Before you set off to Portland, Maine, check out our picks for the best things to see and do in this coastal city:
1. Attend a Portland Sea Dogs game. During baseball season, plan ahead and get tickets to a Portland Sea Dogs game. This minor league team is an affiliate of the Boston Red Sox, and with the team’s official mascot Slugger the Sea Dog by its side, it always puts on a great show. The Sea Dogs play on Hadlock Field and (as a tribute to the Red Sox) have their own “Maine Monster” in left field — a 37-foot-tall replica of Fenway Park’s Green Monster.
2. Visit Old Port. Located in Portland’s historic waterfront district, Old Port is home to a variety of boutiques, art galleries, restaurants and bars. It’s known as the entertainment hub of Portland, but it’s also a working waterfront with fishing piers dotting the shore. Bring your walking shoes and spend a day here exploring the neighborhood’s cobblestone streets. Old Port is also known for its nightlife — make a reservation for dinner, and plan to stay out late.
3. Land on the Casco Bay Islands. Hop on the Casco Bay Lines ferry service — it picks up at the Maine State Pier in Portland — and set out to explore the Casco Bay Islands. There are 140 in total; some range from ledges visible only at low tide, while others welcome 16 ferries a day. Peaks Island, Long Island, Little and Great Diamond Islands are the most popular among tourists and locals in the summer months. Pack a picnic and choose your island — it’s the best way to see the natural beauty of Maine up close.
4. Walk the Eastern Promenade. In Old Port, make a point to walk an extra few minutes to the Eastern Promenade in Portland’s East End. There, you’ll find the Portland Observatory — the only remaining historical maritime signal tower in the United States — and the best harbor views in the city. Guided and sunset tours are available in the spring and summer.
5. Shipyard Brewing Company. An American microbrewery and soft drink manufacturer, Shipyard is the 15th largest microbrewery in the country and the largest brewer in Maine. Free video tours and tastings are offered daily, but plan ahead to take the full brewery tour, which is only offered on Tuesday nights.