Portland ME Bachelor Party

Discussion in 'New England' started by downesadam, Jan 6, 2017.

  1. downesadam

    downesadam Initiate (147) Jun 24, 2016 Maryland
    Beer Trader

    So I'm getting married and my one last hurrah is looking like it will be in Portland!
    (Portland was the only location we missed on our NE RV trip this Fall if anyone followed that thread).

    Question to the locals: What activities can we do that ISN'T visiting the local breweries?

    We plan to hit all the mainstays (Bissell, Allagash, Foundation, Austin St, etc).

    But I just feel like at a certain point, we may want to do something else other than sitting in the brewery.

    Is there any BYOB bowling or laser tag or a cool hiking path, etc etc etc?

    Any good restaurants that we should hit?

    Any responses are appreciated.

  2. AlcahueteJ

    AlcahueteJ Crusader (725) Dec 4, 2004 Massachusetts

    There's frisbee golf nearby (the name escapes me at the moment, but I could find out), that was fun, we did that for a bachelor party I was at in Portland, ME a few years ago. We did that on our way up on Friday afternoon, then checked into the hotel and went out for dinner/drinks.

    You can bring beers with you to drink while you play as well. I don't believe it's in Portland, but it's close by.

    Edit: If it helps, here's a link to the thread I started when I was organizing that bachelor party.

    #2 AlcahueteJ, Jan 6, 2017
    Last edited: Jan 6, 2017
    downesadam likes this.
  3. Seacoastbrewer

    Seacoastbrewer Aspirant (215) Jun 5, 2012 New Hampshire

    What time of year?
  4. downesadam

    downesadam Initiate (147) Jun 24, 2016 Maryland
    Beer Trader

  5. cmurphycode

    cmurphycode Initiate (39) Oct 3, 2010 Massachusetts
    Beer Trader

    I had a great bachelor weekend in Portland. I can confirm you should schedule at least SOME non-beer activities :slight_smile:

    One thing you should consider: skeet shooting! We did it through LL Bean. After a night with way too much good beer, we woke up the next day and did not feel great....nothing like shooting a shotgun (for half of us, our first times) to get the adrenaline pumping and refreshed!

    Frisbee golf is a great idea. I would do skeet shooting first (not too early, of course) and then frisbee golf afterwards.

    As for beer, keep in mind that Foundation, Allagash, and Austin are not near the city. It's a quick drive but you'll need to figure out how to get there and back safely. There are other fun breweries in Portland proper, I would definitely recommend checking out Oxbow, as it will be a perfect hang out spot as well, and much less busy.

    Portland is extremely walkable, we did not take cabs anywhere around Portland itself, just walked - which also helped with the beer management.

    Tons of great restaurants but it depends on the size of your party. One no-brainer is Salvage BBQ, which has fantastic food, good beer list, and is another great hangout spot.
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  6. kinopio

    kinopio Aspirant (238) Apr 30, 2009 Massachusetts
    Beer Trader

    Check out Arcadia National Bar. They have a bunch of arcade games as well as different videogame consoles set up. They have good beer but its also something to do that can involve not drinking.
    I'd also suggest the Eastern Promenade park. It has great views of the harbor and you could toss around a frisbee or something. Oxbow is a short walk from there.

    You could also find a boat to take you out fishing in the morning. People even fish off the piers in Portland but you probably won't catch anything big.
    downesadam likes this.
  7. AlcahueteJ

    AlcahueteJ Crusader (725) Dec 4, 2004 Massachusetts

    I would just take Uber/Lyft everywhere. I've stayed at the Holiday Inn and the Westin (I've since been back twice after the bachelor party) and both of those are walkable to downtown Portland. The Westin has a beautiful roof top bar as well.

    But Uber/Lyft make it very easy to get around, and split between a group it is quite affordable. You'll want to take an Uber/Lyft for The Great Lost Bear, Bissell, Allagash/Foundation/Austin St....etc.

    Here's another good thread for ideas in terms of breweries, activities, food...etc. I did a review of one of my recent trips on page 1.

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  8. cmurphycode

    cmurphycode Initiate (39) Oct 3, 2010 Massachusetts
    Beer Trader

    Forgot about Arcadia - big plus one for that, especially if you can get there on the early side so you can enjoy whatever games you like. Fun place, and they had Substance on tap when I was there. OP, go there!
    downesadam likes this.
  9. jhavs

    jhavs Poo-Bah (1,646) Apr 16, 2015 New Hampshire
    Premium Member Beer Trader

    Looks like above covers a lot of great options.

    Another non beer centric option could be looking into concert schedules. The State Theatre and Port City Music hall have good options often.

    Last time I was there for a concert at Port City Music Hall we had dinner at Little Tap House which is a short walk. Good food and good tap list with a lot of locals.

    Liquid Riot has made some nice Pale Ales and IPA's lately and is a lively spot (if that is what you're into).

    The Kings's Head is a nice spot in the Old Port as well:
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  10. AlcahueteJ

    AlcahueteJ Crusader (725) Dec 4, 2004 Massachusetts

    The Little Tap House is directly across the street from the Holiday Inn as well. An added bonus if you stay there.

    Mash Tun is another hidden gem, it's right next to Street and Co. I believe. Incredibly solid local tap list.
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  11. steve_o4

    steve_o4 Initiate (119) Dec 19, 2016 New Hampshire

    Was thinking of Portland for my Bachelor party as well, but leaning towards getting a bus and hitting some VT breweries on the way up to Montreal... Portland sounds like it would be a blast though!
    downesadam likes this.
  12. mwginnh

    mwginnh Initiate (125) Aug 27, 2010 Massachusetts

    I go to Portland a few times a year and love it. I constantly check out hotel prices and go when I find a good deal, ended up finding hotels for $114 a night for this Sat so I'm heading up tomorrow. We usually just bounce around from place to place having an app and a drink, then moving to the next place. The Old Port is right on the waterfront and is extremely walkable with tons of bars and restaurants. For non beer activities, you can take the ferry out to Peak's Island and rent bikes when you get off the boat. The coast of Maine had tons of WWII forts and Peak's has a few of them that you can explore. I would also suggest looking into going deep sea fishing, although being on the ocean after a night of hard drinking might be tough for some.

    For places to go other than breweries my favorites are:
    Novare Res (really good beir bar)
    Alpine Hunt Club (Norwegian place good for drinks)
    Kings Head pub (amazing selection of local beers and great food)
    Grace (bar housed in an old church)
    Bar of Chocolate (desert bar)
    Duck Fat (amazing sandwich shop with a few great local beers)
    Central Provisions (tapas place with good beer)
    Otto (pizza and good beer)
    Fore Street (absolutely amazing food, but very expensive and you need reservations far in advance)
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  13. AlcahueteJ

    AlcahueteJ Crusader (725) Dec 4, 2004 Massachusetts

    Great suggestions. Although I'd swap Slab for Otto. Awesome tap list and the pizza is amazing and unique. It's a must stop for me when I go there.
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  14. dubdrop

    dubdrop Disciple (355) Aug 6, 2012 Massachusetts
    Beer Trader

    Love Portland and fortunately I get up there numerous times per year since my in-laws are under 30 min from the Old Port. Great suggestions so far, but here's a few more.

    Silly's is my favorite brunch spot (warning: brunch only served on weekends) and is across the street from Oxbow. Really awesome place to get food if you've got vegans with you. My wife has a dairy allergy and it's her favorite place to eat b/c they're so accommodating.

    Pai Men Miyake is a great ramen restaurant with a very good tap & bottle list. They often have vintage Oxbow bottles available. Also a good pre-show spot if you end up going to something at the State Theatre.

    Also close to the State Theatre is Nosh. If you like crazy burgers, this is the place for you. Their taplist is good and always has locals, but certainly not the best in town.

    As far as bars go, you can't go wrong with Novare Res...it's pretty much the standard for beer bars in Portland. But King's Head is also a great option. I've been there 3 or 4 times (usually for lunch) and I've never seen it crowded. The nice thing is that if you're in the Old Port, it's very easy to wander around by foot and check out a bunch of bars.
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  15. KLad24

    KLad24 Initiate (6) Jan 2, 2016 Connecticut

    Great list. Grace is one of the coolest bars I've ever been to, if not solely for the feeling of sacrilege I got drinking beer inside of a church.

    I also thought Lincolns was neat - if you can find your way in. It's a speakeasy with a secret entrance.
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  16. downesadam

    downesadam Initiate (147) Jun 24, 2016 Maryland
    Beer Trader

    This is all great information. Thank you to everyone! I'm drawing up all the suggestions and putting them into a spread sheet now.
  17. mwginnh

    mwginnh Initiate (125) Aug 27, 2010 Massachusetts

    Absolutely one of the coolest bars. I was here one night during Santa Con and the place was wall to wall with drunk Santas

    I'm staying at the Regency tomorrow night and it looks like Lincoln's is right there. Where is the entrance? I had been to MJ's Wine bar on a prior trip and the bartender was telling us about it, but couldn't take us there since she was the only one on that night and couldn't leave to show us.
    downesadam likes this.
  18. Piels25

    Piels25 Aspirant (242) Dec 17, 2013 Massachusetts
    Beer Trader

  19. BeerinBiddo

    BeerinBiddo Initiate (8) Aug 31, 2013 Maine

    A lot of good food/beer stuff covered here, and I'd definitely second disc golf if the weather permits (http://philldiscgolf.com/ is probably closest to town). Another option that was super popular the last time I was at a bachelor party in the area was http://www.maineindoorkarting.com/ -- we called ahead and were able to do some races with just our party. There may have even been a hot pink helmet for the bachelor, but don't quote me on that. Another weather-dependent option would be a group surf lesson.
    downesadam likes this.
  20. JackStrawWichita

    JackStrawWichita Initiate (125) Jan 4, 2003 Maine

    1:00 pm game on Sat. 5/6. Can’t beat it for the $. They have a small “micro brew” stand to. Might be a good break between Friday night and Saturday night. I've seen some great players move thru there.
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  21. mwginnh

    mwginnh Initiate (125) Aug 27, 2010 Massachusetts

    There will be a new bar coming to Portland in Feb. I was at the Kings Head yesterday and found out that the owners are going to be opening a new Bavarian style pub on Warf St in Feb right near Central Provisions. They will feature German style beers and have homemade German foods.
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  22. AlcahueteJ

    AlcahueteJ Crusader (725) Dec 4, 2004 Massachusetts

    Yeah, I should just move to Portland at this point.
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  23. Troutbeerbum

    Troutbeerbum Initiate (75) Dec 5, 2016 Maine
    Beer Trader

    Hire a fly fishing guide..... I know one who you can pay in good beer.....
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  24. LFC_YNWA

    LFC_YNWA Initiate (187) May 31, 2014 New Jersey
    Beer Trader

    I'm heading to Portland for my bachelor party August 10-13. Reading through this thread has definitely been helpful and I'm really looking forward to checking out Portland for the first time.

    Two questions for those of you that have been up there multiple times itt:

    1) I had in my mind to rent a house for about 6-8 of us, but it seems easier to stay in a hotel in/near Portland? Is this the case?

    2) Any good hikes that you did around Portland for the "non-beer drinking" portion of the trip that's been covered? :slight_smile: I guess Portland is fairly far away from any mountains but I'm sure there's still some beautiful nature up there worth seeing, even in the end of summer.

    Any and all tips or updates or reviews of the bachelor weekends concluded since the start of this thread is much appreciated. Thanks for all the help
  25. MNtoMA

    MNtoMA Initiate (116) Jun 23, 2015 Massachusetts

    1. I would definitely look for an AirBnB somewhere in Portland/South Portland or maybe Westbrook.

    2. Some good hiking spots (closest to Portland to furthest from Portland): Bradbury Mountain State Park, Pleasant Mountain, Caribou-Speckled Mountain Wilderness.

    3. Other non-beer-focused suggestions: catch a Sea Dogs game, wander around the Eastern Promenade, head to Scratch Baking in South Portland for an early morning bagel run and walk/frisbee-toss on Willard Beach, take a ferry to Peaks Island for some exploring (I like the beaches on the north side, from which you can look back across the bay at Portland), eat at Slab, Boda, and Eventide (and tuck into some fries at Duckfat).
    cdilisio likes this.
  26. LFC_YNWA

    LFC_YNWA Initiate (187) May 31, 2014 New Jersey
    Beer Trader

    Awesome. Thank you so much for the feedback.

    1) It seems all AirBnB's and house rentals are super jacked up in the summer and/or booked. Looks like a hotel in downtown Portland is going to be where we stay. Any that are highly recommended? I may not even have a choice as I'm trying to stay out of the planning as much as possible.

    2. Will look into all of those. I love that there is the word "mountain" in each one.

    3. Sea Dogs game sounds cool. GIven we only have 2 full days though that might take up a chunk of time. Depends if its a day or night game probably. Everyone has recommended it though so might be worth doing either way. And thanks for the other suggestions as well.

    As for an actual beer question my buddy was trying to organize a brew bus. I get his intention, but it seemed like they don't take you to any actual good breweries and is really expensive ($65/person). Are ubers and taxis plentiful in Portland? The breweries that I feel are most worth seeing are (in order) Bissell, Foundation, Maine, Austin, Allagash. And I was told Foundation, Austin, and Allagash can all be visited from 1 parking spot/uber drop off.

    So the best play is to uber/taxi to those places during the day then dinner and find good beer bars/nightlife in downtown Portland at night right? Any breweries that I'm leaving off that I should absolutely see (mostly an IPA guy)? Really appreciate all the feedback!
  27. PenningtonNY10

    PenningtonNY10 Aspirant (201) Nov 20, 2009 Connecticut

    Uber to breweries and walking around downtown for bars is exactly what my girlfriend and I do every time we visit Portland. It's convenient.
  28. JackStrawWichita

    JackStrawWichita Initiate (125) Jan 4, 2003 Maine

    Uber is convent right in Portland but getting a pickup much outside of town can be difficult and although pricey during the summer the hotels in the Old Port allow you to walk to a lot of places.
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  29. LFC_YNWA

    LFC_YNWA Initiate (187) May 31, 2014 New Jersey
    Beer Trader

    Sounds like we've booked a couple suites in the Mariott. Any reason not to do that? Location-wise
  30. marcrgrenier

    marcrgrenier Initiate (143) Apr 22, 2015 New Hampshire
    Beer Trader

    It would depend on which Marriott. If its the Courtyard on Commercial St that is in walking distance of all the beer bars/restaurants that are referenced. Its a bit of a drive to all the breweries, but you can't get both close to the old port and to the breweries (other than rising tide, liquid riot). For me, I'd prefer to be near the old port.
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  31. LFC_YNWA

    LFC_YNWA Initiate (187) May 31, 2014 New Jersey
    Beer Trader

    Yea I'm pretty sure it's the one downtown. We're fine with having to drive to the breweries out of town. Much prefer that and be able to stumble home to a hotel within walking distance in the wee hours of the morning :slight_smile:
  32. JackStrawWichita

    JackStrawWichita Initiate (125) Jan 4, 2003 Maine

    321 Commercial St, is the one you want.
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  33. spookyemperor

    spookyemperor Initiate (126) Apr 1, 2017 Rhode Island

    Well it's too late because OP already took his trip but there's a really cool arcade bar in Portland.
  34. LFC_YNWA

    LFC_YNWA Initiate (187) May 31, 2014 New Jersey
    Beer Trader

    But there's a new OP in town (me!). I'm going in September so hoping to keep this thread alive haha
  35. Seacoastbrewer

    Seacoastbrewer Aspirant (215) Jun 5, 2012 New Hampshire

    How about a trip report there Soda Popinsky?
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