Maine's largest city has lots to offer vacationing families, from the historic Old Port District to soaring lighthouses to long stretches of sandy beach. Read on for three budget-friendly family-fun tips.
Photo via National Register on Flickr
1. The Portland Observatory, the United States' last surviving maritime signal tower, stands tall and proud in Portland, Maine, and those who climb alllll the way to the top are rewarded with a beautiful, 360 degree view of Portland and its surroundings. Guided tours are available as well, for a small donation.
2. Pack some GORP and head to Mackworth Island. This legislated bird sanctuary is reached by a causeway from Falmouth, Portland's next-door neighbor, and is the perfect place to spend a morning exploring. A kiddo-friendly, wood chip trail circles the heavily wooded island, and in addition to plenty of birds and other small creatures, you might just spot a fairy or three! The Mackworth Island Fairy Village has been a permanent, evolving fixture on the island since it was established several years ago by local families, and visitors are welcome to try their hand at building their own fairy home.
3. The Children's Museum and Theater of Maine, located right in Portland's Arts District, puts loads of fun under one roof. Kids can learn about Maine through locally-themed exhibits (think whales and lobster boats), along with many other hands-on, inventive exhibits. Feel like catching a show? See what's playing at the by kids, for kids Dress-Up Theater. Museum admission is budget-friendly at $9 per person (theater tickets are extra).
Accommodation Tip: How does the Best Western Merry Manor Inn sound for a cheerful, cozy place to rest your head? Easy access to everything on your sight-seeing list makes this the perfect pick.