Commercial Street

Trip Start Dec 12, 2013
Trip End Dec 18, 2013

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Flag of United States  , Maine
Thursday, December 19, 2013

Commercial Street is the very beginning of the Old Port section of town. It's where everyone goes to take a ferry or tour boat ride, shop for souvenirs and find a great place for lunch or dinner. It can be hard, or nearly impossible, to find a place to park if you don't get there early in the day. There is a $10.00 lot, but even that fills up fast. There are people crossing the street everywhere. The state law says you let people cross if they are in the cross-walk, and they mean it!

The shops are wonderful, the restaurants are a delight. It's hard to go wrong, and if you're looking for gifts or souvenir t-shirts or lobster lollipops, you've got plenty to look at. Come early, roam around and then have lunch. It's a shopper's delight, and if you can stay for dinner, all the better. Enjoy. Those of us who live here take all of our visitors to Commercial St. and everyone loves the experience Shops galore, food, treats, spices, cooking supplies, the water front, big wide street and a ton of great side streets and shops.

This is an all day stop, which is fine, because there are a ton of stops to make. Want a coffee, there are no less then 3-5 shops for that. t-shirts, novelties, high end cookware, Maine souvenirs, books stores, quint walks. There is so much to see and do here, There is something for everyone along the Commercial Street waterfront in Portland, Maine. Maine made gifts to high end jewelry and clothing. Plenty of restaurants to suit your fancy along with fishing and ferry rides through Casco Bay to the island. Maine's largest city has attracted every type of business and being so close to Boston, MA it has attracted those who want a smaller city lifestyle. Walk along the wooden piers, enjoy a lunch on the floating restaurant, have a lobster roll at a take out stand or simply walk around and watch the people. A great safe place to visit and heavily watched by the local police. The street ends at the promenade , Across the bay is South Portland that has many attractions as well. Take a tour of Casco Bay and see the famous lighthouses. Parking garages near the piers.

I think that the waterfront is an very beautuiful place to be. I realize that the landmark architecture may pose a challenge, but no apparent effort has been made to improve accessibility, shabby for Maine's largest city. Sadly, we came, we saw, we left. Commercial Street is filled not only with local color, as it borders the working harbor of Portland, Maine, but it also has wonderful restaurants right on the water such as DiMillo's Floating Restaurant (offering seafood) and Flatbread Pizza. There are shops galore, ranging from places you can get tourist items to celebrate Maine and Portland, to fine clothing, homegoods and great places to get a bite to eat or drink a beer. Commercial street is an decent place and I wouldn't mind visiting every now and then.

Walk down Commercial Street to enjoy the many sights of the harbor and the wonderful shops. Pop into one of the many waterfront restaurants to eat. You also can't go wrong eating hot dogs on the street. This is a place to let the atmosphere seep in. Fun walking area, wish I had more time to spend there but I was with others. Lots of shops to visit, we especially enjoyed Cabot Cheese free samplings and great Root Beer. I would like to go here again when I am with less people so I can go in and out of more stores and places to eat!

The most visited stretch of this street is bounded by Casco Bay Lines at its eastern end and Becky’s Diner at its western end. Sidewalks parallel both sides of a broad thoroughfare; do pay attention to their uneven pavements. The often-bustling street has metered parking with nearby off-street garage parking, as well as even more parking in several waterfront lots. Among its many attractions are working wharves and seafood outlets, sightseeing cruises, brewpubs and restaurants, gift shops and specialty grocers, cafes, and much more. This is one of the best places to acquire a sense of Portland’s history as a small seaport and its future as an emerging tourist destination.

If seafood is what you want and maybe a little shopping at nearby L.L. Bean for some outdoors clothing. Good place to see and eat at. Commercial St. is a haven of interest for any tourist and also for locals. There are many good places to have lobsters and find good chowders. The Portland Fish Market always features the most fresh seafood and provides good service. There is a wide variety of shops and places to explore, and it has easy access to the Ferry Terminal. Parking is the most difficult issue. There is not nearly enough. The side streets beckon and after darting in and out of a few places, you may find yourself on a side street looking at art, books, nautical items and interesting people, both local and "from away.

There are some terrific shops in the Commercial Street area. I haven’t checked everything, so there’s always something new to visit. Commercial Street is a unique in that it's part working waterfront, part tourist destination, part business district, part residential area, and part Main St. USA. In a way, Commercial Street is Portland in a nutshell. 

On a stroll down Commercial you can see lobster boats, fishing boats, and hundreds of seagulls at the same time that you pop in and out of boutique stores and tourist shops or sit down in a pub for a pint of beer or take in some really fine dining. It's not just the tourists who do this. The people living in the condos above the red-brick sidewalks and storefronts and those who work in the nearby offices that have been converted from factories or maritime buildings enjoy Commercial Street too.

There are numerous places to shop and eat on Commercial. Becky's Diner is there, so is the very popular Three Dollar Deweys, DiMillo's, and J's Oyster. If you're looking for more upscale dining, try the Salt Exchange. There are also a lot  of places to buy things for your home, men's and women's clothing, unique gifts for pets, Maine and nautical souvenirs, wine and beer, and all the little trinkets we like to pick up when we go on vacation. If you're interested in visiting a place that has a Wharf address, odds are that it's right off of Commercial Street.

If you like architecture or just have an affinity for old buildings, you'll find that on Commercial Street too. Most of the buildings have a very old look.Commercial Street is also a gateway to some wonderful walks and boat rides. If you head down Commercial, past India Street and the site of the old Grand Trunk Railroad building, you'll find a walking path along the water's edge that will take you to the Eastern Promenade. There are also well signed walking paths that take you through some of the wharves. Not only that, Commercial Street is where you can pick up the ferry to Peak's Island and ferries to other islands in Casco Bay. A walk on Peak's Island takes only a couple of hours. Even if you just take the mailboat run, the ferry that delivers mail to various islands, and stay on the boat the whole time, you will have spent a great three hours on the water. Most tourist towns on the ocean do not have a working waterfront, but Portland does. 
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