Downtown Portland is still blessed with two downtown movie houses, enabling travelers in the mood for a flick to avoid the disheartening slog out to the boxy, could-be-anywhere mall megaplexes. Nickelodeon Cinemas, 1 Temple St. (tel. 207/772-9751), has six screens showing first- and second-run films at reasonable prices. The Movies, 10 Exchange St. (tel. 207/772-9600 or 207/772-8041), is a compact art-film showcase in the heart of the Old Port featuring a lineup of foreign and independent films of recent and historic vintage.

Performing Arts

Portland has a growing creative corps of performing artists. Theater companies typically take the summer off, but it doesn't hurt to call or check the local papers for special performances.

A Hundred Beers Old

The Great Lost Bear (540 Forest Ave.; tel. 207/772-0300) has the best brew selection in all of northern New England, 50 to 60 on offer at any given moment, including most of the numerous local brews crafted in Maine. Some of the choicest ales are even dispensed from one of three cask-conditioned hand pumps. As if that weren't enough, every Thursday the bartender showcases a particular brewer or style -- a good way to get educated about the nuances of good beer. To find the Bear, head about 2 miles out Forest Avenue (away from the Old Port), or ask a local for directions.

Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.