Do you enjoy a fresh oyster? We mean “fresh” as in – just pulled from the sea into the very boat in which you are sitting and eating it? Nonesuch Oysters welcomes visitors aboard its workboat, Oys-Tour for a tasting tour of its underwater oyster farm, departing from 94King Street in Scarborough. The boat tour starts at the oyster nursery in the Nonesuch River, where you can see the baby oysters feeding. At the next stop, you can help harvest the shuck the oysters, and then – eat! Bring your favorite pairing beverage. Enjoy the activities of bald eagles and harbor seals. Tours offered July through September.
Bring Your Best Game Here
Revive some old-fashioned entertainment that doesn’t rely on a power source, and has the benefit of bringing people together. Next time you are looking for indoor entertainment -- for people of any age – in South Portland, Diversions Puzzles & Games at 415 Philbrook Avenue. The store stocks new and classic games and high-quality puzzles for every age and interest. And, it has lots and lots of open game days and nights. Staff members can teach you how to play one of our many demo games. Open daily. 207-773-0300
Driving You to Drink in Portland
Some observers of American life declare that the existence of a lot of craft breweries is a sign of a city’s soulfulness. In any case, the Maine Brew Bus based at 111 Commercial Street in Portland scheduled and private tours of breweries in Portland and southern Maine. The tours give you a behind-the-scenes look at Maine's craft breweries, distilleries, wineries, and more. Tours are led by knowledgeable guides and a non-drinking driver. All tours include a snack or meal and trivia games. New tour is Birds on Tap: a guided tour of bird watching and beer-sipping. 207-200-9111.
Charms of the Old Port
Portland’s Colonial maritime heritage and authentic 19th-century architecture make this vibrant downtown truly unique. Join guides of the Maine Historical Society for a comprehensive 90-minute tour of the highlights of Portland’s history during a leisurely walk to the waterfront. The perfect way to orient visitors. Recommended for guests age 12 and older. Tours are offered on Thursdays, Fridays, and Saturdays at 10:30 a.m. and 1 p.m. Phone: 207-774-1822.
Eyes Above Portland
This is a place to bring a camera and a love of maritime history. Built in 1807 as a communications tower for Portland’s harbor, the Portland Observatory is the last maritime signal tower in the United States. A National Historic Landmark, the Portland Observatory is the only remaining maritime signal station in the United States, and thus a unique architectural icon of maritime shipping and the Golden Age of Sail. Now, the Observatory operated as a museum and historic site, offering educational programs and guided tours. Open late May through early October, daily. 207-774-5561.
Beacon for Mariners
Spring Point Ledge Lighthouse off Fort Hill Road in South Portland has the distinction of being the only caisson-style lighthouse in America accessible by land and open for public tours. Constructed in the late 1800s on a dangerous ledge that is now covered by a breakwater, Spring Point Ledge Lighthouse marks the entrance to Portland Harbor. In 2015, the lighthouse will be open to the public 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Saturdays in June, weekends in July and August, all of Labor Day weekend, Saturdays in September, and Columbus Day weekend. Visitors must be at least 51 inches tall. Phone: 866-570-5703.
Love Vintage? Scratch That Itch
The Portland Flea-for-All at 585 Congress Street in the Bayside neighborhood of Portland is a marketplace offering vintage, antique and artisan goods ranging from classic jewelry to old records and much more in between. Whether or not you have a special item in mind, chances are you’ll find something at the Flea. The Flea has reaped lots of admiring chatter in collection and decorating circles for its broad scope and welcoming attitude. Got something to sell? Drop in! Open Fridays through Sundays. 207-370-7570.
Short Trip to an Island Retreat
An island-based but not-too-remote day trip out of Portland is a trip to lovely Peaks Island in Casco Bay, easily accessible via several daily trips (30-minutes long) on the Casco Bay Lines ferries , based in Portland. The island is small, beautiful, and restful. You can rent bicycles cheaply for nearly-flat rides around the island; visit the GEM Island Artists and the Umbrella Cover Museum (yes, that is: covers of umbrellas); visit the Eighth Maine Regiment Memorial; go kayaking; dine on seafood; and simply enjoy the day.