Portland is located in Maine's southern coast is the state's largest city with plenty of things to do for the budget-conscious travelers. Portland is a compact city situated on a peninsula that just out into Casco Bay. If you want a great place to get away from your fast paced life, then Portland is the place to be. The downtown area has cobblestone streets and the arts and nightlife are very popular. Visitors can take boat rides off the coast for a nominal fee, see a professional baseball game at a fraction of the coast to see a major league game, and enjoy the miles of white sandy beaches, absolutely free.
The coast of Maine is breathtaking. Maine has a rocky coast and what better way to see it than from the water. Portland has ferry service to the six islands in Casco Bay. There are many things to see and do. You will see lobster boats, oil tankers, yachts, sea birds, seals, historic island forts and rocky ledges. If you stop at Peaks Island you can enjoy lunch, visit craft shops, rent a bicycle, kayak or just take a walk.
A popular tourist destination is the town of Old Orchard Beach, which is an ocean side city twenty minutes south of Portland. It has carnival rides, food stands, water slides, arcades and unique shops. The seven mile wide sandy beach is the main attraction and it is free. A pier shoots out into the water roughly 500 feet, which dates back to 1898.
In Portland if you want to see a great view of the city and surrounding area then you want to visit the top of the historic Eastland Park Hotel. Here at the Top of the East Lounge you can enjoy a beverage and see a panoramic view of Portland Harbor, the downtown and suburbs and the countryside.
In the Portland area there is no shortage of lighthouses. Some of the nearby lighthouses are: Portland Head Light, Two Lights Lighthouses or the Portland Breakwater Lighthouse. The Portland Head Light Lighthouse is a museum and has tours for a nominal cost.
If you want to take a self-guided tour of Portland, there are four available with maps for free. The Greater Portland Landmarks organization offers paid walking tours as well. Information on these tours can be obtained for free by visiting the Greater Portland Landmarks office.
Portland has many great restaurants and here are a few of the favorites. DiMillo's Floating Restaurant is a popular spot in Portland for an excellent dining experience. The restaurant sits right on the water and was originally a ferry. Every table offers a spectacular view of Portland harbor. Famous for the freshest seafood, choice cuts of beef and Italian cuisine. Becky's Diner is another great place to eat. This waterfront eatery has typical breakfast and lunch cuisine, but there is also a selection of seafood including scallops, haddock, shrimp and lobster dishes. Another excellent waterfront diner is Gilbert's Chowder House. This restaurant is famous for its five different kinds of chowder that can be ordered in a bread bowl. Fresh seafood is also on the menu.
While visiting Portland you are going to need a place to stay. Portland has many choices from Victorian homes, bed & breakfast inns, hotels & motels with lodgings right on the water. And, price ranges for every budget.
Portland makes for a nice sightseeing family vacation on a budget. You will treasure your trip to Portland and one thing you want to make sure to do, take plenty of pictures!