Portland, Maine has a somewhat temperate climate because the Portland peninsula protects the area from the Atlantic Ocean. This means winters are mild and summer brings cool breezes. Portland has four seasons, each of which is a special time to visit this fascinating city. Spring brings blooming trees and flowers while museums and restaurants that have been closed reopen for the season. This is the best time to visit Portland, Maine for garden lovers. Summer means sunshine and breezes, perfect for exploring sandy beaches, sailing and sightseeing. Summer is the best time to visit Portland, Maine if you want to enjoy great weather. Autumn in Portland is a time of amazing colors as the leaves change and begin to fall. Winter in Portland offers a variety of outdoor sports activities like skiing, skating and sledding. Certain attractions may be temporarily closed or require advance reservations. Some restaurants are currently offering pickup only. Hours/availability may have changed.

1.Getting to Portland, Maine

Getting to Portland, Maine
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January is the coldest month in Portland with average high temperatures of 31°F (0°C), and average low temperatures of 13°F (-10°C). January is considered the best month for winter sports as it sees the highest average of snowfall in the entire year - a hefty 19 inches (48 cm).

In February, temperatures rise slightly and the average snowfall decreases to 12 inches (31 cm). Average high temperatures creep up by about 4 degrees, 35°F (1°C), while average lows are at 16°F (-9°C).

Portland weather in March: Temperatures continue a steady rise in March with winter nearing its end. Snowfall increases by roughly an inch and average high temperatures peak at 42°F (6°C). Winter activities continue to be top recreational activities thanks to Portland’s the steady snowfall.

In April, temperatures range between an average high of 53°F (12°C) and an average low of 35°F (2°C). Snowfall dramatically decreases to 3 inches (8 cm), finalizing the transition of the season to spring.

May sees an average high temperature of 64°F (18°C). Make sure to keep a light cardigan or sweater on you or nearby though as the weather tends to fluctuate and average lows can hit a crisp 44°F (8°C).

Portland weather in June: The temperature in June jumps to an average high of 73°F (23°C) as summer starts to roll around. June is a great time to start planning trips to nearby lakes or beaches as the state typically has a comfortable statewide summer climate. Average low temperatures reach 54°F (12°C).

July is the warmest month in Portland with average high temperatures peaking at 79°F (26°C). Summer nights are comfortably cool at 59°F (15°C).

In August, average high temperatures cool by a degree. Low temperatures also decrease a tad to 58°F (15°C). August is also the driest month in Portland with average precipitation of 3 inches (80 mm).

September marks the beginning of summer’s end with the monthly highs and lows ranging between 50°F (10°C) and 70°F (20°C).

Portland weather in October: Precipitation averages for October are one of the city’s highest at nearly 5 inches (124 cm). Temperatures also make a significant decrease with an average high temperature of 59°F (15°C).

November has the highest level of precipitation in Portland at 5 inches (125 cm). Temperatures continue to drop and short bouts of snow fall begin. Average low temperatures can hit a chilly 31°F (-1°C).

In December, temperatures continue to drop for Portland’s third coldest month and snowfall leaps to a 13 inch average (33 cm). The average high temperatures are 37°F (3°C) while average low temperatures can sink to 20°F (-6°C).

The best months to enjoy lobster in Maine are April through June and December, while soft-shell lobsters are plentiful towards the tail end of summer in September. Best months for whale watching are typically between June and September, but are usually largely depending on when the herring start arriving as well. Fall foliage displays at their best in October.

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2.Getting to Portland, Maine

Getting to Portland, Maine
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The Portland International Jetport is served by several major airlines. There are car rentals and taxis to take you into Portland, and Amtrak runs a train service from Boston’s North Station. It’s a short bus ride from the Portland train station to downtown or a 30 minute walk. There are two bus companies that serve Portland, bringing passengers in from Boston and Bangor. Both bus stations are not far from downtown Portland which can be reached by walking, by city bus or by taxi. Arriving by car is easy as Portland sits not far from I-95, and it’s just two hours north of Boston.

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3.Getting From the Portland, Maine Airport

Getting From the Portland, Maine Airport
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The Portland International Jetport offers several options for ground transportation into the city. Taxis are available from the arrival of the first morning flights until the departure of the last flights in the evening, and use a flat rate guide. There are six rental car agencies located at the jetport: Alamo, Avis, Budget, Enterprise, Hertz and National. There are also private companies that offer transportation into Portland by limousine, car and van. The Greater Portland Transit District METRO is a bus service that runs between the jetport and the city (Route #5) as well as areas around Portland.

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4.Information for Visitors in Portland, Maine

Information for Visitors in Portland, Maine
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Portland has a variety of information centers all of which provide valuable information to visitors. Why not start at the Jetport? The Portland Jetport Information Center kiosk is conveniently located next to the baggage claim area and is open every day until 10:30 p.m. There are two other information kiosks in Portland: One is at Deering Oaks Park and the other is located outside the cruise ship terminal. The Convention and Visitor’s Bureau of Greater Portland on Commercial Street is open all year long and offers a wide range of brochures. The Ocean Gateway Information Center is on the Ocean Gateway Pier in Portland.

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5.Getting Around Portland - Public Transportation: Bus

Getting Around Portland - Public Transportation: Bus
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METRO is the name of the bus service that provides transportation around Portland and surrounding areas including Falmouth, Westbrook and the Maine Mall area which is in South Portland. METRO provides bus service to all the major attractions and hotels in the Greater Portland area. It also provides convenient connections to ferry, train and regional bus transportation. Fares are reasonable and discounts are available for seniors and people with disabilities. METRO also offers a day pass which is helpful for tourists who want to visit several places in Portland on the same day. Bus schedules are available at several locations around the city.

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6.Portland, Maine Restaurants

Portland, Maine Restaurants
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There are lots of restaurants in Portland, but the first thing that comes to mind is seafood, more specifically lobster! Maine Lobster is known for its sweetness and lobster rolls are a must try when visiting. The lobsters are hand-caught by local lobstermen, and it is said that if a lobster is not from Maine, it is not a lobster! For visitors who are not interested in lobster and seafood, there are many other choices. American food is offered at Becky’s Diner, Five Fifty-Five, Fore Street, Portland Market House and The North Point. There are also Asian restaurants like The Green Elephant; French bistro’s like Petit Jacqueline; and even Eritrean cuisine served at Asmara.

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7.Shopping in Portland, Maine

Shopping in Portland, Maine
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Portland is known for its antique and secondhand furniture stores which can be found on Congress Street, in the arts district and on Munjoy Hill. There are also auction houses that offer auctions several times per week. If you’re not into antiques, check out the Old Port for something more modern. Here you’ll find lots of boutiques and shops offering contemporary unique clothing as well as artisan and craft shops. The Public Market House on Monument Square is a fun place to shop and visitors should expect to find the usual market offerings like local produce and gourmet goods. The Maine Mall is a shopping center in South Portland that is open every day of the week.

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8.Portland Neighborhood Guide

Portland Neighborhood Guide
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The city of Portland is made up of a variety of interesting and unique neighborhoods. The heart of Portland is the downtown area with is waterfront, bookstores, galleries, museums and restaurants. Not far from downtown is Back Cove with quiet residential streets full of three-story Victorian houses and a popular running trail. There are many schools in the Deering Center neighborhood as well as the Baxter Woods Nature Preserve. East Deering provides stunning views of Casco Bay and is the home of Payson Park. There are many businesses in East Bayside like Portland Power Yoga, Rising Tide Brewing Company, Tandem Coffee and many more.

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9.Getting Married in Portland, ME

Getting Married in Portland, ME
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Portland offers many choices of venues for weddings ranging from elegant five star hotels to rustic farms. Some of the venues are in Portland and some are in nearby areas around Portland. Diamond’s Edge Restaurant and Inn at Diamond Cove in Portland is an outdoor wedding location on an island with views of the ocean. In the heart of Old Port is the Portland Regency Hotel and Spa which provides services for ceremonies and receptions. The Westin Portland Harborview is another Portland hotel that is a popular venue for weddings. Wolfe’s Neck Farm in Freeport is set along the ocean with farmland, forests and historic buildings all making it a unique wedding location.

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10.Where to Stay in Portland, Maine

Where to Stay in Portland, Maine
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Visitors to Portland will find that the city offers a wide variety of accommodations. Hotels are sometimes set in historic properties; some are pet friendly; some are green certified; some have pools and spas on-site; and some are oceanfront. Many of the Bed and Breakfasts are housed in historic buildings and offer very personalized service. Atlantic Birches Inn in Old Orchard Beach is a historic Victorian Bed and Breakfast as is Inn at Park Spring set in downtown Portland. Portland is also home to many lodges and cabins such as Migis Lodge on Sebasco Lake, Sebasco Harbor Resort, and the Pride Motel and Cottages in Scarborough.

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Best Time to Visit Portland, Maine - Weather Year Round

Attraction Spotlight: Maine Narrow Gauge Railroad Museum

Based in the Portland Company Marine Complex in Portland, Maine, the Maine Narrow Gauge Railroad Museum is dedicated to showcasing the history of Maine's two-foot gauge railway and the equipment used in its time, and preserving its rich heritage.

Established in 1993, the museum is home to a range of excellent exhibits and displays that highlight the history of Maine's narrow gauge railway system, as well as several historical rail cars and restored locomotives and coaches.

The Museum presents a range of events and programs throughout the year for visitors of all ages. Young visitors can enjoy 'Children's Story Time,' which involves a reading of a children's book or two inside the museum and a post-reading activity. Mechanically minded guests can try their hand at being a diesel engineer and enjoy a hands-on experience as they operate a four-axle diesel-electric locomotive that as built by General Electric in 1949 and weighs over 20 tons!

Popular fun-filled events that occur seasonally include Rails 'n Ales, a beer-tasting train ride along the waterfront supported by some of Portland's award-winning breweries, and the Ice Cream Train, where visitors can enjoy a free ice cream on a scenic ride along the waterfront to Casco Bay.

A new venture on offer at the Museum is a wine-tasting and sunset train ride. Partnering with Sommelier Erica Archer, the event includes a sampling of five different wines paired with delicious snacks as the train meanders along the Portland waterfront at sunset. Museum docents are on hand to present a historical background of the railroad before ending the evening at the museum.

One of the most popular events of the year at the Museum is The Polar Express™ Train Ride. Held every season, the festive train is bedecked in holiday decorations and after meeting the Conductor of the train, visitors snack on hot chocolate and cookies as they listen to a reading of the story as they journey to the "North Pole." Santa joins the children on board to meet and greet and sing along to festive carols.

The Maine Narrow Gauge Railroad Co. & Museum and its train are available to rent for special occasions such as birthday parties, weddings, and private charters. The 'Birthday Coach' is located inside the museum and table, balloons and coloring activities are provided. Wedding train charters can be customized according to specific needs for almost any group size and is handicap accessible.

The Maine Narrow Gauge Railroad Co. & Museum willsoon be relocating to the town of Gray to enjoy greater space and expansion of both the railroad and museum building itself. The new museum building and train station will occupy over 13,500 square feet and house state-of-the-art exhibits, displays, and presentations, including a replica of Randolph Station. Additional facilities at the new museum will include a 12,500 square foot car barn, 5,000 square foot engine house and restoration workshop. There will also be over three miles of track on which the train will run between Portland and the Lewiston Interurban right-of-way. The new facility will feature outdoor picnic facilities, walking paths and open-air green space for visitors to relax and enjoy.

Next read: Best Things to Do in Portland, Maine

58 Fore Street, Portland, Maine 04101, Phone: 207-828-0814

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Attraction Spotlight: Henry Wadsworth-Longfellow House

The Henry Wadsworth-Longfellow House is Maine’s first house museum and where American poet Henry Wadsworth Longfellow grew up. The house celebrates the political, literary and cultural contributions of the Wadsworth-Longfellow family and New England life.


The Wadsworth-Longfellow home was built in 1785 by General Peleg Wadsworth. Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, born in 1807, was raised in the home and went on to become one of the most famous poets in American history. Henry’s sister, Anne Longfellow Pierce, was the last person to live in the home and it remained in her possession until her death in 1901 when the home was turned over to the Maine Historical Society.

The home is preserved as a memorial to Henry and the Wadsworth-Longfellow family. Most of the household items are original to the family with furnishings from all four generation of Wadsworth-Longfellow’s who lived in the home. The home was the first entirely brick house in Portland and remains an important architectural landmark in the region and is the oldest standing structure on the Portland Peninsula. Originally built as a two-story home, Henry’s parents, Zilpah and Stephen Longfellow added a third story in 1815. The Maine historical society erected a research library on the site of the barn in 1907 and renovations were completed in 2009 to expand the library.

The home is open for tours from May through October with school and group tours available by appointment only. Hours vary throughout the year and are available on the website.


The main attraction is the home itself. There is also a garden in the back of the home.

Longfellow Garden- The garden located behind the home is Colonial Revival style and was created in 1926 by the Longfellow Garden Club on the site of what was once the domestic farmyard for the family. Access to the garden is free and open to the public May through October. The garden was dismantled in 2007 in efforts to renovate the library and was renovated to preservation standards. The Longfellow Garden Children’s Gate was installed in 2012. The original gate was designed by Alexander Wadsworth Longfellowm nephew of Henry Longfellow and was removed in 1960 in terrible condition. The recreation of the gate was completed through fundraising efforts and was dedicated June 2nd, 2012. The garden is available for rent for private events.

Front Hall- The front hall of the home still retains its original wainscot paneling from the 18th century. The flooring was changed to a floorcloth in 1852 by Anne.

Parlor- The parlor of the home has quite a history. Zilpah, Henry’s mother, wrote of the many musical and reading events that occurred in the parlor during her childhood, Eliza Wadsworth died in the parlor, and many of the women in the family were married in the parlor. The room is furnished with portraits of the family, landscapes, and other art works as well as heirloom furniture.

Sitting Room- Anne converted the front parlor into a sitting room in 1853. The room was also a dining room, law office, and study before Anne’s conversion.

Summer Dining Room- This room locatd behind the parlor served many purposes from a quiet reflection area to an office and dining room with views of the garden. The room currently features a portrait of a young Anne and mahogany writing desk.

The Kitchen- Most of the kitchen is still the original design including the cooking hearth, fireplace, and bake oven. Several modifications to upgrade the kitchen were completed between 1786 and 1853 including a cook stove added in 1850 and a pump installed for running water while Anne occupied the home in the late 19th century.

Mother’s Room/Parlor Chamber- This room was where Zilpah Longfellow spent much of her time when she was in poor health. The high-post bed designed in 1808 still adorns the room.

Anne’s Chamber- This was Anne’s childhood room and overlooked the garden with easy access to her Mother’s room. The walls still retain their 1901 paint.

Back Room- This small bedroom located above the kitchen was used by children of the family as a sleeping and play room. 18th century French prints decorate the room as well as a pine children’s desk with scribbles from Longfellow children still on it.

Sitting Room Chamber- Another bedroom located above the sitting room, this chamber was used as a guest room after Stephen Longfellow died in the room in 1849. Anne used the chamber as her adult bedroom and also died here in 1901.

Third Floor- This floor of the home was built with 7 chambers in 1815 with panoramic views of the city and Casco Bay. Henry used the large southwest chamber while the younger siblings slept in the northwest and northeast chambers overlooking Deering Woods and the mountains.

489 Congress Street, Portland, Maine, 04101, Phone: 207-774-1822

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Attraction Spotlight: Tate House

The Tate House is the only pre-Revolutionary home in the Portland, Maine area that is open to the public. The home serves as a glimpse into the life of 18th century colonists in Maine. The Tate House was constructed in 1755 for Captain George Tate who arrived in the New England Colonies in 1750 with his family.


Tate was the Senior Mast Agent of the British Royal Navy and oversaw the cultivation and shipment of White Pine wood to England.

Tate House is the only pre-revolutionary home in Maine that is open to the public and one of only two homes in the area with a subsumed dormor in the gambrel roof which was unusual at the time. The home is built in the Georgian townhouse style and overlooked the Fore River where the mast yard was located. Tate house was documented in 1936 by the Historic American Buildings Survey and is recognized as a National Historic Landmark.

The Tate House became a historic museum in 1935 and is owned by the National Society of the Colonial Dames of America in the State of Maine (NSCDA-ME). The Museum is a 501 (c)(3) and is managed and operated by a Board of Directors.

The museum and touring are only open June through October Wednesday through Sunday. More information on hours and rates can be found on the museum website.

Attractions and Tours

The Tate House and raised bed herb garden attract visitors from around the world and provides many educational opportunities for students and families in the area who seek knowledge on Colonial times in the United States. The furnishings, architecture and artifacts are original to the home and Tate family. The clapboards even remain unpainted as they were at time of construction.

Means House Museum Shop- The Means House, right across the street from Tate House, is where visitors can find the Museum Shop. The shop is open year-round and is where visitors will purchase tickets for the home tours. Beeswax candles, handmade soaps, tea, books, keepsakes and other Colonial times souvenirs can be purchased in the store.

The Life & Times of Captain George Tate & Family Tour- This tour will highlight the mast trade that Captain George oversaw in Maine, what his responsibilities were, and Colonial life in the 18th century leading up to the Revolutionary War. These tours operate during open hours and are approximately an hour long.

Architecture Tours- Visitors will see the Tate home from rafters to cellar and be educated on the many architectural accolades that Tate House is recognized for. These tours must be scheduled by appointment with 24 hours’ notice given and are 1.5 hours long.

Garden Tour- specially trained docents will accompany visitors on these tours that must be pre-scheduled a day in advance. Visitors will learn about the various herbs used in cooking and medicine in the 18th century and how many of the plants had household uses.

School Tours-The Tate House is proud to host school field trips and community group tours with programs to help students grasp the concepts of Colonial life in America and 18th century Maine. Elementary school programs will include a tour and interactive experience with the Tate Family Trunk where they will learn about historic perseveration and handle reproductions of objects that would have been used in the Tate home in the mid-18th century.

Stroudwater Cemetery Tour- The Stroudwater Cemetery is the burial place of Captain George Tate and his wife, Mary, and all of the daughter-in-laws. All of the sons from the Tate family died abroad and are buried in countries including Russia and Poland. Other townspeople are buried in the cemetery as well and vistiors will learn about famous area people such as Lillian Stevens and “wolf man”. A cemetery researcher and docent will lead the tour, many times dressed in period costumes.

Special Events

There are several annual events that are held at the Tate House for fundraising and educational purposed.

Tea Time at the Tate House- This event includes a tea reception in the Tate House Garden and is held in June. Food is catered by Colonial Sunshine Caterers and the Tate House branded teas are served.

Poetry in the Garden- Local and famous poets are invited to read their poetry and discuss their writings during these evening events in the Tate House Garden.

Masquerade Gala- The annual fundraising event for the Tate House that features a Masked ball, adult beverages and food. Tickets must be purchased in advance.

Tate House 5k- This event is a run/walk at Spurwink Farm with all profits going to the Tate House Museum. Participants also receive admission to Colonial Frolic.

Colonial Frolic- The Tate House Museum goes to Cape Elizabeth where a colonial breakfast is served, the 5k is held, and food trucks provide refreshments all day. Volunteers and docents of the museum dress is period costumes with Colonial and Revolutionary War displays and reenactments.

1270 Westbrook Street, Portland, Maine, 04104, Phone: 207-774-6177

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