I love shopping on vacation, regardless of where I visit. Whether it’s a small hotel boutique or a full shopping district, I always seem to visit the shops on my trips. I always enjoy the Portland Maine shopping when we travel there on our annual winter trip.
Portland Maine has several districts – the most popular of which is the Old Port district. The cobblestone streets of Old Port are filled with stores and restaurants, so you’ll have no shortage of places to shop during your trip. Here are some of my favorite places to shop in Portland Maine.
Note that there are a number of wonderful places to shop that aren’t included in this list. That’s because they are either chain stores, or offer things that don’t necessarily appeal to me. This is definitely not an exhaustive list of Portland Maine shopping venues – just my personal favorites.
Portland Maine Shopping
The Black Dog
Although this shop has its origins in Martha’s Vineyard, MA, there is a location on Fore Street in Portland. Here, you’ll find casual clothing and activewear for men, women, and children. In addition, as you’d expect from the name, the Black Dog has a line of dog items.
Cabot Farmers Annex
If you love cheese, you’ll definitely want to check out the Cabot Farmers Annex. It’s located on Commercial Street, right across from Casco Bay. In addition to their award-winning delicious cheese (which you can sample), you’ll also find gifts, specialty foods, and alcoholic beverages.
When we visit, we always sample a selection of cheeses and then choose a few favorites to bring home. It’s always tempting to dip into our purchase before returning home.
The Salt Cellar
Foodies will also enjoy a stop at the Salt Cellar, which has three locations in Maine, NH, and Massachusetts. Here, you’ll find a selection of seasoned salt, including truffle, ghost-pepper, and espresso-infused.
The store also offers bath and body products made from the salt, as well as cooking items. There’s also a salt room (called the Salt Vault) in the back that can be reserved. It’s Portland Maine’s only salt vault.
We’d been to Portland Maine several times before we stopped into Renys. This Maine department store has seventeen locations across the state, but I was unfamiliar with them before stopping in.
Renys offers a huge variety of merchandise including clothes, housewares, shoes, and toys. We were most surprised by the prices. Many of the items are close-outs and off-price, so you can really get a great deal.
For tourists, I’d most recommend looking at the clothes. We found some good bargains on name-brand merchandise at the start of the season.
Renys in Portland is located on Congress Street, near the Arts District and Memorial Square. It’s within walking distance from many of the popular places to stay in Portland Maine.
The Blue Lobster
Looking for fun Portland souvenirs? The Blue Lobster, located right on Commercial Street, is a great spot. They offer sweatshirts, t-shirts, and other Portland souvenirs at a good price.
The gift shop is also the home of Scenic Maine Tours, which offers local tours as well as tickets to the Freeport shuttle for a day trip.
Cool as a Moose
Another fun gift shop is Cool as a Moose, which is located on Fore Street. It’s another Maine gift shop, with t-shirts, novelty items, and more souvenirs. This is another place that we always have to visit when we go to Portland.
Life is Good
Life is Good started in Massachusetts, but has expanded to many stores predominantly located on the East Coast. They offer branded merchandise with all of their popular slogan and character drawings. The shop itself is historic, with an original scale in the back of the shop.
Sea Bags have been increasingly popular over the years, and the original location is right on the Custom House Wharf in Portland. These bags, handmade from recycled sails, are a great souvenir of your trip.
The Portland location is on the water, and is open 7 days a week. It’s a small store but has a large selection of bag styles and sizes.
Rough & Tumble
If you are looking for a more traditional leather handbag, you can fantastic quality bags at Rough & Tumble. Although the bags are sold online and at multiple retailers, the flagship store is on Middle Street in Portland.
This Portland Maine chain of stores offers boho styled jewelry, clothing, and other accessories. There are two stores in Portland – right across from each other on Moulton Street in Old Port.
One of the stores offers jewelry and accessories, including sterling silver jewelry. The other location has clothing and other accessories. To get the full shopping experience, you’ll want to go to the two stores.
I wouldn’t typically include a traditional chain store on this list. However, the Urban Outfitters in Portland is different from your average mall store. Located in the former location of the Canal Bank, this store retains much of the interior of the original bank.
The vault of the bank now houses the store’s clearance section. As you check out, you’ll see the former safety deposit boxes make up the checkout counter. Even if you don’t buy anything, it’s definitely worth walking in and checking out the store.
My son loves to read, so we always include a stop to Longfellow Books during our trips to Portland. This independent book shop is located right in Monument Square, so it’s very convenient as you walk through the city.
It offers new and used books. In addition, there’s a great children’s room in the back where young kids can find books that they will love.
Vena’s Fizz House
Vena’s Fizz House is a cocktail/mocktail bar located on Fore Street in Old Port. It’s a kid-friendly location, with cotton candy mocktails and other delicious non-alcoholic drives. However, they also offer alcoholic beverages including unique cocktails.
Within the Fizz House is a retail shop with cocktail mixers, infusions, glassware, and more.
Have you been shopping in Portland, Maine? What’s your favorite shop?