Portland, Maine had never been on my radar of places to visit until it came highly recommended from a close friend when she visited last year. Being from the Midwest, I always crave the crisp air and bright colors of the leaves changing in autumn so I traveled from the southwest to the northeast to soak it all in for my birthday. Portland is a city in the lovely state of Maine, set on a peninsula extending into Casco Bay. The Old Port waterfront features working fishing wharves and converted warehouses with restaurants and shops. Nearby, the Western Promenade is a public park atop a bluff, offering river and mountain views. Its surrounding district, the West End, is full of Victorian-era homes which I adored because I’m a total sucker for that style of architecture. From the ocean, the cute historic downtown, the friendly people, the food (oh, the food!), and to the simpler pace of life, it was enough to make me fall in love.