Brewery Tours#3 in Best Things To Do in Portland, ME
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. Though more than 20 microbreweries may not sound like much, for a city with a population of a little more than 66,700, it's plenty for both residents and visiting beer enthusiasts.
There are a variety of beer tours offered by a number of operators, including Maine Beer Tours and the seasonal Bike and Brew Tour. For those who want to brewery hop on their own, Allagash, Shipyard, Sebago, and the family-owned Rising Tide, are some of the city's most popular breweries offering their own tours. Allagash is consistently recognized as Portland's best by both experts and travelers alike. The brewery stands out for reintroducing Belgian-style brews to the country in the mid-90s and is considered a leader in the microbrew movement. Shipyard, another leader in the microbrew revolution, produces English-style ales from a 150-year-old yeast strain from the owner's former home, and Sebago produces its beer with water from the nearby Sebago Lake State Park.
Prices and hours vary depending on the brewery, but it is worth noting that Allagash's tours, which include tastings, are free. Aside from the complimentary samplings, recent visitors particularly enjoyed tours at Allagash thanks to the knowledgeable and friendly staff. For more information about the city's breweries, check out the Visit Portland website.
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#1 Old Port
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 just steps away on Commercial Street, the city's heydays as a world-renowned port town are easily felt. Tourists can benefit from ferries and cruise experiences as well as the delectable catches that dock there daily.
Away from the waterfront, travelers will find plenty of options to sustain and entertain. Some of the city's most popular restaurants can be found in Old Port. Duckfat, Fore Street and Eventide Oyster Co., some of Portland's best dining spots, are within a three-block radius of one another. Though dining and shopping is spread out through the neighborhood, Congress Street is a great starting point; restaurants, boutiques, local art galleries and theaters line this thoroughfare. The edge of the Old Port neighborhood is also considered the beginning of the Arts District, which houses plenty of notable attractions, including the Portland Museum of Art, the Children's Museum & Theatre of Maine and the Portland Stage Company, to name a few.
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