One of the best things about New England is that everything is centralized. My husband and I live in Manchester New Hampshire. This definitely has challenges, but also allows us opportunities. One of these is the fact that we are only an 1 1/2 hours from Portland Maine. Friday we took full advantage, and took a afternoon ride up to the Port City.
Our first stop was Bissell Brothers on Thompson Point. They are a craft brewery, and have incredible beers. My husband checked it out and ended up buying some cans. After we grabbed a pair of drafts and a couple of bar stools and enjoyed the patio. We also grabbed a quick snack at Locally Sauced, a fast food joint neighboring the brewery. My husband got the steak quesadilla. It came warm with a side of beatiful. pico de gallo. It was the perfect companion to my Baby Genius.
Our next stop in town was Portland Head Light. We drove over the Casco Bay Bridge, the sun dappling through the windows, the smell of the ocean sneaking in. The bridge sits high above the bay, giving visitors wide vistas of the city. We enjoyed the view before the bridge eased down into South Portland. We passed old brick buildings, and restaurants with outdoor seating. As we got closer to the light, the small neat victorians gave way to large gated estates. Within a few minutes we were taking the slight left turn into Fort Williams Park, the home of Portland Head light. I grew up going to park. We would go visit on New Years Day, all bundled up as we sat up against the fence the lighthouse behind us. Coming to the light felt like coming home.
A paved road snakes up through the woods before opening into a wide grassy area. The parking lot, in the midst of the vast picnic area. The land slopes down before meeting the rocky coast. The lighthouse stand upon the point that sits furthest out into the sea.
My husband parked and we got out to explore. We circled around the light, looking up at the whitewashed tower. My favorite part is the sage green trim of the buildings. Below high tide crashed rhythmically on the rocks. We then walked down one of the paths, finding a gate. We went through,and made our way out onto the rocks.
We sat there on the point, watching waves crash on the rocks. We could have asked for a better night. It was warm, but the light sea breeze made things comfortable. After we came off the rocks, we climbed up one of the old gun hills from World War Two. At the top we sat upon a picnic table and watched the harbor.
Our final stop was dinner in downtown Portland. Our favorite restaurant is J’s Oysters. They have some of the best seafood in town. It is humble place, and you see locals there, along with tourists. We have always ha great service there, along with authentic New England Style seafood. It isn’t fancy and thats what I love about it. We sat next to a warf and watched sunset as we ate. We ordered steamers and some chowder. The steamers arrived piled high in a galvanized bucket. The chowder was steaming with plenty of oyster crackers. We put down our phones, ate, and enjoyed each others company. It was a great end to a night in town.
Portland is perfect for a summer evening. It is the perfect mix of history and fun exciting changes. Whether you are going to a new brewery, classic seafood, or a new adventure. Portland is a must see for anyone visiting New England.