A Dunes Day Trip: Portland Maine Attractions

For most of us, the sand and the sunshine in Ogunquit never get old. Still, there’s more to Maine than just the best beaches around, and it’s nice to keep an extra option or two up our sleeve for the occasional rainy day. Portland is one of the best nearby places for a Maine day trip. It’s only 35 minutes from The Dunes, and its urban atmosphere plays host to delectable restaurants, top-notch artisans, and plenty of tours and activities. Buckle your seatbelt and check out these top Portland Maine attractions.

Downtown Portland Maine
Hay Building – Portland, ME – IMG 7732” by DaderotOwn work. Licensed under Public Domain via Wikimedia Commons

Portland Maine Attractions — Lighthouses

On your drive up to Portland, make a stop in Kennebunkport to visit one of our favorite Maine lighthouses at Goat Island. Built in 1833, the lighthouse remains an active and historic landmark of Maine. You can also stroll to the tip of the Greenbelt Walkway in Portland and look back at the city from Bug Light.

The Portland Art Scene

Once in the city, the Portland Museum of Art is an excellent destination, known for its collection of American, European, and contemporary art, in addition to works from iconic Maine Artists. If you want to continue viewing local Maine artisans the Old Port district is home to some of the best galleries and boutiques in Maine, plus it ends right on the water for a perfect view of the wharves.

Portland Maine Restaurants

Duckfat Fries
Photo: Duckfat, Portland, ME

We highly recommend getting a taste of Portland while you’re there — after all, the city has been referred to as a “gastro-tourism paradise.” Duckfat, a three-time Food Network Chopped Champion restaurant might be the epitome of homemade classics. Sandwiches, salads, and of course, their mouthwatering belgian fries fried in duck fat, are sure to make mouthwatering memories. Otto, a favorite for pizza, slices up unexpected flavor combinations while maintaining a classic New York style crust, perfect to eat at their wine bar or to munch on while walking around town.

For a quick treat, stop by The Holy Donut on Exchange Street. All 16 of their unique flavors are decadent, and don’t worry, they won’t tell your nutritionist back home about your visit. If you’re thinking about an icy treat head to Gorgeous Gelato on Fore St., where local milk is the maine ingredient.

Portland Maine Tours

Sometimes sightseeing is more fun when someone else does the planning. Portland is home to some unique local touring companies who know Portland Maine attractions better than anyone else. Casco Bay Lines provides sunrise and sunset tours all with different island destinations in the Portland harbor. Maine Foodie Tours offers a mouthwatering adventure filled with flavorful local dishes and rich culture for the local or far-away traveler.

It would be a shame to head north without sampling some of Portland’s renowned Maine breweries and distilleries, which offer tastings and tours all week long. Allagash Brewing Company is home to some of the first craft-brewed Belgian beers in New England. They brew six staples year round, with plenty of seasonal experimentation. For a full-scale brew tour, check out Brewvana — they’ll take you and your friends around on a decked out, all-inclusive craft beer tour.

The best part of a day trip to Portland? It’s only 35 minutes away from your home away from home here at The Dunes — your Ogunquit cottage will be ready and waiting for your return.

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