Considered to be Northern New England’s cultural hub, Portland, Maine is a small city on the Atlantic coast that boasts both history and sophistication, which has made it a popular stop for cruises touring the Northeast. Portland is full of world-class restaurants that serve everything from nouvelle cuisine to comforting New England clam chowder, as well as the area’s famous lobster. There are many shops, galleries and museums, and the small city is a veritable showcase for craftsmen, artists and musicians. There are many things to do in Portland, Maine.
Things to Do In Portland, Maine
Travel Around the Fort Williams Park
Located in neighboring Cape Elizabeth, Fort Williams Park with its beach, Oceanside cliffs, walking trails, large green spaces not only offers some of the most breathtaking views of Casco Bay, it also holds the historic Fort Williams with its cannons, officers’ quarters and a Gilded Age mansion. You can walk along the rocky shore or tour the Portland Headlight, one of the oldest lighthouses in the country as well as its museum and gift shop.
The Portland Head Light is a lighthouse at Cape Elizabeth that began service in 1791 after being commissioned by George Washington. The lighthouse, which is fully automated and still functioning, is a lovely spot to spend the day enjoying the breathtaking sights and perhaps a picnic lunch.
Enjoy the Sun at the Old Orchard Beach
Old Orchard Beach stretches for seven miles and is only a twenty-minute drive from Portland. The town itself is a quaint area that boasts restaurants, shops as well as a carnival and other entertaining amusements and attractions. You can enjoy the attractions of the town or spend the day sunbathing and swimming in the ocean. Once you see the town and beach areas of Old Orchard Beach, you will forget the idea that Maine is nothing but rocky coastline.
Visit the Wadsworth-Longfellow House
When it comes to things to do in Portland, Maine, the Wadsworth Longfellow House could be one of your choices. Located in the heart of Portland, Maine is the restored home of poet Henry Wadsworth Longfellow. Built by Longfellow’s grandfather in 1786, it is the oldest brick structure in the city. Tours of the home provide a glimpse into the lives of eighteenth century Americans, as well as into the life of the poet’s family. There is a museum gift shop where you can purchase the books of Wadsworth Longfellow and the beautiful Longfellow Garden.
Take a Stroll in the Commercial Street
Constructed in the 1850s, Commercial Street is a historic street near the Maine State Pier, a working marine facility and an outdoor concert venue. Built in the eighteenth century and located at the east end of Commercial Street, Widgery Wharf and Union Wharf are among the oldest standing structures in the city of Portland. The long street contains restaurants and shops, so you can spend the day shopping and enjoying a leisurely lunch.
Enjoy Some Peaceful Moments in the Portland Museum of Art
A great afternoon can be spent at Portland’s Museum of Art with over 17,000 pieces including photographs, sculptures, paintings and hand-blown glass pieces. Large open spaces hold collections of work by artists such as Claude Monet, Pablo Picasso, Andrew Wyeth and others. The museum has become one of the best in the country with a vast showcase of international art that you can spend the day viewing.
Take a Ride in the Casco Bay Lines
Casco Bay Lines is the daily ferry service, taking locals from the six inhabited islands in the bay, as well as taking tourists on a magnificent ride around beautiful Casco Bay. Tour the quaint towns on the islands and enjoy shopping and lunch, take in the windswept rocky shoreline, or visit some of the additional uninhabited islands for bird watching and hiking.
Walk Along the Portland Trails
Along the Southern Maine Coast is a line of preserved green spaces, and Portland Trails is one of these marvelous jewels. Including almost three dozen tracts of land, the area is a great spot to walk the trails and enjoy deep green forested areas only steps away from the city. Be sure to walk the Presumpscot River Preserve and its deep ravine along the Presumpscot River and wooden walkways.
Have Fun in Portland Free Concerts
Beginning in spring and running through early fall, Portland boasts many free concerts showcasing a myriad of international musical styles. Pack a picnic lunch and enjoy the Weekday Music Series at Congress Square in the afternoon, or enjoy a light dinner with the Alive at Five Concert Series in Monument Square. There are summer concerts from July to August in South Portland at the Summer Concerts at Mill Creek. This surely is one of the excellent things to do in Portland, Maine.