Exploring Portland: Natural and cultural wonders offer exciting choices

Portland and the southern Maine coast feature much in the way of artistic and natural attractions. The city’s seaside location is a perfect setting for outdoor activities, both on land and sea. At the same time, Portland’s strong reputation as a magnet for artists and intellectuals means that cultural opportunities can be found throughout the city. Combine this reality with the year-round festivals that abound in the southern Maine region and it can be challenging to decide on exactly what to do during your Portland stay. If you are drawn to the out of doors, such destinations as the Eastern Promenade, the Kennebunk Bridle Path, and the Wells National Estuarine Research Reserve will likely appeal to your passion for nature. Beach and amusement park lovers will certainly find what they are seeking along York Beach or Old Orchard Beach which offer inviting beaches and plenty of arcade fun. Culture fans will enjoy many hours of artistic viewings at the Portland Museum of Art and, nearby on the southern coast, the Ogunquit Museum of American Art. Water sports enthusiasts will find much to like about kayaking on Casco Bay with its scenic pleasures including abandoned 19th century forts and uninhabited islands ripe for exploration. And for families, there is the imaginative play to be found at the Children's Museum and Theatre of Maine. No matter what you set your sights on, however, you’re sure to enjoy much that Portland has to offer for families and individuals alike. Below are some of my favorite attractions and destinations that you may want to consider during your stay in the Portland area:

Eastern Promenade
Photo courtesy of Portland Trails


The Eastern Promenade is a favorite with locals and visitors alike who are seeking a relaxing, scenic walk along the Portland shoreline. The 2.1 mile paved, generally level trail follows an old train line. Walking, biking or jogging along this...  Read More

Casco Bay Kayaking
Photo courtesy of Maine Island Kayaking


For those interested in exploring the Portland's coastal environment, there is perhaps no better way than kayaking. The intimate nature of this water sport (it's you and the kayak � that's all) allows paddlers to closely examine landmarks...  Read More

Kennebunk Bridle Path
Photo courtesy of Mark Pechenik


While the Kennebunk Bridle Path doesn't necessarily afford a long trek, it has special features well worth experiencing for outdoor enthusiasts. In particular, a section of this 5.6 mile path crosses into the Rachel Carson Wildlife Preserve....  Read More

Ogunquit Museum of American Art
Photo courtesy of Ogunquit Museum of American Art


Open from early May until early November, the Ogunquit Museum of American Art offers two impressive highlights for visitors: a first-rate collection of holdings and one of the most scenic locations on the southern Maine coast. This is...  Read More

Museums of Old York
Photo courtesy of Museums of Old York


The Museums of Old York represent one of the most comprehensive and intriguing collections of homes which detail the origins of York's rich three century history. The museums consist of nine historic buildings, beautiful gardens, and a...  Read More

Old Orchard Beach
Photo courtesy of Old Orchard Beach Chamber of Commerce


If seaside vacations mean giddy, thrilling amusement rides then the Old Orchard Beach Boardwalk should be included among your top destinations in the Portland area. This location features several classic fun parks that cater superbly to the...  Read More

York Beach
Photo courtesy of York Beach Chamber of Commerce


Seeking that old fashioned summer vacation experience? Then be sure to pay a visit to York's central district. Here you can find mom and pop shops that sell cotton candy, soft serve ice cream, and even penny candy. Along with sweets and treats,...  Read More

Wells National Estuarine Research Reserve
Photo courtesy of Wells National Estuarine Research Reserve


This destination has become a favorite with visitors intrigued by the natural beauty of Maine's southern coast. Seeking to preserve the much loved Laudholm Farm in Wells from residential development, open space advocates proposed a research...  Read More

Children's Museum Of Maine
Photo courtesy of Children's Museum of Maine


Looking to spend a few fun filled hours with your children during your stay in Portland? Then the Children's Museum and Theatre of Maine should be near the top of your "things to do" list. This expansive facility features a wealth of exhibits...  Read More

Portland Museum Of Art
Photo courtesy of Portland Museum of Art


The Portland Museum of Art has rightfully earned its place as one of the nation's premier art museums. This museum's wide, spacious and well lit interior invites visitors to explore and linger over its vast collections of distinguished works....  Read More