Portland is an area so rich in history and culture, it is difficult to pinpoint the top ten museums which best interpret this city's character and contributions to the American experience. However, several museums stand out in this regard. Some are very familiar to locals and visitors alike. For instance, the Portland Museum of Art has long been celebrated for its impressive holdings of both American and international works by masters from throughout the world. Others, like the Ogunquit Museum of American Art, are regarded as hidden gems which, nonetheless, are well worth visiting. Several of the best museums examine lesser known, but still compelling, aspects of Portland and Maine culture. Consider, for instance, a recent display at the Maine Historical Society highlighting the many snowshoe clubs throughout Maine that were established by French Canadian immigrants. Meanwhile, at the Owls Head Transportation Museum, gear heads will enjoy an impressive collection of pioneer automobiles, airplanes, and engines that are in mint condition. Also worth visiting is the Museums of Old York which offers glimpses into the early colonial settlements of Maine, as well as the Pine Tree State's efforts to establish a just penal system. No matter what your tastes or preferences, Portland's museums are well worth exploring for young and old alike.
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