If you have ever been to Maine, you have been to Vacationland. You will know you are there by the glut of Maine license plates that say so as you speed by them as you drive to your vacation destination. Be prepared not to speed too fast since you never want to hit a moose though you undoubtedly do want to see one, signs excluded…

Maine Moose Xing

If you are driving from a nearby city like New York or Boston, you’ll probably find these signs and slow drivers to be slightly amusing or even quaint. Perhaps you are correct but it could just be the fact that trading metros and the busy city lifestyle for a slower version, in a beautiful state no less, is inherently relaxing and quite literally a breath of fresh air. So open your windows, slow down a bit and take it all in. As you scour the landscape, make sure to reaffirm you decision to visit Maine by reading their welcome slogan…

Maine. The Way Life Should Be!

There will be many signs with many different slogans but all of them carry the same welcoming message that feels like a warm, state-long hug. Maine has been nicknamed as The Pine Tree State, The Switzerland of America, The Lumber State, The Polar Star State and more but it is the slogans that drive home the Maine message (pun intended) home. Any state with slogans like “It must be Maine,” “If anyone asks, we’re part of Canada” or “Worth a visit, worth a lifetime” is a place worth checking out. It is obvious that Maine, as a brand, knows itself well and finds way to cheekily get their message across. As you drive you will be amused and happy and that is all before you reach little Boston a.k.a. Portland.

Portland, Maine Mural

Portland, like its western counterpart, is quirky, full of life and just beautiful. No, Fred Armisen and Carrie Brownstein aren’t here making a mockumentary but it is better that way. The more unnoticed the city is, the happier it will be. Located on a peninsula with running trails and parks along the coast line, Portland is just perfect the way it is. The breathtaking views surround you as eat at restaurants like Sonny’s, The Thirsty Pig or The Front Room that, like the city they inhabit, are brimming with personality. And, if you get bored with the city for some reason, here is where you go…

Fort Williams Cape Elizabeth Lighthouse Portland

The most photographed lighthouse, located on Cape Elizabeth in Fort Williams Park, is a short drive away. If you weren’t prone to hyperbole before or if you never had the inclination to write, that will change. Your fingers will freeze as you try to capture in words or through photographs the beauty that surrounds you. It doesn’t end here but you can be forgiven if you feel you’ve reached heaven. Maine knows you want to stay here, or head back to the city but it also knows you like beer so, naturally, it has given Portland three great breweries: Geary’s, Allagash and Shipyard. Be careful not to (freely) drink your day away…

Shipyard Portland Brewhouse
Shipyard tasting
Allagash Surly Bear Mikethatmiller
The Allagash Surly Bear & I

Portland, like Maine, is full of so-called Mainiacs while Massachusetts people, like me, are referred to as Massholes, maybe there is reason. Boston has been called Meantown but Portland, especially when you are there, is a land of friendly, happy people who genuinely seem content to be exactly where they are. Maybe it is all the free beer tastings or the spray of the ocean waves as they crash on the rocky cliffs but whatever it is, Portland will grab you and you won’t want to leave. If you vacation in Vacationland then it must come to an end. If you live in Vacationland, you vacation for life!

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7 thoughts on “Portlandia?

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  5. I’ve lived in both Portlands and I WAY prefer Maine’s version. I think what a lot of people are looking for by moving to PDX is actually a thing here in Maine: open for business (as they say in the sign), lots of job opportunity, abundant and cheap land outside of the city itself, less of the California attitude and social/professional ladder climbing that goes with it. I love it here and will likely never move.

    1. I forgot to mention also that Portland, Maine is prettier and we don’t have a stinky river full of garbage running through the city.

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