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Car, train, bus, plane, ferry: all ways to go to and from Portland, Maine.

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Portland is 108 miles (174 km) northeast of Boston MA (about a 2-hour drive) and 161 miles southwest of Bar Harbor ME (4 to 5 hours by car) (map).

Car

Coming from Boston and New Hampshire, the Maine Turnpike (I-95), a toll road, is the fastest route to Portland. South of Portland, I-295 branches off from I-95 and takes you north right through the heart of the city, including to the Portland Transportation Center.

The Portland Transportation Center, 100 Thompsons Point Road, just west of I-295 Exit 5 (map), houses the Amtrak train station and the Concord Coach Lines bus terminal. It's less than three miles (5 km) from the Portland International Jetport.

Bus

Concord Coach Lines operates 14 buses daily in each direction between Boston and Portland. The trip takes about two hours. Some departures from Portland are express buses directly to Logan Airport with no stops; other departures go to both Logan Airport and Boston's South Station Bus Terminal.

Buses arrive at the Portland Transportation Center, off Interstate 295 Exit 5A, at Congress Street (map), which also holds Portland's Amtrak train station.

Train

Amtrak's Downeaster train travels five times daily on the 2-1/2-hour journey between Boston's North Station and Portland ME (Portland Transportation Center), stopping at Woburn and Haverhill MA; Exeter, Durham and Dover NH; Wells, Saco and Old Orchard Beach ME. The Downeaster continues past Portland to Freeport and Brunswick ME.

Train fare is about the same as the bus fare. The train trip is a bit longer, but a more comfortable ride, with snack-and-drink service available.

Air

Portland International Jetport is served by numerous US domestic airlines. Portland Metro bus 5 connects the Jetport with Portland Transportation Center and the Maine Mall.

Ferry

Portland has a number of different ferry docks. The old international ferry dock at the southern end of Commercial Street near the Casco Bay Bridge is no longer in use for passengers. Now, all the ferry docks are to the north, nearer the city center.

Casco Bay Lines operates ferries to the islands in the bay east of Portland from the Maine State Pier on Commercial Street at Franklin Street. More...

International ferry service between Portland and Yarmouth, Nova Scotia, Canada from the International Marine Terminal on Commercial Street at India Street may begin in May 2014. More...

—by Tom Brosnahan



What to See & Do

About Portland

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Amtrak Downeaster Train, Maine

Above, Amtrak's Downeaster between
Boston MA and Portland ME.

Below, Portland Transportation Center.

Portland Transportation Center, Portland ME