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Need ideas for things to do with a 13yo around Portland

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Philadelphia, PA
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Need ideas for things to do with a 13yo around Portland

Hello: My 13yo son and I are flying into Portland this week and I've been so busy I haven't planned anything except renting a car. We have a full week and aside from going to Pemaquid Point to see the lighthouse I don't know what else we should do. We definitely don't want to do Old Orchard Beach etc.. and would prefer to go north.

I'd like to drive up to Pemaquid after we fly into Portland, spend a few days north and spend about 2 days in Portland at the end. Everything is fair game in between. I don't want to drive more than 1.5 hours from Portland. We're not the hiking type so nothing to strenuous.

Some things I'd like to do:

1. Whale watch or lobster boat ride

2. Get a taste for true Maine culture

3. Experience some sights (like Pemaquid) my son would like

4. Would love to go on a Moose tour if not too far.

5. Would love suggestions for non-touristy restaurants in and around Portland. We like going where locals go, not tourists.

6. Get an idea of hotels we can stay in, preferably not B&Bs that aren't kid friendly.

Any help would be greatly appreciated! Thanks so much!

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1. Re: Need ideas for things to do with a 13yo around Portland

Take a trip to Peaks Island by Ferry and you can rent bikes, nice ride around the island. Places to eat, try Silly's ecclectic but good food and definitely local hang out. Lot of new rooms in the Old Port.

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2. Re: Need ideas for things to do with a 13yo around Portland

For Portland area:

Go to a Sea Dogs game (AA farm team for the Red Sox). They have home games the 19th - 24th.

Since you like lighthouses, go to Portland HeadLight in Cape Elizabeth - 15 minutes from Portland.

If you want to see a moose without doing a tour.....go to the Maine Wildlife Park in Gray (about 20 miles north of Portland). Kind of like a zoo, but all the animals are local to Maine.

There are not many restaurants in the Portland area I would qualify as tourist only places. Being tourist season, there will be a higher percentage of tourists, but since tourist season is so short, it is hard for a restaurant to be successful if locals don't go there also. We just eat at home all summer and go in the off season :) One that comes to mind that will be almost all tourists in the summer is DiMillo's. It's got a great location and is a huge tourist dining destination.

Also, in between Portland and Pemaquid is the Maine Maritime Museum in Bath. It may be interesting for your son. They do a lot of school field trips there. They even have local students on site building boats (not sure if they do this in the summer or just the school year).

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3. Re: Need ideas for things to do with a 13yo around Portland

I agree with soxfan that restaurants in Portland host both tourists and locals. Based on conversations I've had this summer, DiMillo's is back on the locals' list for eating out. A fun spot to check out is:


I still remember doing a lobster boat tour in Camden when I was around 10 years old. I really didn't know how lobstering worked before that. It was educational and fun (and didn't require going out as far as a whale watching trip - good if you are prone to motion sickness).

While you're in Pemaquid, don't just visit the lighthouse. There's also a fort:


If your son likes odd things, check out this place:


4. Re: Need ideas for things to do with a 13yo around Portland

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