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Portland (Maine)

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Revision as of 14:47, 6 November 2006 by 169.244.143.119 (talk) (Eat)
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Portland (Maine)

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Casco Bay Ferry in the Old Port.

Portland is located on a peninsula in Casco Bay on the Southern Maine coast approximately 100 miles (161 km) north of Boston, Massachusetts. It has more than 65,000 inhabitants making it the largest city in Maine.

Understand

  • Convention and Visitors Center, 245 Commercial St., Phone: +1 207 772-5800 or Phone: +1 207 772-4994, [1]. Guided walking tours available July-September at 10:30AM.
  • Greater Portland Landmarks, 165 State Street, Phone: +1 207 774-5561 Fax: +1 207 774-2509, [2]. A resource for tours.

Get in

By plane

Domestic

  • Portland International Jetport (IATA: PWM) (ICAO: KPWM), [3]. Located in Portland. Taxis and shuttle bus transfer downtown (5 miles).
  • Pease International Tradeport, PSM. Located in Portsmouth, New Hampshire, 55 miles away.
  • Manchester Airport, MHT. Located in Manchester, New Hampshire, 100 miles away.

International

By bus

  • Concord Trailways, Thompson's Point Rd., Toll free: 800-639-3317.
  • Greyhound, [4].
  • Vermont Transit Lines, 950 Congress St., Phone: +1 207 772-6587.

By train

  • Amtrak, Thompson's Point Rd., [5]. The Downeaster operates between Portland and Boston North Station.

By car

  • Interstate 95. Access from the North and South on the Maine Turnpike I-95 take Exit 44 to I-295 into downtown Portland.
  • US Highway 1. The more scenic route.
  • US Route 302. Access from West.


Car Rentals

  • Avis (at Jetport) Phone: +1 207 874-7500
  • Enterprise Phone: +1 207 772-0030

Taxi

  • ABC Taxi, Phone: +1 207 772-8685.
  • Old Port Taxi, Phone: +1 207 772-8294.
  • Jetport Taxi, Phone: +1 207 775-6990.
  • Elite Taxi, Valley Street.
  • Family Taxi

By boat

  • Harbormaster, Phone +1 207 772-8121, VHF channels 9,16. City facilities: Public float at State Pier (30 minute tie-up), Ramp & float at East End beach with showers, water.
  • Bay Ferries Portland (The Cat), 468 Commercial Street, Phone: +1 207 761-4228, [6]. Service to Bar Harbor and Yarmouth, Nova Scotia for passengers or vehicles on fast catamaran.

Get around

Metro, 114 Valley St, Phone: 207-774-0351, [7]. Bus line has a regular schedule, and provides a high level of service for a city of its size. Metro is not the best option for late night socializing. There are numerous taxicab companies. Downtown, especially in the Old Port or by the waterfront, walking is probably the best option.

Driving will work on Congress Street, the main drag in Portland.

See

Portland Head Light
  • Portland Museum of Art, 7 Congress Sq., Phone: +1 207 775-6148, Fax: +1 207 773-7324, Email: [email protected], [8]. Tu,W,Th,Sa,Su 10AM-5PM, F 10AM-9PM. Memorial Day-Columbus Day: also M 10AM-5PM. Housing a diverse collection of Impressionists, included Monet and Renoir, and is great for an afternoon stroll.
  • Childrens Museum of Maine, 142 Free St., Phone: +1 207 828-1234, [9]. Tu-Sa 10AM-5PM (also M in summer); Su Noon-5PM. Great fun for the kids.
  • Portland Observatory, 138 Congress St., Phone: +1 207 774-5561 ext. 104. Memorial Day to Columbus Day, Daily 10-5PM. This has nothing to do with astronomy. Built in 1807, it is the only extant maritime signal station in the United States.
  • Portland Head Light and Museum, 1000 Shore Rd. Cape Elizabeth, Phone: +1 207 799-2661, [10]. Museum open 10AM-4PM daily June-Oct; weekends in shoulder seasons. Grounds open daily year round and free. One of the most scenic lighthouses in the country. Adjacent to Fort Williams, a WWII artillery emplacement. $2/$1.
  • Victoria Mansion, 109 Danforth Street, Phone: +1 207 772-4841, [11]. May-Oct. $10/$3.
  • Bug Light Lighthouse across the Fore River in South Portland offers unparalleled views of the Portland skyline and Casco Bay.
  • Stroudwater Village, just west of the Portland peninsula is one of Maine's oldest.
  • Old Port, next to the downtown area along Commercial St. next to Casco Bay.
  • Eastern Promenade. Providing amazing views of the Casco Bay and the islands
  • Western Promenade. See examples of mansions built by wealthy sea captains long ago.
  • Deering Oaks. A 51 acre area in Portland with a tennis court, baseball diamond, playground and pond. You can ice skate on the pond in the winter.
  • Willard Beach in South Portland right across the bridge.

Do

  • Back Cove. This large inlet connected to the sea by a small canal, has a recreation path over 3 mi (5 km) long and was designed by the firm of Frederick Law Olmsted and lined with linden trees to memorialize World War One dead.
  • Portland Schooner Company, 40 Commercial St., Phone: +1 207 766-2500, Toll free: 1-87-SCHOONER, [12]. During the summer months you can purchase tickets on the Maine State Pier, right next to the ferry. From 2-hour sails to overnight charters.
  • Casco Bay Lines, 56 Commercial Street, Phone: +1 207 774-7871, [13]. Taking a tour of Casco Bay on the ferry is a great way to enjoy Portland from a different perspective. In addition to fishing vessels and cargo and tanker ships, during the Spring and Summer months many sailboats, yachts, and cruise ships provide enjoyment.
  • Center for Cultural Exchange , 1 Longfellow Sq. Congress and State Sts., Phone: +1 207 761-1545, [14]. A community center for the expression of traditional folkways and contemporary performance which hosts over 200 events per year.
  • Portland Sea Dogs, Hadlock Field, Phone: +1 207 879-9500, [15]. A Boston Red Sox AA affiliate with a Fenway Park replica field. $3-$8 (2006).
  • U.S. Highway 1. Be sure to drive up this scenic coast-hugging road whether on a clear or foggy day.
  • Lucky Catch Lobster Cruise, 170 Commercial Street, Phone: +1 207 761-0941, [16]. Go on a lobster boat for a 2 hour cruise. You can help bait the traps, throw the traps overboard and more. Great for kids.

Buy

The Old Port is home to a number of boutiques and stores perfect for finding unique clothes, home decor items, and other lagniappe. Congress Street, which runs through the center of the city, is home to an L.L. Bean outlet store as well as other shopping and entertainment opportunities.

  • Maine Mall, South Portland. The largest mall in the state of Maine provides the standard mall and department store shopping experience.
  • Simply Scandinavian, Market St. and Exchange St. Two stores that sell only Scandinavian food, clothing, toys, books, art, decorations, etc.

Eat

Portland is home to many good restaurants. As one can imagine, the abundance of lobster, haddock, clams, scallops and other seafood allows restaurants to sell these usually expensive items at reasonable prices. In the Old Port and especially on Commercial Street, there are plenty of fine restaurants, including the Fore Street Restaurant. Additionally, Portland is probably the most ethnically and culturally diverse city in Maine. This results in a plethora of Vietnamese, Thai, Polish, African, Middle Eastern, and other restaurants. Most of these places are inexpensive and delicious.

  • Flatbread Co. 72 Commercial Street, Phone: +1 207 772-8777, [17]. Right on the water with one of the best views of Portland Harbor and Casco Bay in town, a fun and funky staff that toss your pie in a wood-fired clay oven. Flatbread is a great place to go for a fun night out in the old port and also family friendly.
  • Fore Street Restaurant, 288 Fore St., Phone: +1 207 775-2717, [18]. This place is reserved weeks and sometimes months in advance. But, you can get in just about any night if you arrive at opening about 5;00 PM and get on the list for their open seating. It is worth it. Start looking for it early, some people drive past this place three for four times before finding it and ask where it is when they are right in front of it. Very small sign. It's located on the south side of Fore Street between Franklin and Pearl streets, and is to the right of the Bangor Savings Bank / Baker Newman Noyes building. If you see the private garage on the first floor of the bank building, you'll notice a staircase to the right, and then a one-story building that doesn't remind you of a restaurant.
  • Ribollita, 41 Middle Street, Phone: +1 207 774-2972, Excellent Italian food. Fresh pasta, creative specials and the best mussels in Portland!
  • Sebago Brewing Company, 164 Middle St., Phone: +1 207 775-2337, [19]. This brew pub offers 7 unique brews on tap and a wide variety of entrees. There is an upstairs for a more social dining atmosphere and a downstairs for a quieter environment.
  • Susan's Fish and Chips, 1135 Forest Av., Phone: +1 207 878-3240. Known for its large portions, freshness, and those reasonable prices.
  • Granny's Burritos, 420 Fore St., Phone: +1 207 761-0751. Affordable and delicious Mexican food in a casual funky atmosphere. It is open for both lunch and dinner, and has many vegetarian/vegan options.
  • O'Naturals, 83 Exchange St., Phone: +1 207 321-2046. A four-store restaurant chain local to Maine and Massachusetts that has cafeteria-style natural foods. Great for vegetarians.
  • Gilbert's Chowder House, 92 Commercial St., Phone: +1 207 871-5636. Old Port District. Taste great New England Clam Chowder here.
  • Boone's, 6 Custom House Wharf, Phone: +1 207 774-5725. Located in the old port.
  • Binga's Winga's, 795 Congress St., Phone: +1 207 772-7333. The place to go for chicken wings or just a good, informal meal.
  • Fuji, 29 Exchange St., +1 207 773-2900, [20]. Offering a sushi bar, and Hibachi tables, the Japanese cuisine here is delicious. The hibachi tables are a great dining experience, but only open for dinner hours, and the wait can become long.
  • The Front Room Restaurant & Bar, 73 Congress St., +1 207 773-3366, [21]. A neighborhood restaurant started in the first floor of an apartment building on Munjoy Hill near the Eastern Prom, chef Harding Lee Smith's restaurant is getting an excellent reputation off the Hill as well. Excellent food for a good price, with a small bar available. The kitchen is in plain view from the seating area, and that's just the way the owner likes it. Weekend evenings will involve a wait, and the waiting area is rather limited.
  • Stir Crazy, Congress Street. A Chinese restaurant.
  • Caiola's, located on Pine Street a quaint dinner.
  • Arabica, located on free street. chess can be played here. coffee biscotti's. has a bathroom.

Drink

Portland, and especially the Old Port, has a reputation for many bars and pubs of varying caliber. From bars for longshoremen and lobster men, to pub serving micro-brews brewed on-site, to night clubs, there's something for everyone.

  • The Great Lost Bear, [22] Located outside of Old Port, this is a must for the discerning beer drinker. With over fifty beers on tap, "The Bear" has gained national renown for the variety, quality, and depth of its local and imported brews.
  • The Top of the East. Located in the Eastland Hotel, it offers impressive views of the city and top-shelf libations.
  • Comedy Connection, Custom House Wharf, Portland Old Port, Phone: +1 207 774-5554 [23] Occasionally Maine Comedian Bob Marley will have a show.
  • Brian Boru, 57 Center Street, Phone: +1 207 780-1506 Irish Pub.
  • Gritty McDuffs, 386 Fore Street, Phone: +1 207 772-2739, [24]. Brew pub and good micro brews.
  • Ri Ra's Irish Pub, 72 Commercial Street, Phone: +1 207 761-4446, [25]. Irish pub with Irish food and live entertainment.
  • Three Dollar Deweys 241 Commercial Street.[26] German beer hall atmosphere in the Old Port
  • The White Heart 551 Congress Street, Phone: +1 207 828-5600, [27]. Outdoor dining and original White Heart cocktails!
  • Geno's, 625 Congress St., Phone: +1 207 772-7891
  • The Ale House, 30 Market St.
  • Liquid Blue, 440 Fore St., Phone: +1 207 774-9595. Busy dance club.
  • The Oasis, 42 Wharf St., Phone: +1 207 756-8787.
  • The Asylum, 121 Center St., Phone: +1 207 772-8274
  • Amigo's, 9 Dana St. Inexpensive drinks and Mexican food with a nice fenced-in outdoor patio and bands on weekends in the summer.
  • Blue, 650A Congress St., +1 207 774-4111, [28] live music.

Microbreweries

  • Gritty McDuff's Brewing Co., 396 Fore St, Phone: +1 207 865-4321. [29].
  • Allagash Brewing Co., 100 Industrial Way, Phone: +1 207 878-5385, 1-800-330-5385. [30].
  • Casco Bay Brewing Co., 57 Industrial Way, Phone: +1 207 797-2020. [31].
  • DL Geary Brewing Co., 38 Evergreen Drive, Phone: +1 207 878-2337. [32].
  • StoneCoast Brewing Co., +1 207 838-3985, [33].

Sleep

Hotels

  • Eastland Park Hotel, 157 High St., Toll Free: 888-671-8008, Phone: 207.775-5411, Fax: 207.775-2872, [34]. Combining American history, modern convenience and euro-style service to give visitors a prime lodging and dining experience downtown. The "Top of the East" restaraunt at the top of the hotel offers a stunning panoramic view of the city, while occassionally offering low-key live performers.
  • Fairfield Inn Portland Airport, 340 Park Avenue, Phone: +1 207 871-0611, Fax: +1 207 871-8243, [35].
  • Holiday Inn, 88 Spring St, Phone: +1 207 775-2311, [36].
  • Holiday Inn, 81 Riverside St, Phone: +1 207 774-5601, [37].
  • Motel 6, One Riverside Street, Phone: +1 207 775-0111, Fax: +1 207 775-0449, [38].

Bed and breakfast

  • Wild Iris Inn, 273 State Street, Toll-free: +1 800-600-1557 or Phone: +1 207 775-0224, [39]. 7 rooms.
  • Inn on Carleton Bed and Breakfast, 46 Carleton Street, Phone: +1 207 775-1910, Fax: +1 207 761-0956, Toll Free: 800-639-1779, [40].
  • Celtic Cottage Maine, 1433 Westbrook St., Phone: +1 207 773-6072, [41]. 3 rooms. $100-$120.
  • The Chadwick, 140 Chadwick Street, Phone: +1 207 774-5141, Toll Free: 800-774-2137, Fax: 207-774-5140, [42]. 4 rooms
  • The Percy Inn, 15 Pine Street, Phone: +1 207 871-7638, Toll Free: +1 888-417-3729, Fax: +1 207 775-2599, [43].
  • The Inn at St. John, 939 Congress Street, Phone: +1 207 773-6481, Toll free: 800-636-9127, [44].

Get out

Bug Light
  • Falmouth. A northern suburb of Portland, offering Mackworth Island, an island with a pleasant hiking trail.
  • Bailey Island/Orrs Island Home of the world's only cribstone bridge, allowing water to flow through uninterrupted.
  • Old Orchard Beach, a beach resort town reminiscent of the Jersey Shore. 19 miles south of Portland.
  • Kennebunkport 30 miles south, charming fishing village offers beaches, antiques and a sneak peak at George H.W. Bush's summer estate.
  • Cape Elizabeth for beaches and lighthouses.
  • Saco on Route 1 south of the city has an amusement park (FunTown USA), waterpark (Aquaboggin) and a variety of tourist shops and restaurants.


This is a usable article. It has information for getting in as well as some complete entries for restaurants and hotels. An adventurous person could use this article, but please plunge forward and help it grow!