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Things to Do in Portland, ME

From fantastic restaurants to festivals, Portland has a vibe all its own.

By Taylor Croteau on January 15, 2015

Portland, ME
Portland / Michael D. Tedesco

Portland, Maine, is an incredible city offering up a variety of experiences and activities. From fantastic restaurants to festivals, Portland has a vibe all its own. Portland also offers educational opportunities for children and families, from the nationally recognized Children’s Museum and Theatre of Maine to the wild experience of the Odyssey Whale Watch. The city of Portland has something that will entertain just about anyone. Here’s a look at some of the best things to do in Portland:

Street and Co.

Portland is known for its fantastic seafood, and there’s no better place to dive right in than the famous Street and Co. If you’re looking for the full Portland experience, this is the restaurant for you. Though its reputation precedes it, Street and Co. is not a typical tourist trap. It’s wildly popular in its community and has been a staple of Portland for decades. From scallops to the lobster diavolo, Street and Co. has a menu that will amaze any seafood-lover. The extraordinary menu combined with excellent service and an authentic Portland ambiance make Street and Co. the best restaurant in Portland.

Odyssey Whale Watch

Odyssey Whale Watching is an unforgettable educational experience for the whole family. It’s one of the most unique outdoor activities Portland has to offer and is always great fun for friends and family. Cruise out of Casco Bay up to 20 miles out to whale feeding grounds, and witness some majestic sea creatures. Sights are not limited to the quintessential humpbacks, but also include finbacks, minkes, North Atlantic white-sided dolphins, basking sharks, ocean sunfish and sea turtles. It’s a Portland experience you’ll never forget.

Old Port Festival

The Old Port Festival kicks off summer in June. Celebrated in downtown Portland, the festival centers on local businesses and art, while providing local music and fun activities for kids. It’s a great way to truly experience Portland’s one-of-a-kind community. The weekend starts with a walk along Portland’s historic piers and wharves, where guests are welcomed into local businesses as they take in the history of the city. Activities include six stages of live music, pony rides for kids, a rock climbing wall and the famous Shoe String Theatre parade.

Wadsworth-Longfellow House

For over 100 years the Wadsworth-Longfellow House has stood as Maine’s very first house museum. The house was once home to four generations of the Wadsworth and Longfellow families who made significant political, literary, and cultural contributions to Maine and the U.S. Originally built in 1785 by General Peleg Wadsworth, the house was passed to the Maine Historical Society in 1902 after Anne Longfellow Pierce’s death in 1901. Conserved by the Maine Historical Society, every artifact within the house was originally owned by the family, and the furnishings show the historical progression of the family as well as American society through the 18th and 19th centuries.

Children’s Museum and Theatre of Maine

The Children’s Museum and Theatre of Maine is one of the nation’s best children’s museums. It caters to children ages 0-10 and offers educational and cultural enrichment. Its creative combination of interactive exhibits focus on both scientific education as well as arts education. For a family visiting Portland or thinking of relocating, this is a top family-friendly attraction. 

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