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dallasdeb Nov 8th, 2007 07:26 PM

first visit to Portland ME
I am extending business trip to Portland for a few days so I can do a little sightseeing. Unfortunately, it will be in January.
Any ideas for a mid price hotel where I might be able to see the bay or ocean, and where should I be sure to eat? I'm looking forward to authentic New England seafood, especially lobster. I'm from the West Coast.

TahitiTams Nov 8th, 2007 08:15 PM

San Diegan's that went to Portland in September..if you are staying at the Sable Oaks Marriott..the food in the bar is outstanding!
2 huge lobsters were $25 with garlic mash and asparagus..
Gritty's is great in Old Port for a cold beer but the name says it all..
Love Maine!

gail Nov 8th, 2007 11:27 PM

My daughter and I did a weekend trip to Portland last month - if you do a search (enter Portland, ME) there are some posts with suggestions and a brief trip report from me.

Portland is a harbor - so you do not actually see ocean with waves, etc from the city. The downtown area is several parallel blocks of little shops, restaurants and batrs - I do not recall any hotel directly on the water. But there are several a block or 2 away.

While somewhat touristy, there is a floating barge restaurant (DeMillos) that we found had shockingly good seafood. You can sit by the window and watch boats go by - although not likely to be as much traffic in January.

If you have a car, drive north towards Cape Elizabeth. There are several traditional New England lighthouses along the way and real ocean.

If you go south you get to Ogunquit - a realloy nice town with real ocean, art galleries, restaurants.

zootsi Nov 9th, 2007 07:27 AM

Portland is a fun city. Gilberts Chowder House (on the waterfront, near Demillos), is the real deal for New England seafood. Gliberts is a simple, no frills, seafood place. If you have a car, there are some truly scenic areas just outside the city.

dallasdeb Nov 9th, 2007 05:17 PM

thank you for the replies. Are we likely to have snow in January? I don't know whether to rent a car, or try to stay down by the bay and do walking things. I do love lighthouses.

gail Nov 9th, 2007 07:50 PM

If you stay downtown, there is plenty in way of chops and restaurants within walking distance, as long as you are prepared for the cold - even if air temperatures are not that bad, the raw wind off the water is unpleasant.

If you have the time and money, renting a car for a coastal drive and lighthouses is well worth it.

dfnh Nov 10th, 2007 03:39 AM

I agree with Gail. If the weather is mild during your visit, you will want to drive around. If the driving is bad, skip the rental car if you don't have winter driving experience or make sure you have something with front wheel drive.

tbelgian Nov 10th, 2007 01:17 PM

Lately we've gotten most of the snow in late winter/early spring. You can never count on weather in Maine though. It's best to be prepared for anything. You could get weather in the 40's or 50's or you could get sub zero. That's what's so exciting about living in Maine, or NOT!

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