Portland, Maine is one of my favorite cities in New England to explore! The seaport city is full of quirk and charm with plenty to offer! Here are some of my recommendations for things to see and do in the Portland area:
Visiting the International Museum of Cryptozoology
One of its kind, this tiny museum holds a plethora of oddities, legends and cryptids. From famous creatures, such as Bigfoot and Nessie the Loch Ness Monster, to lesser known creatures, such as Mothman and feejee mermaids, there is plenty to see and enjoy (and even get a chuckle from!). Loren Coleman, the master expert of Cryptozoology himself, first started pursuing unusual, often inexplicable animals in 1960. Since then, he has collected various specimens, replicas, and artifacts relating to famous and lesser-known cryptids, including the eight-and-a-half-foot tall, 300-pound “Crookston Bigfoot,” a life-size coelacanth, a replica of P. T. Barnum’s Feejee Mermaid, and many more!
Tickets cost about $10 per person, however hours open are limited. There’s even a gift shop where you can buy Coleman’s Encyclopedia of Cryptozoology or a t-shirt of your favorite cryptid!
Enjoy some potato donuts at Holy Donut
I never knew how delicious potato donuts could be until I went to The Holy Donut right in downtown Portland. Made from fresh ingredients, including Maine potatoes, these donuts include a variety of flavors, such as pomegranate, toasted coconut, and coffee brandy. There are three locations in the area (two in Portland). Be prepared to wait in a long line and get there before noon if your heart is set on particular flavors, to ensure a higher selection of donuts.
Go on a brew bus tour and/or check out the local dining
The U.S has been booming with the craft brew scene, particularly within the last few years. If you enjoy local craft brew and going behind the scenes, than a brew tour can be a fantastic way to spend an afternoon or evening exploring the city! Based in Portland, the Maine Brew Bus offers regularly scheduled and private tours in Greater Portland and Southern Maine on bright green school buses that provide a behind-the-scenes look at Maine’s craft breweries, distilleries, and wineries.
Visit Cape Elizabeth (outside of Portland)
Cape Elizabeth is known for its iconic Portland Head Lighthouse. Marking the entrance to Casco Bay, Cape Elizabeth extends 12 miles into open ocean, rimmed by craggy shores and sandy beaches. It’s also recognized for its colonial style homes and rolling hills. If you like lobster, make sure to grab a bite to eat at The Lobster Shack at Two Lights while viewing the Lighthouse.
Meet Lenny the Chocolate Moose (Scarborough, ME)
Located at Len Libby Candies Store in Scarborough lives Lenny, the world’s only life-size chocolate moose. Weighing at approximately 1,700 pounds, Lenny is made from milk chocolate, created in 1997! His bear pals, Mama Libby weighs around 380 pounds and her bear cubs at approximately 80 pounds. The animal habitat is fenced off and is next to the store’s ice cream station so they stay cool. Eight feet tall and nine feet wide, Lenny is worth the visit up close and personal!