Not to be confused with the fellow city of the same name in Oregon, Portland (Maine) is similarly known for its eco-friendliness, breweries, inclement weather and dazzling city landscapes. So that you don’t have to spend your time scratching your head over what to do, we have compiled some things to do in the city that will guarantee you and your family an enjoyable time together. Below are a variety of activities just for you, from tours (lobster catching) to music events (orchestras), museums (cryptozoology), shopping at the Old Port and even indulging in some of the best local food. Read on to know more about the things to do in Portland, Maine.
1. Catch your own lobsters with Lucky Catch Cruises
Running through the end of October, Lucky Catch Cruises is a great time to have some seafood fun in Portland. On a scenic cruise, you will learn all about the intricacies of catching those tough, clawed creatures, by setting up the traps, cleaning the traps, measuring the lobsters - all on your own. With a friendly and helpful crew, you certainly won’t be disappointed. Reward yourself by purchasing a lobster and taking it to the next door restaurant to serve up a delicious meal!
Lucky Catch Cruises
Address: 170 Commercial St, Portland, ME 04101-4615
Website: Lucky Catch Cruises
Opening hours: 8:30am - 6:00pm (daily)
Price: 35 USD
2. Admire the views of the harbour from the Portland Observatory
As the only remaining maritime signal station in the United States, each floor of the Portland Observatory contains interesting historical exhibits that showcase the long history of the tower. Once at the top, you get a picturesque view of the many houses dotting the broad landscape, plastered against the blue skies and clear waters. Do visit the website to see if it is open during the season.
Address: 138 Congress St, Portland, ME 04101-3608
Website: Portland Observatory
Opening hours: 10am - 4:30pm (daily)
Price: 10 USD
3. Enjoy the renowned local cuisine at Eventide Oyster Co.
If you are in Portland and you are a seafood connoisseur or a die-hard foodie, you definitely have to try your tastes at the Eventide Oyster Co. Popular items on the menu include the brown butter lobster rolls, clam chowder, tuna tartare, Maine oysters and shaved horseradish ice, among many other tasty seafood dishes. Go early so you don’t have to worry about a long wait.
Eventide Oyster Co
Address: 86 Middle St, Portland, ME 04101-4232
Website: Eventide Oyster Co.
Opening hours: 11:00am - 12:00am (daily)
Price: 11-30 USD
4. Watch a performance of Portland Symphony Orchestra at the Merrill Auditorium
If you are a lover of live, quality music, do check out the Portland Symphony Orchestra, that performs regularly at the Merrill Auditorium. The music differs by occasion, and the seats vary according to price. Sit back comfortably with your family and appreciate the collaborative sound of instruments that tell a singular story.
Portland Symphony Orchestra
Address: 20 Myrtle St, Portland, ME 04101, USA
Website: Portland Symphony
Price: 25-83 USD
5. Visit the Portland Museum of Art
The Portland Museum of Art offers a diverse collection of works (sculptures, art, architecture) from American, European and Contemporary artists. Don’t miss the interesting special exhibits (e.g. Caribbean exhibit) that are held on a regular basis. The museum also tells the story of Maine and highlights the various artistic influences in state history.
Portland Museum of Art
Address: 7 Congress Square, Portland, ME 04101, USA
Website: Portland Museum of Art
Opening hours: Sat - Sun: 10am - 6pm; Wed: 10am - 6pm; Thu - Fri: 10am - 8pm (Mon - Tue closed)
Price: 18 USD
6. Take the kids to the Children's Museum & Theatre of Maine
If you have kids from ages 1 to 11, take them here and they will be sure to have a blast. This multi-floor museum offers various exciting activities such as superhero themed settings, a space shuttle, an ‘outdoor adventure’, a reading corner and many other interactive exhibits. Just watching them have the time of their lives will make you feel like going back to those days of youth, vigor, and energy.
Children's Museum & Theatre of Maine
Address: 142 Free St, Portland, ME 04101, USA
Website: Children’s Museum & Theatre of Maine
Opening hours: Tue - Sun: 10am - 5pm (Monday closed)
Price: 11.50 USD
7. Shop at the Old Port
Take a stroll through the urban waterfront district and engage in a shopping, food and entertainment frenzy while admiring the scenery and long history of the Old Port. From the cobblestone road to the fresh fish market and trendy street shops, you can never run out of things to do here. Visit their website for weekly activity guides and to find out when their food trucks and annual festivals are held!
Address: Commercial St, Portland, ME 04101
Website: Old Port
Opening hours: Mon - Thu: 5:30pm - 10pm; Fri - Sat: 5:30pm - 10:30pm; Sun: 5:30pm - 9:30pm
Price: 11-30 USD
8. Explore the Maine Narrow Gauge Railroad Co. and Museum
Enjoy an antiquated railroad experience at the Maine Narrow Gauge Railroad Co. and Museum, which features historic rail cars with the passenger and freight equipment as part of their museum collection. You can also enjoy a long scenic ride along Cosco Bay for 10 USD, and if you happen to be around during the winter season, the Polar Express is a magical journey that is not to be missed!
Maine Narrow Gauge Railroad Co. and Museum
Address: 58 Fore St, Portland, ME 04101, USA
Opening hours: Weekdays: 9:30am - 4pm
Price: 5 USD
9. Tour the Wadsworth-Longfellow House
Open from May through October, the house-turned-museum of the famous American poet Henry Wadsworth Longfellow provides a historical insight into the life of the Longfellow family during the 19th century in Portland. It is a self-guided tour that also provides additional tidbits and artifacts from Portland’s wider history. A well-furnished museum that is worth a look.
Address: 489 Congress St, Portland, ME 04101, USA
Website: Wadsworth-Longfellow House
Opening hours: Mon - Sat: 10am - 5pm; Sun: 12pm - 5pm
Price: 10 USD
10. Discover hidden creatures in the International Cryptozoology Museum
Watch out for Big Foot, Sea Serpents, Yetis and Lochness Monster in the International Cryptozoology Museum. It is an enjoyable museum full of information and history of the odd creatures in our world that have inspired countless myths and legends. Take a walk through each exhibition and decide for yourself if its real or just a myth.
International Cryptozoology Museum
Address: 4 Thompsons Point #106, Portland, ME 04101, USA
Website: International Cryptozoology Museum
Opening hours: Sun - Wed: 11am - 3:30pm; Thu - Sat: 11am - 5:30pm (Tue closed)
Price: 10 USD
Diversity in Portland
As you can see, there’s a lot to do in Portland, Maine. Get together with your family and friends and go catch some lobsters, listen to an orchestra, or ride some really old railways!
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