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Five Free Activities in Portland, Maine

Place:Portland, MaineUnited States of America
When:Jul 20, 2011.
Portland, Maine is a small city, but it is the largest one in the state. Despite its size, there are many fun activities and impressive sightseeing opportunities around the city. There are museums, galleries, parks, fresh seafood and a huge number of restaurants here in Portland. As a resident, I do not fail to take advantage of the free activities the “Original Portland” has to offer.

First Friday Art Walk- On the first Friday of every month, the art museums and galleries of Portland open to the public for free self-guided tours. Among them are the Children’s Museum and Theatre, SPACE Gallery and Portland Museum of Art (these are just a few examples). The free displays don’t stop at the museums, however. Some artists display their pieces in the back of roving trucks and street performers put on shows in Monument Square and Tommy’s Park.


East End Beach – The city’s only public beach, East End Beach is located at the Eastern Promenade and offers fantastic views over Casco Bay. There is free parking, picnic tables and public restrooms. And, as long as you clean up after your pooch, it’s dog-friendly.

Portland Trails – For those who love being outdoors, whether it is biking, jogging, taking scenic walks or snowshoeing in the winter months, the Portland Trails are for you! There are 30 different trails here that take you past some of the most lovely spots in the city. Stroudwater Trail is a charming one, taking you through the woods along the banks of Stroudwater River. Bicycles unfortunately are not allowed on this particular trail; however, they are allowed on the Fore River Sanctuary trail nearby, where Portland’s only natural waterfall is found.


Monument Square Events – Each year, throughout the summer, Monument Square hosts a number of events that are free to the public. One such event is Alive at Five, a free concert series that is held during July on Thursday evenings from 5:00 to 7:30. On Wednesday mornings, Monument Square is the site of the local Farmers’ Market and during the holiday season, it is home to the city’s Christmas Tree lighting ceremony.

Rooftop Movies and Plays in the Park - Portland’s version of Movies in the Park is actually called “Rooftop Film Series”. At the top of the Free Street Garage, every Sunday a movie is played during the “non-wintery” months. (To name a few from Summer ‘11: Wayne’s World and Back to the Beach.) It is advisable to find street parking; despite the garage’s name, it is NOT free to park there. Another form of free entertainment is brought to you by The Fenix Theatre Company. This production company offers free classical theatre in Deering Oaks Park; the park is large, open and provides ample parking.

Other free activities in and around Portland include: visiting Fort Williams Park in Cape Elizabeth, site of the Portland Head Light lighthouse and old defense structures; taking photos of the Old Port and Casco Bay from the top of one of the parking garages in the area; taking the Greenbelt Walkway to Bug Light or walking the Back Cove which boasts a gorgeous view of the Portland skyline.



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