My fiancÚ bought my engagement ring from a jeweler in New England (he ordered online) and we want to use them for the wedding bands for a couple of reasons. They have 6 or 8 locations; from our home airport we can get a nonstop flight into Portland, Bangor or Manchester and were thinking of making a weekend of it. The airfares are pretty close between the three; just $80 separating the lowest and the highest. The jeweler will bring inventory to whichever store we choose.
Looking for folks' recommendations on which city might make the most fun weekend. We'll really only have Friday evening, Saturday (whatever time isn't spent ring-shopping and sleeping in), and a little bit of Sunday morning. We are foodies (a term I dislike but I don't know another one), tech geeks, architecture geeks, history geeks and would prefer a leisurely meal and a nice bottle of wine to a night in the clubs.
Which is your pick and why? Bonus points if you recommend a neighborhood so we can pick a hotel. Extra bonus points if you describe the taxi scene because I'd rather not rent a car if I can avoid it.
Apr 28, 12, 5:14 pm
Portland, hands down. No contest. You've got the seacoast, interesting restaurants, shopping. You can make a day trip south and take in Cape Elizabeth, Old Orchard Beach, Kennebunkport, and as far south as Olgonquit. Or you can head north and east to Freeport, Boothbay Harbor, and as far as Camden. Plenty of fun things to do right in Portland - take a harbor cruise, go to the Portland Head Lighthouse, visit lots of microbreweries, minor league baseball, walk around the harbor and downtown shops. One of my favorite cities.
Portland is a city for foodies. They have a very vital gourmet community and some quite good restaurants. Avoid the tourist traps, notably those on ships in the harbor. I can recommend Fore Street, Duckfat, Street & Company, Flatbread Company (organic, vegan, pizza), Five Fifty-five, Becky's Diner (breakfast - blueberry pancake heaven).
As far as lodging, I've mostly stayed in the South Portland - Scarborough area (near the airport and the Mall of Maine - lots of cheap lodging and dining), but I think if you go there without a car, you'll want to stay downtown. I've only stayed downtown in the Hilton Garden Inn, but it is quite nice. There is a Hampton Inn, a Residence Inn, a Holiday Inn, and several other chains downtown. Consider the Portland Regency, a nice historic hotel nicely situated in downtown.
Can't help on taxis, I've always rented a car at the airport or driven up from Boston.
Almost forgot. Congrats on getting the ring.
Apr 28, 12, 5:30 pm
Portland by far would be your best choice. Manchester doesn't even have enough to do for 1 night. And Bangor has nothing... Portland has great restaurants, a great art museum, the old port is fun for a day of shopping and eating. The scenery around the Portland area is beautiful. I work there on a daily basis, right downtown. If you need assistance finding a hotel or restaurant recommendations, do not hesitate to email me at email@example.com. I know where to go and where to get some good lodging deals. I have tried most of the less expensive accommodations in Portland, and have some great ideass on how to find the best deals. Just ask and I will help out wherever I can...
Did you buy from Day's Jewelers??
Apr 28, 12, 8:18 pm
Another vote for Portland - far more to offer than the other two. My top choice would be staying in a hotel downtown, although there is a decent Clarion on Congress Street, just on the outskirts of the downtown area, a quick taxi ride into downtown. Catch a sunrise on the Eastern Promenade and/or look at the architecture of the old buildings on the Western Promenade. I'm not sure if there's much for the "tech geek" or "history geek" other than going to Fort Williams in Cape Elizabeth for some history of battles that have taken place there (you would need a taxi or rent a car to get there).
Apr 28, 12, 10:51 pm
Portland. Done. Read threads here about travel to each of these three cities and see why Portland is the one.
Apr 29, 12, 7:53 am
I would go to Bangor given your specifics. Much more accessible in an afternoon than Portland is. It's a special little town with a lot of history and romance. Excellent restaurants as well. Save Portland for when you have a bit more time, you'll only scratch the surface.
Apr 29, 12, 10:37 am
Portland, no contest. Stay in the Old Port as someone suggested and you wont need a taxi except to get to/from airport. There are many chain hotels now that you can get a night on points for or comparison shop. The ferry terminal is right downtown.
Friday and Saturday night in the Old Port is great. Many restaurants as people suggested. Duckfat as mentioned is a great place for lunch.
May 5, 12, 9:45 am
I split my time between WI and Bangor. That being said, Portland is a wonderful city, and if you had a few extra days I'd highly suggest it.
Bangor is great, you're an hour away from Acadia, as well as Bar Harbor. The restaurants in BGR are just as good as PWM. The downtown is pretty decent too. It isn't quite the walking city PWM is, but really isn't that bad.
May 10, 12, 9:50 pm
Portland. Stay in Old Port and definitely have food options galore, places to stroll and shop, the parks and seaport and much more. Bangor is pretty limited. Manchester has a growing foodie culture and nice minor league ball teams and local theater but Portland has the charm of the Old Port.
May 11, 12, 2:17 am
Thanks for all the input. We've picked Portland :)
May 11, 12, 4:32 am
Sounds good, let us know how it goes! :)
May 11, 12, 4:25 pm
Thanks for all the input. We've picked Portland :)We just spent 3 days in Portland. Have a great time.