As the snow melts and temperatures rise, the Maine outdoors becomes a very welcoming and beautiful place — especially in Portland, the Pine Tree State’s largest city. With so many spring things to do in Portland Maine, deciding what to enjoy first during your vacation in this gorgeous coastal town is hard.
Luckily, we’ve compiled a list of some of the top Portland Maine spring activities, so that you don’t have to. Enjoy exploring all that spring in Portland has to offer!
Play in Portland’s Parks
Portland has several fantastic parks that are perfect to visit during springtime. However, here are a few that are particularly special.
Fort Allen Park
Right on the shores of Casco Bay, Fort Allen Park is a city landmark and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. You’ll find several monuments and memorials here, including a memorial to WWII-era U.S.S. Portland. While you’re here, have a picnic with a view or enjoy a stroll along nearby East End Beach.
Deering Oaks Park
Deering Oaks Park is a great park for families with playgrounds, a splash-play area perfect for warm weather, and a pond where you can watch ducks and other wildlife. Beginning in spring, the Portland Farmers’ Market is held here on Wednesdays and Saturdays.
Bug Light Park
Bug Light Park is another waterfront park with gorgeous views of Portland Harbor and the city’s skyline. It’s home to both the Liberty Ship Memorial and the Portland Breakwater Lighthouse.
If you visit Bug Light Park during the third weekend of May, you can enjoy the annual, free-to-attend Bug Light Kite Festival.
Hike Portland’s Many Beautiful Trails
Walking the Eastern Promenade Trail is one of the top spring things to do in Portland. The 2-mile, accessible waterfront trail offers gorgeous coastal views, as well as picnic areas, access to the beach, and a boat launching area.
Fore River Sanctuary is a beautiful, 85-acre nature preserve that’s home to the only natural waterfall in Portland Maine — Jewell Falls. The area has a network of scenic trails and birding and wildlife-viewing opportunities.
Visit the Portland Museum of Art
The Portland Museum of Art has a fantastic and diverse collection of art, ranging from European and contemporary to collections by local Maine artists. It also hosts a variety of programs and events, so you’re bound to find something fun for everyone in your family.
It’s one of the best spring things to do in Portland for a couple of reasons:
- Visiting the outdoor David E. Shaw and Family Sculpture Park is lovely during springtime. Interact with Play Sculpture by Isamu Noguchi, sit in colorful lawn chairs around William Zorach’s Spirit of the Dance, and check out special events.
- You can attend the annual Art In Bloom event, during which the museum welcomes spring with an array of stunning floral arrangements and installations. The fragrant scents and colorful displays bring spring indoors.
Visit the museum all year long on Friday afternoons to receive free admission.
Sail Casco Bay Aboard a Historic Schooner With Portland Schooner Co.
Portland Schooner Co. has several wooden, handcrafted historic schooners that were all built in Maine, dating from 1912 to 1931.
Step back in time on one of these beautiful watercraft as you cruise through the waters of Casco Bay, where you’ll enjoy unrivaled views and be able to spot wildlife in its natural habitat.
The two-hour windjammer cruise is perfect for kids and adults alike. It’s available each year beginning in May.
Take a Bicycle Tour of Portland’s Lighthouses With Summer Feet Cycling
Summer Feet Cycling offers a leisure bicycling tour of some of Portland’s top destinations, including Bug Light Park, the Liberty Ship Memorial, the Spring Point Ledge Lighthouse, the Portland Head Light, Cape Elizabeth, and Willard Beach. You’ll also pass by Old Port.
You’ll spend time at each destination while learning about the area’s history and more. Plus, you can’t vacation in Portland Maine without indulging in a Maine lobster roll. During this tour, you’ll receive a complimentary lobster roll for lunch from a local, award-winning food truck.
Wander Through Old Port
Portland’s Old Port neighborhood is nestled on the waterfront where you’ll find fishing and lobster boats, a unique combo of modern architecture, 1700s-era brick buildings, and so many things to do!
Enjoy the fresh spring air as you wander through Old Port’s brick and cobblestone streets to discover some of the city’s best dining venues, boutiques, and bars.
In the mood for a drink? An Old Port favorite includes family-owned Sweetgrass Winery & Distillery — a tasting room where you can sip from more than 15 spirits and wines crafted with Maine ingredients.
Cheers Outside With a Beer at Allagash Brewery
Springtime is the perfect time to sip and savor a beer flight in Allagash Brewery Company’s outdoor beer garden. It has one of the top 50 largest sales volumes of American craft breweries, and the pours do not disappoint.
Try some of the Belgian-inspired pours and other rotating selections paired with a lobster roll and homemade whoopie pie from the on-site Bite Into Maine food truck.
Want an exclusive experience? Attend an immersive beer-tasting session in the cellars.
Explore the Islands of Casco Bay
An archipelago of islands dots the waters of Casco Bay — you can island hop and discover quite a few scenic areas. The fantastic weather makes island hopping in Casco Bay one of the best spring things to do in Portland Maine.
You can catch a ride at the Casco Bay Lines ferry terminal at Maine State Pier in Portland. Here are the islands you can travel by ferry to, arranged from shortest to longest travel time:
- Little Diamond Island (only a 15-minute ride each way)
- Peaks Island
- Great Diamond Island
- Diamond Cove
- Long Island
- Chebeague Island
- Cliff Island (about a 60 to 120-minute ride each way)
Visit the Portland Observatory
The Portland Observatory opens seasonally each year, starting in May. This National Historic Landmark is the only still-standing, maritime signal tower in the country and was originally constructed in the early 1800s.
More than 200 years later, you can take in the same bird’s-eye, panoramic views of Portland and surrounding water from the tower. Also, you can tour the museum, which details the watch tower’s history. Both guided and self-guided tours of the observatory are available.
Catch a Game at Hadlock Field
Hadlock Field is home to the local Portland Sea Dogs (Double-A affiliate of the Boston Red Sox) minor league baseball team. Watching a baseball game here is one of the best spring things to do in Portland — the season kicks off each year in early April.
Watch the iconic lighthouse rise up from the centerfield fence every time a Sea Dogs player hits a home run and when the team wins too.
Hadlock Field has been named one of the top minor league ballparks in the nation!
Immerse Yourself in History at Victoria Mansion
You can tour one of Portland’s favorite landmarks, Victoria Mansion, seasonally each year beginning in spring.
The historic mansion, also called the Morse-Libby House, was originally built around 1860 and is considered one of the best examples of Italian Villa-style homes constructed in the United States — complete with interiors detailed by renowned designer Gustave Herter.
Ride a Train at the Maine Narrow Gauge Railroad Company & Museum
The Maine Narrow Gauge Railroad Company & Museum operates Portland’s two-foot, narrow gauge railway equipment. Visitors can take a fun, scenic ride on the historic train against the backdrop of Casco Bay. And, you can visit the museum, which has family-friendly exhibits and historic displays.
This destination is open seasonally from mid-April each year.
Enjoy More Spring Things to Do in Portland Maine
This list details some of the best spring things to do in Portland Maine, but there are still even more wild and wonderful places to explore in and around the city — whether you visit in spring or any other season.