The Tall Ships Portland 2015 festival is only a few days away, and the festival will kick off with the Parade of Sail into Portland Harbor. For those who want to watch these ships sail in, there are a few locations that you should consider - not only are these places great for watching the ships sail into the harbor, they are heavy connected to Portland’s sailing and shipbuilding heritage.
Fort Williams Park
Fort Williams is a great location for anyone interested in maritime history, beautiful sights, and good food. The park, which was once a military installation, not only features iconic Portland headlight, but also the remains of World War One era military installations that are a blast to explore and discover. The high, hilly points in the park make for great parade watching. If you want a bite to eat during the parade of sail, grab a lobster roll from Bite Into a Maine, a food cart in the middle of the fort that will also be present at the festival itself. For anyone new to the Portland region, Fort Williams is a must-see spot where you can see the magnificent tall ships on parade, and even if you are a greater Portland local.
Bug Light Park
Known for its lighthouse, Bug Light Park also has expanses of hilly grass and a long breakwater, which stretches out into Portland Harbor. These are perches from which to see the parade of sail, and nearby restaurants have great food for any hungry-ship watchers. The park also features Fort Preble, a now-defunct fort whose seawall will be the location of the land-cannon salute to the passing ships. Bug Light Park has everything a tall ship can could need for the parade of sail.
For those who want to watch the parade of sail from a beach, Willard Beach, a public beach in South Portland, is the place to go. Not only does it have a good view of the harbor, but the beach is also easily to find, and has plenty of parking for parade-viewers.
If you want to watch the parade of sail from Portland, the Eastern Prom is the place to do it. The grassy park in eastern Portland has a great view of the harbor, and is very close to where the festival will be held on July 19th and 20th. The Eastern Prom is a green, open place, so its perfect for anyone with pets or small children.