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Thursday, June 20, 2024

15 of the Greatest Issues to Do


From mouth-watering eating places to epic lighthouses to a booming craft brew scene, Maine’s predominant coastal metropolis of Portland simply could have all of it. It’s informal, but stylish. It’s spectacular, but doesn’t strive too exhausting. 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 once you arrive, the listing of issues to do in Portland is pleasantly lengthy. Here’s a information to what to see and one of the best methods to discover town.


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


1. ✦ Eat a Holy Donut

There couldn’t be a greater title 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 recent with all-natural elements.

You’ll be able to go to any of their three places–Park Avenue, Change Road and Scarborough–to your dose of donuts. There’s virtually all the time a line out the door, so for one of the best choices arrive proper at opening!

After all, everybody can 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 can have you find yourself on Peaks Island the place the laidback life-style will certainly embody you. The quaint island has a inhabitants of underneath 1,000, however it’s full of one thing for everybody. Spend your time right here consuming recent seafood at one of many native cafes, enjoyable on one of many many stunning beachfronts or renting a golf cart to tour all the island’s sights, just like the World Struggle II historical past museum.

If you’re up for somewhat extra exercise, choose to pop right into a kayak to software 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 varied themes (together with an X-rated part!).


3. ✦ Spend an Afternoon on the Outdated Port

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buildings, charming boutiques, stylish eating places and fishing piers—that’s what you’ll discover in Portland’s Outdated Port.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 Many of us head there in early June for the Outdated Port Pageant or in December for Merry Insanity.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

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 procuring scene can get overwhelming in Portland, however Within the Know Purchasing can take you on a tour to lots 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 connoisseur flavors, or pop into Skordo who makes a speciality of 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, it’s a must to ebook a seat at Duck Fats. Or simply take a culinary strolling tour in Outdated 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 a lovely 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 technique to discover Casco Bay and its islands than on a crusing journey, and I had an unbelievable time doing so with Calendar Islands Crusing Co.

One of the vital in style excursions is their two-hour coastal sightseeing tour, however in addition they provide island-to-island day cruises or personally custom-made journeys. If you’re up for extra of an expertise than go for considered one of their in a single day adventures. Both approach, you’ll get an opportunity to find the breath-taking surroundings of the coast, the sights alongside the best way 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 allure. 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 appear 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, essentially 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 data 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 time mansion turned museum is spectacular with its classic look and charming historical past. Every 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, stunning 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 time 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 resembling 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 fascinating go to as is the case with Japanese Cemetery. Courting again to 1668, this cemetery with hundreds of graves is a chronicle of the life and instances of a number of individuals together with Portland’s leaders and troopers. It additionally affords a glimpse into the social divisions of the early instances because the graves are divided into totally different places.

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

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

The tutorial meals tour will lead you on a strolling path to eat your approach via eating places who characteristic domestically sourced elements 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 technique 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 ground has fascinating 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 great 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 sport of corn gap. Proper? With a booming craft beer scene there is no such thing as a scarcity of excellent breweries to select from.

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

For somewhat 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 will not be your factor, then take a strolling beer tasting tour.


11. ✧ Go to the Portland Museum of Artwork

In case your excellent afternoon contains ogling well-known artworks, then the Portland Museum of Artwork is among the high issues so that you can do within the metropolis. With a group of over 18,000 items on rotation you might be certain 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 displays embody American, European and even native Maine works.


12. ✦ Get Fries at Duckfat Friteshack

Do you like French fries as a lot as me? Then don’t stroll, run to Duckfat Friteshack for a number of the finest created from 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 preferred 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 one of the best home made dipping sauce they serve, you possibly can order a flight of all of the six and decide for your self.


13. ✦ Store for Sea Luggage

If you wish to take dwelling the last word Maine memento then don’t miss a cease at Sea Luggage, the place nautically impressed totes are created from recycled sails material. 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 every bit.

You’ll be able to store proper there within the entrance storeroom the place tons of are displayed, together with their classic assortment that characteristic 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 the best way 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 title. Get it?


15. ✦ Eat A number of Lobster

It doesn’t get extra quintessential Maine then consuming recent lobster, and Portland has a number of the finest. You can begin the indulgence with the well-known lobster roll. Usually, the well-known rolls are merely made with recent chunks of lobster meat, melted butter (and/or mayonnaise) served on a top-split New England scorching canine roll. In case 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 among 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 quite a lot 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, town of Portland is full of one of the best issues to do and sights to see. Be it on the water or on land, Maine’s hub is the proper mix of one of the 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 verify for one of the best fare offers at Skyscanner, which additionally has the choice to decide on ‘most cost-effective month’ because the departure to search out the bottom priced dates to fly to your vacation spot. From the airport to town heart, you need to use the subway, non-public automobile, limousine, shuttle or take a taxi.

The place to Keep in Portland, Maine: It’s finest to remain close to town heart, public transportation or the world that you’ll be spending essentially the most time in. AC Lodge by Marriott is a superb alternative within the Portland district. For one thing on the inexpensive aspect, strive Inn at St John positioned in Portland. For a lodge with somewhat extra extravagance, ebook a room on the Blind Tiger Visitor Home. Or search some nice offers on resorts of your alternative at Reserving.com. In case you’re searching for extra of a house ambiance (or are touring with a gaggle of individuals), head over to Airbnb that has homes, residences and even only a room for hire in each worth vary. 

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

Greatest Excursions in Portland, Maine: You’ll find a number of the high excursions at Get Your Information or Viator, and listed below are a number of the high ones. excursions:

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

This put up could include affiliate hyperlinks. In case you make a purchase order via my hyperlinks, I earn a fee that helps to maintain this weblog working—at no additional value to you. For extra data learn my full disclosure.

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