March 21, 2023

Located on the shoreline of southern Maine, Portland is most recognized for being a quintessential New England metropolis. With cobblestone streets, lobster roll carts, lighthouses, a wealthy mariner historical past, and loads of different points of interest, Portland is unquestionably value a cease on any New England highway journey.

Don’t thoughts the truth that I don’t eat lobster (gasp!); this record is comprised of a ton of different finest issues to do in Portland, Maine together with outside actions, must-visit websites, and scrumptious bites to eat (in addition to the seafood).

Notice: this agenda is a lot better suited to of us visiting within the hotter months, as Maine is thought to get some chilly snaps and snow in the course of the winter.

Take a Sundown Kayak Tour

The north finish of the Portland peninsula juts out into the attractive Casco Bay the place Portland Paddle presents sundown kayak excursions. The guided tour begins about 2 hours earlier than sundown (test their web site for an actual time if you go) and lets guests benefit from the surreal great thing about the Maine harbor and marine life.

As of August 2022, the sundown tour is $45 per individual and $40 for teenagers ages 10-16.

View out over front of kayak with Portland Maine skyline in distance and sunset skies overhead
Get one of the best seat for watching Portland’s well-known sunsets on a guided sundown kayak tour

Stroll, Run, or Bike Round Again Cove

Head a couple of minutes outdoors of the town by automotive or by foot to hike the three.6 miles path round Again Cove. It’s a paved and well-maintained pathway that provides stunning metropolis views and is nice for teenagers or canine on leash.

See What’s Taking place at Thompson’s Level

Thompson’s Level is a waterfront venue with tons of occasions taking place all year long. From a Summer time Sunsets Dwell sequence to a Maker’s Market to open-air circus performances, there’s all the time one thing enjoyable happening.

Try the Thompson Point website for an up to date occasion schedule. Spending a day or night at Thompson’s Level is actually the most effective issues to do in Portland, Maine!

Go Crusing on a Windjammer

Among the best methods to expertise Portland, Maine is by sailboat. The Portland Schooner Co. presents two-hour crusing excursions on Casco Bay and past. It’s an effective way to spend a morning and afternoon and see Portland from the water. Meals and drinks usually are not included however passengers are inspired to carry their very own.

Excursions are solely accessible from Could by way of October.

Sailboat on Casco Bay in Portland, Maine
See Portland from the water with a 2-hour crusing tour

Take a Surf Lesson at Higgins Seashore

If the thought of browsing in Maine sounds loopy, assume once more — oh, and seize a wetsuit. Higgins Seashore is a well known New England surf break with fairly constant waves year-round. It’s a preferred spot with pleasant locals and is positioned simply south of the town close to Cape Elizabeth.

Go to Black Level Surf Store to lease a surfboard or ebook a lesson.

Hike the Fore River Sanctuary

From the middle of the town, a brief stroll down Congress Avenue will get you to this 85-acre protect with one of many space’s solely pure waterfalls – Jewell Falls. Convey your canine, some pals, and a digital camera to snap pictures of the attractive marshlands and wildlife the place the town meets the ocean.

Give your self a couple of hours to take pleasure in a leisurely stroll round this 3.2-mile loop — the golden hour is most popular.

>>Learn Subsequent: Finest Hikes in Portland, Maine

Discover the Jap Promenade

Native Mainers name this 2.1 miles of waterfront seashores and pathways “the promenade”, which is well one of many extra desired areas of the town to dwell. It has a laid-back Venice Seashore vibe with small bungalows and winding streets only a stone’s throw from the water. There may be additionally a brewery on nearly each nook, which makes it a straightforward shoo-in for my favourite spot on the peninsula.

Convey a towel and a picnic lunch and benefit from the small sliver of sandy beachfront and end the time off with a drink at Lone Pine Brewing Co.

Camp on Richmond Island

Snag one of many 4 distant and primitive campsites accessible to guests on Richmond Island simply south of Portland and close to Cape Elizabeth. This island offers you a novel seashore tenting expertise that’s completely off the overwhelmed path and is likely one of the extra adventurous issues to do in Portland.

Earlier than you head out, be sure you receive a allow and convey your individual firewood.

The island is barely accessible by boat and there’s no working water, no electrical energy, and no canine allowed. As all the time, pack out all trash and tread calmly whereas exploring the realm.

Should you’re on the lookout for extra distinctive tenting experiences, Wolfs Neck Woods State Park north of Portland is one other of our favorites.

Eat, Drink, and Store in Previous Port

Should you want a fast break from mountain climbing, tenting, and browsing, take a while to discover the Previous Port District for a quintessential Maine expertise. The town is stuffed with creatives, makers, and entrepreneurs with tremendous cool storefronts which might be positively value a go to.

For eats and sips, try Central Provisions which is tucked away on a cobblestone facet road, and The Thirsty Pig, a enjoyable place with good meals and craft brews.

Cobblestone street lined with brick buildings in historic Old Port District of Portland Maine
The historic Previous Port District is a superb place for meals and boutique outlets

Stargaze on the Portland Observatory

The Portland Observatory is a fixture within the seacoast metropolis and an emblem of its maritime roots. Trek as much as Munjoy Hill to take a guided or self-guided tour of this historic landmark. You’ll be spoiled with panoramic views of the town and naturally, a novel view of the ocean past the barrier islands.

The Portland Observatory on hill above houses and buildings in Portland, Maine
The Portland Observatory is a historic landmark that provides nice views out over the town and waterfront

Take the Ferry to Peaks Island

Traditionally often known as “The Coney Island of Maine” and a WWII outpost, a go to to Peaks Island is a novel cease for anybody visiting Portland. The ferry takes roughly 20 minutes (every approach) and there are a number of departures per day. On the island, discover the Fifth Maine Museum, the world’s solely Umbrella Cowl Museum, and revel in Lisa’s well-known cinnamon buns on the Peaks Café. Should you’re on the lookout for one thing outdoorsy to do, you can even lease bikes and kayaks on the island.

Take a Self-Guided Craft Beer Tour

The town of Portland alone has over a dozen of breweries — some brick and mortar and a few on wheels — that makes this Maine metropolis a haven for beer lovers. Most of the breweries are positioned shut to 1 one other, so it’s straightforward to do a self-guided strolling tour, positively the most effective issues to do in Portland, Maine, for my part.

Downtown Portland Maine at sunset

Advised route:

Start at Austin Avenue Brewery on Fox Avenue, the place they typically have meals vans and occasions any day of the week. Proper subsequent door is Rising Tide Brewery, which has been on the town for years and has a terrific repute as a enjoyable hangout with a big outside patio. Subsequent, stroll about seven minutes up Anderson Avenue to get to Lone Pine Brewing Co. Get pleasure from a pour-on faucet earlier than heading over to Goodfire Brewing Co., conveniently positioned subsequent door.

When you’re in Portland, additionally try these must-see breweries on the peninsula: Bissell Brothers Brewing Firm, Oxbow Mixing and Bottling, and Root Wild, a kombucha brewery with a couple of stellar beers on faucet. The famed Maine Beer Co. is positioned 20 minutes north in Freeport and is value a drive for diehard beer lovers.

If you wish to be a part of a guided tour, try the Portland Brewery Tour with Maine Brew Bus.

Glass of beer etched with Maine Beer Company Do What's Right

Get Caffeinated at Tandem Espresso

You’ll be able to’t go to Maine and never have espresso — not what you have been anticipating I’d say, proper? Nicely, it’s true. The road at Tandem Espresso runs out the door on weekends and for good motive, the espresso and baked items listed below are excellent.

So, get in line, and if the climate permits, cling outdoors the place there may be ample seating and a very good vibe total.

Go to the Portland Head Mild

Portland Head Mild is likely one of the hottest issues to do for Portland guests, however for good motive. The lighthouse is about on the rocky bluffs of Fort Williams Park, about quarter-hour south of the town within the city of Cape Elizabeth.

Along with the historic lighthouse, the Park can be residence to strolling trails, an award-winning museum, a number of previous forts, and a kids’s backyard.

Attempt to go to on a weekday, as this place does get busy.

Historic army ruins at Fort William Park in Portland, Maine
Along with the lighthouse, Fort Williams Park can be residence to historic military ruins

Go to the Portland Museum of Artwork

Positioned within the historic Arts District in downtown Portland, the Portland Museum of Artwork is a superb place to spend a day. With rotating exhibitions that includes a variety of artists, there’s all the time one thing happening. Check the calendar for a list of upcoming events.

If you wish to see much more artwork, time your go to to coincide with the free self-guided First Friday Art Walk.

What’s in your record of one of the best issues to do in Portland, Maine? Did we depart something out? Tell us within the feedback!

Discover the best things to do in Portland, Maine with this locals' guide including outdoor adventures best places to eat/drink, and more.