Expert Advice

A Foodie’s Guide To Portland, Maine

Plus how one Hilton Grand Vacations Owner maximizes her vacation ownership

Sheryl B
View of coastal town Portland, Maine on a sunny day

I have a goal to visit all 50 United States and was inspired to cross off Maine.

Even though Hilton Grand Vacations doesn’t have a property in Maine, I have access to Hilton’s portfolio of brands across the country (and the globe), as a Hilton Grand Vacations Owner. Here’s how I vacationed in Portland, Maine.

A Hilton Grand Vacations taking a photo at Salt Yard while on vacation in Portland, Maine 

How I Use My Hilton Honors Express Card

I had over 300,000 Hilton Honors Points and a Free Night Reward. How did I earn a free night? I spent $15,000 on eligible purchases in a calendar year using my Hilton Honors American Express Aspire card for my HGV Max upgrade, set up loan payments on my card and then paid off the loan in 12 months.

I also use my card for groceries and gas. Read “3 Tips To Maximize Ownership With Hilton Grand Vacations” for more of my vacation ownership tips.

Where I Stayed

Because I earned a free night certificate, my options were limitless. Hilton's footprint is extensive, so I booked at Hilton and took advantage of my Diamond status.

Bedroom with waterfront view of Portland, Maine, at Canopy by Hilton Portland Waterfront  

When searching for hotels, there were restaurants I wanted to try after watching an episode about Portland on Netflix’s “Somebody Feed Phil.” I searched for hotels near The Thirsty Pig, Bite Into Maine, Red's Eats and Palace Diner. I chose to stay at Canopy by Hilton Portland Waterfront using my Free Night Reward for one of two nights.

When I arrived, I was acknowledged as a Diamond Member and offered an upgrade. The room had two queen beds instead of one king. I took the room facing the waterfront on the fifth floor.

I enjoyed the waterfront view, wood flooring and cell phone charger. (Yes, I left my charger at home.) My two-day stay was under $200.

Where I Ate

After settling into my room, it was time for somebody to feed me. Although Phil inspired me to visit Maine, I dined at restaurants not on the show.

A lobster roll from The Highroller Lobster Co. in Portland, Maine 

It was 6:00 p.m. when I made it to The Highroller Lobster Co. I sat at the bar and enjoyed the lobster roll with jalapeno sauce, fries and a Bloody Mary. The roll was tasty, and the thin, golden fries were crispy.

As a Hilton Diamond Member, I received a $15 Food & Beverage Credit which I applied to my meal at Salt Yard Cafe + Bar. I enjoyed scrambled eggs, bacon, multigrain toast and potato fingerlings with detox tea. I loved the high ceilings, seating layout and proximity to the street so I could people watch while eating breakfast.

I tried a specialty cocktail before dinner at Luna Rooftop Bar, located at the hotel. I also ordered a charcuterie board to take to my room for breakfast. The bartenders were friendly and professional. If you stay at Canopy, remember to stop by the sixth floor to enjoy light bites and a cocktail. You can also use your Food & Beverage Credit at Luna.

A lobster roll from Scales in Portland, Maine 

The Uber driver, front desk clerk and bartender at Luna recommended Scales. I made a reservation on OpenTable. After a drink at Luna, I checked in at Scales and the hostess escorted me to a seat at the bar. The building had a lot of natural lighting, and my server was attentive. I thought I had delicious chowder in Boston, but the dish at Scales is by far the best. There was lobster in every bite of my perfectly buttered lobster roll.

Although The Highroller Lobster Co. and Scales are not part of Hilton Honors Dining, there are participating restaurants near Canopy. You can earn two to eight Hilton Honors Points per $1 spent when you join.

Where I Shopped

Don’t forget to support small businesses when you travel. I stopped by Something's Fishy to purchase a souvenir ornament and stickers. Then I walked to Dean’s Sweets to pick up chocolate, The Holy Donut for a dark chocolate and sea salt donut and Old Port Candy Co. for goodies from my childhood, like Chick-O-Stick and Long Boys. I also walked along the pier. Portland is pedestrian-friendly, so bring comfortable shoes and get ready to accumulate 10,000 steps.

Benefits You Can Travel With

If you plan to travel more, select a credit card with travel benefits that include access to airport lounges. You’ll save money because you won’t eat at airport restaurants or sit at the gate when you arrive early. Plus, did I mention the complimentary cocktails?

On this trip, I crossed off my 44th state while utilizing all benefits associated with the Hilton brand.

Check out my journey with Hilton Grand Vacations and how I make the most of my ownership.

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Sheryl B, a Hilton Grand Vacations Owner, poses for a selfie

Sheryl B

Sheryl has been an Owner for nine years and has shared several memorable vacations with her friends and family. Her favorite destination is Sunrise Lodge, a Hilton Grand Vacations Club, in Park City, Utah, where she celebrated her 60th birthday. You can find Sheryl vacationing year-round, relaxing by the pool, throwing snowballs with her family or sipping mimosas while playing board games.

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