Best Things to Do In Portland, Maine

What to do when Exploring Portland, Maine

Explore Casco Bay: This inlet is home to a number of iconic lighthouses as well as various boat tours. The Casco Bay Islands are affectionately known amongst locals as the Calendar Islands, meaning that they are so numerous you could explore a different one each day of the year! A short ferry ride will take you to Peaks Island, complete with a thriving restaurant, or book one of the lobster fishing tours for the opportunity to catch your own dinner!

Go to the Museums: Portland is home to the world’s only non-profit Cryptozoology Museum, complete with a giant likeness of Bigfoot to greet you as you enter! Here, you can find everything from models of sea monsters to hair sample that are said to have been obtained from an actual Yeti! For those whose tastes are a little more traditional, Portland also houses an excellent children’s museum, as well as the Tate House, the only pre-Revolutionary War home still standing in the city! This place gives visitors a glimpse of pre-colonial Maine day to day life, complete with guided tours. Portland is also home to an impressive art museum, with works from such artists as Winslow Homer, Pierre-Auguste Renoir and David Driskell.

See the Lighthouse: The Portland Head Lighthouse is located in Fort Williams Park near Cape Elizabeth. Open from sunrise to sunset year-round, there is a museum in the former keeper’s quarters that displays different lenses, as well as a seasonal gift shop for perusing. The lighthouse itself dates back to 1791, and makes an awesome spot for exploring and taking pictures!

Visit Old Port: Complete with cobblestone streets and some of the best shops and restaurants in the entire city, you simply can’t visit Portland without paying a visit to Old Port! The waterfront offers plentiful opportunities for catching ferries or partaking in one of many cruise options, or you can simply stake out your spot and watch the boats come rolling in with the catch of the day!

 

Best Places to Eat in Portland, Maine

Duckfat: (43 Middle Street) This is a small establishment that does not accept reservations, so be sure to get here early or be willing to wait for a seat. Duckfat offers an excellent selection of salads, soups, and paninis, yet the ultimate star here is the Belgian fries. These fries are unlike anything you have ever had before, fried in duckfat and served with a number of delicious dipping sauces, such as truffle ketchup, Thai chili mayo or a simple yet satisfying horseradish mayo. For the ultimate experience, order the poutine, which comes with fresh cheese curds, duck gravy and a sunny side up egg to top it all off!

Eventide Oyster Company: (86 Middle Street) Portland is full of restaurants offering fresh, delicious seafood options, but this location is absolutely hands-down the best spot in town for raw oysters, lobster rolls and many other dishes! The raw bar here is out of this world, complete with local oysters on the half shell, little neck clams and crab claws served with a number of delicious accompaniments, such as horseradish ice, classic cocktail sauce or a red wine mignonette. There is much more to experience here beside the raw bar, however. For a hearty, warming appetizer, order a cup of the New England clam chowder or lobster stew before tucking into one of their many amazing main courses, including a classic New England clam bake, complete with steamers, mussels, salt pork, potatoes and lobster tail!

The Green Elephant: (608 Congress Street) Who says vegetarian food is boring? This place devotes itself to delivering its patrons the most flavorful, meat-free dishes you will find anywhere on the east coast! There is a definite Asian flair to the food selections here, from the steamed edamame and spiced soy sticks as appetizers to the delicious main courses, such as Thai ginger noodles and tofu tikka masala. Each dish here is so fresh and carefully prepared, you will never miss the meat!

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