The ArtsThe Portland Harbor Hotel is surrounded by a vibrant community of artists and art enthusiasts.
If visual art is what you're looking for, Portland's Old Port and nearby Arts district hold a number of galleries and museums of all sizes. The first stop for any art enthusiast should be the Portland Museum of Art, where the collections feature an extensive range of artists from Claude Monet to Pablo Picasso, and the rotating exhibitions have featured rock n' roll photography, Impressionist landscapes, and furniture designed in Maine.
Smaller galleries like Middle St.'s Greenhut Galleries and Gleason Fine Art feature local Maine artists as well as global ones. The Maine College of Art on Congress Street features student and faculty works in a wide range of media and the SPACE Gallery next door showcases contemporary and unconventional art. Portland Glassblowing, on Romasco Lane, showcases the beautiful work of Benjamin Coombs. Marvel at his glass sculptures, lighting fixtures, nautical-themed pieces, and unique, elaborate stemware, or take a lesson in glassblowing from the artist himself.
If you're in town at the beginning of the month, First Friday Art Walks are extremely popular with both locals and visitors. During these events, studios, museums and galleries open their doors to the public for a citywide presentation of new exhibitions. Take a stroll, enjoy new art, and maybe even take something home with you—a wonderful way to remember your visit to Portland.
If it's live music you're looking for, Portland's Old Port and Arts districts are full of incredible performance venues. The city's venues range from its biggest, the Cumberland County Civic Center, where Bob Dylan, the Black Eyed Peas, and the White Stripes have performed in recent years, to smaller, more independent performance spots like 1 Longfellow Square and rock and blues clubs like the Big Easy (a few blocks away from the hotel on Market Street), Blue, or Gingko Blue. Portland's lively music scene will certainly perk up your ears. Heard a great local band play in the Old Port and want to bring their music home? Try Bull Moose on Middle Street, where the range of local, national, and international artists will surely satisfy any of your musical cravings.
Up the street a few blocks from Bull Moose, you'll marvel at the beautiful architecture of Merrill Auditorium, another of the city's large performance venues. The auditorium shares space with Portland's City Hall and supports a diverse spectrum of performers: the Portland Symphony Orchestra and Portland Ballet are two of the local arts organizations electrifying audiences. National Broadway tours and popular musicians also perform at Merrill, and it would be a shame to miss seeing the graceful dancers perform the Nutcracker ballet each November and December.
For theater, Portland Stage Company and the St. Lawrence Arts Center are great options. Any week of the year, Portland's diverse arts thrive, all within easy walking distance of the Portland Harbor Hotel.