Derek Davis/Staff Photographer

Congress Square Park

Nestled in the heart of downtown Portland, Congress Square Park is a multi-use concrete park and there’s often something happening there. Regular events include exercise classes, salsa dancing, knitting, community chess games, movie screenings and musical performances. It’s also a popular spot for in-town workers to sit and have lunch.

Location: Congress Street & High Street

Shawn Patrick Ouellette/Staff Photographer

Deering Oaks Park

Just off the peninsula below Park Avenue and beside State Street is a 55-acre wooded wonderland. You can frolic on grassy lawns and explore gardens, splash in a pond (or skate on it in the winter), buy fresh produce at a farmers market on Saturdays and check out the castle, duck pond and wading pool. There’s also a playground, a baseball field and tennis, basketball and sand volleyball courts. It’s also become a popular spot for pickleball which takes place on the tennis courts several times a week.

Location: Deering Avenue & Park Avenue

Gregory Rec/Staff Photographer

Fort Allen Park

On the eastern edge of the Portland peninsula lies a nearly 70-acre park, largely defined by a long, wide lawn that slopes down from the street, which is also called Eastern Promenade, toward the water, creating a natural form of stadium seating for looking out on Casco Bay. While some park-goers simply sit and admire the ocean and islands, others use the expanse for Frisbee games, yoga classes and even hill sprints, surely made at least a little easier by the peaceful setting. The park also features tennis and basketball courts, baseball fields, a playground and a path along the water that’s popular with walkers and runners and connects to the Back Cove Trail and the Old Port. On the city side, the prom turns into Fort Allen Park, which features a Civil War monument, a gazebo and benches overlooking the water.

Location: Eastern Prom Boulevard


Brianna Soukup/Staff Photographer

Fort Sumner Park

Nestled between apartment buildings on Munjoy Hill’s North Street, this small neighborhood park is known for having what’s possibly the best view of the city. Dogs play fetch on the tree-studded acre of grass, which is also used for tai chi and tightrope-walking. A path from the street leads straight back to a concrete viewing area with benches where you can find anyone from tourists to rowdy teenagers taking in the sweeping view of downtown Portland and Back Cove.

Location: North Street

Derek Davis/Staff Photographer

Harbor View Memorial Park

Overlooking the Fore River and Casco Bay Bridge, the 2.5-acre grassy park stretches along York Street in the West End neighborhood of Portland. Benches by the lawn – or the lawn itself – make for the perfect spot to enjoy something from LB Kitchen West  on York Street or you check out the recently opened Cider House on Brackett Street.  This park also serves as the terminus of the city’s annual St. Patrick’s Day parade.

Location: York Street

Derek Davis/Staff Photographer

Lincoln Park

This 2.5-acre park between Congress Street and the Cumberland County Courthouse was created to keep fire from spreading from downtown Portland up Munjoy Hill, as it did  more than 150 years ago, when much of the city burned to the ground. It was originally named Phoenix Square, but was later renamed to honor President Abraham Lincoln. A diagonal path through the park, where there’s also a fountain and benches, leads from the corner of Congress and Franklin streets into the Old Port. The park is also home to a 2,000 pound cast-iron fountain that was cast in Paris in 1870.

Location: Congress Street & Pearl Street


Derek Davis/Staff Photographer

Payson Park

This is the jock park. Covering nearly 50 acres between Back Cove and Ocean Avenue, Payson has a bunch of ball fields, tennis courts and a playground. It’s a popular spot for rec sport leagues in the warmer months and for sledding in the winter. It also plays host to community events, often as the starting and end point (and site of the after-party) for fundraising walks and races around Back Cove.

Location: Baxter Boulevard

Brianna Soukup/Staff Photographer

Post Office Park/Tommy’s Park

These two small parks on either side of Exchange Street are right in the heart of Portland’s Old Port, providing a place for local youths to hang out, shoppers to rest their feet and performers – from buskers to fire jugglers – to put on a show for everyone passing by. Among the laid bricks that make up most of Post Office Park, you’ll find stone benches and landscaped islands. During the day, at Tommy’s Park, you’re likely to come across Mark’s Hot Dogs, a long-established food cart with a following of regulars who hold court nearby. The park is also home to a visitor information kiosk and sits in the shadow of a colorful, abstract mural painted by South Portland artist Will Sears.

Location: Middle Street

Derek Davis/Staff Photographer

Western Promenade

Encapsulating the western end of Portland’s peninsula, this 18.5-acre park stretches from Danforth Street to Maine Medical Center. Stroll down the brick sidewalk by the beautiful West End homes, then cross the street and take a seat on a bench overlooking the Fore River. Wooded trails, a walking path and an old cemetery make for plenty to explore.

Location: Western Prom

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