What to Do in Portland, Maine

Portland is home to the Maine Marathon, and it’s also a playground for people of all ages and interests. Make sure to leave time in between your arrival, the race and your departure to explore a few of the countless opportunities our city has to offer.

Below is a short list to get you started. Our friends at Visit Portland have compiled a comprehensive collection of activities and attractions in the area. So if there is something in particular you’d like to experience, be sure to check their website out too!

Museums & Historic Sites

Victoria Mansion

A beautiful residence turned museum that is one of the best preserved Victorian-era homes in the country.

Portland Observatory

This historic maritime observatory is the last of its kind in the country, and provides stunning views of Portland’s Munjoy Hill neighborhood and Casco Bay.

Portland Museum of Art

Highlights from Maine’s rich artistic tradition alongside a beautiful mix of contemporary, American and European art.

Cruises & Tours

Casco Bay Lines

Used by Portland’s island residents to shuttle back and forth to the mainland, they offer numerous trips and cruises.

Maine Duck Tours

See Portland by land and sea aboard these amphibious vehicles that provide a guided tour of Portland’s streets and coastline.

Maine Brew Bus

Hop on one of these bright green buses to be shuttled around to the area’s renowned breweries. Includes a sample at each stop, ages 21+ only.

Beaches & Lighthouses

Portland Head Light

One of the most photographed lighthouse in the country, this iconic landmark was commissioned by George Washington and is still in operation today.

Old Orchard Beach

A short drive from Portland, this long, wide stretch of sandy beach has a classic pier where you can eat, drink, dance and enjoy a carnival game or ride.

Willard Beach

Just across the bridge in South Portland, this sandy spot is loved by locals (and their dogs). Take a short walk along the beach to Spring Point Ledge Lighthouse.


Old Port

Be sure to spend time wandering the streets of this Portland waterfront neighborhood filled with an eclectic mix of boutiques, galleries and shops of Maine-made goods.


A short drive north of Portland, this town’s main street is lined with factory outlets of top fashion brands and home to the flagship L.L Bean store.


State Theater

You might get lucky and have one your favorite performers in town playing this beautifully restored theater built in 1929.

Portland Stage

A professional, nonprofit theater company that performs a wide range of classic, comedy and contemporary plays.

Merrill Auditorium

One of Portland’s iconic performance halls is home of the Portland Symphony Orchestra and the Kotzschmar Organ, and hosts various touring performers.

Kid Friendly

Children’s Museum and Theatre of Maine

A great mix of interactive and imaginative exhibits for children and families to enjoy, located right in the heart of Portland’s Arts District.

Narrow Gauge Railroad

Take a scenic and relaxing ride on this historic train that wraps around Portland’s waterfront.

Maine Wildlife Park

Just a 30-minute drive from Portland, this park supports animals unable to return to nature and provides a rare opportunity to see a  lynx, cougar, bald eagle and a legendary Maine moose.