Portland Observatory Museum
Because of the port’s shape and its orientation away from the ocean, ships can’t be seen from the Old Port until they’re very close by. This wooden tower was built in 1809 to allow those ashore to spot and communicate with ships that were still a few hours from port. The sight of an incoming ship could be broadcast to the town via flags so that merchants, sailors' families and ship owners down at the wharf could be prepared. Visit the restored tower for some cool maritime history as well as fantastic views in all directions.
By Ann Shields, AFAR Staff
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The Best View in Town
Climbing to the top of the only wooden maritime signal tower that remains standing in the United States will reward you with breathtaking views of Portland and beyond. See Casco Bay and the outlying islands, and on a clear day all the way to Mount Washington. Since 1807, this rich symbol has been reminding visitors of the city's maritime history.
By Alison Abbott, AFAR Local Expert
138 Congress St, Portland, ME 04101, USA
Sun - Sat 10am - 4:30pm