Tuesday, March 30, 2010

A Day in Portland, Maine

Maine narrow gauge railway
Maine Narrow Gauge Railway
Recommencing the vacation in Maine the next day, we headed back to Portland to do some serious wandering around. Yes, parking in Portland is an adventure, but we found a lot right on the wharf on Commercial Street where we could park all day for $8. (And all day meant just that, we could come back at 7 AM the next day to get the car.) A lot of parking areas are unattended, so you need cash to park your car.

We strolled along Commercial St up to the Casco Bay Lines terminal and then back down Commercial on the other side, weaving in and out of the side streets. If you're headed downtown, we've got maps here or you can pop into the Tourist Info at the International Ferry Terminal.

If you're not into shopping, what else is there to do in Portland for a day? (The short list)
  • Take the train- Maine Narrow Gauge Railroad & Museum is right on Fore St. Train rides are daily during the summer and on weekends late May to early Oct. (Special events are scheduled thruout the year.)
  • Foodie Tour- Maine Foodie Tours offers a culinary walking tour, a just desserts walking tour, a Port City beer tour and they have more ideas in the works. Stop in at 10 Moulton St for tix.
  • Guided walking tour of the Old Port or Portland's Golden Age homes. (July-early Oct)
  • Hop the mail boat for a 3 hour cruise around Casco Bay. (year round)
  • Go lobstering with Lucky Catch Lobster Cruises (Memorial Day-Columbus Day)- book the lobstering package with us as part of your vacation.
  • Bike along the Eastern Prom and the Back Cove.
  • Climb the Portland Observatory for 360 degree views of Portland.
  • Get back in the car and head over to Maine Indoor Karting for some go-cart fun.
  • Head back to Portland for dinner and a Wicked Walking Tour in the dark. (Wed-Sat 8 PM)
Casco Bay seals
Seals and cormorants in Casco Bay
And that list doesn't even begin to touch on the museums around Portland:
  • Portland Museum of Art
  • Children's Museum of Maine
  • Victoria Mansion
  • Longfellow House
  • Maine Historical Society
  • Portland Harbor Museum
Or the music and art galleries.

Or the lighthouses! You could spend the day just visiting all the lighthouses, by land and by sea.
  • Portland Head Light
  • Bug Light
  • Spring Point Ledge Light
  • Cape Elizabeth Light (Two Lights)
  • Ram Island Light and Halfway Rock Light (by boat only for close views)

Raw Faith
A view to the harbor
You just never know what you'll come across wandering around in Portland...this statue of George Cleeve backed by what appears to be his original ship, but which is actually Raw Faith, a replica of a seventeenth century English galleon. (Update: Raw Faith sunk of the coast of Nantucket Island.)

Take a walk in Portland, there's a lot to be discovered!

Other posts about Portland:

White Cedar Inn Bed and Breakfast 178 Main St Freeport, Maine 04032

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