Portland, Maine, is a picturesque coastal city known for its charming waterfront, vibrant culinary scene, and rich maritime history. From exploring historic neighborhoods to indulging in fresh seafood and experiencing the beauty of Maine’s natural landscapes, Portland offers a wealth of attractions and activities for every visitor.
We’ll explore the 23 best things to do in Portland, ensuring that you make the most of your visit to this captivating New England destination.
Explore the Old Port :
Discover the heart of Portland in the Old Port district. Stroll along the cobblestone streets, browse through boutique shops, and dine in waterfront restaurants offering fresh seafood and local delicacies.
Visit the Portland Head Light :
Marvel at the iconic Portland Head Light, one of the oldest lighthouses in the United States. Admire the picturesque views of the rugged coastline, explore the surrounding Fort Williams Park, and learn about the lighthouse’s history.
Take a Casco Bay Islands Cruise :
Embark on a scenic cruise around the Casco Bay Islands. Enjoy breathtaking views of the Maine coastline, visit charming island communities like Peaks Island and Great Diamond Island, and savor the tranquility of the sea.
Discover the Portland Museum of Art :
Immerse yourself in the world of art at the Portland Museum of Art. Explore the museum’s diverse collection of American and European artwork, attend special exhibitions, and appreciate the beauty of the visual arts.
Indulge in a Lobster Roll :
Savor the taste of Maine’s famous lobster roll, a culinary delight that showcases the region’s fresh seafood. Sample this local delicacy at renowned seafood shacks and restaurants throughout Portland.
Wander through the Portland Farmers Market :
Experience the vibrant local food scene at the Portland Farmers Market. Browse through stalls selling fresh produce, artisanal products, and locally made crafts, and sample the flavors of Maine.
Visit the Victoria Mansion :
Step back in time at the Victoria Mansion, an exquisite example of 19th-century architecture and design. Take a guided tour of this lavishly decorated mansion and admire its stunning interiors.
Explore the Eastern Promenade :
Enjoy the natural beauty of the Eastern Promenade, a waterfront park offering panoramic views of Casco Bay and the city skyline. Take a leisurely stroll, have a picnic, or go biking along the scenic trails.
Tour the Wadsworth-Longfellow House :
Discover the childhood home of renowned poet Henry Wadsworth Longfellow. Visit the Wadsworth-Longfellow House, now a museum, and learn about the life and works of this literary icon.
Discover the Children’s Museum and Theatre of Maine :
Engage your children’s curiosity and creativity at the Children’s Museum and Theatre of Maine. Explore interactive exhibits, participate in hands-on activities, and enjoy theatrical performances designed for young audiences.
Visit the Maine Historical Society Museum :
Learn about Maine’s rich history and heritage at the Maine Historical Society Museum. Explore exhibits on the state’s maritime history, indigenous cultures, and the legacy of early settlers.
Enjoy a Sunset Sail :
Experience the beauty of a Maine sunset on a sailing excursion. Embark on a scenic cruise, feel the cool ocean breeze, and witness the sky ablaze with vibrant colors.
Explore the Portland Observatory :
Climb to the top of the Portland Observatory, a historic maritime signal tower. Enjoy panoramic views of the city and harbor, learn about the tower’s significance in navigation, and discover Portland’s seafaring past.
Visit the Maine Narrow Gauge Railroad Museum :
Take a ride on a historic narrow gauge train at the Maine Narrow Gauge Railroad Museum. Learn about the region’s railway history, explore vintage train cars, and enjoy a scenic journey along the waterfront.
Discover the International Cryptozoology Museum :
Delve into the world of cryptozoology at the International Cryptozoology Museum. Explore exhibits on legendary creatures and unexplained phenomena, and learn about the search for hidden and elusive animals.
Go Whale Watching :
Embark on a thrilling whale-watching excursion from Portland. Cruise through the waters of the Gulf of Maine, spot majestic whales, dolphins, and other marine wildlife, and learn from knowledgeable guides.
Take a Kayak Tour :
Explore the coastal waters and picturesque islands around Portland on a kayak tour. Paddle along scenic routes, spot wildlife, and appreciate the serenity of Maine’s natural landscapes.
Enjoy Live Music at the State Theatre :
Experience the vibrant music scene of Portland at the State Theatre. Attend a concert featuring local and national artists, and immerse yourself in the energy and excitement of live performances.
Discover the Maine Jewish Museum :
Explore the cultural heritage of Maine’s Jewish community at the Maine Jewish Museum. View exhibits on Jewish history, art, and culture, and learn about the contributions of the community to the state.
Take a Tasting Tour of Portland’s Food Scene :
Indulge in a tasting tour of Portland’s culinary delights. Sample local specialties like clam chowder, blueberry pie, and craft beer, and discover the flavors that make Maine’s cuisine unique.
Visit the Maine Maritime Museum :
Take a short drive to nearby Bath and visit the Maine Maritime Museum. Learn about Maine’s maritime heritage, explore exhibits on shipbuilding, and even take a boat tour of the Kennebec River.
Explore the Portland Fire Museum :
Discover the history of firefighting at the Portland Fire Museum. View vintage firefighting equipment, learn about the city’s fire department, and gain appreciation for the bravery of firefighters.
Enjoy a Scenic Drive along Route 77:
Take a scenic drive along Route 77, also known as the Coastal Route. Enjoy stunning views of the Maine coastline, pass through charming coastal towns, and stop at scenic overlooks for photo opportunities.
Portland, Maine, offers a delightful blend of coastal beauty, rich history, and culinary delights. From exploring the city’s historic landmarks and museums to indulging in fresh seafood and enjoying outdoor adventures, there’s something for everyone in this charming New England destination.
So, make sure to check out these 23 best things to do in Portland and create unforgettable memories in this picturesque coastal city.