Portland and the Southern Maine Beaches region are truly a year-round playground for visitors. Those seeking to vacation in the area in the summer, however, should reserve their accommodations early. In recent years, especially, the weak economy has more New England vacationers staying close to home - which has meant fewer vacancies among Portland area hotels. However, deals are available (thanks to the tepid economy, of course) especially if you're willing to vacation mid-week in the area.
Prior to enjoying your Maine beaches vacation, be sure to check out town websites for festivals and other special occasions. Many of these events are free and family friendly. In addition, town common concerts -- a mainstay of summer activities -- often feature undiscovered, high level talent to be enjoyed. Also be sure to check out the Prescott Park Arts Festival, located in nearby Portsmouth, NH, for free or very affordable summer outdoor concerts and theater productions that are popular with all ages.
In the meantime, welcome to Portland and the Southern Maine Beaches - and enjoy!
Portland and the neighboring southern Maine beaches feature some of the earliest settlements in what was known as the "North Country" of the Massachusetts Bay Colony. This territory was the "Wild West" of its day in colonial times (the 1600s and 1700s). The towns were rugged, almost primitive outposts that were frequently the scene of conflicts between settlers and Native American tribes such as the Abenaki. It was also in such communities as York and Wells, as well as Portland, that Maine's modern character emerged. Within these towns, thriving industries in fishing, overseas trade (especially with China and the Far East), whaling, ship building, and lumber took shape. It was also here that Maine's identity as a state took hold -- a dream realized in 1820 when it entered the union. There are many opportunities to learn more about Maine history in the Portland region. The Museums of Old York in York, which features a premier collection of historical buildings and museum exhibits, provides a very comprehensive and entertaining view of Maine's colonial past. Other museums such as the Maine Historical Society in Portland also detail the fascinating history of the Pine Tree State.