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Portland Observatory

138 Congress St., Portland, ME 04101
207-774-5561
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Ranked #10 of 66 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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130 reviews from our community

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Date | Rating
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English first
New York City, New York
Top Contributor
118 reviews 118 reviews
66 attraction reviews
68 helpful votes 68 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed September 10, 2014 NEW

Practical aspects: last tour is at 4.30 and you cannot go up without a tour. Should be obvious but just in case: not a good place for you to visit if you struggle with stairs.... The observatory is at the top of a little hill which has a lot of very cute houses and is worth walking through in its... More

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Rockford, IL
Top Contributor
133 reviews 133 reviews
9 attraction reviews
55 helpful votes 55 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed September 9, 2014

A guided tour to the top of this early 1800's observatory. Ship owners relied on the observatory to tell them what ships were approaching port, 20 miles out in ocean. A flag of the owner/ship would be hoisted and owner arranged dockage and sale of cargo. Be prepared to climb steps but worth the effort. Great photos of early Portland... More

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Boston, Massachusetts
Senior Contributor
27 reviews 27 reviews
6 attraction reviews
9 helpful votes 9 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed September 3, 2014

This is a nice way to learn some interesting history without being stuck in a museum. The observatory is far enough from downtown Portland that there's plenty of street parking available (you could walk to it from downtown if the hill doesn't intimidate you). Tours last about 30 mins and seem to be roughly on the half-hour. The two tour... More

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Chicago, Illinois
Top Contributor
293 reviews 293 reviews
77 attraction reviews
91 helpful votes 91 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 3, 2014

We were walking to dinner and pretty much just stumbled upon the Observatory. It is quite the sight to see. If in Portland I would check it out

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Hooksett, New Hampshire
Contributor
13 reviews 13 reviews
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 1, 2014

We went to see this on a whim when I learned there we spectacular views. it was so worth the climb up eight floors of narrow stairs. The amount of sheer ingenuity and manpower that it took to build this tower also boggled our mind. The day we went was so clear we could see the White Mountains in NH... More

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Bristol, United Kingdom
Senior Contributor
43 reviews 43 reviews
7 attraction reviews
7 helpful votes 7 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 30, 2014

A little bit of a trek but worth it for the views. Be warned it can be a little windy up there. Tour was great and informative

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Boston, Massachusetts
Contributor
14 reviews 14 reviews
4 attraction reviews
9 helpful votes 9 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed August 26, 2014

This was a very pleasant way to learn a bit of Portland's history, especially during its heyday as a maritime center. Fascinating, really.

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Tulum
Top Contributor
83 reviews 83 reviews
12 attraction reviews
29 helpful votes 29 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 26, 2014

Our Docent Wendy was very knowledgeable about Portland's history, the observatories history and the area in general. The views from the top are amazing.

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Bedford, Texas
Senior Contributor
38 reviews 38 reviews
10 attraction reviews
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 20, 2014 via mobile

The view from the top is breathtaking!!!! So beautiful!!! So much history!! Our tour guide was very knowledgeable. Make sure to take bottled water..it's a long way up there!! But it's worth it!!!

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Morrisville, Vermont
Senior Reviewer
8 reviews 8 reviews
7 attraction reviews
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 17, 2014

Definitely worth the hike up Munjoy Hill and the stairs to the top. The guide was very knowledgeable about the history of the site in relation to Portland's history.

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