We stood on the cliffs, just some toes from Portland Head, the tiny jut of land that marks the confluence of Casco Bay and the Gulf of Maine, and I knew I would want my thesaurus.
I’ve used “spectacular” and “beautiful,” “magnificent” and “attractive,” throughout this week of Maine journey blogs. But I wanted a brand new phrase after seeing the majesty of Portland Head Light.
Awesome appears greatest. Not superior as in, that is an superior lobster roll. Awesome as in “after I in superior marvel.”
The setting for Maine’s oldest lighthouse is superior. The North Atlantic waves crashing into the rocky cliffs of the mainland, with Portland Head Light standing above it, alongside the charming lightkeeper’s home, now a small maritime museum.
Portland Head Light is Maine’s most iconic scene, and it is breathtaking. Trish the Dish and I have been there late Friday afternoon, after seeing the lighthouse from the water throughout a ship tour of Casco Bay.
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And we capped the night with dinner a number of miles down the coast at The Lobster Shack at Two Lights, a worthy complement to Portland Head Light. Two Lights State Park is known as for 2 extra lighthouses, which I’d estimated to be a number of hundred yards aside.
A strip of non-opulent houses results in a cliff’s edge, the place the lobster shack sits. The restaurant has 12 tables inside and 31 picnic tables on a small clearing adjoining to the bluff, above the ocean. I’ve eaten many a dinner on the seashore, a number of instances nearly on the sand. But at Two Lights, you may eat dinner actually on the sting of an Atlantic Ocean cliff.
What a day in Portland, certainly one of America’s most underrated vacationer meccas. Portland, Oregon, is a distant No. 2 in our nation’s Portland rankings.
What is inhabitants of Portland, Maine?
Portland is Maine’s largest metropolis, however with a inhabitants of simply 68,408 within the 2020 census. That makes it about 56,000 folks MB than Norman. Portland’s metro inhabitants is 556,000, making it concerning the measurement of Modesto, California, or Chattanooga, Tennessee.
Portland has undergone a downtown renaissance in latest a long time, with its waterfront. Portland has its personal Bricktown story, the gentrification of downtown.
Businesses and retail fled downtown Portland within the Seventies, significantly with the development of the Maine Mall in suburban South Portland. But downtown Portland rallied within the Nineteen Nineties because the outdated seaport was revitalized with retailers and vacationers, constructing upon Maine’s repute as a trip haven. Lobsters are the No. 2 business in Maine. Tourism is No. 1.
Tramel’s journey weblog:Lobster BLT & leather-based buying in stunning, wet Camden, Maine
Portland’s waterfront is notable for its brick buildings in a state the place brick not often is utilized in building. Portland 4 instances has been nearly destroyed by hearth – as soon as throughout conflicts with Native Americans within the 18th century, as soon as through the French & Indian War within the 1760s, as soon as through the War of 1812 and as soon as in a fireworks-to-blame blaze of 1866. After the latter, constructed again not with the native wooden merchandise of Maine, however with brick .
Today, the Bayside neighborhood of downtown Portland is bustling with ships and retailers, eating places and vacationers. Portland stays a busy seaport, and the maritime theme attracts folks from either side of the globe.
The Dish and I walked Commercial Street on Friday morning and located all types of cool retailers, a lot of them associated to Maine’s historical past. One retailer had an unimaginable assortment of kerosene lamps. Danged close to burned my hand.
We grabbed a light-weight lunch of chowder at Dewey’s saloon on Commercial Street, then walked throughout the road to the waterfront and checked in for our boat tour.
Portland Harbor accommodates 136 small islands, a number of of which have residents, a number of of them even year-round. The Casco Bay Ferry transports folks backwards and forwards on the hour, together with youngsters to and from college.
Our tour gave us an up-close look at these islands, a number of navy forts from earlier days and quite a lot of stately lighthouses. It was one of many extra scenic boat excursions we have taken, and we have taken a bunch.
Portland’s navy historical past is huge. The British tried to get into Casco Bay through the American Revolution and succeeded within the War of 1812. And as not too long ago as World War II, the US strung submarine nets beneath the water from island to island, to maintain German U-boats at bay.
Tramel’s journey weblog:Life-sized rocking horses & blueberry pop in Bar Harbor, Maine
And the most effective a part of the tour was Portland Head Light, seeing the good lighthouse in-built 1791, set at the doorway of the first transport channel into Portland Harbor.
George Washington himself directed the development of Portland Head Light, with the US authorities giving $1,500 for the venture. Even in 1791, that wasn’t sufficient. The folks of Maine cobbled collectively the sources to complete the lighthouse.
The lighthouse has been modified over the centuries; Today it stands 80 toes above the bottom 101 toes above the water (appears extra).
Today, the grounds and keeper’s home are owned by the town of Cape Elizabeth, an prosperous suburb of Portland. But the US Coast Guard owns and maintains the lighthouse, which nonetheless serves as a beacon for ships at sea.
After our boat returned to port, we walked again to our resort and watched our granddaughter’s Alcott Middle School softball sport through GameChanger, which certainly is a sport changer. Thanks to stay streaming through a mobile phone, we will watch her play softball 1,800 miles away.
Then we headed out for Portland Head Light through our rental automotive, a few 20-minute drive from downtown Portland.
The lighthouse is a part of 90-acre Fort Williams Park, owned by the town of Cape Elizabeth and likewise together with the decommissioned and considerably demolished Fort Williams, which was operational through the two world wars. But quite a lot of buildings stay. The metropolis additionally constructed a one-mile strolling path laborious by the cliffs. Quite a spot.
Then got here dinner at Two Lights. We had lobster rolls that have been good – not the most effective of the week, however it was tough to even care concerning the meals, the view was so spectacular. Beyond the picnic space aren’t cliffs however rock formations that permit a gradual descent to the ocean. Not significantly harmful for teenagers.
Tramel’s journey weblog:Maritime villages in Maine’s Mid-Coast
It was sunset, which implies we had time for just one extra exercise. We drove to Freeport, about 20 miles north of Portland, to buy at LL Bean.
I wrote concerning the famed Maine retailer on our visit two years in the past. The condensed story: Leon Leonwood Bean based an organization in 1912, promoting a single merchandise, the Maine Hunting Shoe, which individuals at present name duck boots.
From that humble starting, LL Bean has turn out to be a worldwide retailer. He arrange a nationwide mail-order enterprise. Sorry, Generation Z’ers, however Amazon didn’t invent the notion of residence supply for items. The likes of the Speegle Catalog, Sears & Roebuck and LL Bean pioneered the idea.
Today, LL Bean sells quite a lot of outside gear, from searching and fishing gear to garments and boots to firearms and tents. Over the years, LL Bean has opened retail and outlet shops in quite a lot of locations, however its anchor stays Freeport.
The large advanced is open 24 hours a day, 12 months a yr. It features a residence items retailer; a motorcycle, boat and ski retailer; and an enormous retailer that’s half outdoor, half clothes.
What a spot. We arrived about 8:30 pm, spent about an hour and a half there, and plenty of consumers remained once we left. An worker instructed us few folks store in the midst of the night time, when the shop is restocked and arrange for the following day, however sometimes celebrities come to browse within the wee hours.
I purchased a shirt and a pair of pants. I figured they’d be good reminders of a big day in Maine, after I noticed Portland Head Light from the cliffs and from the ocean.
Berry Tramel: Berry will be reached at 405-760-8080 or at email@example.com. He will be heard Monday by way of Friday from 4:40-5:20 pm on The Sports Animal radio community, together with FM-98.1. Support his work and that of different Oklahoman by buying a digital subscription at present.