Trip Planner:   USA  /  Maine  /  Portland  /  Casco Bay

Casco Bay, Portland

4.8
#4 of 8 in Parks in Portland
Casco Bay is an inlet of the Gulf of Maine on the southern coast of Maine, New England, United States. Its easternmost approach is Cape Small and its westernmost approach is Two Lights in Cape Elizabeth. The city of Portland sits along its southern edge and the Port of Portland lies within.European discoveryThere are two theories on the origin of the name "Casco Bay". Aucocisco is the Abenaki name for the bay, which means 'place of herons' (sometimes translated as 'muddy'). The Portuguese explorer Estêvão Gomes, mapped the Maine coast in 1525 and named the bay "Bahía de Cascos" (Bay of Helmets, based on the shape of the bay).The first settlement in Casco Bay was that of Capt. Christopher Levett, an English explorer, who built a house on House Island in 1623-24. The settlement failed. The first permanent settlement of the bay was named Casco; despite changing names throughout history, that settlement remains the largest city in the Casco Bay region, now called the city of Portland, MaineIt was first reported in 1700 by Colonel Wolfgang William Römer, an English military engineer, that there were "as many islands as there are days in the year". The United States Coastal Pilot lists 136 islands, leading to the bay's islands being called that Calendar Islands based on the popular myth there are 365 of them. Later, Robert M. York, the former Maine state historian said there are "little more than two hundred islands".
Arrange your visit to Casco Bay and discover more family-friendly attractions in Portland using our Portland trip planner .
Source
map
Create an itinerary including Casco Bay
Casco Bay Reviews
Rate this attraction
TripAdvisor Traveler Rating
TripAdvisor Traveler Rating 4.5
209 reviews
TripAdvisor
  • The Casco bay is a very special place. Deep blue waters and a great many islands, many inhabited and worthy of your exploration. The crew are nice enough and help with your questions. There are numero...  more »
  • I'd recommend taking a ferry or bay cruise, but you can also rent a kayak or paddle board to see all of the sights! Casco Bay is a truly beautiful and unique place.  more »
  • Postcard perfect with boats and birds. Nice and quiet. A relaxing way to spend time with your family  more »

Plan your trip to Portland

  • Get a personalized plan

    A complete day-by-day itinerary
    based on your preferences
  • Customize it

    Refine your plan. We'll find the
    best routes and schedules
  • Book it

    Choose from the best hotels
    and activities. Up to 50% off
  • Manage it

    Everything in one place.
    Everyone on the same page.

Where to stay in Portland

You'll discover a number of hotels in Portland's waterfront area--one of the city's liveliest neighborhoods--that offer proximity to a selection of restaurants and bars. If bed and breakfasts are more your style, look to the city's West End, where a number of establishments sit alongside fine 19th-century mansions. Those interested in staying in Munjoy Hill can find a number of vacation rentals there.
Live like a local, find unique places to stay
Millions of travel reviews on TripAdvisor

Plans in Portland by other users

28 days in United States BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES January, culture, relaxing, romantic, historic sites, popular PREFERENCES: January, culture, relaxing, romantic, historic sites ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 3 days in Portland BY A USER FROM INDIA January, popular PREFERENCES: January ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 2 days in Portland BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES November, slow & easy, popular PREFERENCES: November ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Slow & easy 5 days in Portland BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES June, culture, outdoors, relaxing, romantic, beaches, wildlife, popular & hidden gems PREFERENCES: June, culture, outdoors, relaxing, romantic, beaches, wildlife ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular & hidden gems PACE: Medium 24 days in United States & Montreal BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES September, popular PREFERENCES: September ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 8 days in United States BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES November, popular PREFERENCES: November ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 10 days in New England BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES October, relaxing, historic sites, museums, hidden gems PREFERENCES: October, relaxing, historic sites, museums ATTRACTION STYLE: Hidden gems PACE: Medium 31 days in United States BY A USER FROM NETHERLANDS October, outdoors, beaches, historic sites, slow & easy, popular & hidden gems PREFERENCES: October, outdoors, beaches, historic sites ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular & hidden gems PACE: Slow & easy 11 days in New England BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES June, culture, outdoors, relaxing, historic sites, museums, hidden gems PREFERENCES: June, culture, outdoors, relaxing, historic sites, museums ATTRACTION STYLE: Hidden gems PACE: Medium 60 days in United States BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES November, outdoors, popular & hidden gems PREFERENCES: November, outdoors ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular & hidden gems PACE: Medium 7 days in Maine BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES November, popular PREFERENCES: November ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 29 days in New England BY A USER FROM UNITED KINGDOM October, culture, outdoors, relaxing, beaches, historic sites, museums, wildlife, popular & hidden gems PREFERENCES: October, culture, outdoors, relaxing, beaches, historic sites, museums, wildlife ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular & hidden gems PACE: Medium
View more plans