off of Maine got their name because there are supposedly 365 of them!  But bundle up, because the promenade can get very cold!
From downtown Portland, take a drive out to Cape Elizabeth to see the iconic and most photographed lighthouse ~ Portland Headlight:

Build a snowman ~ snow permitting.
From Cape Elizabeth take a drive to Higgins Beach in Scarborough.  This stop isn't for the faint of heart, because the wind chill can be severe!  But this beach town has quaint houses and is home to one of my favorite views: 
Try to make it back to downtown Portland by sunset ~ this can be late afternoon during the winter months.  Wharf Street is stunning!  As the sun goes down, the quaint cobblestone street is a photo must!
End the day in a cozy, warm restaurant. 
On day two, take a drive to Freeport. It's home to LL Bean's Flagship Store along with an abundance of other great shops!
Don't leave without investing in a pair of bean boots and try to end the weekend with one more lobster roll!


  1. We're taking our honeymoon to Maine in June... these hot spots totally helped!! Thanks Michelle.

    1. Bridget ~ you guys are going to LOVE it! I'll email you some more of my favorite spots, Kennebunkport, Bar Harbor.... :)

  2. Everything I have ever seen of Maine is absolutely breathtaking! Great pics!

  3. I visited Maine with my family when I was little and have always had a soft spot for it. I hope you don't mind, but I'm using your pictures and post to convince my guy that we need to move from Texas up to Maine asap :)

    1. Whatever you need to do to convince him! If he likes seafood, it's an easy sell ~ :)

  4. I have got to go!!! You just sold me :) The pics are amazing.

  5. I just found this post and am so happy I did! We are planning to go to Portland for New Years and this makes me even more excited :)


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