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“103 steps up to stunning views of Portland, Maine, and Casco Bay”

Portland Observatory
Ranked #9 of 160 things to do in Portland
Certificate of Excellence
More attraction details
Attraction details
Owner description: In the 1800s, Captain Moody used this observatory to monitor the routes of ships as far as 30 miles away. Today visitors can tour a museum focusing on the history of the watch tower and get a stunning bird's-eye view of Portland and the harbor.
Reviewed 22 July 2011

Built in 1807, this is the last remaining maritime signal tower in the U.S. Shipping merchants paid annual fees to have their ships sighted, thanks to a telescope, and to have arrivals announced to the port by the flying of the ship's flag from the tower's flagstaffs.

The climb to the cupola at the very top rewards you with stunning 360-degree views of
Portland and Casco Bay. Our docent-led tour was excellent. We learned much about the tower, the city and the great fire of 1866, thanks to old maps and photos on display.

Variety store across the street is handy for drinks & snacks.

1  Thank parcoaverno13
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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"guided tour"
in 39 reviews
"worth the climb"
in 11 reviews
"munjoy hill"
in 18 reviews
"interesting history"
in 21 reviews
"ships coming"
in 5 reviews
"great view of the city"
in 6 reviews
"volunteer docents"
in 4 reviews
"great history lesson"
in 6 reviews
"aaa discount"
in 5 reviews
"walk up"
in 5 reviews
"worth the effort"
in 4 reviews
"casco bay"
in 22 reviews
"admission fee"
in 4 reviews
"well worth the visit"
in 5 reviews
"answer questions"
in 4 reviews
"congress street"
in 5 reviews
"cruise ship"
in 6 reviews
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366 - 370 of 389 reviews

Reviewed 3 July 2011

Dan was my tour guide for the Portland Observatory. He did a wonderful job of guiding me floor by floor. Once we got to the top floor, the views of Portland, the mountain range, and islands were amazing.

One note that I must share, the observatory is not handicap accessible. You can get to the first floor using the elevator, but that is the extent of it . Also, the outside elevator is unreliable. My suggestion is that anyone using a wheelchair skip visiting the observatory. (My family waited on the first floor, while I completed the tour.)

Thank manuel72
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 13 June 2011

Like many others I am not sure what we expected from this tour, but it turned out to be one of the better things we did in Portland. The tour was lead by a volunteer and I do not remember her name, but she was very knowledgeable. The tour is goes floor by floor all the way to the top. The view is amazing and you really can see the whole of Portland. This tour is worth the money, because it is actually very interesting. It is in the middle of town, so it may seem strange, but I would recommend this tour.

3  Thank sabinetx
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 15 August 2010

The Observatory has been beautifully refurbished and the guided tour is very informative and entertaining. The views from the top are great.

2  Thank For_What_Its_Worth02
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Reviewed 19 December 2008

This summer my wife and I were visiting Portland for the day, and literally bumped into the observatory. We decided to go into it and had a fantastic time. The tour guide, I believe her name was Judy, was friendly and funny and the history extremely interesting. On top we could actually see Mt Washington from one side and incredible views of the ocean from the other. As usual we had a great time in Portland, but the unplanned visit to the observatory was especially nice.

8  Thank athelfrith
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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