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Nestled in the Old Port, Mensroom is a stones-throw from the Atlantic Ocean. Bustling with boutiques and gastropubs, Portland is far more than a fishing community. Explore our favorite local attractions below.
Housing big names such as Andy Warhol on its walls, the largest and oldest public art institution in Maine, is worth a visit. It features art from local artists, a sculpture garden, feature films, and some of the state's best architecture present in its three buildings. Each building features different types of art, providing something for every art connoisseur.
The New England coast is host to scores of lighthouses, and Maine boasts 65 of them, dotted along its rugged shorelines. When you find yourself in the state’s largest city, make sure you swing by the state’s oldest lighthouse, Portland Head Light at Fort Williams Park, just four miles from downtown Portland. This storied beacon of light was first constructed while George Washington was still president, and the former keeper’s quarters is now a museum. Make sure you give yourself plenty of time to explore Fort Williams Park itself, with its haunting historic ruins.
If you’re longing for fresh-caught Maine lobster, why not cut out the middleman and catch one yourself? No, we’re not pulling your claw. Stop by Portland’s Long Wharf and climb aboard the Lucky Catch lobster boat. You can cruise with real Maine lobsterman through scenic Casco Bay to learn all about baiting and hauling traps. If you’re lucky, you’ll trap your own dinner at a deeply discounted price. The Portland Lobster Company will then cook your catch for you, butter included. Thankfully, you don’t have to be too lucky to catch one of these cruises. Lucky Catch Cruises depart from Long Wharf several times a day, May through October.
Known as one of the best examples of an Italian Villa mansion in the States, the Victoria Mansion was built between 1858 and 1860. Also known as the Morse-Libby House, it was the summer home of two Maine natives, Ruggles Sylvester Morse and Olive, his wife. The couple made their fortune in New Orleans through luxury hotels but left their architectural legacy in Portland. Architect Henry Austin from New Haven, CT, designed this spectacular example of an American vacation home.
In the mood for some island hopping? Casco Bay Lines offers year-round ferry service to Portland’s surrounding islands. The schedule also includes scenic tours, such as music cruises featuring local bands, and sunrise and sunset excursions. Your best bet is the 15-minute jaunt to Peaks Island, a beautiful spot to rent a bike, repose on tranquil beaches, and enjoy a casual meal. While you’re there, don’t miss the Umbrella Cover Museum, the only museum of its kind. If you want a truly unforgettable cruising experience, Casco Bay Line really delivers with its mail boat runs, where you can sightsee from a working boat as it delivers islanders’ mail.