Just Back: Portland, ME

Portland Head Light @ PortlandME

Heidi and I last visited Maine in the beforetimes (1). We camped at Bar Harbour and at Acadia National Park. Back then, we thought it was a great place. Still do. So we decided to go back, but this time, we stayed in Portland, the city of 66 thousand after which Portland OR is named. The west coast Portland is famously weird. So what is Portland ME like? you ask.

I’ll show you.

Yes, I agree. It’s nice.

We had planned to take a bike ride out to explore the city, but to our surprise there were none to be had. We hadn’t reserved since we didn’t expect there to be a shortage. When we rented in Nantucket in July, reservations were not needed. So we had to come up with a Plan B.

We drove to Fort Williams Park and the Portland Head Lighthouse.

The lighthouse was originally built in 1791 and is very photogenic. I included a picture of a rocky outcropping… see if you can find all the Amish women on the rocks. I was hoping to see seals, but it was not to be. Only Amish women.

At the other end of a trail that runs along the rocky shore, there are ruins of the Goddard Mansion. It was “built in 1853–59 for Colonel John Goddard…. a businessman who commanded the 1st Maine Volunteer Cavalry Regiment for three months during the American Civil War.” (2) It was subsequently used by the US military to house non-commissioned officers and their families.

When we visited, Maine had the 2nd lowest COVID-19 case rate in the US (3). The whole New England area is in reasonably good shape, and so there are no quarantine requirements for visitors from those states or from NY and NJ (where the plague has also been curtailed). So we were able to enjoy some of the very good local restaurants, and in some places even got to eat inside(4). Here are a couple of pics of Heidi and I hanging out at some of said local restaurants. We thought Hoboken had a lot of dining options, but Portland ME is on a different level.

On Sunday, we took a guided walking tour of the port. We listened and chatted with the guide, but for some reason took no pictures.


  1. Before we were married, before kids, and long before COVID-19.
  2. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fort_Williams_Park#Goddard_Mansion
  3. At 24 August 2020: Maine had total cases of 324/100k (only Vermont was lower). Recent (7-day) cases were 12/100k (Vermont and New Hampshire were both lower).
  4. Something that is still not permitted in New Jersey.

One thought on “Just Back: Portland, ME

  1. Wish we could go there it looks lovely !!!
    What Amish women ? couldn’t see any,
    I guess my imagination is sadly lacking.
    Thanks for the great pics.
    Amy B.

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