Situated on a peninsula in Casco Bay on the Gulf of Maine and the Atlantic Ocean is the charming city of Portland, Maine. For travelers searching for a destination that’ll leave them relaxed but also offer engaging activities, a weekend trip to Portland is the perfect solution. Although there’s so much to do and see in this city, a weekend trip is enough time (if your itinerary is prepared accordingly). Once you visit this quaint city, you’ll return home raving about the fresh seafood and fascinating history. So, to make sure you won’t leave anything out of your fun-filled weekend, follow our list of what to do in Portland, Maine.
Capture the Portland Head Light
Ever come across a painting or photograph of a tall white lighthouse with waves crashing against the rocks below? Odds are you were looking at the Portland Head Lighthouse in Cape Elizabeth. It’s one of the most photographed lighthouses in the US and is just about 6-7 miles outside downtown Portland. Head Light was built in 1791, making it the oldest lighthouse in Maine and is renowned as one of the most beautiful lighthouses in the U.S. Besides seeing the famous lighthouse, there’s also Fort Williams Park where visitors can learn about the history of the fort, walk along the cliffs and rocks, and even fly a kite.
Take a Ferry Ride to Peaks Island
If you want to escape the city for a while, head to Peaks Island. It’s off the coast of Portland and is part of the Casco Bay Islands. There are six islands that make up the Casco Bay Islands, but Peaks Island is closest to the coast of Portland and has several things for visitors to do, like shopping, enjoying the beaches, touring museums, and eating at cozy cafés. And, if you enjoy a nice a boat ride, you’ll be happy to know that the only way to get to the island is by a 17-minute ferry ride from Portland.
Enjoy Lobster and Seafood Galore
If you love eating seafood while watching live entertainment, then you’ve come to the right city! Portland offers an array of waterfront restaurants serving up fresh seafood with live bands throughout the summer. Popular places for live entertainment and fresh food are Portland Lobster Company located in the Old Port and The High Roller Lobster Co. for one of the best lobster rolls in town! Oh, and if you’re not too fond of seafood, the restaurants have other options like burgers, as well.
Tour The Victoria Mansion
This historic mansion built in 1858-1860 brings to life the style and charm of the 19th century. The Victoria Mansion brings in tourists to explore the collections from the mid-Victorian period. In this museum, you’ll find the rooms filled with furniture designed by Gustave Herter, founder of one of the first firms of furniture makers and interior designers in the U.S. As you walk through the rooms in the mansion, there will be tour guides at hand to explain the history and facts and answer any questions about this National Historic Landmark.
Portland’s Art District
The museums and art galleries around Portland’s Art District are a must-visit for tourists. Here you’ll find the Portland Museum of Art, the Children’s Museum and Theatre of Maine, and much more! If you appreciate art, love history, or are traveling with kids, Portland’s Art District is well worth a stroll-through.
Have you been to Portland, Maine? Tell us what you did on your trip in the comments below!