Welcome to Portland, Maine
Things to do while visiting
Dear graduates, families, & friends,
Congratulations on this momentous occasion of your graduation! It is my pleasure to welcome you all to the beautiful city of Portland, Maine, where you will be celebrating commencement at the historic Merrill Auditorium. As you embark on this new chapter, take a moment to appreciate the stunning coastal views and charming small-city vibes that Portland has to offer. In addition to the graduation festivities, there are many activities and attractions that you can explore during your visit, including world-class restaurants, historical landmarks, and outdoor recreational activities. Whether you’re here for a day or a week, there is something for everyone in this vibrant city. So, sit back, relax, and take a look at all the things you can do during your stay in Portland.
Dr. Melik Peter Khoury
President, Unity Environmental University
Portland Fire Tours offers a unique and informative experience that takes visitors on a behind-the-scenes tour of Portland’s fire stations and introduces them to the city’s firefighting history and culture. Led by experienced firefighters, the tour includes a visit to a working firehouse, interactive exhibits, and an opportunity to try on firefighting gear.
The Casco Bay Mailboat Run is a one-of-a-kind tour that allows visitors to experience a day in the life of a mail carrier on the water. This unique cruise takes passengers on a 3-hour ride through the islands of Casco Bay, stopping at various destinations to deliver mail and goods to the local island residents.
Lighthouse Bike Tours offers an exhilarating and scenic cycling experience that takes visitors on a tour of Portland’s most iconic lighthouses. Led by knowledgeable guides, the tour covers a 12-mile route that includes stops at four historic lighthouses, stunning coastal views, and picturesque seaside neighborhoods.
Portland by Foot is a walking tour company that offers an immersive and engaging experience of Portland’s history, architecture, and culture. Led by knowledgeable guides, the tours cover various neighborhoods and landmarks, including the Old Port, Eastern Promenade, and the Arts District, providing visitors with an insider’s perspective of the city’s rich heritage and contemporary vibe.
Boothbay Boat Trips provides a memorable and scenic tour of Maine’s breathtaking coastline and islands. The company offers a variety of cruises, including lobstering tours, lighthouse tours, and nature cruises, all of which are led by experienced captains and guides who provide fascinating insights into the region’s history, wildlife, and maritime traditions.
Maine Audubon is a non-profit organization that offers a variety of educational tours and programs that allow visitors to explore Maine’s natural wonders and wildlife habitats. Led by expert naturalists, the tours cover a range of topics, including birding, ecology, and conservation, and provide visitors with an opportunity to learn about and connect with Maine’s natural environment.
The Children’s Museum and Theatre of Maine, also known as “Museum & Theatre,” is a fun and interactive destination for families with young children. The museum features a variety of exhibits, activities, and programs that encourage learning through play and exploration, with topics ranging from science and nature to arts and culture.
The Desert of Maine is a unique and unexpected natural wonder that offers visitors an otherworldly experience. The 40-acre desert, located just outside Freeport, Maine, was once a thriving farm that, due to poor farming practices, transformed into a sandy wasteland, creating a unique and fascinating landscape that is now a popular tourist attraction.
Old Orchard Beach is a classic Maine beach town that offers visitors a quintessential New England experience. The town’s seven-mile stretch of sandy beach, boardwalk, amusement park, and charming downtown area make it a popular destination for families and tourists looking to soak up the sun and enjoy traditional beach activities.
The Maine Wildlife Park is a fascinating and educational destination for animal lovers of all ages. Located in Gray, Maine, the park features a variety of native Maine wildlife, including black bears, moose, lynx, and bald eagles, and provides visitors with an opportunity to learn about the state’s diverse ecosystems and conservation efforts.
Hikes, Walks, & Rides
The Saco Heath Preserve is a beautiful and unique natural area that offers visitors an opportunity to experience an untouched Maine landscape. The preserve, located in Saco, Maine, features a heathland ecosystem with rare plant species, diverse wildlife, and hiking trails that provide visitors with a serene and tranquil outdoor experience.
The Eastern Promenade is a scenic and picturesque trail in Portland, Maine that offers stunning views of Casco Bay and the Portland skyline. The trail, which is just over 2 miles long, is a popular destination for walkers, joggers, and cyclists and is a great way to experience the natural beauty of Portland.
Mackworth Island State Park is a hidden gem located just off the coast of Falmouth, Maine. The island is a popular destination for nature lovers and hikers, featuring a variety of trails and stunning views of Casco Bay and the surrounding islands.
Wolfe’s Neck Woods State Park is a beautiful and tranquil destination for nature lovers and outdoor enthusiasts. Located in Freeport, Maine, the park features a variety of hiking trails, scenic overlooks, and diverse wildlife, including songbirds, shorebirds, and ospreys.
The Peaks Island Land Preserve is a conservation area located on Peaks Island, a small island off the coast of Portland, Maine. The preserve features a variety of trails and natural habitats, including forests, wetlands, and rocky beaches, and provides visitors with an opportunity to explore and appreciate the island’s unique natural beauty.
High Roller Lobster Co. is a popular food truck and restaurant in Portland, Maine, known for their creative and delicious lobster rolls and other seafood dishes. The restaurant has a fun and quirky atmosphere and is a must-visit destination for anyone looking to try some of the best lobster in Maine.
Fore Street is a critically acclaimed restaurant in Portland, Maine, that offers a farm-to-table dining experience featuring locally sourced ingredients and seasonal menus. The restaurant has a rustic and cozy atmosphere and is a popular destination for foodies and visitors looking to try some of the best cuisine in Maine.
Eventide Oyster Co. is a trendy and popular seafood restaurant in Portland, Maine, known for their creative and delicious raw bar offerings and lobster rolls. The restaurant has a modern and sleek atmosphere and is a must-visit destination for anyone looking to try some of the best seafood in Maine.
Miss Portland Diner is a classic and charming diner located in Portland, Maine, that offers a unique and authentic dining experience. The diner is known for their delicious breakfast dishes, homemade pies, and friendly service, and is a popular destination for locals and visitors alike.
The Honey Paw is a trendy and innovative restaurant in Portland, Maine, that offers a creative and unique fusion of Asian and American cuisine. The restaurant is known for their delicious and inventive dishes, as well as their stylish and contemporary atmosphere, and is a must-visit destination for anyone looking to try some of the best food in Maine.
Portland’s Old Port is a historic district located in the heart of Portland, Maine, that features a variety of restaurants, shops, and attractions. The area is known for its charming cobblestone streets, brick buildings, and lively atmosphere, and is a popular destination for tourists and locals alike.
L.L. Bean is a popular outdoor retailer in Freeport, Maine, that is known for their high-quality and durable outdoor gear and clothing. The flagship store in Freeport is a must-visit destination for anyone who loves the outdoors, and features a wide range of products and experiences that celebrate the natural beauty of Maine.
The Old Orchard Beach Pier is a popular attraction located in Old Orchard Beach, Maine, that features a variety of restaurants, shops, and activities. Visitors can enjoy stunning views of the beach and ocean, dine on fresh seafood, and participate in a range of fun activities, such as arcade games and amusement park rides.
The Portland Museum of Art is a renowned art museum located in Portland, Maine, that showcases a diverse collection of artwork from various genres and periods. Visitors can explore the museum’s extensive collection of paintings, sculptures, photographs, and decorative arts, as well as attend special exhibitions and events throughout the year.
The Victoria Mansion is a historic house museum located in Portland, Maine, that is renowned for its stunning architecture and opulent interior decor. Visitors can take guided tours of the mansion and learn about its rich history and the fascinating stories of the people who once lived there.
Amazing Photo Locations
Lobsterman Park in Portland, Maine is a charming waterfront park that offers stunning views of the harbor and the iconic Portland Head Light.
Casco Bay in Portland, Maine is a picturesque bay that boasts over 200 islands, scenic lighthouses, and a variety of outdoor recreational activities.
The Old Port
The Old Port in Portland, Maine is a historic district characterized by its cobblestone streets, brick buildings, and vibrant cultural scene with plenty of shops, restaurants, and art galleries.
Portland Head Light
Portland Head Light in Portland, Maine is a historic lighthouse located in Fort Williams Park that dates back to 1791 and offers breathtaking views of the Atlantic Ocean.
Old Orchard Pier
Old Orchard Pier in Old Orchard Beach, Maine is a popular tourist attraction that offers stunning views of the Atlantic Ocean, delicious seafood, and a variety of fun activities such as arcade games and amusement park rides.