5 Great Things To Do In Portland Maine

5 Great Things To Do In Portland Maine
Maine’s largest city, Portland, is a popular port of call for cruise ships sailing on New England/Canada itineraries. Holland America, Carnival, Norwegian, Royal Caribbean and many other cruise lines visit Portland during the summer months and throughout the fall. This historic city is a gem, with much to see and experience.

Take the time to stroll through the streets of the old port and visit the area’s enticing shops and restaurants. The waterfront views of Casco Bay are marvelous as well. If you’re visiting Portland on your vacation, here are five top things to do while you’re there.

1. Enjoy a Lobster Roll. Lobster and fresh seafood are definitely the “Maine” event in this New England town and there are plenty of good places to sample it. If you’d like to try a great lobster roll, head straight to Becky’s Diner located at 390 Commercial Street in Portland. This casual restaurant serves some of the best lobster in the city. Their huge lobster roll is overloaded with large chunks of flavorful lobster meat and it’s served with French fries. Seafood luncheons include fried whole belly Maine clams, fried Maine shrimp and fried fresh Atlantic scallops. The cakes and pies at Becky’s Diner are exceptional as well and the portions are massive, so make sure to save plenty of room for dessert. Becky's Diner is also a good choice for breakfast as well.

2. View Maine’s Iconic Lighthouses. Lighthouses set along the rocky shore are synonymous with Maine. One of the most picturesque lighthouses, Portland Head Light, is located just a short drive away from the city. Many tours take cruise guests to see this beautiful lighthouse along with several others. Some shore excursions combine lighthouse viewing with boat tours and other activities, such as biking. The Five Lighthouses Portland Bike Tour, for example, takes its participants to view Bug Light, Spring Point Lighthouse, Portland Head Light and 2 Lights State Park. Participants also have opportunities to visit the Portland Harbor Museum and sample a tasty lobster roll overlooking the ocean. Those who wish to take part in this tour must be comfortable biking 10-12 miles.

3. Sample Craft Beers. Craft breweries and local beer tours are popular with today’s travelers – and Portland has a wide variety of locally created beers for vacationers to sample. Cruise guests can stop by spots like the Craft Beer Cellar to try out local brews or take a more extensive craft brewery tour. These shore excursions are available from through some of the cruise lines and via independent tour operators and sites like Viator. On a typical craft brewery tour, guests spend 3-4 hours visiting local breweries such as Maine Beer Company, Maine Mead Works, Rising Tide Brewing Co., Fore River Brewing, Mast Landing Brewing Company, Lone Pine Brewing Co. and others. Each brewery has its own unique story and specialties. Guests can sample flights of beers, meads and ales to find their favorites.

4. Visit Charming Nearby Towns. One of the most popular things for cruise guests to do in Portland is paying a visit to the nearby town of Kennebunkport, Maine. Kennebunkport has always been well-liked by visitors. This attractive town is filled with lovely mansions dating from the late 1700’s and 1800’s, charming boutiques, pubs and restaurants. Kennebunkport rose to worldwide fame, however, when former President George Bush took office. The Bush family estate, Walker’s Point, is located in Kennebunkport and it became a “summer White House” during the Bush years. Most tours take their guests past Walker’s Point for a quick view. While in Kennebunkport, make sure to take time to explore the galleries and shops around Dock Square, have a lobster roll at Alisson’s Restaurant, and sample freshly-made ice cream at Rococo Artisan Ice Cream. Rococo's ice cream and sorbet flavors change frequently and many of them are quite unique.

5. Get Out on the Water. Portland is located on lovely Casco Bay, which provides plenty of opportunities for boating, sea kayaking and participating in stand-up paddleboard excursions. Cruise guests can take ferry rides and boat tours to explore some of the rugged islands located in Casco Bay. Sea kayak tours are available through most ships and from independent outfitters. While kayaking or boating through the bay, participants will be able to enjoy views of lighthouses, historic forts, wooden schooners and more. Make sure to look out for seals, too.

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