In Portland, Maine you’ll find all kinds of interesting things to do and experience. The Arts District, centered on Congress Street, is home to the Portland Museum of Art, Portland Stage Company, Maine Historical Society & Museum, Maine College of Art, Children’s Museum of Maine, SPACE Gallery, Merrill Auditorium, the Kotzschmar Memorial Organ, and Portland Symphony Orchestra, as well as many smaller art galleries and studios.
Baxter Boulevard around Back Cove, Deering Oaks Park, the Eastern Promenade, Western Promenade, Lincoln Park and Riverton Park are all historical parks within the city. Other parks and natural spaces include Payson Park, Post Office Park, Baxter Woods, Evergreen Cemetery, Western Cemetery and the Fore River Sanctuary. The non-profit organization Portland Trails maintains an extensive network of walking and hiking trails throughout the city and neighboring communities.
Portland offers many major sports venues as well including the Portland Pirates, the Maine Red Claws and the Portland Sea Dogs. The Pirates hockey team plays in the Portland Civic Center. The Maine Red Claws basketball team play in the Portland Expo and the Portland Sea Dogs baseball team play at Hadlock Field.
If you’re into sailing or fishing. Portland has a beautiful “working waterfront” where you can also enjoy eating all the fish and lobster that your heart desires. Portland is the largest Maine Lobster producing port in Maine that also features Shimp, Haddock, Cod, Mussells, Clams and other tasty creatures from the waters of Maine.
Portland Museum of Art
Portland Museum of Art, 7 Congress Sq, (207) 775-6148, www.portlandmuseum.org. 17,000 sculptures, paintings, and objects from the 18th Century to today.
Children’s Museum of Maine
Children’s Museum of Maine, 142 Free St, (207) 828-1234, www.kitetails.org. Three stories of interactive exhibits and playscapes, topped by the Camera Obscura floor from which families can take in panoramic views of Portland while learning about light.
Portland Head Light and Museum
One of the most popular attractions near the city is Portland Headlight. The Head Light is a historic lighthouse in Cape Elizabeth, Maine that sits at the entrance of the shipping channel into Casco Bay. The headlight was the first built by the United States government in 1787, while Maine was still part of the state of Massachusetts and is now a part of Fort Williams Park.
Old Port District
Tourists visit Portland’s historic Old Port District along Portland Harbor, at the mouth of the Fore River and part of Casco Bay, and the Arts District, which runs along Congress Street in the center of the city. Portland Head Light is located in nearby Cape Elizabeth and marks the entrance to Portland Harbor.
Casco Bay Lines
If you’re really into exploring, Casco Bay lines offers Island Transportation to many of the islands located right off the coast of Portland. Peaks Island is the most populous island in Casco Bay. The island became a popular summer destination in the late 19th century, when it was known as the Coney Island of Maine, home to hotels, cottages, theaters, and amusement parks.
During World War II, the island was home to a large military defense installation, including the largest structure, Battery Steele, which housed two 16 inch (406 mm) guns.
Casco Bay Lines, 56 Commercial St, (207) 774-7871, www.cascobaylines.com. Hop a group or private tour of Casco Bay by ferry and explore Maine’s islands alongside fishing vessels, tanker ships, sailboats, yachts, and tug boats.