Day Trip (or two): Portland, Maine with a sidecar

There are few things that come to mind when I think of the idyllic New England summer destination than Maine and more specifically Portland, ME.  A quick flight from New York City you will find a quaint town of approx. 60,000 people with a freestyle attitude to life. So I spent 48 hours in Portland

So on the first day I woke up early and secured my wheels for the trip.  A 2014 retro URAL Patrol motorcycle with a sidecar used by the Russian army .  This bike is a 2WD with a 750cc engine that handles poorly in all conditions:  its slips when you brake, it tips when you turn right and overall its the most dangerous bike I’ve ever driven!  Anyway, now back to CRANE’s subjects.  🙂

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My wheels in Portland ME.

By noon I took a boat to Diamond Edge Restaurant in Great Diamond Island a short 20 min boat ride from Portland.  In addition to the Restaurant and a hotel, the island is an old Army base that makes for great sightseeing (allow 3 hours for lunch and touring in addition  to the ferry ride.  The tuna tataki appetizer and fish and chips where to die for.  An Allagash chaser sealed the deal (I rate this restaurant a 9/10).  Make sure you reserve a table outside!

At around 6pm a MAJOR storm came in and at one point visibility dropped to below 15 feet.  Hail bounced off of the water and made a spectacle too good to miss.  Approx. 30 minutes later the sun came out and the colors where not-to-be-believed!  Here are two pictures taken from a similar location less than 20 minutes apart!

 

Portland is a small city and the main commercial center is approx. 5 blocks wide by 10 blocks long where you will find some of the best restaurants in the US as well as typical stores selling everything from clothing from local companies to foodstuff and other tourist stuff.

For a quick lunch try Central Provisions, THE best place to have small plate/tapas style lunch in Portland.  For an alternative place for lunch you can also try Evertide Oyster Co.; one of the best seafood places I’ve eaten at.  Service was impeccable but be prepared to wait 20-40 minutes for a table.

The architecture is representative of other New England port towns like Boston and Norwalk CT with a mix of brick, stone, wood frame, etc.  Most of these buildings date to the late 1800’s and have slowly been restores to its former grandeur.  Here are a few examples of the ones that caught my eye:

Two hotel options are the high-end magnetically appointed Press Hotel.  This brand new hotel has the best rooms and service in all of Portland.  If your travels call for a family vacation then try the Residence Inn which has a full kitchen, pull out sofa beds and was renovated over the last year or so.

The downside of getting to Portland is that flights in and out of here are notorious for being late.  So arm yourself with patience and enjoy the ride.

 

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