Monday, May 20, 2024

15 of the Finest Issues to Do

From mouth-watering eating places to epic lighthouses to a booming craft brew scene, Maine’s foremost coastal metropolis of Portland simply might have all of it. It’s informal, but fashionable. It’s spectacular, but doesn’t strive too arduous. It’s a metropolis of many layers—it’s a seaport, historic hub and cultural hotspot all rolled into one.

It doesn’t matter what you come right here for, or if you arrive, the listing of issues to do in Portland is pleasantly lengthy. Here’s a information to what to see and the very best methods to discover the town.

The Finest Points of interest & Issues to Do in Portland, Maine

1. ✦ Eat a Holy Donut

There couldn’t be a greater identify than Holy Donut for this institution because the style of their specialty donuts is solely divine. Created with actual Maine potatoes blended with wheat flour, the donuts are made contemporary with all-natural substances.

You’ll be able to go to any of their three areas–Park Avenue, Change Avenue and Scarborough–to your dose of donuts. There’s nearly at all times a line out the door, so for the very best picks arrive proper at opening!

After all, everybody could have their favourite flavors of the 18 totally different ones provided, however a transparent frontrunner is the Darkish Chocolate with Sea Salt, adopted by the Maple Bacon, Contemporary Lemon and Toasted Coconut. Mmm!

2. ✦ Take the Ferry to Peaks Island

A 20-minute journey from Portland by way of the Casco Bay Strains ferry could have you find yourself on Peaks Island the place the laidback way of life will certainly embody you. The quaint island has a inhabitants of beneath 1,000, however it’s full of one thing for everybody. Spend your time right here consuming contemporary seafood at one of many native cafes, enjoyable on one of many many lovely beachfronts or renting a golf cart to tour all the island’s points of interest, just like the World Battle II historical past museum.

If you’re up for just a little extra exercise, choose to pop right into a kayak to device across the bay or take a motorbike experience alongside the scenic pathways. No matter you do, don’t miss the quirky Umbrella Cowl Museum with its assortment of umbrella covers displayed with numerous themes (together with an X-rated part!).

3. ✦ Spend an Afternoon on the Previous Port

Cobblestone streets, red-bricked buildings, charming boutiques, fashionable eating places and fishing piers—that’s what you’ll discover in Portland’s Previous Port. It’s a quaint historic district that overlooks the Fore River. Many of us head there in early June for the Previous Port Competition or in December for Merry Insanity. However, it’s enjoyable to discover anytime of the 12 months!

If you’re a fashionista, don’t miss a cease by Tough & Tumble to ogle their handmade purses, Aristelle for some luxurious intimate attire and Zane that has a fantastically curated assortment of designer labels.

The purchasing scene can get overwhelming in Portland, however Within the Know Purchasing can take you on a tour to a lot of their favorites.

For all the house cooks on the market, don’t miss a cease at Salt Cellar who carries a full line of gourmand flavors, or pop into Skordo who focuses on freshly floor spices, herbs, blends and rubs.

For eats, seize some considerate small plates at Central Provisions or indulge within the chef’s tasting menu at Miyake. And if you’re a French fries lover like myself, you must guide a seat at Duck Fats. Or simply take a culinary strolling tour in Previous Port to get a sampling of native meals. 

4. ✦ Sail the Casco Bay with Calendar Islands Crusing

Are you able to simply think about basking within the solar onboard an exquisite crusing boat with the wind in your hair and a glass of champagne in your hand? You don’t should, as a result of this may be your actuality.  There’s no higher bucket listing worthy solution to discover Casco Bay and its islands than on a crusing journey, and I had an unimaginable time doing so with Calendar Islands Crusing Co.

One of the vital standard excursions is their two-hour coastal sightseeing tour, however additionally they supply island-to-island day cruises or personally custom-made journeys. If you’re up for extra of an expertise than go for certainly one of their in a single day adventures. Both means, you’ll get an opportunity to find the breath-taking surroundings of the coast, the sights alongside the way in which and the islands.

Secrets and techniques of Casco Bay from GLP Movies on Vimeo.

5. ✦ See the Lighthouses

If you’re the sort who simply can’t resist historic lighthouses there a handful within the Portland space, every with its personal attraction. The Portland Breakwater Lighthouse (aka: Bug Gentle) is a small lighthouse that sits on the finish of the breaker and is exclusive as a result of it was designed to seem like a 4th century Greek monument.

In-built 1897, Spring Level Ledge Lighthouse is a caisson-style gentle station (the one one in the USA!), however what’s particular about this one is that you’ve got the chance to tour it. However, probably the most spectacular and the one that’s finest recognized is the Portland Head Gentle at Fort Williams Park. You’ll be able to simply spend a few hours strolling alongside the pathways to take a look at Maine’s oldest lighthouse from each angle. For much more info learn our article: 5 Epic Lighthouses in (& Round) Portland Maine

For an additional bucket listing worthy expertise strive taking the Lighthouse Bike Tour that may take you to a few lighthouses, and features a lobster roll! 

6. ✦ Go to the Historic Victoria Mansion

Constructed round 1860, this ornate summer season mansion turned museum is spectacular with its classic look and fascinating historical past. Every little thing about it’s grand together with the outside that has balconies and verandas, and an inside décor of gilded areas, wall work, stained-glass skylight, lovely draperies and splendid furnishings.

Take a tour inside with educated guides who will inform you all in regards to the mansion–from its origins as a summer season residence for hotelier Ruggles Sylvester Morse to being purchased by a resident of Maine who transformed it right into a museum. For its time, the mansion additionally had fashionable facilities comparable to cold and warm water and a central heating system.

7. ✧ Discover Maine’s Historic Japanese Cemetery

This isn’t your typical exercise for any itinerary, however when a cemetery has an extended and riveting historical past, it makes for an attention-grabbing go to as is the case with Japanese Cemetery. Courting again to 1668, this cemetery with 1000’s of graves is a chronicle of the life and instances of a number of individuals together with Portland’s leaders and troopers. It additionally provides a glimpse into the social divisions of the early instances because the graves are divided into totally different areas.

You’ll be able to enterprise there by yourself or go for a guided tour organized by the non-profit group Spirits Alive from June to October.

8. ✦ Go on a Meals tour

‘Stay to eat’ must be your motto whereas in Portland because it has an enormous number of yummy meals choices and eating places. You’ll be able to simply got down to discover your personal scrumptious meal (which gained’t be arduous!) or unleash your internal foodie whereas studying about sustainability on a guided Maine Meals for Thought tour.

The academic meals tour will lead you on a strolling path to eat your means by means of eating places who function domestically sourced substances and a farm-to-table mindset. Additionally, you will get an understanding of the native meals tradition and delve even deeper with the tales behind the plate.

Although the stops and dishes can change, there was fairly a tasty sampling on the day of my tour. For example, the Union Restaurant dished up a bowl of domestically sourced clam chowder with trout and Evo served a beet salad with a kalamata olive crumble and well-known Maine blueberries. All the opposite stops have been equally as scrumptious.

I can promise you that you’ll not depart this tour upset or hungry!

Take a peek behind-the-scenes:

GLP Movies on Vimeo.

9. ✧ Go to the Portland Observatory

An imposing seven-story construction, the Portland Observatory is the one maritime sign tower nonetheless standing in America. Again when it was constructed by Captain Lemuel Moody in 1807, it functioned as a communication tower for ships making their solution to the docks. You’ll be able to go on guided excursions of this octagonal tower that stays open from late Might to October.

Every flooring has attention-grabbing shows associated to Portland historical past, maritime traditions and the observatory. You’ll be able to climb to the highest of the tower’s lantern (cupola) after which arriving on the lantern’s balcony will reward you with large 360-degree views over Portland and the bay.

10. ✦ Benefit from the Craft Beer Scene

For all you beer lovers on the market, Portland’s craft beer scene is booming! There’s nothing fairly like consuming a ‘chilly one’ within the open air whereas sitting at a picnic desk along with your pooch or taking part in a recreation of corn gap. Proper? With a booming craft beer scene there isn’t any scarcity of fine breweries to select from.

Bunker Brewing Firm is ready inside a Nineteen Twenties storage whose doorways slide vast open. Novare Res Bier Café is a well-liked hidden beer backyard that not solely has an awesome meals menu but additionally a pleasant worldwide draft and bottle listing. After all, you possibly can’t overlook a go to to Allagash Brewery the place you possibly can take a basic tour then plop on their patio to indulge.

For just a little extra distinctive beer expertise, pop onto a tour with the Maine Brew Bus whose professional guides (and vibrant inexperienced bus) will take you on a visit to find the distilleries, breweries and wineries within the space. If being on a bus just isn’t your factor, then take a strolling beer tasting tour.

11. ✧ Go to the Portland Museum of Artwork

In case your excellent afternoon consists of ogling well-known artistic endeavors, then the Portland Museum of Artwork is without doubt one of the prime issues so that you can do within the metropolis. With a set of over 18,000 items on rotation you’re sure to see some notable names throughout your go to, like Claude Monet and Andy Warhol. However, that’s not all! Starting from work to pottery and sketches to sculptures, the reveals embody American, European and even native Maine works.

12. ✦ Get Fries at Duckfat Friteshack

Do you’re keen on French fries as a lot as me? Then don’t stroll, run to Duckfat Friteshack for among the finest made out of hand-cut Maine potatoes and fried in—you guessed it— duck fats. The Friteshack is an offshoot of the well-known Duckfat restaurant in Portland, and a well-liked one at that.

The shack is an informal joint the place you place your order on the walk-up window from the restricted menu. Fries can completely be a meal (particularly if they’re within the type of duck poutine), however in case you want extra add on some doughnut holes or an additional thick milkshake.

Tip: Although I deemed the truffle ketchup the very best selfmade dipping sauce they serve, you possibly can order a flight of all of the six and decide for your self.

13. ✦ Store for Sea Baggage

If you wish to take residence the final word Maine memento then don’t miss a cease at Sea Baggage, the place nautically impressed totes are made out of recycled sails fabric. No two baggage have the very same markings! The magic occurs within the coronary heart of a working waterfront, the place craftspeople meticulously design, sew and end each bit.

You’ll be able to store proper there within the entrance storeroom the place a whole lot are displayed, together with their classic assortment that function mainsail insignia logos. As every bag is exclusive, depart your self a while to pick the proper one for you.

14. ✦ Drink at a Secret Speakeasy

Earlier than you really get to drink at Lincoln’s, you’ll have to search out it first, and know methods to get in—two minor particulars that gained’t be shared right here. However, that’s half the enjoyable! When you’ve cracked the code to get into this chill underground bar you’ll be greeted with a packed home who’ve come for the low-key vibe and $5 drinks. Yep, all of the drinks are simply 5 bucks, therefore the identify. Get it?

15. ✦ Eat A number of Lobster

It doesn’t get extra quintessential Maine then consuming contemporary lobster, and Portland has among the finest. You can begin the indulgence with the well-known lobster roll. Sometimes, the well-known rolls are merely made with contemporary chunks of lobster meat, melted butter (and/or mayonnaise) served on a top-split New England scorching canine roll. When you don’t need the carbs, then simply go for an entire lobster tail on a plate. You don’t should complicate issues to make them scrumptious!

There are many locations to get your lobster repair. Luke’s is without doubt one of the favorites amongst the vacationers, however many of the locals additionally swear by Bob’s Clam Hut or Porthole. Warning: you might simply should do a variety of analysis (lobster sampling) to search out your favourite.

A peek at the place Maine’s lobster comes from:

Pete the Lobsterman from GLP Movies on Vimeo

From lobster to museums to a booming craft beer scene, the town of Portland is full of the very best issues to do and points of interest to see. Be it on the water or on land, Maine’s hub is the proper mix of the very best actions.

Important Suggestions for Visiting Portland, Maine

Getting There: Portland Worldwide Jetport is a significant hub and most airways will fly into it. You’ll be able to simply test for the very best fare offers at Skyscanner, which additionally has the choice to decide on ‘least expensive month’ because the departure to search out the bottom priced dates to fly to your vacation spot. From the airport to the town heart, you need to use the subway, personal automobile, limousine, shuttle or take a taxi.

The place to Keep in Portland, Maine: It’s finest to remain close to the town heart, public transportation or the realm that you may be spending probably the most time in. AC Resort by Marriott is a superb selection within the Portland district. For one thing on the cheaper aspect, strive Inn at St John situated in Portland. For a lodge with just a little extra extravagance, guide a room on the Blind Tiger Visitor Home. Or search some nice offers on accommodations of your selection at When you’re on the lookout for extra of a house environment (or are touring with a gaggle of individuals), head over to Airbnb that has homes, residences and even only a room for lease in each worth vary. 

Getting Round: Driving in a brand new vacation spot generally is a little bit of a problem, however should you select to lease a automobile, has nice offers. If you’re not renting a automobile, there are many different choices. Taxis, Lyft and Uber can be found everywhere in the metropolis. For a extra price range pleasant choice, you possibly can take the general public bus or metro/subway. The DiriGo Go Card is an all-in-one transit card providing rides on a number of types of transportation (metro, prepare, bus) for one charge.

Finest Excursions in Portland, Maine: You could find among the prime excursions at Get Your Information or Viator, and listed below are among the prime ones. excursions:

Insurance coverage: It’s at all times a good suggestion to journey totally insured so you’re protected in case of journey cancellations or medical emergencies. You’ll be able to take a look at pricing at Travelex Insurance coverage.

This publish might comprise affiliate hyperlinks. When you make a purchase order by means of my hyperlinks, I earn a fee that helps to maintain this weblog operating—at no further value to you. For extra info learn my full disclosure.

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