Lobster, cool temperatures, fresh seafood, top notch museums and award-winning cuisine—wait, did I mention lobster? All of these things are available and more in Portland, Maine. The Greater Portland area (which encompasses the smaller city of Portland) houses almost one-fourth of the state’s population with about 230,000 residents, according to visitportland.com. It has also become a unique tourist destination for foodies, art aficionados and even sports fans, since the city is home to several minor league teams.
My family and I have been traveling to southern Maine for several years now and always spend at least a few days exploring what’s new in town. This year, however, we are playing host to a few families who are visiting us from South Florida. So, if you’re itching to beat the heat and head to the northeast this summer, I have put together an ideal family day in the city of Portland, ME.
Breakfast at The Holy Donut
Donuts made from potato mash? They may sound weird, but these all natural donuts are absolutely DELICIOUS. Start your day with breakfast at The Holy Donut. There are two locations in Portland, but we prefer the one downtown on Exchange Street. Their tasty donut flavors rotate, with approximately 20 inventive options available to choose from at the start of each day. Be sure to get there well before noon for the best selection.
7 Exchange Street, Portland, ME 04101
Morning at the Portland Museum of Art/ Children’s Museum & Theatre of Maine
After breakfast, head over to the Portland Museum of Art or the Children’s Museum & Theatre of Maine. They are located right next door to each other, so you have options to choose from depending on the age and interest of your kids. This year, we were able to convince Grandma to take our daughter to the Children’s Museum while my husband and I checked out the Maine masters at the art museum. Both facilities have fantastic rotating and permanent exhibits, typically with a local “Maine spin”, and welcome children of all ages.
Insider tip: The Portland Museum of Art offers complimentary admission from 4 p.m. – 8 p.m. on Friday evenings.
Portland Museum of Art; 7 Congress Square, Portland, ME 04101
Children’s Museum & Theatre of Maine; 142 Free Street, Portland, ME 04101
Lunch at Portland Head Light
Located at Fort Williams Park, the blindingly white Portland Head Light is the most beautiful lighthouse I’ve ever seen. If you’re looking to take a unique holiday (or Instagram) photo with unparalleled views of the ocean, then this is the place. Bonus points? The Bite Into Maine food truck is on site regularly and serves up delicious lobster rolls for lunch.
12 Captain Strout Circle, Cape Elizabeth, ME 04107
Evening at a Portland Sea Dogs Game
You’ll need to check out their game schedule online in advance, but an evening at the ballpark watching a Portland Sea Dogs game is fun for the whole family! A feeder team for the Boston Red Sox, the Sea Dogs play at Hadlock Field in Portland. In left field is the “Maine Monster,” a 37-foot-tall replica of famed Fenway Park’s Green Monster, complete with a Coke bottle and Citgo sign. They often have theme nights for kids during the summer, and tickets are definitely on the affordable side.
271 Park Avenue, Portland, ME 04102
All photos by Michelle Olson-Rogers.