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Dan Aceto Photography

Portland is one of the hippest small cities in America and boasts a robust and diverse live music scene to show for it. From random street performances on downtown corners, to small acts at bars and restaurants shows, to emerging and national acts in historic venues, there’s something for everyone in the city’s music scene.

Dispatch is a bi-monthly print magazine and website about music and film in Maine and New Hampshire. Dispatch makes it simple for locals and visitors to find out what’s going on in Portland. Look in local book stores for the beautiful print magazine, and check online to see for things to do in and around Portland: dispatchmag.com.

The Portland Phoenix is the city’s arts and entertainment weekly newspaper. Look for free copies of the Phoenix in red street boxes or at most local shops. Or check out the editor’s picks for great entertainment events in Portland here: portland.thephoenix.com.

Photo courtesy of boozedancing.wordpress.com.

The craft beer scene in Portland is booming. Ask for a local beer wherever you go and you’ll likely find that the bar and restaurant staff are knowledgeable and enthusiastic about local microbrews. Below are four local breweries that offer regular tours and tastings.

Shipyard Brewing Co. is a landmark business in the heart of the city’s Old Port. Their brewing facility and automated bottling line are state of the art and a must-see for any beer advocate. Full brewery tours are offered Tuesday nights from 5:30 p.m. to 7 p.m. Tours fill up quickly, so book ahead: www.shipyard.com/trips.

Allagash Brewing Company is another of the city’s up-and-coming breweries. Their bottle-conditioned varieties of Belgian-style beer stand up to the world’s best. Tours of the brewery are offered daily. Book your tour ahead of time on the Allagash Eventbrite page: http://www.eventbrite.com/org/1611044922.

Rising Tide Brewing Company is a relative newcomer to the local craft brewing scene. Their Bayside tasting room is open in the summer and fall with tours offered Fridays and (most) Saturdays at 1 p.m. Best to email ahead to confirm a tour date: risingtidebrewing@gmail.com. Visit their website for more info: www.risingtidebrewing.com.

Maine Beer Company is another exciting newcomer to the local beer scene. Their small brewery is located on the outskirts of the city close to Allagash Brewing Company. Tours are offered every Friday at 2 p.m. Check their website to confirm a Friday tour in advance: www.mainebeercompany.com.

Photo credit Maine Foodie Tours.

To visit Portland without exploring the city’s hip foodie scene would be a sin. After all, The Chicago Tribune just dubbed Portland the “San Francisco of the East” and Bon Appetite has called us the “foodiest small town in America”.

Maine Foodie Tours offers a variety of delicious explorations of the city. The company runs culinary and chocolate walking tours through historic downtown Portland. If walking isn’t your thing, sign up for a trolley tour around the peninsula to visit the bakeries, smoked fish houses, honey wine producers, and restaurants that put Portland on the foodie map. Or consider a cycling brewery tour that visits five lighthouses and three breweries. Bike rentals are available from Gorham Bike and Ski in downtown Portland. Just make sure you save room for dinner at Grace!

Tours cost from $30 to $125 per person. Plan your foodie tour ahead of your arrival by calling Maine Foodie Tours at (207) 233-7485 or visiting mainefoodietours.com.

Photo credit Joe Hardenbrook.

Experience the beautiful coast of Maine during your visit to Portland by taking a scenic coastal drive to Two Lights State Park. “Two Lights,” as the locals refer to the park, is about a 25-minute drive from downtown Portland and is a popular place for picnicking and walking. The park encompasses 41-acres of rocky coast and offers great views of Casco Bay.

Picnic tables nestled into rosaragosa bushes overlooking the rocky coast make for a perfect coastal picnic experience. Most of the picnic spots also have a stationary BBQ grill, so bring a bag of charcoal if you want to grill.

If you’re lucky and the ocean swells are particularly high, you’ll be able to watch the waves crash against the rocks. It’s a mesmerizing sight. Dress warmly and don’t venture too close to the surf!

Photo credit Portland Farmers Market.

Portland is a foodie city and Portlanders love buying their produce and other food straight from the source. If you’re in town on a weekend, check out the Portland Farmers Market held on Saturdays year-round. The market features fresh, delicious, locally grown foods including vegetables, fruits, herbs, beef, pork, chicken, duck, goat, lamb, milk, cider, cheese, yogurt, eggs, kefir, honey, grains, jams, and fermented foods such as sauerkraut, kimchi, and tempeh. Many of the foods are organic. You’ll also find beautiful plants, flowers, fiber and much more.

Summer Markets: May through November, Saturdays 7 a.m. to 12 p.m. in Deering Oaks Park, Wednesdays 7 a.m. to 2 p.m. in Monument Square. Winter Market: December through April, Saturdays 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Maine Irish Heritage Center. More general info about the Portland Farmer’s Market can be found at portlandmainefarmersmarket.org.