Portland, ME Area Guide
Portland is full of attractions to meet any interest, hobby or whim that our guests might have. From museums, live performances, and historical attractions to outdoor excursions, shopping, dining, and local brewery tours, this city offers it all. And it's all within walking distance or a short drive from your home base at the Portland Harbor Hotel. Having trouble picking from the multitude of activities? Visit our concierge to help develop the ideal itinerary for your visit.
An Art State Of Mind
Maine has always been an inspiration to artists from world renowned painters like the Wyeth family and Marsden Hartley, to the local accountant who does plein air watercolors on the coast and home-grown musicians who jam in our local eateries on any given night.
The Portland Museum of Art (PMA) boasts an impressive collection of American, European, contemporary, and Maine art that is always on display, as well as temporary, world-class exhibitions that are inspiring and bring art to life.
The PMA serves as an anchor to the city's Art District that is home to a number of galleries, boutiques and performance venues. 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 visual and performance art.
If you're in town at the beginning of the month, take advantage of First Friday Art Walks where venues stay open late and open their doors to visitors to showcase a wide range of art, new exhibitions and performances throughout the city. Details on this and many other art openings, galleries, performances and events can be found year-round at creativeportland.com.
Portland is also home to many concert and theater venues of all sizes. The largest is the Cross Insurance Arena that features acts of national and international acclaim. Other well-known musical acts perform seasonally outside at the Maine State Pier and Thompson's Point . The city also boasts Merrill Auditorium , an architectural gem built in 1912 that is home to the Portland Symphony Orchestra and the Maine State Ballet, but also welcomes all types of musical and theatrical acts throughout the year.
Portland Stage Company is Maine's largest, professional nonprofit theater and produces shows to meet a wide range of tastes and engages people of all ages for well-known shows and new and experimental works as well.
Live music is a mainstay in Portland from local musicians playing at countless clubs and bars, to smaller venues like the State Theatre that bring in acts with national stature to please fans of nearly every genre.
Whether you're an avid show and museum goer, or like to partake once in a while, Portland has something sure to please your creative craving.
A Shopping State Of Mind
What's a getaway without a little retail therapy? The Old Port is chock-full with shops, both locally-owned and nationally-recognized. Peruse the aisles for a souvenir at Cool-as-a-Moose for Maine-themed gifts or bring home a delicious taste of Maine from Stonewall Kitchen. Wander the Old Port's cobblestone streets and enjoy the dozens of shops within walking distance from the hotel to find that perfect gift for yourself or a loved one.
For a complete and updated list of the shops stores the Old Port has to offer visit:
Attractions For Everyone
Being located in the heart of the Old Port district, allows our guests at the Portland Harbor Hotel to be in close proximity to hundreds of tours, sightseeing spots, historical locations, shops, restaurants and more. No matter what time of year you visit, or what your interest is, there is always something to do in Portland!
Focus tours have become one of the best ways to see all that a location has to offer in an organized and comprehensive manner. Portland has a wealth of them. From Foodie Tours and Beer Tours, to Lobster boat excursions, and narrated historical tours on land and around Casco Bay, there's something to suit your tastes and timeframe.
Casco Bay and Lighthouses
No trip to Maine would be complete without a lighthouse visit. Lucky for you, Portland and Casco Bay are home to several. Visit by land or view them by sea aboard a cruise from the Harbor, it's a perfect way to experience these iconic outposts that give the state its unique character.
Maine is one of the oldest states in the Union and we have the goods to prove it. Portland is home to colonial homes, military forts, and a maritime history over 400 years strong. Portland has preserved our region's history for residents and visitors alike to tour and imagine what it was like to live, work and explore here over the past few hundred years.
Maine is a sport-fan filled state and Portland is home to the Red Claws - a minor league affiliate of the Boston Celtics. Their home games are played right at the Portland Expo Center and are fun events for basketball fans and families alike. During the summer months, who doesn't like to head to out to the ballgame? The Portland Sea Dogs are one of Maine's beloved sports teams and their games are played at Hadlock Field right here in Portland.
Maine is nothing if not the ideal place for outdoor adventure of all types. From hiking, bicycling and nature walks to fishing, sailing and paddling, Portland has options to feed your need for getting outdoors and exploring. Don't worry about rental equipment or getting lost, our local outfitters will help you get you geared up and out to enjoy the Maine environment in all its glory whether on your own or through a guided tour.