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.
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.
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.
#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!
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.
#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.
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.
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.
#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.
#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.
#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.
Other Things to Do in Portland, Maine
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.