Located on Casco Bay peninsula, Portland is Maine’s largest city.There are over 66,000 residents in Portland and 500,000 in the Greater Portland area, and while that may seem large by Maine standards – the state is better known for its quaint rural villages and rocky coastline than its metropolitan areas – Portland is a small, compact and walkable city. In fact, Portland is more like a large European town than a busting American city. Mainers, who are not normally known for their humor, like to say that the good thing about Portland is that it’s so close to Maine. Before its nickname was changed to "Vacationland," Maine's motto was "The Way Life Should Be," which is an apt description for the southern Maine city of Portland.
Finding Apartments for Rent in Portland, ME
Portland attracts a diverse crowd, and finding an apartment that suits your needs should be an easy task in a location as versatile as "The Forest City." Portland earned that nickname because of its beautiful parks and numerous hiking and biking trails. In fact, Organic Gardening named Portland one of the nations greenest cities. However, Portland has a distinctly urban and cosmopolitan flair as well. The cobbled streets of the Old Port and Arts District are lined with coffee houses, craft brew pubs, bookstores, and boutique shops. Portland’s working waterfront and fishing industry are still an integral part of the community, but the city has also become a hotspot for creative entrepreneurs and high tech innovation. In fact, Techie.com lists Portland as One of the 10 Most Unexpected Cities for High-Tech Innovation.
Top Neighborhoods in Portland, ME
Portland is comprised of several tight knit communities and because of that the city has a spirited identity and unique sense of place. The area’s top neighborhoods include the Arts District, Bayside, Downtown, Cushing’s Island, Bradley’s Corner and Deering Center, among others. Portland is small and easy to navigate. There are inter-city buses and trains, but no subway system; Concord Coach Lines connects Portland to 14 other communities in Maine as well as Boston’s South Station. The Portland International Jetport provides the city with commercial air service.
Cultural Attractions in Portland, ME
Exchange and Congress Streets form the cultural heart of Portland’s Arts District. Located at the top of Exchange St., you’ll find the Portland Museum of Art. Founded in 1882, it’s the largest art museum in Maine and has over 17,000 objects in its collection. The Portland Art Museum has a spectacular European collection including works by Monet, Degas, Picasso, and Rodin. There are also paintings by popular American artists Winslow Homer, Marsden Hartley and Maine native son, Andrew Wyeth. The Portland Museum of Art was deigned by noted architect I.M. Pei.
Are you in the mood for a night of Mozart? Beethoven? At the end of Congress St, you’ll find the Merrill Auditorium, which is home to the Portland Symphony Orchestra. Other highlights and cultural attractions in Portland include The Children’s Museum, The Portland Harbor Museum, the Longfellow House, and the Victorian Mansion.
Dining in Portland, ME
Maine is well known for its succulent lobster, thick and hearty clam chowder, and wild blueberries. However, cutting edge chefs are putting new twists on New England classics, and over the past few years Portland has become one of the country's hotspot foodie destinations. When it comes to food, Portland restaurants embrace a farm-to-table philosophy. The locovore movement is a popular trend in Portland, as chefs are placing an emphasis on fresh and locally sourced products and ingredients. The James Beard Award for Best Chef in the Northeast has been given to a number of chefs in southern Maine. Small batch craft breweries are popular in Portland as well, so when you order the venison, trout or quail breast, be sure to pair it will a local IPA.
Shopping in Portland, ME
From gift stores selling local Maine-made products to traditional outlet centers, Portland offers diverse places to shop. The Old Port is lined with galleries, antique stores, and specialty shops featuring Maine-made products and imported goods. From tourmaline jewelry and designer cookware to textiles and baskets, the stores tucked into the port’s old wooden buildings and warehouses are one-of a-kind. The Maine Mall is located in South Portland, and with over 140 stores and restaurants it’s the state’s largest mall. L.L. Bean is one of the most respected outdoor outfitters in the world, and the 24-hour store (which is part of a larger outlet shopping center) can be found just a short drive from Portland in the town of Freeport. The Kittery outlet, located on the border of Maine and New Hampshire, is another popular place for discount shopping.
Weather in Portland, ME
Portland, Maine, like the rest of New England, has warm summers and cold, snowy winters. Coastal Maine is often affected by strong nor’easters, which can feature high winds and large snowfall totals. However, the fall foliage in Maine and the Portland area is spectacular, and many leaf peeper venture up I-95 to admire the colorful scenery. Outdoor activities are big part of Maine's culture. Hiking, biking, and kayaking are popular in the summertime, while skiing and snowmobiling are common during the winter.View Apartments in Portland, Maine
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