Portland may be small, but what it lacks in size, it makes up for in excitement and attractions. Even the landscape is animated with glass buildings vying for your attention with 19th century architecture and landmarks built in red brick and stone. The waterfront is abuzz with activity and the art scene in the Arts District is always alive. From museums to hiking trails to beaches, there is something here for everyone.
A day is not enough to take in all the sights, but if that's all you have, head to the city's main attractions. The Portland Observatory and the Portland Museum of Art on Congress Street are great places to start. Other must-sees include Portland Head Light and Museum, Ogunquit Museum of American Art and the Fore River Gallery. Great views are provided of Casco Bay and the surrounding areas if you take a walk along the Eastern Promenade. Be awed by the stately mansions built by the sea captains of yesteryear in the Western Promenade. When you've tired of exploring, relax and watch life go by at Deering Oaks Park. For the more athletic, Portland has 30 miles of walking and hiking trails. Try the Black Cove Loop for spectacular views. The Victoria Mansion and Longfellow House are also worthwhile places to visit.
Hailed as the "Foodiest Small Town in America" by Bon Appetit magazine in 2009, Maine is dotted with many amazing restaurants. From seafood to vegetarian to Italian fare, there's an eatery nearby that will surely cater to your needs. Most of the restaurants, especially seafood, can be found on Commercial Street in the Old Port. There are also bars and pubs on Fore Street and Wharf Street. The Arts District also has a great selection of good eats.
The cobblestones streets of the Old Port is the main shopping destination. Head to Cool as Moose on Fore Street and Communiques at Moulton Street for souvenirs, and to Cross Jewelers and D. Cole Jewelers for diamonds and handcrafted jewelry. For rugs and home accessories, check out Angela Adams on Commercial Street. If you're into Ayurvedic medicine, Homegrown Herb and Tea is a popular teahouse that mixes customized herbal teas. For vintage finds, go to Ferdinand. And don't forget to check out the LL Bean outlet store in the area to ensure you blend in with the locals.
2 Elm Street
425 Fore Street