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Downtown and the Old Port

Vibrant Old Port district, with its microbreweries and cutting-edge art galleries, is just a stone’s throw from commercial docks and pungent fishmongers’ warehouses. Stroll over cobblestone streets and dine on fresh seafood from the Portland Fish Market, admire Portland City Hall and stop at Portland Science Center. The Old Port is the place to set off on a fishing charter or to catch a ferry to one of the islands in Casco Bay. Check out Downtown Arts District, so named for playing host to the world-class Portland Museum of Art and many theaters, galleries and museums. If you’re a foodie, book one of a variety of tours that explore the culinary landscape of “the foodiest small city in America,” according to Bon Appetit magazine.


Historic and Architectural Landmarks

Portland is blessed with well-preserved structures once occupied by prominent residents. Pay a visit to Victoria Mansion, a brownstone Italianate villa completed in 1860 as a summer home for hotelier Ruggles Sylvester Morse. The Wadsworth-Longfellow House, once owned by the family of poet Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, is now a museum with beautiful gardens. Look up at the chandelier in the family’s home church, First Parish. It contains a cannonball shot into the church during the 1775 attack on Portland by the British Royal Navy. The Tate House was constructed in 1775 for Capt. George Tate, senior mast agent for the British Royal Navy, and is one of the oldest Colonial-era mansions in the USA.

For a dose of maritime and military history, head across the bay to Bug Light Park, a former World War II shipyard that launched a record number of ships in a single day. Now, it features sweeping views of the Portland cityscape and is home to Portland Breakwater Light and the Liberty Ship Memorial. Farther down the coast, you’ll find Portland Head Light, the first U.S. lighthouse commissioned by President George Washington in 1787.

Fun Fact

An exhibit at the International Cryptozoology Museum in Portland, Maine
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Portland is home to the International Cryptozoology Museum, which holds stuffed jackalopes, yeti footprint casts and a model of Bigfoot.

Aerial view of Asheville, North Carolina
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