Located in the city’s downtown cultural district, the Maine Historical Society is a growing museum, incomparable library, and statewide educational resource. Founded in 1822, the society is the third oldest state historical society in the United States. While you’re there, be sure to visit the Longfellow Garden, which was created in 1926 on the property of the Longfellow family. It is located at 489 Congress St, Portland, ME 04101.
The Wadsworth-Longfellow Garden, a quiet, colonial-style garden located behind the historic Wadsworth-Longfellow house, was once a domestic farmyard. In 1924, a group of gardeners gathered to restore the garden and bring in the plants suggested by poet Anne Longfellow Pierce. Sadly, the garden was destroyed during the expansion of the Maine Historical Society Library, but in 2009, it was completely recreated.
This venerable house was built in 1786 by General Peleg Wadsworth. It was home to ten children, including Henry Wadsworth Longfellow. The Longfellow family lived in the house until the poet’s death in 1901. After his death, Pierce left the house to the Maine Historical Society. Today, it is open to the public, where you can view the house and Longfellow Garden.
After visiting the Wadsworth-Longfelow House, you can walk the cliff walk at Bailey’s Island, a scenic lighthouse located near the Cribstone Bridge. While you’re in the area, you can also attend the live auction at the hotel’s museum. The auction includes antiques, tools, and collectibles. Afterward, you can bid on items at the Casco Bay Auction Company.
For children, there are several museums in the city. The Maine Children’s Museum is a great place to spend an afternoon. Located in the historic Keepers’ Quarters, the museum offers many interactive exhibits. Besides children’s activities, adults can enjoy the museum’s extensive collection of folklore and cryptozoology. In addition to these, there’s an International Cryptozoology Museum, which features exhibits on cryptids, living fossils, and interesting stories.
The Victoria Mansion is a gorgeous example of pre-Civil War Victorian architecture. Built in 1860, it represents the height of luxury and opulence. The home is open to the public, and the rooms are still furnished as they were in the 17th century. There are also tours that can be arranged. If you are in a group, consider scheduling a group tour.
A day trip to Portland is the perfect way to start a road trip to the Maine coast. Portland is a hip metropolis with a laid back vibe. Whether you’re planning a romantic weekend or a family outing, a trip to Portland is sure to be memorable. For more information, check out our 3-Day Portland, Maine itinerary. If you’re looking for more ideas, see our list of 46 Fun Things to Do in Portland, Maine