Portland is the largest city in Maine. It is also the state’s cultural, social and economical capital. The city’s seal depicts a phoenix which goes hand in hand with the city’s motto: Resurgam (I will rise again). Portland is a small seaside city, with shops, museums, galleries and many things to do. And by the way: did you know that Portland, Oregon was named after Portland, Maine?
With a history dating back to the Native Americans, the city has a lot to offer to the visitors. Here are some of the things to do in Portland, ME.
Take a walk in the Old Port
The Old Port is a district in Portland, ME, known for its 19th century buildings, cobblestone streets and fishing piers. During the day, it offers an array of restaurants, boutiques and bars to check out; while at night the nightlife is bustling (and very popular among tourists).
Shop on Exchange Street
Exchange Street is the main commercial street in Portland’s Old Port. If you want to shop, this is the place to be. There are quite a lot of designer clothes shops as well as locally-owned business. If you get tired, you can catch your breath at one of the coffee shops.
Visit the city’s cultural center: Arts District
Often referred to as Portland’s hidden treasure, the Arts District is definitely an exciting place to visit. Congress Street – once the district’s main shopping street – is now home to art galleries, antique shops, and artist studios. You can spend an afternoon just checking out the beautiful streets and taking load of photos.
Take the kids to the Children’s Museum & Theatre of Maine
This is the place to check out if you travel with the kids. There are many interactive exhibits and activities for children and families, so the fun is guaranteed. Happen to visit Portland right before Halloween? Then taken the kids to the spooky events organized here. During winter, the museum is closed on Mondays. General admission is $9 per person (babies under 18 months free).
Visit the world’s only International Cryptozoology Museum
If you are looking for a rather different kind of museum, you are in the right spot. Here you can see animals and wonders that everyone is looking for but no one can say they really exist. This is the only place in the world where you can see Big Foot and a mermaid. Admission is $5.
Tour the last surviving maritime signal tower in America at the Portland Observatory
Built in 1807, Portland Observatory has always offered spectacular views of the harbor. Now, it is the only known remaining historic maritime signal tower in the United States Guided tours are available from late May until mid October. For a special treat, choose the sunset tour, offered Thursday evenings between late July and late August from 5:00 pm to 8:00 pm. Admission is $8 for adults and $5 for children.
Take a walk on the Eastern or Western Promenade
The Eastern Promenade offers spectacular views of the Casco Bay and the islands and provides the perfect walk when you need to just chill. On the other hand, the Western Promenade offers superb views of mansions built by wealthy sea captains long ago.
Read about more things to do in Portland, Maine