Arts District
Arts District
3.5

Top ways to experience Arts District and nearby attractions

Most Recent: Reviews ordered by most recent publish date in descending order.

Detailed Reviews: Reviews ordered by recency and descriptiveness of user-identified themes such as wait time, length of visit, general tips, and location information.

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3.5
3.5 of 5 bubbles26 reviews
Excellent
6
Very good
8
Average
7
Poor
4
Terrible
1

NHjo
Saco, ME12,261 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Jan 2023
Almost four years after my last review, I still love the archictecture, especially a few Art Deco and Romanesque Revival buildings. There are lots of good restaurants and cafes, shops, monuments, museums and art galleries, etc. There are certain parts that I wouldn't go to alone at night, and during the day I'm aware of my surroundings, I'll put it that way.
Written January 14, 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

NHjo
Saco, ME12,261 contributions
3.0 of 5 bubbles
Apr 2019 • Solo
I don't find the Arts District very welcoming. There's some beautiful historic architecture, pocket parks, good restaurants, shops and galleries, and of course the Portland Art Museum, but there are a lot of sketchy characters, some graffiti and litter. There's also a lot of police presence, so I suppose it's relatively safe, just not a proverbial 'stroll in the park'.
Written April 28, 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Roam686880
44 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Oct 2018 • Couples
The Portland Art Museum anchors the Art District and is well worth a visit. The collection is diverse and well-curated. A visit will take 1-2 hours. The private galleries are a bit scattered and highly variable but, with diligence, you can find a number of fine works with a local flavor. Maine Craft, while not featuring fine arts, has tremendous examples of local crafts and woodworking. Portland is a worthy stop and with some effort can provide some good art experiences.
Written October 17, 2018
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

John D
1 contribution
1.0 of 5 bubbles
Jun 2012
run down and little to no arts. The occasional gallery, but mostly buildings in need of renovations and lots of homeless.
Written June 4, 2012
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Cinderella04055
Naples, ME7 contributions
2.0 of 5 bubbles
Jul 2012
Why do we rarely ever get amazing artists who are not "has been?" I guess if you are now on the D list Portland, Maine will still have ya! It's too bad we have to drive to Boston or N.Y if we want to see a great concert or play.
Written October 15, 2012
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

sealights99
Peaks Island, Maine328 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Spend a first Friday night exploring Portland's art scene and you will see for yourself!!!
Written February 3, 2012
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

GEoPeaksIsland
Peaks Island1 contribution
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Aug 2011 • Friends
They have a great event called First Friday on the First Friday of every month that you get into the Portland Museum for free and you can visit all the galleries and they serve food and wine. It is a great way to spend a Friday night and all for Free. Excellent
Written August 31, 2011
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

mainemountainbear
Texas Gulf Coast, TX1,158 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Jul 2018 • Solo
Most of the Arts District has a laid-back hipster ambiance. At its eastern end is the modernistic Portland Public Library (1979) and Monument Square with its bronze statue of Our Lady of Victories (1890) on a granite pedestal. At its western end is Longfellow Square with its bronze statue of the poet, Henry Wadsworth Longfellow (1887), on a granite base. At its southern end, at York Street, is a bronze statue of the film director, John Ford (1998), on another granite pedestal. In its heart are the widely acclaimed Portland Museum of Art (1983) and the 487-student campus of the Maine College of Art (1882). In addition, the district has a fine arts school, an African tribal art museum, and a multimedia institute. It also has at least two dance studios, four theatre venues, ten music venues, and many art galleries. Amidst the visual and performing arts scene, the Arts District has four bars, four cafés, 15 restaurants, and several specialty shops, most of which are within just a few blocks of the Portland Museum of Art.

Arts District parking is easy to find, harder to use. The area’s six parking garages are at Spring Street ($28/day and $21/day), Free Street ($45/day), Cumberland Avenue ($35/day and $24/day), and High Street ($40/day). Some garages are public, others private; some are cash only, others credit only. Metered curbside parking is $1.50/hr with a strictly enforced two-hour limit. For proximity to museums and restaurants, the Spring Street and Free Street garages are best bets.

Area hotels are few. They include the historic, 15-floor, 289-room Westin Harborview Hotel (3 stars), and the business-centric, 11-floor, 239-room Holiday Inn by the Bay (3 stars). If I’d had the time, I’d have gone to the Westin’s Top of the East for its unique views of Portland’s cityscape and Casco Bay.

Among the district’s historic sites are the Asa Hanson Block (1889), the Hay Building (1826), the Lancaster Block (1881), the Maine Historical Society (1907), the McLellan House (1882), the Mechanic’s Hall (1859), and the Porteous Mitchell and Braun Building (1904). The Time and Temperature Building (1924) is also noteworthy. Of all these places, the Hay Building is one of Portland’s most widely renowned and readily recognized landmarks.

The Arts District’s only real park is 0.46-acre (0.18 ha) Congress Square Park; it has benches, tables, and a stage. Only 0.7 miles (1.1 km) away from Congress Square is the paved, 1.2-mile (1.9 km) Bayside Trail (walk/bike), which connects to the paved, 2.1-mile (3.4 km) Eastern Promenade Trail (walk/bike). The Arts District is easily walked. Its sidewalks can be uneven in places, particularly on side streets.

The cafés, the monuments, and the Portland Museum of Art were reason enough to walk the area on a mid-summer afternoon. If I were in the Arts District again, I’d expect to explore it more widely.
Written October 15, 2018
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

HelenaGuerra
Washington DC, DC13,870 contributions
2.0 of 5 bubbles
May 2015 • Friends
Portland is a charming little city facing the sea. Nice cobalt streets and brick architecture. Several local shops and small restaurants.But it doesn't deserve a detour. There are so many beautiful things to see around.
The arts district is not particularly exciting.
Written June 4, 2015
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

mainemountainbear
Texas Gulf Coast, TX1,158 contributions
3.0 of 5 bubbles
Sep 2012 • Solo
I thoroughly enjoyed my visit to Portland’s Arts District, even though it was still very much a work in progress. Its major draws were Portland Museum of Art, Children’s Museum and Theatre of Maine, Maine College of Art, and Institute of Contemporary Art. During a late summer First Friday Art Walk along Congress Street, I browsed several of the many welcoming art galleries (Bridge, Gleason, Constellation, Ready, Fitzpatrick, Rose Contemporary, SPACE, Kania, and Two Paths). Along the way, I detoured into Mainely Frames and Gallery and left it with beveled photo mattes and a portfolio case for mounted prints. You’ll see and meet all kinds of memorable characters on such walks — just like I did. Friday evening was also a good time to visit the Portland Museum of Art, hit a few Homers on permanent exhibit, and catch a second-run film in its downstairs theater.
Written May 31, 2013
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

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Arts District - All You Need to Know BEFORE You Go (2024)

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