Five places to go in Portland, Maine


For decades, drivers in Portland, Maine, sped by Thompson’s Point, a forlorn peninsula jutting into the Fore River just west of Interstate 295. Described as “the biggest dump in Portland” in the local independent monthly The Bollard in 2011, the area today is the city’s most unlikely hot spot. In 2015, a new outdoor concert space began staging shows on the riverbank; this past summer’s slate of 14 performances included Wilco, the XX and Alabama Shakes. And nearby, an abandoned warehouse has been transformed, with food-and-drink establishments alongside a cryptozoology museum and a circus school. One more reason to stop: a new ice skating rink open through March 4. 

Bissell Brothers  

In June 2016, this cult craft brewery relocated to an enormous facility with colorful murals splashed on the walls, steel tanks in the back and ample, two-level taproom seating. Expect lines out the door during releases of their hard-to-find, limited edition India pale ales, which attract fans from across the Northeast.  

4 Thompson’s Point #108; bissellbrothers.com

—  

Big J’s Chicken Shack  

Opened in August 2016 by acclaimed local restaurateur Jason Loring, this fried chicken joint serves chicken and waffles with Maine maple syrup and cayenne-doused, Nashville-style fried chicken so spicy that orders come with protective rubber gloves. It also operates a convenient takeaway window in the Bissell Brothers taproom.  

4 Thompson’s Point #107; bigjschicken.com 

—  

International Cryptozoology Museum  

The study of hidden animals is the focus of this unusual museum, which moved to this location in July 2016. Exhibits explore the pseudoscience of mythological creatures, such as Bigfoot, the Loch Ness Monster and the yeti.

4 Thompson’s Point #106; cryptozoologymuseum.com 

—  

Cellardoor Winery at The Point  

From pinot gris to pinot noir, a variety of varietals are poured at this tasting room, which opened in May 2016. Wines from the Lincolnville vineyard up the coast can be sampled by the glass or in tasting flights paired with cheese, crackers and charcuterie.  

4 Thompson’s Point #110; mainewine.com 

—  

Stroudwater Distillery  

Completing the neighborhood trio of beer, wine and spirits, this small-batch distillery opened in July 2016. In addition to producing vodka, gin, bourbon and rye, the distillery also has a tasting room with two bars, one pouring sampler flights and the other mixing cocktails made with the house spirits.  

4 Thompson’s Point #104-105; stroudwaterdistillery.com.


Reader Comments ...


Next Up in Travel

The thrill of victory and the agony of the feet

It's the time of year when people start thinking about getting in shape for summer vacation, usually with swimwear in mind. But I've found a more useful variation on the theme: Get in walking shape. With the ability to walk for hours (and hours), you can cover miles of city blocks, take in a day of Disney attractions or explore your supersize cruise...
Want to be a gastronaut? Let these tours lead the way

When it comes to consuming a culture, it’s hard to beat digesting it in the literal sense, which may explain the explosion of food-related trips.  From Texas to Turkey, food is a point of differentiation for many destinations and, according to the United Nation’s World Tourism Organization, food is helping drive tourism to rural regions...
Oregon couple reflects on 20-month, 18,000-mile cycling odyssey
Oregon couple reflects on 20-month, 18,000-mile cycling odyssey

BEND, Ore. — They had endured grueling climbs while crossing the Andes six times, relentless rain and wind, endless desert, vicious dog attacks, scary crashes and an agonizing bout with dengue fever.  So it is no wonder that when Bend’s Kristen and Ville Jokinen approached the end of their 20-month, 18,215-mile cycling journey in Ushuaia...
Made in Music City
Made in Music City

Bryce McCloud, zhuzhed up in a red neckerchief and matching red suede sneakers, sweeps through his Isle of Printing shop in Nashville’s Pie Town district, a melange of empty Cafe Bustelo canisters and posters that say “Invest in Kindness.” He switches on a Dorothy Ashby record for background music. “I just discovered her over...
Hosteling: Great for ‘youths’ of any age
Hosteling: Great for ‘youths’ of any age

Many travelers wonder: “Youth hosteling … can we still do that?” You can: Many hostels are filled with travelers well past their 20s — and age cutoffs are generally a thing of the past. Even the International Youth Hostel Federation has removed the word “youth” from its name and is now known as Hostelling International...
More Stories