Welcome to Portland
A charming, blossoming city for the New England of tomorrow.
Situated on a peninsula extending out into Casco Bay, Portland is a bustling, hip, modern city growing into one of New England’s most prominent cultural and technological hubs. Bright, intelligent minds have brought a vibrance and new wave of talent to this city, leading to an increase of new residents both in and around town. All these things combined have ensured a bright future for the state’s historic, cultural and economic center.
Originally called “Great Neck” by the region’s original native inhabitants, the peninsula was established as a trading post by the British in 1632. The area was renamed in 1786 and became the state capital in 1820. In modern times, Portland was once the capital city of one of the most progressive-thinking states in the nation.
What to Love
- Modern, hip, and growing every day
- Enjoys an oceanfront location and several benefits such as breathtaking scenery, easy access to fresh seafood, an abundance of outdoor recreation activities, and more
- As the population has grown, Portland has slowly become one of the major cultural and technological hubs of New England
Portland residents enjoy several amenities of living in a growing, 21st-century metropolis, without having to sacrifice the simple pleasures of the slower, more tranquil pace usually found in New England. Portland’s downtown and waterfront neighborhoods are home to a number of favored, high-end restaurants and boutiques, specifically within the Old Port. Just beyond the cobblestone streets and red brick buildings, Portland residents enjoy concerts on Thompson’s Point, hikes down quiet trails, days at the museum, or exploring the many islands of the Casco Bay by ferry.
Dining, Entertainment, and Shopping
A recent influx of new Portland residents has also led to the establishment of modern and refined eateries throughout the area. After enjoying a quintessential Sunday brunch, visitors can walk off their meals in the Old Port while browsing the several unique businesses and boutiques in the neighborhood.
Scales is a high-end eatery specializing in seafood and oysters, served right on the waterfront. With views of the marina in the background, diners feast on New England classics like lobster rolls, seafood stew, and clam chowder. Without question, their Baked Alaska is the sweetest (and proper) way to top off any meal. Similar cuisine can be found nearby at Eventide Oyster Co. Their extensive raw bar menu features fresh-shucked oysters, loaded lobster rolls, and housemade potato chips dusted with nori.
Arguably, one of Portland’s best brunch menus is found at Union. From routine breakfast staples to more modern creations, Union is also known for its cozy and comfortable, yet elevated dinner menu consisting of homemade pasta, roasted chicken and salads piled high with seasonal, local ingredients.
The Old Port is home to some of New England’s most quaint and unique local businesses, like Gus & Ruby Letterpress. A custom design and print business, Gus & Ruby was founded by two best friends in 2009 and named after their beloved dogs. Today, the business is the go-to place in New England for hand-pressed invitations and other paper goods.
Another business very specific to the New England coast, Sea Bags first sought to create a line of tote bags created from old, recycled sails in order to reduce waste. Today, their collection has expanded to include handbags, duffel bags, wine totes, pillows, door mats, and more, all with their own unique nautical designs.
Things To Do
Portland is situated along the scenic Casco Bay within northern New England and some of the nation’s most beautiful terrain. Locals can take in some of this scenery on the Eastern Promenade Trail, a paved waterfront walkway built adjacent to an old railroad route offering its guests spectacular views of the ocean, harbor, and beach. Thompson’s Point on the other edge of town is a popular concert venue overlooking the Fore River, with some recent events have included movie nights under the moon, holiday markets, and concerts featuring well-known artists such as Bon Iver and Maggie Rogers.
Portland is home to some of the finest educational institutions in New England. A few of these are:
Waynflete, prekindergarten-12th grade; this premiere school has often been named the best private school in the state
Cheverus Academy, grades 9-12; established in 1917, Cheverus thoroughly prepares students for college by offering a high number of advanced placement and honors courses
Portland Public Schools, prekindergarten-12th grade; the most diverse school district in Maine features a student body that speaks over 60 different languages
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