7 Top-Rated Tourist Attractions in Portland
Portland, the largest town in Maine, is a popular summer destination due to its location on Casco Bay. For adults there is the Portland Museum of Art and for kids, the Children's Museum of Maine. There are a number of fine old houses in the town, in particular the home of the Portland-born poet Henry Wadsworth Longfellow (1807-82). The Old Port Exchange has excellent shops and restaurants.
See also: Where to Stay in Portland
1 Victoria Mansion
The Victoria Mansion in Portland was built between 1858-60 and was designed by the well-known architect, Henry Austin for Ruggles Sylvester Morse. The home is a true expression of decadence in the pre-civil war era in Portland. It features decoratively painted walls and ceilings, wood carvings, and unique carpets, silver, glass and porcelain.
Address: 109 Danforth Street, Portland, ME 04101-4504, United States
2 Casco Bay
Portland sits on the edge of Casco Bay. This area encompasses the lovely Calendar Islands. Ferries provide service to the islands and cruise companies offer scenic tours of the bay and islands.
3 Portland Museum of Art
The collection at the Portland Museum of Art features fine and decorative arts dating from the 1700s onward. It prides itself on its American and European art, including works by artists such as Andrew Wyeth, Winslow Homer, Rockwell Kent, Monet, Degas, and Picasso. The museum also features temporary exhibits throughout the year.
Address: Seven Congress Square
4 Wadsworth Longfellow House
Built in 1785-86 for Gen. Peleg Wadsworth, grandfather of Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, this was the first brick house in Portland. The house features personal items of the Wadsworth and Longfellow families. Behind the house is the Longfellow Garden with paths running through this Colonial Revival style garden, laid out in 1926.
Address: 489 Congress Street
5 Southworth Planetarium
The Southworth Planetarium in the Science Building on the Portland Campus of the University of Southern Maine features a solar system display by the National Geographic Society, as well as astronomy shows and programs. The center also offers classes and lectures.
Address: University of Southern Maine
6 Maine Historical Society Museum
The Main Historical Society Museum offers a look at the history of Maine through a wide range of art, artifacts, and documents. Changing exhibits offer unique perspectives on topics from the Civil War to the history of art in Maine, and many other topics.
Address: 489 Congress Street, Portland, ME 04101-3401, United States
7 Maine Narrow Gauge Railroad Co and Museum
The Maine Narrow Gauge Railroad Museum in Portland features narrow gauge coaches, locomotives, and other related equipment. Visitors can tour the museum or take a train ride on a two-foot gauge railway while enjoy views of Casco Bay.
Address: 58 Fore Street, Portland, ME 04101-4842, United States
Where to Stay in Portland for Sightseeing
We recommend these centrally located hotels in Portland, near downtown attractions and the waterfront:
- The Press Hotel, Autograph Collection: 4-star luxury hotel, wonderful staff, boutique feel, stylish decor, turndown service.
- Hilton Garden Inn Portland Downtown Waterfront: mid-range pricing, great location, water views, modern decor, valet parking.
- Hampton Inn Portland Downtown - Waterfront: affordable rates, near restaurants and shops, comfortable rooms, free breakfast.
- La Quinta Inn & Suites Portland: budget-friendly rates, clean rooms, outdoor pool, complimentary breakfast.