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Traveling around Portland without a car for 3 days?

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Columbus, Ohio
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Traveling around Portland without a car for 3 days?

My wife are going to be in Portland next week. We are flying there and trying to relax away from kids. We are frugal and so we are trying to do this without breaking the bank. So on the note we are staying in Nasons Corner which is a bit away from everything but keeping our lodging around $100. I noticed a bus stop at Shaws supermarket that takes the #4 to downtown. Are there any other travel options. I read somewhere about a pioneer bus for tourist but The website that it was linked to made no mention of it. Is there still a pioneer bus? How much will a taxi cost from Nasons Corner cost to go to Old port? We are planning on trying to find a restaurant Monday night after we arrive late afternoon and then on Tuesday take the Tuesday Tipple. On Wednesday, we are doing a tour of lighthouses and island, I think.

Are the bus times reliable? We are thinking of using the bus in the morning and then maybe a taxi back in the evenings. Do you have any car sharing services like Uber or Lyft?

Any seafood oriented specials on Monday or Tuesday nights at restaurants?

Boston...
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1. Re: Traveling around Portland without a car for 3 days?

I don't know for sure but I bet you could rent a car for cheaper than it'd cost for you to take a taxi back and forth to the old Port and around the area for three days. it'd also give you more freedom.

Southern Maine
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2. Re: Traveling around Portland without a car for 3 days?

Beagle is correct. Although you have booked a less expensive hotel than those situated right intown, you are probably going to eat up some of those savings in transportation costs. I have never used the buses in Portland, so hopefully someone who has/does can weigh in on that. I think that cabs in Portland are pricey.

Maine
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3. Re: Traveling around Portland without a car for 3 days?

If you don't want to rent a car, I would suggest looking at the Inn at St. John for lodging. It's on the edge of the downtown area so it will be a decent walk to the Old Port, but it's better than taking a cab or the bus. They have rooms in your price range for your dates if you don't mind a shared bath. Rates are higher for a private bath.

Columbus, Ohio
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4. Re: Traveling around Portland without a car for 3 days?

I looked into the inn at St. John but we decided against the sharing of bathrooms. We looked into staying more central but we were looking into $40 a night more. I have to think a bus in the morning and a taxi at night would be cheaper. Our two main attractions have a vehicle that takes us on a tour. I am going to look into renting a car just not from the airport bc their prices seemed high. Just trying to figure how doable it is.

Central Maine
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5. Re: Traveling around Portland without a car for 3 days?

Just used a website I trust to check cabfare from one of the Nasons Corner motels to a restaurant in the Old Port... not including a tip for the driver, you're likely looking at a one-trip, one-way fare in the neighborhood of $25.00 under average traffic conditions.... Depending on how many trips you make, that could add up fairly quickly. Am not familiarr with a "pioneer" bus service in Portland, other than seeing occasional out-of-state buses in town for fall foliage or other sightseeing tours with that name on the side of them, but no local service of that name that I know of.... Portland Metro is considered the local bus service for trips around Portland... Can't remember ever using them so have no basis for comments on schedule reliability.

Peaks Island, Maine
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6. Re: Traveling around Portland without a car for 3 days?

We do have Ucar share in Portland. It's a pretty good service and we use it all the time. It saves a little money from having to rent a car for an entire day, as the car rates get a little high in the peak summer months. With this service you rent by the hour, but you do need to sign up to use the service. Here is the info on Ucar Share:

https://uhaulcarshare.com/

If you do want to rent a car, often Enterprise on Forest Ave offers the best deals, since you are not renting at the airport. They have good service and they will come and pick you up and also drop you off for free, depending on how far away that you are. We often rent in May/June and September and their rates are really good, but in August you'll have to pay a bit more. Just ask them if they have any specials.

The buses in Portland area are pretty good and fairly reliable. We use them from time to time to get around. They are just a little slow but that's the way it works when you ride the bus ;)

In the Old Port all of the restaurants are pretty much set up for all of the tourism that comes to the area so that you typically won't find big specials on a particular night. That being said, there are relatively "cheap eats" or at least less expensive (more local) places to eat if you look around.

Sounds like you already have your accommodations set up but if you wanted to stay closer to the Old Port you could always use a service such as AirBNB and stay in an adjoining neighborhood such as Munjoy Hill and thus you could walk everywhere--restaurants, shops, bars, the ferry for excursions, etc. The Portland area (around Old Port) is such a walking town and it is certainly nice to be able to take advantage of that. Parking can get a little costly. AirBNB offers some pretty good deals and that way you get the local connection which can be nice. Happy hunting for good deals!

Columbus, Ohio
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7. Re: Traveling around Portland without a car for 3 days?

Thanks for the info. I am looking into the car share. I have looked at airbnb and a few inns to see if we could find something in our price range and are nearer to everything. We have hotel reservations but I believe we could cancel if we need to. I am hoping one of the inns have a room open for two of the nights for reduced rates and we could be closer to everything. I just have a hard time paying more than $120 for a place to sleep. I might be a little too cheap but I would rather spend my money on lobster rolls, visiting breweries, and ice cream.

Thanks for enterprise tip bc I know airport car rental is always cheaper. I might just resort to a 40 minute morning bus ride and spending $20-25 in the evening for a ride back. We are pretty much doing two tours and then walking around. Thanks.

United States
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8. Re: Traveling around Portland without a car for 3 days?

You would actually be better off staying in South Portland or Scarborough for $70 a night and renting a car, than your plan of staying at the corner and trying to get around with taxis and buses.

United States
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9. Re: Traveling around Portland without a car for 3 days?

However if you are talking about THIS Monday the 11th, I doubt if you can still cancel your reserved hotel as most have 48 or 72 hour cancellation policies at this time of year. Also there is nothing inexpensive available in Scarborough on such short notice and the rental cars are pretty much sold out except for some pricey options. Maine and August and "last minute planning" don't go too well together, it's a pricey time of year. Hopefully you'll be able to make the best of it and get some help finding your way around. Portland is a large city not the typical Maine tourist village that you may be dreaming about.

Maine
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10. Re: Traveling around Portland without a car for 3 days?

You have probably come and gone by now but I will provide some info anyway. The #4 bus is generally close to on time. I have taken it to work before. It will take about 20 minutes to get from Nason's corner to Congress St. Then a 5-10 minute walk to Commercial. I live near Nasons's corner and have often taken cabs home from the Old Port area. They will cost $12-14.