Cynthia - Click to enlarge Edition #17, 19 May 2008

Hello, my name is Cynthia, a mermaid from the cool waters of New England. Thank you for visiting my website on coastal New England. Be sure to tell your friends about this site.

If you missed any of my previous articles, you can find links to them here.

Portland, Maine

Portland is located in the southern part of Maine. To the east is Casco Bay and the Atlantic Ocean. Portland was first settled in 1632, and was incorporated in 1786. It is the largest city in the state of Maine. Here is a map of Portland.

Let's start our visit to Portland with a tour of the bay. Bay View Cruises offers daily tour cruises or private charters. Atlantic Yacht Charters maintains a luxurious 50-foot yacht for cruising, sightseeing, and private parties. Lobstering excursions and lobster bakes are also offered by some cruises.

The Portland Observatory is the only remaining maritime signal tower in the US. Take the 103 stairs to the top of the 86-foot tower and you can see the White Mountains of New Hampshire as well as great views of Portland and Casco Bay. The Observatory served the Portland waterfront from 1807 until the early 1900's. Guided tours, exhibits, and a gift shop are available.

Portland Head Lighthouse For a special night out, try dinner at Fore Street at 288 Fore Street in Portland. Fore Street gets exceptional reviews for its great food and excellent service. It is perfect for romantic dining or group dining. Be sure to call ahead for reservations, though.

People are also raving about the Dogfish Cafe at 953 Congress Street. Try the California turkey club or the daily specials. Note that there is limited parking, and you may have to wait to be seated.

The 35th annual Old Port Festival will be held on Sunday, June 1st, 2008. Maine's largest one day festival features music, local arts and crafts, great food, shopping, and a lot of fun. The fun begins with a parade at 11am, rain or shine, and the festival concludes at 5pm.

If you love to shop, Old Port should be on your list of places to visit. Clothing and shoes to souvenirs and restaurants, all within walking distance of the Portland waterfront.

The Portland Head Lighthouse can be found southeast of Portland on Cape Elizabeth (see photo). Be sure to visit the museum and gift shop as well as the adjacent Fort Williams Park. The lighthouse was first lit on January 10, 1791, and it has been keeping watch over Casco Bay ever since.

Looking for some adventure? You're not far from a hike in the Maine Woods or a trip down a river by canoe. In the winter months, you may find yourself skiing down some of the most thrilling slopes in New England.

Learn more about 'Everything Maine' at, and be sure to visit their Seasonal Maine Recipes page. There you will learn how to properly cook a Maine lobster to perfection! Be sure to also visit where you can explore the happenings in downtown Portland.  If you should see me in the water, be sure to wave!

Contact me

You may write to me at to share your comments and questions. Your email may appear in a future article, so please include your first name and last initial. I would also like to know where you are from.

If you own a business and would like to sponsor a past or future article, write to me for details.

Until next time, may you enjoy warm days and calm seas.


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Photo Credits:
Cynthia at Sunrise: DSI Photo
Portland Head Lighthouse: Webshots

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