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Portland (Maine) or Portland (Oregon)? Discover the 1st Portland of America with past and present cultural delights. Stroll by the charming waterfront, the Old Port and Art District, savor delectable food & beverages before admiring architectural Victorian heritage and historic mansions. Let’s start the visit!
A pinch of History
- Abenaki Native American originally called the city “Michigonne” [Great Neck] in reference to the peninsula’s shape.
- British first settlers arrived by 1633 and established Casco, a fishing and trading village.
- Pioneer Francis Pettygrove named Portland (Oregon) after his hometown in Maine.
- Famous writers Henry Wadsworth and Stephen King are from Portland.
8 AM – Scenic walk in the waterfront
Start your exploration by an early walk along the Eastern Promenade trail. Among a few local runners and walkers, we enjoyed the fresh sea air and a panoramic view of the harbor. You will also find small beaches and waterfront activities like kayaking alongside the pathway.
10 AM – Glimpse inside 18th and 19th century
Architecture heritage from the Victoria era is visible promenading the city. During this time, Portland was completely rebuilt after a series of fires. Two of the most visited houses are Henry Wadsworth Longfellow house and the Victorian mansion.
The first one was the boyhood home of poet Henry Wadsworth Longfellow and his family. Portland landmark and National Historic Monument, the second one, is a Victorian mansion erected in 1860. It’s considered the finest surviving Italian style house in America. Interior and original furniture have been preserved for both of them.
Noon – A culinary experience, take a bit.
Lobster is King in Portland local cuisine. Fresh seafood, local beers, and bakeries are also unavoidable savors to taste. I didn’t deviate from these local foodie customs 😉 Lot of restaurants offers lobster combination dishes and I selected the lobster roll. OMG, it was fresh and delicious!!! French approved!
Did you know? Maine coast supplies nearly 90% (40 million pounds) of lobster in the US. Nonetheless, due to global warming, the lobster population will move further North in the near future.
2 PM Step into thriving Art District and Old Port
The adjacent Art District and Old Port offer historic landmark and contemporary sights. I enjoyed wandering respectively on Congress Street and Exchange Street. I also walked by the Portland Museum of Art and its outdoor sculptures. Loping around these two districts was a pleasant exploration of Portland.
4 PM – Tea time to savor local pastries
After all these steps, it’s time to relax, sip a coffee and enjoy some local pastries. I plead guilty for savory potatoes donuts and homemade blueberries tart.
Did you know? Maine is the single largest producer of blueberries in the country producing 99% of it.
After 4 PM – Need more? Continue the exploration.
Don’t miss out other attractions in Portland and surroundings. My day was on the clock but next time I’ll consider visiting Kennebunkport, a coastal village, Fort William Park, an 1899 army post, and the Portland Headlight built in 1797.
Sounds like a must see?
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