Springtime is the best time to visit Portland, Maine for a few indisputable reasons. First, and most importantly, the weather is gorgeous, but the hordes of summer tourists have yet to arrive, meaning that you can enjoy the sights of the seaside city without the crowds. Whether you’re visiting friends or simply coming to explore, Spring in Portland has plenty to offer. While you’re in town, you can’t miss these 7 memorable experiences.

Check out the Farmer’s Market
Portland’s farmer’s market features an impressive selection of local farms and artisans, offering their organic fruits and vegetables, freshly baked breads, handmade crafts, and countless other treats. On Wednesdays, the farmer’s market is in Monument square, and on Saturdays, it’s in Deering Oaks Park.

Visit a Lighthouse
No trip to Portland is complete without a scenic, coastal drive to a local lighthouse. Whether you venture to the quaint Bug Light, to famous Portland Head Light, or to one of the smaller lighthouses in neighboring towns, you can get all of the postcard-inspired photos your nautical heart desires. For the best directions, ask a local.

Take a Harborside Stroll or Train Ride
Ask a local to point you in the direction of the Narrow Gauge railroad, and you’ll find yourself on a well maintained and beautiful walking trail along the harbor’s edge. As you walk, you can admire the docked boats, see the ferry terminal, or hop on the historic Narrow Gauge Railroad train for a more relaxing tour of Portland’s harbor coastline.

Explore Local Culture at the Art Walk
On the first Friday of each Month, Portland plays host to an event which offers a rare look into the city’s art scene. Begin in Monument Square and walk west toward Congress square, visiting the many galleries along the way. On this evening, shops, studios, and Portland Museum of Art open their doors, giving free access to the countless types of art inside. On the sidewalks you’ll experience street musicians, artisan vendors, and even art students selling their latest creations.

Grab a Drink with a Great View
Once you’ve completed the art walk you’ll be thirsty, and now that you’ve seen the city from street level, it will be a nice treat to see it from above. Find the Eastland Westin Portland Harborview hotel, and take the elevator to the Top of the East lounge. Grab a fancy cocktail and a window seat, and admire the lights of the city from its highest point.

Go for a Whale Watch
Spring is when the Minkie whales, Atlantic porpoises, and harbor seals, and native seabirds are most active, so pack an extra layer (it gets windy), and take your place on a whale watch boat. You’ll likely see plenty of wildlife, but even if you don’t see much, you should bring a camera to capture the stunning views in every direction.

Enjoy an Unforgettable Meal
No matter where your adventures lead you, you’re bound to work up an appetite. Fill your belly, wow your tastebuds, and end your day on a good note with a meal at Elsmere BBQ, the area’s only authentic, wood-fired BBQ restaurant. The menu is huge, so whether you desire something hearty, or something light and fresh, you’ll find just what you’re craving.

Your trip to Portland should be about having fun and making memories, so you’ll be glad that you took advantage of Portland’s best sights, experiences, and flavors during your visit. If you need advice about what to do next, your Elsmere server will be happy to let you in on local tips that will make your stay even more memorable. Enjoy your stay!