New England Road Trip 2016: Day 4 (Part 1) – Morning in Portland

(Date: April 24, 2016)

After a quick continental breakfast of sausage, scrambled eggs, and an apple at my hotel in Woburn, Massachusetts, I checked out of the hotel and continued on the road. Although I enjoyed my time in the Boston area, I wanted to explore more of New England. I took I-95 north from Massachusetts, and I entered the state of New Hampshire. However, I only received a short orientation to the state as I-95 does not travel too long in New Hampshire. As soon as I crossed the Piscataqua River just north of Portsmouth, I had made it into Maine. As a part of my road trip, I was only going to be visiting Maine for a short time as I was going over toward Vermont by the evening. As I heard how beautiful the city is, I set course for Portland, the largest city in Maine.

Once I got to Portland, I parked my car at Lincoln Park. As it was a Sunday, the parking was free. This was also where I started my YouTube video of my adventure in Portland. The area where Portland is today was originally settled in 1632 as the fishing village of Casco. I started my walk from Lincoln Park, and I went southwest on Congress St. Along the way I passed by the beautiful city hall building as well as the First Parish Unitarian Universalist Church. After passing by the church, I went one block to the northwest over to Cumberland Ave where I stood in front of Portland High School, the oldest high school in the United States which is still standing. It is interesting to think how high schools have evolved over the years.

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After the slight detour, I made it back to Congress St, and I continued over to the Arts District which is home to many museums from the Portland Museum of Art, the Children’s Museum & Theatre of Maine, and the childhood home of Henry Wadsworth Longfellow which was built back in 1786. The house is available for tours from May through October.

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I made my way back to the car, and I drove down to the waterfront district. I got out of the car for a moment to take a look at the beautiful harbor area. I could take a look at some of the boats parked over in the area along Long Wharf, one of numerous wharfs in the area. When I was back in the car, I was able to drive through some of the brick-laid roads looking at the beautiful buildings. After leaving the waterfront district, I checked out a couple of the parks in the area. The first park I visited was Fort Allen Park which has a beautiful overlook gazing at the beautiful Casco Bay. From this park, you can see all the different islands looking back toward Portland from afar. On a sunny day, it is very peaceful here.

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Although I was enjoying my time looking to see if any boats would come sailing through the bay, I continued my way inland toward I-295 to discover Deering Oaks Park, the largest park in Portland. The park contains a lot of trees, a beautiful pond, more trees, walking paths, and a large number of trees. Due to the amount of times I said the word “trees” in the last sentence, you can see why Portland is known as “The Forest City”. You can never have too many trees!

Before leaving Portland, I wanted to gaze at the iconic Portland Head Lighthouse over in nearby Cape Elizabeth, Maine. It is located about a few miles south of South Portland which South Portland is right across the Fore River from Portland. As you leave Portland, there are signs pointing the way over to the lighthouse. As I found a gas station along the way, I went ahead and filled up my gas tank since I was running very low. Anyway, I made it over to Fort Williams Park which is home to the historic Fort Williams. Once a sub post of Fort Preble from 1873 to 1898, Fort Williams became its own fort and was run by the military until 1964 as it protected the Portland area.

Also in the park contains the spectacular Portland Head Light. Completed in 1791, the lighthouse provided light for ships for over 225 years although it was automated in 1989. As you walk around the property of the lighthouse, you can gaze out at the Atlantic Ocean and the amazing, rocky cliffs. If you stand away from the lighthouse right on the coast, you can get some of the most beautiful pictures of the lighthouse. On a sunny day, the view of the lighthouse with the cliff it is on is absolutely stunning!

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As much as I would have loved to stay for hours taking in the beauty of the lighthouse and the surrounding paradise, I had a lot more sights to see in northern New England that Sunday, so I got back into the car and went back to Portland. From there, I got back on the Maine Turnpike to head back south. My journey would take me back into New Hampshire to head over to the White Mountains. Thank you for reading this blog post, and this is Scott signing out!

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