Portland, ME Travel Guide

USA  #1 in Best Places to Visit in Maine
Credit

Courtesy of Joe Potato Photo/Getty Images

Best Things To Do in Portland, ME

A stroll through the nooks and crannies of Old Port offers a great introduction to Portland's history, not to mention its outstanding foodie scene. When you're looking for a thirst-quenching lager to pair with all of the city's delicious eats, head to one of Portland's microbreweries; many offer free brewery tours. Meanwhile, those with even the slightest interest in the arts should visit the greats at the Portland Museum of Art or tour the grand interiors of the Victoria Mansion. And if you're just looking to admire the splendor of Maine's lovely landscapes, head to Eastern Promenade or plan daytrips to the Casco Bay Islands or Cape Elizabeth

How we rank Things to Do
  • #1
    Things to do in Portland, ME
    View all Photos
    #1 in Portland, ME
    Cafes, Shopping, Sightseeing, Free, Neighborhood/Area
    TYPE
    2 hours to Half Day
    TIME TO SPEND
    Cafes, Shopping, Sightseeing, Free, Neighborhood/Area
    TYPE
    2 hours to Half Day
    TIME TO SPEND

    Old Port is without a doubt the beating heart of Portland. This downtown neighborhood is considered the city's center and bustles with things to do left and right, all the while gracefully maintaining its historical facade. The area is lined with cobblestone streets and 19th-century warehouses, and with the wharf

    ...Read More »
  • #2
    Casco Bay Islands
    View all Photos
    #2 in Portland, ME
    Beaches, Hiking, Parks and Gardens, Recreation, Shopping, Swimming/Pools, Neighborhood/Area
    TYPE
    Half Day to Full Day
    TIME TO SPEND
    Beaches, Hiking, Parks and Gardens, Recreation, Shopping, Swimming/Pools, Neighborhood/Area
    TYPE
    Half Day to Full Day
    TIME TO SPEND

    Though beaches are few and far between in Portland, shorelines abound in the nearby Casco Bay Islands. The Casco Bay Islands are a group of islands located off the coast of Portland, six of which are accessible by ferry year-round. Each island has its own personality, history, attractions and activities.

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  • #3
    Brewery Tours
    View all Photos
    #3 in Portland, ME
    Tours, Wineries/Breweries
    TYPE
    1 to 2 hours
    TIME TO SPEND
    Tours, Wineries/Breweries
    TYPE
    1 to 2 hours
    TIME TO SPEND

    Beer is to Portland is what lobster is to Maine. If you visit without sampling some brew, you're missing out. Portland is considered by experts to be one of America's best beer cities thanks to its large crop of local brewers as well as its role in the microbrew movement.

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  • #4
    Portland Museum of Art
    View all Photos
    #4 in Portland, ME
    Museums
    TYPE
    2 hours to Half Day
    TIME TO SPEND
    Museums
    TYPE
    2 hours to Half Day
    TIME TO SPEND

    For such a small city, Portland houses some pretty big names in its art museum. Andy Warhol, Claude Monet and Winslow Homer are among the icons showcased within the Portland Museum of Art. Along with some of the greats, the museum features an extensive collection of American, European and contemporary

    ...Read More »
  • #5
    Eastern Promenade
    View all Photos
    #5 in Portland, ME
    Beaches, Parks and Gardens, Recreation, Free
    TYPE
    1 to 2 hours
    TIME TO SPEND
    Beaches, Parks and Gardens, Recreation, Free
    TYPE
    1 to 2 hours
    TIME TO SPEND

    Portland's waterfront is at its most picturesque at the Eastern Promenade. Beloved by locals, the Eastern Promenade is a 68-acre waterfront park located on a stretch of land separating Back Cove from the Fore River. The park offers trails, beaches and plenty of grassy areas to simply kick back and

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  • #6
    Cape Elizabeth
    View all Photos
    #6 in Portland, ME
    Beaches, Hiking, Monuments and Memorials, Parks and Gardens, Sightseeing, Free, Neighborhood/Area
    TYPE
    Half Day to Full Day
    TIME TO SPEND
    Beaches, Hiking, Monuments and Memorials, Parks and Gardens, Sightseeing, Free, Neighborhood/Area
    TYPE
    Half Day to Full Day
    TIME TO SPEND

    Along with the Casco Bay Islands, Cape Elizabeth is a nice daytrip option for those in search of rolling hills and beaches. The town is located about 9 miles south of Portland and is best known for its lighthouses. You may recognize the Two Lights lighthouse, which is featured in Edward

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  • #7
    Victoria Mansion
    View all Photos
    #7 in Portland, ME
    Historic Homes/Mansions
    TYPE
    1 to 2 hours
    TIME TO SPEND
    Historic Homes/Mansions
    TYPE
    1 to 2 hours
    TIME TO SPEND

    Architecture buffs and lovers of interior design will be swept up by the opulence of the Victoria Mansion. This National Historic Landmark was originally built in the mid-1800s as a summer house for hotelier Ruggles Sylvester Morse. But after it was damaged during a hurricane in 1938, the house was

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  • #8
    Portland Observatory
    View all Photos
    #8 in Portland, ME
    Sightseeing
    TYPE
    Less than 1 hour
    TIME TO SPEND
    Sightseeing
    TYPE
    Less than 1 hour
    TIME TO SPEND

    For some of the best views of the harbor, head to the historic Portland Observatory, the country's last standing maritime signal tower. Built in 1807, the octagonal, 86-foot high tower was commissioned by captain Lemuel Moody as a communication station for Portland's harbor, but it wasn't built as an altruistic

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  • Maine Food for Thought Tours
    View all Photos
    Sightseeing, Tours
    TYPE
    2 hours to Half Day
    TIME TO SPEND
    Sightseeing, Tours
    TYPE
    2 hours to Half Day
    TIME TO SPEND

    Read More »

  • Wadsworth-Longfellow House
    View all Photos
    Historic Homes/Mansions, Museums, Tours
    TYPE
    1 to 2 hours
    TIME TO SPEND
    Historic Homes/Mansions, Museums, Tours
    TYPE
    1 to 2 hours
    TIME TO SPEND

    Read More »

  • Children's Museum and Theatre of Maine
    View all Photos
    Museums
    TYPE
    1 to 2 hours
    TIME TO SPEND
    Museums
    TYPE
    1 to 2 hours
    TIME TO SPEND

    Read More »

Explore More of Portland, ME

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