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At first glance, Portland may seem like Boston cast in miniature and dressed in flannel. That's partially true — locals do trudge around in Bean boots all winter and wrap themselves in dark down overcoats, and the city's architecture is similar to its southern neighbor. However, this small city has a practical and independent style that's all its own — much like Mainers themselves.
In addition to the vibrant working waterfront, a rocking live music scene, and more James Beard nominees than you can shake a spoon at, Portland is also home to a robust shopping scene that's dominated by independent boutiques rather than big-name chains.
Fortunately for visitors, Portland is small enough that you can hoof it from the East End to the West End in 30 minutes, max. Shops are spread around the city, but that's a good thing, since you'll get to spend time in the Old Port strolling picturesque cobblestone streets before heading up to the hip neighborhood of Munjoy Hill or down to the waterfront, where beachy boutiques sit next to old school fish-and-chips joints. Cap off your day with a cocktail at Vena's Fizz House, where shopping and drinking go together like jeans and boots.Read More