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Portland Observatory

138 Congress St., Portland, ME 04101
207-774-5561
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Ranked #9 of 65 attractions in Portland
Certificate of Excellence 2014
Type: Observation Decks/ Towers, Observatories/ Planetariums, Historic Sites, Landmarks/ Points of Interest
Activities: Group tours/walking tour
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... more » 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. « less
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119 reviews from our community

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English first
Vermont
Senior Contributor
42 reviews 42 reviews
8 attraction reviews
14 helpful votes 14 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed July 30, 2014 NEW

Come here on a clear day - great 360 degree views from the top. We went on a cloudy/hazing day, but still had good views of the bay. There are lots of steps, but the docent stopped at each "floor" to tell about the creation of the observatory, and Portland, and there were exhibits to look at, so the climb... More

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Newton, Massachusetts
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
4 of 5 stars Reviewed July 28, 2014 NEW

Liked finding the Observatory outside of the busy Downtown Portland streets. Good walk uphill to get there. Located in an neighborhood with a history and growth. Views from the top are terrific and worth the climb of stairs (inside). The guide was so informative. Learned a good deal about this

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Bedford, Texas
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 26, 2014 NEW

The Portland Observatory is a must see when going to Portland. It is located in the downtown area. Parking is hard to find. We parked 3 blocks away and then walked back to the observatory. Be aware of the street signs as they clean the streets on different days of the week. Tour guide was great and was able to... More

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Alexandria, Virginia
Reviewer
5 reviews 5 reviews
4 attraction reviews
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed July 25, 2014 NEW

we strolled by - cool building cool history, but you can see it from the water, so unless you are in the neighborhood (which does have some great food spots) no need to go out of your way

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Contributor
13 reviews 13 reviews
8 attraction reviews
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 23, 2014

Nice informative experience at one of the landmarks of Portland, the observatory tower. This was an extra item on our last day, Sunday, to get a bird's eye view of the city. Very nice. We had a tour guide giving some historical context to the tower, as well as the history of Portland, which was very enlightening. When we got... More

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Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Top Contributor
88 reviews 88 reviews
32 attraction reviews
29 helpful votes 29 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 22, 2014

We walked to the observatory via Munjoy Hill - yes, I did not know about the infamous Munjoy Hill until we were half way up and said wth - this is really steep! haha After doing this hill the approximate 109 steps to the top of the observatory was nothing, especially since you stop on each floor. This place not... More

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london
Reviewer
5 reviews 5 reviews
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 21, 2014

This was a great landmark to check out. Our tour guide (you have to be accompanied up the tower, tours take place every half an hour or so in the summer) was very knowledgeable about the tower and local history around the time it was built and in use. I'm not a marine enthusiast but I found it fascinating and... More

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Reviewer
5 reviews 5 reviews
3 attraction reviews
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed July 21, 2014

The last day of a family vacation in Portland we toured the observatory. We had a great tour guide who knew Portland inside and out. The view from the top is worth the trip up all the steps. A must if you are interested in Portland history.

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SE NH
Senior Contributor
30 reviews 30 reviews
9 attraction reviews
30 helpful votes 30 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 20, 2014

RE: History galore....see 360 panorama of Portland, Casco Bay, and the Islands ...and I was a docent here years ago... Built 1807.... you can climb the stairs in Captain Lemuel Moody’s (sea captain, architect and builder/owner) footsteps. He used his Doland telescope to spot ships coming into port, giving the docks advance warning. Using flags they could communicate with the... More

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Bath
Contributor
16 reviews 16 reviews
7 attraction reviews
7 helpful votes 7 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 19, 2014

Easy to walk to from the waterfront. The building is pretty iconic in itself and well worth a few photos. The tour taking you to the top floor lasts about half to three quarters of an hour and cost us $9 per person, which isn't entirely cheap - but the view is worth it. Our tour guide kept up a... More

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