Written by Missy Johnston

Portland Maine Headlands

Portland, Maine, an old seacoast town located in southern Maine, is a funky city filled with galleries, one-of-kind boutiques and shops, and eclectic restaurants serving everything from the traditional fare of New England clam chowder, lobster rolls and Maine seafood to nouveau cuisine.

Uptown, a few blocks from the waterfront, is Portland’s secret treasure–the Arts District. Located along Congress Street, this once traditional shopping area has turned into a mecca of art galleries, antique shops, and artist studios.

Portland, Maine – Historic Downtown Building

The world class Portland Museum of Art, the Children’s Museum of Maine, the Institute of Contemporary Art at the Maine College of Art, the Center for Cultural Exchange, the State Theater, the Portland Stage Company, the Center for Maine History, and the stunningly-renovated Merrill Auditorium all line Congress Street. Here is also where you will find The Wadsworth-Longfellow House, the 19th century childhood home of the poet, and The First Parish Church, which uses an original cannon ball from the revolutionary war as a chandelier.

Portland, Maine – harbor schooner heading to sea

Portland’s Old Port rings the harbor and is a very successful revitalization of a old commercial industrial port. Originally a very busy industrial commercial harbor, shown by the remains of the cobblestone streets and the large historic warehouse buildings, Old Port has been beautifully adaptively rehabbed with the warehouses turned into artist studios, and a chic shopping area with upscale restaurants and other entertainment. Just steps from the harbor, Old Port offers a lot to see and do, for visiting yachtsmen, while still retaining the historic working harbor look and feel of yesteryear.

Portland Maine Lobster Markers

And while in Portland, be sure to sample a Maine lobster, available served in a variety of methods, from simple steaming, to baked and stuffed with crab meat, cooked into a bisque or perhaps de-shelled, buttered and baked in a dish. Don’t leave Portland without a taste of a Maine lobster, even if it is the infamous lobster roll on the run. The Portland city downtown harbor is a great stop on a cruise on a yacht charter along the coast of Maine.