Welcome to Portland
A bustling historic coastal town with a working waterfront.
Portland is a historic seacoast town with a funky vibe and a working waterfront. Founded in 1932, Portland retained much of its 19th-century architecture and the character of a fishing and trading settlement. Although it is Maine's largest city, Portland remains quaint by most standards.
Portland, Maine's economic capital, is home to major national financial institutions, export and import firms, and law firms. Walking through downtown Portland, you will notice modern high-rise office buildings in historic districts mixed in with centuries-old architecture.
Portland's West End is one of the quietest areas on the peninsula. The tree-lined streets are lined with Victorian and brick mansions, making them an architectural haven. Neatly maintained single-family homes coexist peacefully with multi-family apartments.
The Western Promenade, a short grassy walkway in the West End, provides a view of the White Mountains. The Old Port, located in the center of Portland's peninsula, is the city's heart, with restaurants and shops on every small street.
What to Love
- Western and Eastern promenade
- Bustling Old Port
- Islands to explore
- Small-time vibe
Locals love the cozy feel and sense of community that makes this thriving community homey. Portland neighborhoods have distinct characteristics, from the quiet, laid-back West End to the bustling Old Port and downtown. One thing that remains constant is the small-town vibe in a large city full of historic architecture.
Dining, Entertainment, & Shopping
Portland, Maine, is home to many galleries, great shops, and award-winning restaurants serving everything from classic lobster rolls to exotic nouvelle cuisine. You can stop by DiMillos, Street & Co, or Luke's Lobster for sumptuous seafood.
Things to Do
You will never run out of things to do in Portland, as there is always something for everyone, from nature lovers to history enthusiasts.
The Eastern Promenade is ideal for a relaxing, sightseeing walk along the Portland shoreline. Nature enthusiasts will enjoy walking, biking, or jogging along the trail, which provides expansive views of Casco Bay and leads to East End Beach.
One excellent destination is Payson Park, an ample public green space with a playground, an arboretum, and sports facilities. Fort Alien Park is another hub for nature enthusiasts with breathtaking water views and numerous historical monuments.
Festivities in Portland run year-round, bringing the community together each time. There are the Fourth of July fireworks, the Christmas ship parade, the Old Port festival, and the Greek Festival. The University of Southern Maine hosts the annual craft show, which showcases hand-made products from local artists.
The University of Southern Maine Campus in Portland positively influences the public schools in the area. The Waynflete School, a private, coeducational day school in Portland, is one of the best private schools in the region, along with Cheverus High School.
Area public schools include seven elementary schools (K–5), three middle schools (grades 6–8), and three high schools (grades 9–12).