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Portland Observatory

138 Congress St, Portland, ME 04101-3608
+1 207-774-5561
Review Highlights
Great view and interesting history tour

The last signal tower, this tower played an important role in Portland trade. From its vantage... read more

Reviewed 16 September 2017
Boston, Massachusetts
via mobile
Cool history

Went here while visiting Portland at the suggestion of our guide on a lighthouse boat tour. She... read more

Reviewed 15 September 2017
Charrie S
Ardmore, Oklahoma
Read all 382 reviews
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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.
  • Excellent62%
  • Very good31%
  • Average5%
  • Poor1%
  • Terrible1%
Travellers talk about
“guided tour” (39 reviews)
“worth the climb” (11 reviews)
138 Congress St, Portland, ME 04101-3608
+1 207-774-5561
Write a ReviewReviews (382)
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11 - 20 of 366 reviews

Reviewed 16 September 2017

The last signal tower, this tower played an important role in Portland trade. From its vantage point and it's height, incoming trading ships could be seen from eighteen miles out. Flags were then hung as signals to notify local trade merchants when their expected ships...More

Thank KMHvaca
Reviewed 15 September 2017

Went here while visiting Portland at the suggestion of our guide on a lighthouse boat tour. She told us how they had no mail back then and sailors had no way of letting their loved ones know they were entering the port on a ship....More

Thank Charrie S
Management response:Responded 16 September 2017

Hi Charrie! We are so glad that you came to Observatory! And grateful to the tour guide on your light house tour for suggesting the stop! The guided tour is actually included in your admission fee and is no extra cost. I hope we didn't...More

Reviewed 11 September 2017

A friend, my wife, and I were warmly welcomed by Peggy and then provided a guided tour by Dan. The story of Captain Lemuel Moody, the entrepreneurial builder of the observatory, and the success of his business plan (notwithstanding the embargo act of 1807, the...More

Thank BuxtonMaineTraveler
Management response:Responded 16 September 2017

Thank you for visiting! We are so glad you had a good time, engaged with the history and that you got to see the ballast! That peek below still is a favorite among staff who have seen it dozens and dozens of times.

Reviewed 7 September 2017

A history of Portland is shown through small but excellent exhibits on the several landings on way up and down. An unworried and not scary vantage point from the top. Cheery and helpful attendants.

Thank painter04646
Management response:Responded 16 September 2017

Thank you for visiting!

Reviewed 31 August 2017 via mobile

The tower is beautiful and well maintained, the views are probably great and the staff is knowledgeable. Yet the prices are too high, even with the offer of $30 per family, that's not reasonable for a short visit of 10-15 minutes. There's only one person...More

3  Thank goodguy70
Management response:Responded 16 September 2017

Thank you for your kind words about the tower and for your suggestion, I will pass it along. The money from admissions does go towards operating the tower as well as other non-profit historic preservation work throughout the region.

Reviewed 30 August 2017 via mobile

The views of all of Portland and the surrounding areas is spectacular. The explanatory material is very informative and interesting. We really enjoyed the fact that the wood that was replaced during renovations was left unstained so you could see the extent of the damages.

Thank Bill R
Reviewed 29 August 2017

We visited the observatory on a Thursday evening after dinner to enjoy the panoramic views of the city at sunset...it was gorgeous! We also had a great visit with the extremely well-informed and personable docent at the top of the observatory. She was a great...More

Thank dtnelsen
Reviewed 29 August 2017

Located on Congress Street near the very East End of Portland, the observatory is a short tower with over 100 steps from the street to the top of the tower. In addition to the Portland history here, the tower affords great 360 views of the...More

Thank Joel W
Reviewed 29 August 2017

This is well worth the time -- a great piece of Portland history, staffed with people who love the observatory and the city, capped off with an amazing view of Portland and the harbor. Brought my teenagers along and they felt that the payoff at...More

Thank Margaret L
Reviewed 21 August 2017

Definitely do not leave Portland without stopping at the observatory. There are a lot of steps and if you are scared of heights - would not recommend. Otherwise - stunning views!

1  Thank hotelreviewer214
Management response:Responded 25 August 2017

Great advice! Thanks for stopping by!

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Ask a question
Questions & Answers
2 September 2017|
AnswerShow all 3 answers
Response from Tim B | Reviewed this property |
From their website: "Open every day until October 9, 2017 10 am - 4:30 pm"
Joe C
14 August 2017|
AnswerShow all 4 answers
Response from crloganphila | Reviewed this property |
not required for guided we did our own self tour but ended up speaking to a guide and they do know so much interesting information
Hyeonju L
26 July 2017|
AnswerShow all 4 answers
Response from JeannieSM | Reviewed this property |
Yes, the street parking does have a time limit. I can't remember if it was a 2 or 3 hour time limit, but you can probably do the entire Portland Observatory tour (even the one with the tour guide) in about an hour.