5 Things to Do in Portland, Maine – A Must for Folklore Lovers

If you are a folklore enthusiast and find yourself looking for things to do in Portland, Maine with limited time, then this is the post for you.

 

There are heaps of legends that rise from the cold and jagged coast of New England, and what better place to explore them from than Portland, Maine.

 

Cold water Casco Bay

 

With its first settler arriving in 1623 by the name of Christopher Levett, Portland, Maine has seen its share of shipwrecked sailors, pirates, and disaster… and maybe even a sea monster or two.

 

This post will give you a few good things to do in Portland, Maine if you’re planning to be there for 24 hours or less.

 

One of the many Islands in Casco Bay by Christa Thompson

One of the many Islands in Casco Bay by Christa Thompson

 

Check Out These Things to Do in Portland, Maine if You Love Folklore and Legends

 

Portland, Maine is a beautiful city that overlooks some of North America’s most volatile waters. The water is cold and fierce, with weather conditions that are unpredictable and often dangerous.

 

Waves that dance with ships just as they can swallow them whole. It is no wonder the waters of the New England Coast are so alluring and mysterious, often leaving nothing but sunken treasures and widowed wives behind.  

 

The streets of Portland, Maine.

The streets of Portland, Maine.

 

#1 Explore the City

 

There’s shopping and dining in town. You can enjoy a nice walk along the pier and take in the New England coastal culture in the crisp fall air. We found a really cool comic book store that shared an underground space with an awesome B movie rental joint and a pizza shop. For the win!

 

I was surprised to see a piece of the Berlin Wall in Portland, Maine. A bonus for me for the day! Very cool. by Christa Thompson

I was surprised to see a piece of the Berlin Wall in Portland, Maine. A bonus for me for the day! Very cool. by Christa Thompson

 

Portland History

 

Officially settled in 1633 and named Casco, Portland was a fishing village that saw more than just a death toll in its waters. Over a 100 year span, it was destroyed three times, and again in 1866 during the ‘Great Fire’, leaving more than 10,000 people homeless.

 

It is notably the home of Henry Wadsworth Longfellow and the site of one of the most northernmost battles of the Civil War, the Battle of Portland Harbor.

 

Such a friendly staff, they made a great impression by Christa Thompson

Such a friendly staff, they made a great impression by Christa Thompson

 

#2 Take a Lighthouse Tour Cruise

 

After a 6-hour road trip from Sleepy Hollow where I was scared out of my socks at the Horseman’s Hollow event, I was ready to relax. I chose to explore the lighthouses off the coast of Portland in the very waters where, like many pirates and sailors, Christopher Levett, once sailed.

 

Off the coast of Portland there are lovely towns on craggy cliffs.

Off the coast of Portland, there are lovely towns on craggy cliffs.

 

Aboard the ‘Islander’, a Portland Discovery Land & Sea Tours vessel, on the dominating waters off the Casco Bay, the air was cold but the view was captivating. We spent two hours cruising the bay as our knowledgeable guide gave detailed accounts of the lighthouses, islands, and forts that we encountered.

 

Things to do in Portland Maine

 

The tour was relaxing, educational, and provided one-of-a-kind views of the lighthouses. However, I didn’t see any sea monsters, they would be better found at the International Cryptozoology Museum just up the road in town.

 

The Feegee Mermaid by Christa Thompson

The Feegee Mermaid by Christa Thompson

 

#3 Visit the International Cryptozoology Museum

 

Back on land, I made my way over to the museum where I met with Jeff Meuse, Assistant Director of the International Cryptozoology Museum of Portland, home to the bizarre, rare, and diligent collection of the world’s most legendary and mythical creatures (‘cryptozoology’ is more scientifically stated as “the study of hidden animals”).

 

Wouldn’t you know, I found a sea monster, among other things.

 

What else are you going to eat lol... This was a good spot to enjoy the sunset and fresh caught lobster at the Portland Lobster Company at the dock where the Portland Discovery Land & Sea Tours are, by Christa Thompson

What else are you going to eat lol… This was a good spot to enjoy the sunset and fresh-caught lobster at the Portland Lobster Company at the dock where the Portland Discovery Land & Sea Tours are, by Christa Thompson

 

#4 Grab a Maine Lobster On Casco bay

 

Nothing fancy just paper plates, corn on the cob, and the best darn lobster you’ve never had. I mean, on a list of things to do in Portland, Maine, this is definitely at the top.

 

Fort Allen Park a really cool park to unwind at, awesome for hill rolling, on the water with a playground, by Christa Thompson

Fort Allen Park is a really cool park to unwind at and it’s awesome for hill rolling, on the water with a playground, by Christa Thompson

 

#5 Watch the Sunset at Fort Allen Park

 

It was an eventful day. I never thought I would have seen a headless horseman, toured the notoriously haunted Lizzie Borden House, driven 6 hours, chartered the coast of Portland, and taken a picture with Bigfoot all in one 24 hour period.

 

I just needed a bottle of water, a bed, and a hot shower. I was more than eager to check into my digs for the night at the Portland Harbor Hotel. So far so good, the place looked pretty fit, but I’ve seen this before… wasn’t going to hold my breath until I made my way into the room.

 

lighthouse, portland

 

Other Things to Do in Portland, Maine

 

Wadsworth-Longfellow House

Victoria Mansion

Longfellow Arboretum

 

There are plenty of things to do in Portland, Maine. Its history and legends have laid its culture between every brick in its city adding a special piece to the diverse puzzle of America. It’s a picturesque big-little town that no matter how cold it gets, is always warm, and always inviting.


About Christa Thompson

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Christa Thompson is the Founder and Chief Editor of The Fairytale Traveler. She started traveling the world in 2003 when she attended a summer abroad study at the University of Cambridge in England. Since then, her wanderlust has been fierce. Her three passions in life are her son, traveling, and being creative. The Fairytale Traveler brand gives Christa the opportunity to do all of these things and to live intentionally every day. "It's never too late to believe in what you love and to pursue your dreams." -Christa Thompson

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