The short answer is: it depends. Portland is a compact and walkable city, with many attractions, restaurants, shops and museums within easy reach. However, if you want to see more of the stunning Maine coast, enjoy some scenic drives, or visit some of the charming towns and villages outside of Portland, then having a rental car can give you more flexibility and convenience.
You can either pick up your vehicle at the airport or off-location. Some of Portland’s most popular and reliable car rental companies include Avis, National Car Rental, Zipcar, Bandago Van Rental, and Enterprise Rent-A-Car. All these companies have desks situated at the lower level of Portland International Airport (PAX). To get the best deals, make your reservations in advance. However, before making any upfront reservation, comparing deals across all major car rental companies is vital. Although airport car rentals are usually pricey, do thorough homework and compare prices for airport car rentals and off-site locations.
One of the best ways to experience the beauty and diversity of Maine is to take one of the many tours of Portland Maine that are available. Whether you prefer walking, or driving, there is a tour for you.
If you are looking for a more personalized and adventurous way to discover Portland and its surroundings, then I highly recommend booking a self-guided driving tour from Action Tour Guide. This tour allows you to explore at your own pace, using your smartphone as your guide. You can choose from different routes that cover different themes and attractions, such as:
- Coastal Vibe and Old Mansions: This route takes you along the scenic Eastern Promenade, where you can admire the views of Casco Bay and the historic mansions that line the shore.
- Lighthouses Galore: This route showcases some of the most beautiful and famous lighthouses in Maine, such as Cape Elizabeth Light, Two Lights State Park and Fort Williams Park.
- Lobster Shacks and Hidden Gems: This route introduces you to some of the best places to enjoy fresh lobster and other seafood delicacies, as well as some hidden gems that only locals know about.
Essential Travel Guide: