Portland (Maine): Wikis


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City of Portland
—  City  —
Aerial View of Downtown Portland


Nickname(s): The Forest City
Motto: Resurgam  (Latin)
"I Will Rise Again"
Coordinates: 43°39′54″N 70°16′9″W / 43.665°N 70.26917°W / 43.665; -70.26917
Country  United States
State  Maine
County Cumberland
Settled 1633
Incorporated July 4, 1786
 - Type City Council and City Manager
 - City Manager Joseph E. Gray
 - City 52.6 sq mi (136.2 km2)
 - Land 21.2 sq mi (54.9 km2)
 - Water 31.4 sq mi (81.2 km2)
Elevation 62 ft (19 m)
Population (2007)
 - City 62,875
 Density 3,029.2/sq mi (1,169.6/km2)
 Urban 188,080
 Metro 513,102
Time zone EST (UTC-5)
 - Summer (DST) EDT (UTC-4)
ZIP codes 04101, 04102, 04103, 04104, 04108, 04109, 04112, 04116, 04122, 04123, 04124
Area code(s) 207
FIPS code 23-60545
GNIS feature ID 0573692
Website http://www.portlandmaine.gov/

Portland is the largest city in the U.S. state of Maine and the county seat of Cumberland County.[1] The 2007 estimated city population was 62,875. Portland is Maine's cultural, social and economic capital. It is also the principal city of the Portland-South Portland-Biddeford metropolitan area, with a population of 513,102, which includes Cumberland, York, and Sagadahoc counties. Tourists are drawn to Portland's historic Old Port district along Portland Harbor, which is at the mouth of the Fore River and part of Casco Bay, and the Arts District, which runs along Congress Street in the center of the city. Portland Head Light in nearby Cape Elizabeth is also a popular tourist draw.

The city seal depicts a phoenix rising out of ashes, which aligns with its motto, Resurgam, Latin for "I will rise again", in reference to Portland's recoveries from four devastating fires.[2] The city of Portland, Oregon, was named for Portland, Maine.[3]

Portland Public Schools is the largest school system in Maine, serving approximately 7,000 students.



Gun recovered from USS Maine on Munjoy Hill

Native Americans called it Machigonne. The first European settler was Capt. Christopher Levett, an English naval captain granted 6,000 acres (24 km2) by King Charles I of England in 1623 to found a settlement in Casco Bay. A member of the Council for New England and agent for Ferdinando Gorges, Levett built a stone house where he left a company of ten men, then returned to England and wrote a book about his voyage to drum up support for the settlement.[4] The settlement failed, and the fate of Levett's colonists is unknown. The explorer sailed from England to the Massachusetts Bay Colony to meet John Winthrop in 1630, but never returned to Maine. Fort Levett in the harbor is named for him.[5][6]

The peninsula was first permanently settled in 1633 as a fishing and trading village named Casco. When the Massachusetts took over Casco Bay in 1658, the town's name changed again to Falmouth. In 1676, the village was destroyed by the Wampanoags during King Philip's War. It was rebuilt, then destroyed again in 1690. On October 18, 1775, Falmouth was bombarded in the Revolution by the Royal Navy under command of Captain Henry Mowat.[7]

Longfellow Square in c. 1906

Following the war, a section of Falmouth called The Neck developed as a commercial port and began to grow rapidly as a shipping center. In 1786, the citizens of Falmouth formed a separate town in Falmouth Neck and named it Portland. Portland's economy was greatly stressed by the Embargo Act of 1807 (prohibition of trade with the British), which ended in 1809, and the War of 1812, which ended in 1815.

In 1820, Maine became a state with Portland its capital. In 1832 the capital was moved to Augusta. In 1851, Maine led the nation by passing the first state law to prohibit the sale of alcohol except for "medicinal, mechanical or manufacturing purposes." The law subsequently became known as the Maine law as 18 states quickly followed Maine. On June 2, 1855, the Portland Rum Riot occurred.

Portland became the primary ice-free winter seaport for Canadian exports upon completion of the Grand Trunk Railway to Montreal in 1853. The Portland Company manufactured more than 600 19th century steam locomotives. Portland became a 20th century rail hub as five additional rail lines merged into Portland Terminal Company in 1911. Canadian export traffic was diverted from Portland to Halifax, Nova Scotia following nationalization of the Grand Trunk system in 1923; and 20th century icebreakers later enabled ships to reach Montreal in winter.

The Great Fire of July 4, 1866, ignited during the Independence Day celebration, destroyed most of the commercial buildings in the city, half the churches and hundreds of homes. More than 10,000 people were left homeless.

View of Portland harbor, 1853

The erection of the Maine Mall, an indoor shopping center established in the suburb of South Portland during the 1970s, had an economically depressive effect on Portland's downtown. But that trend would reverse, as tourists and new businesses patronized the old seaport. In the 1990s and 2000s, rapid development occurred and continues to occur in the historically industrial Bayside neighborhood, as well as the emerging harborside Ocean Gateway neighborhood at the base of Munjoy Hill.[8][9][10]. The Maine College of Art has been a revitalizing force downtown, attracting students from around the country, and restoring as its main facility the historic Porteous building on Congress Street.


A panoramic view of the City of Portland from across Back Cove.


Downtown Portland
  • Ranked as Bon Appétit magazine's "America's Foodiest Small Town" (2009).[11]
  • Ranked #1 on Forbes.com "America's Most Livable Cities" (2009).[12]
  • Ranked #12 on Frommer's 2007 "Top Travel Destinations".[13]
  • Ranked #20 in Inc. Magazine 2006 "Boom Town List of Hottest Cities for Entrepreneurs".
  • Ranked #7 on the 2005 list of the "100 Best Art Towns in America" by Countryman Press.
  • Named #15 in medium-sized "Top U.S. Cities for Doing Business" by Inc. Magazine, May 2005
  • Named #1 "Top Market in Small Business Vitality".
  • Named #14 in "Best Performing Cities" index by the Milken Institute, November 2004.
  • Named as one of "50 Fabulous Gay-Friendly Places to Live".[14]

Geography and climate

According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 52.6 square miles (136.2 km²), of which, 21.2 square miles (54.9 km²) of it is land and 31.4 square miles (81.2 km²) of it (59.65%) is water. Portland is located on a peninsula beside Casco Bay on the Gulf of Maine and the Atlantic Ocean.

Portland borders South Portland, Westbrook and Falmouth. The city is located at 43.66713 N, 70.20717 W.

Climate data for Portland, Maine
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Average high °F (°C) 31
Average low °F (°C) 12
Precipitation inches (mm) 4.09
Snowfall inches (mm) 19.0
Source: The Weather Channel[15] Weatherbase.com[16] September 2009


Downtown at Christmas
Eastern Promenade Park, overlooking Casco Bay
East End
Old Port

Portland is organized into neighborhoods that are generally recognized by residents, but have no legal or political significance. City signage does, in many cases, name various neighborhoods or intersections (which are often called corners). Some city neighborhoods have a local neighborhood association whose self-appointed responsibility is to maintain on-going relations with the City government on issues affecting the neighborhood.

Several neighborhoods incorporate the name "Deering" in some way. This is a result of the March 8, 1899 merger of Portland with the neighboring city of Deering, which comprised the northern and eastern sections of the city prior to the merger. Portland's Deering High School was formerly the public high school for Deering.


Historical populations
Census Pop.  %±
1790 2,240
1800 3,704 65.4%
1810 7,169 93.5%
1820 8,581 19.7%
1830 12,598 46.8%
1840 15,218 20.8%
1850 20,815 36.8%
1860 26,341 26.5%
1870 31,413 19.3%
1880 33,810 7.6%
1890 36,425 7.7%
1900 50,145 37.7%
1910 58,571 16.8%
1920 69,272 18.3%
1930 70,810 2.2%
1940 73,643 4.0%
1950 77,634 5.4%
1960 72,566 −6.5%
1970 65,116 −10.3%
1980 61,572 −5.4%
1990 64,358 4.5%
2000 64,249 −0.2%
Est. 2010 64,000 −0.4%

At the 2005-2007 American Community Survey Estimates, the city's population was 88.3% White (86.0% non-Hispanic White alone), 6.6% Black or African American, 0.9% American Indian and Alaska Native, 4.1% Asian, 1.6% from some other race and 1.4% from two or more races. 2.3% of the total population were Hispanic or Latino of any race. [2] 40.7% of the population had a Bachelor's degree or higher. [3]

As of the census[18] of 2000, there were 64,250 people, 29,714 households, and 13,549 families residing in the city. The population density was 3,029.2 people per square mile (1,169.6/km²). There were 31,862 housing units at an average density of 1,502.2/sq mi (580.0/km²).

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, Portland's immediate metropolitan area ranked 147th in the nation in 2000 with a population of 243,537, while the Portland/South Portland/Biddeford metropolitan area included 487,568 total inhabitants. This has increased to an estimated 513,102 inhabitants as of 2007.[19] Much of this increase in population has been due to growth in the city's southern and western suburbs.

The racial makeup of the city was 91.27% White, 3.08% Asian, 2.59% African American, 0.47% Native American, 0.06% Pacific Islander, 0.67% from other races, and 1.86% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 1.52% of the population. Portland also has a large Muslim community, with many Somali and Sudanese immigrants. The largest ancestries include: Irish (21.2%), English (19.2%), Italian (10.8%), French (10.5%), and German (6.9%). [4]

There were 29,714 households out of which 21.4% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 32.1% were married couples living together, 10.5% had a female householder with no husband present, and 54.4% were non-families. 40.1% of all households were made up of individuals and 11.5% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.08 and the average family size was 2.89.

In the city the population was spread out with 18.8% under the age of 18, 10.7% from 18 to 24, 36.1% from 25 to 44, 20.6% from 45 to 64, and 13.9% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 36 years. For every 100 females there were 91.8 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 89.0 males.

The median income for a household in the city was $35,650, and the median income for a family was $48,763. Males had a median income of $31,828 versus $27,173 for females. The per capita income for the city was $22,698. About 9.7% of families and 14.1% of the population were below the poverty line, including 12.5% of those under age 18 and 11.9% of those age 65 or over.


Due to being Maine's largest city, its proximity to Boston (115 miles to the south) and having the state's largest port, Portland has become Maine's economic capital. The local economy has shifted over the years from relying primarily on fishing, manufacturing and agriculture towards a much more service-based economy. Most national financial services organizations with significant operations in the state have their Maine base here, such as Bank of America, Key Bank, Fidelity Investments, Anthem Blue Cross & Blue Shield, and Aetna. Several notable companies headquartered or partially headquartered here include: Unum, TD Bank, Maine Bank & Trust, ImmuCell Corp, and Pioneer Telephone. Several other notable companies that have an impact on the Greater Portland economy are located in the suburbs of South Portland, Westbrook and Scarborough.

Portland has a low unemployment level when compared to national averages and the state average. Portland and surrounding communities also have higher median incomes than most other Maine communities.

Fishing vessels in c. 1908

According to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers 2005 Annual Table Report[citation needed], the Port of Portland ranked as:

  • The largest foreign inbound tonnage transit port in the United States;
  • the largest tonnage port in New England;
  • The 25th largest port in the United States; and
  • The largest oil port on the US East Coast.

The Portland-Montreal Pipe Line, a crude oil pipeline that stretches from South Portland to Montreal, was a major contributing factor in these rankings.


City Hall in c. 1910

The city has adopted a council-manager style government that is detailed in the city charter. The citizens of Portland are represented by a city council which are charged with the responsibilities of making policy, passing ordinances, approving appropriations, appointing the city manager and overseeing the municipal government. The city council is an elected body of nine members for which the citizens of Portland vote. The city is made up into five voting districts, with each district electing a city councilor to represent their neighborhood interests for a three year term. There are also four members of the city council which are elected at-large.[20] From the nine council members a chairman is elected by a simple majority to serve a one year term presiding over all council meetings. The chairman is popularly known as the Mayor, which is primarily a ceremonial position. The current mayor is Nick Mavodones.

A city manager is appointed by the city council. The city manager is responsible for the daily operations and workings of the city government. Consulting with the city council the city manager appoints heads of city departments and prepares annual budgets. The city manager directs all city agencies and departments, and is responsible for the executing laws and policies passed by the city council.[20]

Aside from the main city council there is also an elected school committee for the Portland Public School system. The school committee is made up in the same manner of the city council with five district members, four at-large members and one chairman.[21] There are also three students from the local high schools elected to serve on the board. There are many other boards and committees such as the Planning Committee, Board of Appeals, and Harbor Commission, etc. These committees and boards have limited power in their respective areas of expertise. Members of boards and committees are appointed by city council members.

Notable buildings

Custom House, completed 1872

The spire of the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception has been a notable feature of the Portland skyline since its completion in 1854. In 1859, Ammi B. Young designed the Marine Hospital, the first of three local works by Supervising Architects of the U.S. Treasury Department. Although the city lost to redevelopment its 1867 Greek Revival post office, which was designed by Alfred B. Mullett of white Vermont marble and featured a Corinthian portico, Portland retains his equally monumental 1872 granite Second Empire-Renaissance Revival custom house.

A more recent building of note is Franklin Towers, a 17-story residential tower completed in 1969. At 204 feet (62.2 meters), it is Portland's (as well as Maine's) tallest building. It is next to the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception on the city skyline. During the building boom of the 1980s, several new buildings rose on the peninsula, including the 1983 Charles Shipman Payson Building by Henry N. Cobb of Pei, Cobb, Freed & Partners at the Portland Museum of Art complex (a component of which is the 1801 McLellan-Sweat Mansion), and the Back Bay Tower, a 15-story residential building completed in 1990.[22] Recent development in the Bayside area on Marginal Way is anchored by 84 Marginal Way, or the InterMed Center, which features college student housing and commercial offices, and is the only mostly glass tower in Portland.

477 Congress Street (known locally as the Time and Temperature Building) is situated near Monument Square in the Arts District and is a major landmark: the 14-story building features a large electronic sign on its roof that flashes time and temperature data, as well as parking ban information in the winter. The sign can be seen from nearly all of downtown Portland. The building is home to the studio of ABC affiliate WMTW-TV 8, as well as several radio stations.

The Eastland Park Hotel, completed in 1927, is a prominent hotel located on High St. in downtown Portland.


See also


High schools

Colleges and universities


Maine Narrow Gauge Railroad

Sites of interest

Downtown Arts District, centered on Congress Street, is home to the Portland Museum of Art, Portland Stage Company, Maine Historical Society & Museum, Maine College of Art, Children's Museum of Maine, SPACE Gallery, Merrill Auditorium, the Kotzschmar Memorial Organ, and Portland Symphony Orchestra, as well as many smaller art galleries and studios.

Baxter Boulevard around Back Cove, Deering Oaks Park, the Eastern Promenade, Lincoln Park, Riverton Park and the Western Promenade are all historical parks within the city. Other parks and natural spaces include Payson Park, Post Office Park, Baxter Woods, Evergreen Cemetery and the Fore River Sanctuary. The non-profit organization Portland Trails also maintains an expansive network of walking and hiking trails throughout the city and neighboring communities.

Other sites of interest include:


WCSH is the city's NBC affiliate, located at One Congress Square.

Portland is home to a concentration of publishing and broadcast companies, advertising agencies, web designers and commercial photography studios.

The city's primary daily newspaper is The Portland Press Herald, published Monday through Saturday, and The Maine Sunday Telegram, published on Sundays. Both are published by MaineToday Media, Inc., which also operates an entertainment website, MaineToday.com, and the Portland entertainment magazine, The Maine Switch. In February 2009 a second daily, the Portland Daily Sun, began operation; it is owned and published by the Conway Daily Sun in New Hampshire. Portland is also the home office of The Exception Magazine, an online newspaper that covers Maine.

Portland is also covered by an alternative weekly newspaper, The Portland Phoenix, published by the Phoenix Media/Communications Group, which also produces a New England-wide news, arts, and entertainment website, thephoenix.com, and the quarterly lifestyle magazine, Portland {STYLE}.

There is also a weekly community newspaper, The Portland Forecaster, and The Bollard, a monthly alternative magazine, as well as The West End News, The Munjoy Hill Observer, The Baysider, The Waterfront, Portland Magazine, Port City Life, and The Companion, an LGBT publication.

The Portland broadcast media market is the largest one in Maine in both radio and television. A whole host of radio options are available in Portland, including WFNK (Classic Hits), WJAB (Sports), WTHT (Country), WBQW (Classical), WHXR (Rock), WHOM (Adult Contemporary), WJBQ (Top 40), 98.9 WCLZ (Adult Album Alternative), WBLM (Classic Rock), WYNZ ('60s-'70s Hits), and WCYY (Modern rock). WMPG is a local non-commercial radio station, run by community members and the University of Southern Maine. The Maine Public Broadcasting Network's radio news operations are based in Portland.

The area is served by local television stations representing most of the television networks. These stations include WCSH 6 (NBC), WMTW 8 (ABC), WGME 13 (CBS), WPFO 23 (Fox), WPME 35 (MyNetworkTV), and WPXT 51 (The CW). There is no PBS affiliate licensed to the city of Portland but the market is served by WCBB Channel 10 in Augusta and WMEA-TV Channel 26 Biddeford.

Channel Call Sign Network
23 WPFO Fox
35 WPME MyNetworkTV
51 WPXT The CW

Movies filmed in Portland


Club League Venue Established Championships
Portland Sea Dogs EL, Baseball Hadlock Field 1994 1
Portland Pirates AHL, Ice hockey Cumberland County Civic Center 1993 1
Portland Phoenix FC USL PDL, Soccer Fitzpatrick Stadium 2009 0
Maine Red Claws NBA D-League, Basketball Portland Exposition Building 2009 0
Portland Sea Dogs in May 2007, with the Portland Exposition Building in the background

The city is home to three minor-league teams. The AA Portland Sea Dogs, a farm team of the Boston Red Sox, play at Hadlock Field. Additionally, there are the American Hockey League Portland Pirates. Skating at the Cumberland County Civic Center, they are an affiliate of the Buffalo Sabres. In 2009, the Maine Red Claws began playing at the Portland Exposition Building. The Red Claws are part of the NBA Development League.

The Portland Sports Complex, located off of Park and Brighton Avenues near I-295 and Deering Oaks park, houses several of the city's stadiums and arenas, including:

  • Hadlock Field - baseball (Capacity 7,368)
  • Fitzpatrick Stadium - football, soccer, lacrosse, field hockey, and outdoor track (Capacity 6,000+ seated)
  • Portland Exposition Building - basketball, indoor track, concerts and trade shows (Capacity 2,000)
  • Portland Ice Arena - hockey and figure skating (Capacity 400)

The Portland area has eleven professional golf courses, 124 tennis courts, and 95 playgrounds. There are also over 100 miles (160 km) of nature trails.

Portland hosts the Maine Marathon each October.

Food and beverage

Lobster, fresh from the Gulf of Maine

The downtown and Old Port districts have a high concentration of eating and drinking establishments, with many more to be found throughout the rest of the peninsula, outlying neighborhoods, and neighboring communities. Local lore holds that Portland ranks among the top U.S. cities in restaurants and bars per capita. According to the Maine Restaurant Association, Portland is currently home to about 230 restaurants.[23]

Portland has also developed a national reputation for the quality of its restaurants and eateries. In the spring of 2007, Portland was nominated as one of three finalists for "Delicious Destination of the Year" at the 2007 Food Network Awards.[24] In 2009, Portland was named the "Foodiest Small Town in America" by Bon Appétit magazine, as well as featured in the New York Times as a food destination.[25][5] Many local chefs have also gained national attention over the past few years.[26][27][28]

The city and outlying region played host to Rachael Ray in an episode of her Food Network Series $40 a Day.

Portland is home to a number of microbreweries and brewpubs, including the D. L. Geary Brewing Company, Gritty McDuff's Brewing Company, Shipyard Brewing Company, Casco Bay Brewing Co., Sebago Brewing Company, and Allagash Brewing Company.

Portland is the birthplace of the "Italian sandwich." Southern Maine’s signature sandwich, it is called simply "an Italian" by locals. Italian sandwiches are available at many stores, but most famously at Amato's Italian delicatessens, which claims to have originated the sandwich (hence the name). [6]

The Portland Farmers' Market takes place every Wednesday in Monument Square and every Saturday in Deering Oaks Park during the warm months and every other Wednesday in Monument Square during the winter. Fresh fish and seafood can be purchased at a number of markets on the wharves along Commercial Street.



Maine Medical Center and a jetBlue airliner, viewed from the South Portland side of the Portland International Jetport, 2009.

Maine Medical Center a Level One Trauma Center is the largest hospital in Maine and is continuing to expand its campus and services. Mercy Hospital, a faith-based hospital, is the fourth-largest hospital in the state and began construction on its new campus along the Fore River in late 2006. The project is expected to be constructed in several phases, with completion of the first phase scheduled for 2008. [7]

Two formerly independent hospitals within the city are now being utilized in a different manner. The former Brighton Medical Center is now owned by Maine Medical Center, housing a minor care center under the name Brighton First Care and New England Rehab. A state-of-the-art simulation center is currently in development at the Brighton campus, and is slated to open in 2010. [8] Prior to being Brighton Medical Center, the hospital was the Osteopathic Hospital. The former Portland General Hospital is now home to the Barron Center nursing facility.


Portland from above, looking north along I-295

Portland is accessible from I-95.svg I-95 (the Maine Turnpike), I-295.svg I-295, and US 1.svg U.S. 1. Also, US 302.svg U.S. Route 302, a major travel route and scenic highway between Maine and Vermont, has its eastern terminus in Portland.

Concord Coach Lines bus service connects Portland to 14 other communities in Maine as well as to Boston's South Station and Logan Airport. Amtrak's Downeaster train service connects the city with Boston's North Station. Both Concord Coach Lines and Amtrak's Downeaster can be found at the Portland Transportation Center on Thompsons Point Road. Greyhound Lines on Saint John Street connects to 17 Maine communities and to more than 3,600 US destinations.

A carsharing service provided by U Car Share is available as well.

The city operates several transportation hubs. In addition to the transportation center, commercial air service is available at the Portland International Jetport, which is located west of the city's downtown district. Several car rental agencies are located at the jetport.

The Port of Portland is the second-largest cruise and passenger destination in the state (next to Bar Harbor). Ferry service is available year-round to many destinations in Casco Bay. Since May 22, 2006, Bay Ferries has operated a high speed ferry called The Cat which offers summer passenger and car ferry service to Yarmouth, Nova Scotia, making the trip in five hours. Until 2005, Scotia Prince Cruises had offered service that took eleven hours.

There are two public bus systems in Portland. The Portland Explorer is a service that connects various transportation centers within the city and the METRO provides public bus transit throughout Portland and the surrounding area.

Numerous private taxi cab companies operate in and around Portland.

Notable residents

Birthplace of Thomas B. Reed c. 1915 (since demolished)
Wadsworth-Longfellow House c. 1910

Sister cities

Portland has four sister cities, as designated by Sister Cities International (SCI):

See also


  1. ^ "Find a County". National Association of Counties. http://www.naco.org/Template.cfm?Section=Find_a_County&Template=/cffiles/counties/usamap.cfm. Retrieved 2008-01-31. 
  2. ^ http://www.mainehistory.org/pdf/Falmouth_Fire.pdf
  3. ^ "Portland: The Town that was Almost Boston". Portland Oregon Visitors Association. http://www.travelportland.com/media/history.html. Retrieved 2006-11-18. 
  4. ^ Christopher Levett, of York: The Pioneer Colonist in Casco Bay, James Baxter Phinney,1893
  5. ^ The Maine Reader: The Down East Experience from 1614 to the Present, Charles E. Shain, 1997
  6. ^ Christopher Levett: The First Owner of the Soil of Portland, Collections of the Maine Historical Society, 1893
  7. ^ "Jedediah Preble letter on Mowat kidnapping, 1775". http://www.mainememory.net/bin/Detail?ln=7479. Retrieved 2007-04-01. 
  8. ^ "Bayside is a journey of many 'next steps'". Portland Press Herald (Blethen Maine Newspapers, Inc.). 2006-10-16. http://business.mainetoday.com/news/061016bayside.html. Retrieved 2006-11-13. 
  9. ^ Bouchard, Kelley (2006-10-06). "Riverwalk: Parking garage due to rise; luxury condos to follow". Portland Press Herald (Blethen Maine Newspapers, Inc.). http://pressherald.mainetoday.com/news/local/061006riverwalk.html. Retrieved 2006-11-13. 
  10. ^ Turkel, Tux (2007-02-06). "An urban vision rises in Bayside". Portland Press Herald (Blethen Maine Newspapers, Inc.). http://business.mainetoday.com/news/070206bayside.html. Retrieved 2007-02-27. 
  11. ^ "America's Foodiest Small Town". http://www.bonappetit.com/magazine/2009/10/americas_foodiest_small_town_2009. 
  12. ^ "America's Most Livable Cities". 2009-04-01. http://www.forbes.com/2009/04/01/cities-city-ten-lifestyle-real-estate-livable-cities.html. Retrieved 2009-04-07. 
  13. ^ "Frommer's Top Travel Destinations for 2007". Frommer's (Wiley Publishing, Inc.). 2006-11-21. http://www.frommers.com/destinations/article.cfm?destid=362&articleid=4056&t=Frommer%27s%20Top%20Travel%20Destinations%20for%202007. Retrieved 2006-11-29. 
  14. ^ Kompes, Gregory A. (2005). 50 Fabulous Gay-friendly Places to Live. Career Press. pp. 163. ISBN 1564148270. 
  15. ^ "Average Weather for Portland, ME - Temperature and Precipitation". Weather.com. http://www.weather.com/weather/wxclimatology/monthly/graph/USME0328?from=36hr_bottomnav_undeclared. Retrieved September 5, 2009. 
  16. ^ "Weatherbase: Historical Weather for Portland, Maine, United States". Weatherbase. http://www.weatherbase.com/weather/weather.php3?s=060627&refer=. Retrieved September 5, 2009. 
  17. ^ [1], accessed December, 2007.
  18. ^ "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau. http://factfinder.census.gov. Retrieved 2008-01-31. 
  19. ^ "Annual Estimates of the Population of Metropolitan and Micropolitan Statistical Areas: April 1, 2000 to July 1, 2007 (CBSA-EST2007-01)" (CSV). 2007 Population Estimates. United States Census Bureau, Population Division. 2008-03-27. http://www.census.gov/population/www/estimates/metro_general/2007/CBSA-EST2007-01.csv. Retrieved 2008-04-04. 
  20. ^ a b © Copyrighted
  21. ^ Copyrighted
  22. ^ CB Richard Ellis/The Boulos Company. "Greater Portland Area 2006 Office Market Survey" (PDF). http://www.cbre.com/NR/rdonlyres/3CB731EA-C269-11D5-A91D-00508B5B0FEB/328757/PortlandMarketSurvey2006.pdf. Retrieved August 10, 2006. 
  23. ^ Huang, Josie (2007-04-23). "Portland diners keep fast-food urges under control". Portland Press Herald (Blethen Maine Newspapers, Inc.). http://pressherald.mainetoday.com/news/local/070423fastfood.html. Retrieved 2007-04-23. 
  24. ^ Goad, Meredith (2007-04-16). "Portland has taste of food fame, but the other Portland is served". Portland Press Herald (Blethen Maine Newspapers, Inc.). http://pressherald.mainetoday.com/news/local/070416delicious.html. Retrieved 2007-04-16. 
  25. ^ Goad, Meredith (2009-09-18). "A second course of food glory". Portland Press Herald. http://pressherald.mainetoday.com/story.php?id=284061&ac=PHnws. Retrieved 2009-09-25. 
  26. ^ Goad, Meredith (2007-04-05). "Food could put Portland on the map". Portland Press Herald (Blethen Maine Newspapers, Inc.). http://pressherald.mainetoday.com/news/local/070405food.html. Retrieved 2007-04-05. 
  27. ^ Goad, Meredith (2007-04-11). "Where chefs come to shine". Portland Press Herald (Blethen Maine Newspapers, Inc.). http://pressherald.mainetoday.com/foodhealth/soup2nuts/070411soupnuts.html. Retrieved 2007-04-11. 
  28. ^ James Beard Awards: and the nominees might be... - Dishing - Boston.com
  29. ^ Who Was Who in America, Historical Volume, 1607–1896. Marquis Who's Who. 1967. 
  30. ^ Japan index of Sister Cities International retrieved on December 9, 2008

External links

Redirecting to Portland, Maine

Travel guide

Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From Wikitravel

Skyline of Portland from across the channel
Skyline of Portland from across the channel

Portland is located on a peninsula in Casco Bay on the Southern Maine coast approximately 100 miles (161 km) north of Boston, Massachusetts. It has more than 65,000 inhabitants making it the largest city in Maine. Portland is a small seaside city with a high concentration of shops, restaurants, museums, galleries, tours and many things to see and do. Many people commute to Portland to work, and the city's population significantly increases in the summertime.

  • Convention and Visitors Center, 245 Commercial St., Phone: +1 207 772-5800 or Phone: +1 207 772-4994, [1]. Guided walking tours available July-September at 10:30AM.
  • Greater Portland Landmarks, 165 State Street, Phone: +1 207 774-5561 Fax: +1 207 774-2509, [2]. A resource for tours.

Portland's Downtown District, 549 Congress St., Phone:+1 207-772-6828. wwww.portlandmaine.com

Get in

By plane


  • Portland International Jetport (IATA: PWM) (ICAO: KPWM), [3]. Located in Portland. Nonstop flights to/from and (Departures per day and airlines): Atlanta (2 Delta), Baltimore (2 Airtran), Charlotte (1 US), Chicago (3 United), Detroit (2 Northwest), JFK (3 Jetblue, 4 Delta), LaGuardia (6 US), Newark (4 Continental), Orlando (Airtran on Saturdays, Jetblue Fri/Sat/Sun), Philadelphia (5 US), Dulles (3 United), Washington National (3 US) . Taxis and shuttle bus transfer downtown (5 miles).
  • Pease International Tradeport, PSM. Located in Portsmouth, New Hampshire, 55 miles away.
  • Manchester Airport, MHT. Located in Manchester, New Hampshire, 100 miles away.


  • Boston Logan International Airport located in Boston, Massachusetts, 105 miles away. The Amtrak Downeaster connects Boston to Portland, from Boston's North Station.
  • Concord Trailways, [4] Bangor to Augusta to Portland to South Station to Logan and Portland to Logan (express). 20 departures from Portland to Boston (plus 10 express) a day. Thompson's Point Rd., Toll free: 800-639-3317.
  • Greyhound, [5]. Numerous destinations and departures
  • Amtrak, Thompson's Point Rd., [6]. The Downeaster operates between Portland and Boston North Station. Trains run both ways five times each day. The train ride is about 2.5 hours, and a round trip ticket costs only $44. Kids 15 and under ride for $11. If you want to make a day trip to Boston, you can leave at 8:00am and be back in Portland by 8:55pm, and still have from about 10:30am-6:00pm to sightsee in Boston.
  • Interstate 95. Access from the North and South on the Maine Turnpike I-95 take Exit 44 to I-295 into downtown Portland.
  • U.S. Highway 1. The more scenic route.
  • U.S. Highway 302. Access from West.
  • Harbormaster, Phone +1 207 772-8121, VHF channels 9,16. City facilities: Public float at State Pier (30 minute tie-up), Ramp & float at East End beach with showers, water.
  • Bay Ferries Portland (The Cat), 468 Commercial Street, Phone: +1 207 761-4228, [7]. Service to Yarmouth, Nova Scotia, and from Yarmouth to Bar Harbor for passengers or vehicles on fast catamaran.
Casco Bay Ferry in the Old Port.
Casco Bay Ferry in the Old Port.

Portland, and Maine in general, does not have an extensive public transportation system, so renting a car is generally the best option. While 5 o'clock traffic can get a little congested, driving in Portland is not a daunting task. The downtown peninsula is one of the most walking friendly cities in New England.

Metro, 114 Valley St, Phone: 207-774-0351, [8]. Bus line has a regular schedule, and provides a high level of service for a city of its size. Metro is not the best option for late night socializing. There are numerous taxicab companies. Downtown, especially in the Old Port or by the waterfront, walking is probably the best option.

The Old Port and Downtown Arts District areas are very walkable and pedestrian friendly. The pedestrian always has the right of way, and when driving you should be on the watch for pedestrians.

Car Rentals
  • Avis (at Jetport) +1 207 874-7500
  • Enterprise +1 207 772-0030


  • Airport Cab 207 899-5335
  • ABC Taxi, +1 207 772-8685.
  • Old Port Taxi, +1 207 772-8294.
  • Jetport Taxi, +1 207 775-6990.
  • Elite Taxi, Valley St. 871-7274
  • Family Taxi, +1 207 615-9353.
  • ASAP Taxi, +1 207 791-2727

Casco Bay Lines, 56 Commercial St, Phone: 207-774-7871 [9]. Year-round scheduled ferry service from the Portland waterfront to Peaks, Great Diamond, Little Diamond, Long, Chebeague, and Cliff Islands in Casco Bay, as well as a summer-only daily tourism cruise to Bailey Island. Leashed dogs and bicycles are carried for an additional fee.

Portland Head Light
Portland Head Light
  • Portland Museum of Art, 7 Congress Sq., Phone: +1 207 775-6148, Fax: +1 207 773-7324, Email: info@portlandmuseum.org, [10]. Tu,W,Th,Sa,Su 10AM-5PM, F 10AM-9PM. Memorial Day-Columbus Day: also M 10AM-5PM. Consisting of the historic McLellan House, the L.D.M. Sweat Galleries, and the I.M. Pei Designed Payson building, this museum houses a large collection of Winslow Homer works, as well as 17,000 sculptures, paintings, and objects from the 18th-century onwards. $10 Adults, $8 Senoirs/Students, $4 Ages 6-17, under 6 are free
  • Childrens Museum of Maine, 142 Free St., Phone: +1 207 828-1234, [11]. Tu-Sa 10AM-5PM (also M in summer); Su Noon-5PM. Located next to the Museum of Art, this Museum features 3 stories of interactive exhibits, including "Our Town", an area with an interactive grocery store, farm, vet, firetruck, and more, and the "Explore Floor", which includes "LL Bear's Discovery Woods" and a mini planetarium. At the top of the building is the Camera Obscura, which offers panoramic views of the city and teaches children about light. $8
  • Portland Observatory, 138 Congress St., Phone: +1 207 774-5561 ext. 104. Memorial Day to Columbus Day, Daily 10-5PM. Built in 1807, this National Historic Landmark is the only existing historic maritime signal station in the United States. Educational tours are offered at the 65 foot tower, or you can climb to the top on your own. Either way, you get great views of the waterfront. $7/$5
  • Portland Head Light and Museum, 1000 Shore Rd. Cape Elizabeth, Phone: +1 207 799-2661, [12]. Museum open 10AM-4PM daily June-Oct; weekends in shoulder seasons. Grounds open daily year round and free. One of the most scenic lighthouses in the country. Adjacent to Fort Williams, a WWII artillery emplacement. $2/$1.
  • Victoria Mansion, 109 Danforth Street, Phone: +1 207 772-4841, [13]. May-Oct. Victoria Mansion, also known as the Morse-Libby House, is the finest example of residential design from the pre-Civil War era in America. With superb architecture and well-preserved original interiors that were among the most lavish and sophisticated in their day, it is an unparalleled document of America’s highest aspirations in architecture, interior design, and the decorative arts. $10/$3.
  • Bug Light Lighthouse across the Fore River in South Portland offers unparalleled views of the Portland skyline and Casco Bay.
  • Spring Point- Coastal area in South Portland which is home to the old Fort Preble, Spring Point Ledge Light, Portland Harbor Museum and Southern Maine Community College. There is a breakwater extending out into the harbor which is great to fish off of.
  • Stroudwater Village, just west of the Portland peninsula is one of Maine's oldest.
  • Old Port, [14] Next to the downtown area along Commercial St. next to Casco Bay. The Old Port is filled with neat shops, restaurants, and cafes, and has something of a European feel to it thanks to its many narrow cobbled streets and old brick buildings. Go here to shop and eat at both high-end and casual, local establishments. The Old Port is a great place to take a walk and smell the ocean air.
  • Eastern Promenade. A neighborhood providing amazing views of the Casco Bay and the islands
  • Western Promenade. A more residential area where you can see examples of mansions built by wealthy sea captains long ago.
  • Deering Oaks. A 51 acre area in Portland with a tennis court, baseball diamond, playground and pond. You can ice skate on the pond in the winter.
  • Willard Beach in South Portland right across the bridge.
  • Hadlock Field, Fitzpatrick Stadium and Portland Exposition Building, located off I-295. Home to most of Portland-area sports, including Portland Sea Dogs-
  • Portland Sea Dogs Baseball, Hadlock Field, Phone: +1 207 879-9500, [15]. A Boston Red Sox AA affiliate with a Fenway Park replica field. $3-$8 (2006).
  • Cumberland County Civic Center, Middle Street, (207) 775-3458, [16]. Box Office: 9:30 to 5:30. The main event space in Portland, this 6,733 seat arena host concerts, expositions, and the Portland Pirates, the minor league affiliate of the Buffalo Sabres (NHL)  edit
  • Fore River Gallery, 613 Congress Street, 207-791-2723, [17]. A fine art gallery displaying the works of the three owners, Anna Russo, Elizabeth Marks and Mike Marks. A wide range of artwork is displayed; from paintings, ceramic wall hangings, to metalsmithing and jewelry. It's near the intersection of High Street and Congress Street, diagonally from the Portland Museum of Art. free.  edit
  • Back Cove. This large inlet connected to the sea by a small canal, has a recreation path over 3 mi (5 km) long and was designed by the firm of Frederick Law Olmsted and lined with linden trees to memorialize World War One dead.
  • Portland Schooner Company, 40 Commercial St., Phone: +1 207 766-2500, Toll free: 1-87-SCHOONER, [18]. During the summer months you can purchase tickets on the Maine State Pier, right next to the ferry. From 2-hour sails to overnight charters.
  • Casco Bay Lines, 56 Commercial Street, Phone: +1 207 774-7871, [19]. Taking a tour of Casco Bay on the ferry is a great way to enjoy Portland from a different perspective. In addition to fishing vessels and cargo and tanker ships, during the Spring and Summer months many sailboats, yachts, and cruise ships provide enjoyment.
  • Center for Cultural Exchange , 1 Longfellow Sq. Congress and State Sts., Phone: +1 207 761-1545, [20]. A community center for the expression of traditional folkways and contemporary performance which hosts over 200 events per year.
  • U.S. Highway 1. Be sure to drive up this scenic coast-hugging road whether on a clear or foggy day.
  • Lucky Catch Lobster Cruise, 170 Commercial Street, Phone: +1 207 761-0941, [21]. Go on a lobster boat for a 2 hour cruise. You can help bait the traps, throw the traps overboard and more. Great for kids.
  • Maine Day Trip, Phone: +1 207 838-5275, [22]. Private tours of Southern Maine originating in Portland for individuals and small groups. This is your opportunity to explore and photograph many of Maine's unique views up close and personal. Your personal tour guide is available year round.
  • East End Beach. take a swim at East End Beach located on top of munjoy hill  edit
  • Eli Phant, 253 Congress Street, 207-253-8000, [23]. 11am-6pm Wednesday through Saturday. Eli Phant sells handmade and designer goods including silkscreen prints, pillows, accessories, ceramics and other unique items.  edit
  • Fore River Gallery, 613 Congress Street (Fore River Gallery is located at 613 Congress Street in the heart of downtown Portland's Arts District, near the intersection of High Street and Congress Street, diagonally from the Portland Museum of Art.), 207-791-2723, [24]. A fine art gallery displaying the artwork by the three owners, Elizabeth Sherman, Anna Russo and Mike Marks. A wide range of original artwork available to suit everybodys tastes. Paintings, ceramics,jewlery and more.  edit

The Old Port

The Old Port is nestled against the busy port and home to 19th century streets filled with boutiques, galleries, restaurants, bars and coffee shops. The district sells everything from one-of-a-kind jewelry and designer jeans to best-selling books and surf boards. The Movies is a small independent movie theater on Exchange Street and The Nickelodeon is a larger theater on Temple Street. Fore Street and Wharf Street offer a number of bars and the area fills with partiers on Friday and Saturday nights in the summer. The Casco Bay Ferry to the islands and The Cat high speed ferry to Nova Scotia leave from Commercial Street. The Narrow Gauge Railway and Museum is located off Commerical Street.

  • Books, Etc. on Exchange St. is a small independent bookstore with a diverse selection of new books.
  • Simply Scandinavian, Market St. and Exchange St. Two stores that sell only Scandinavian food, clothing, toys, books, art, decorations, etc.
  • Videoport on Middle Street, just east of Post Office Park in the Old Port, has a great selection of new and used movies for sale and for rent.
  • Bull Moose Music next door specializes in new and used records and CDs.
  • Communiques, 3 Moulton St, (207) 773-5181. Brimming with Maine souvenirs & clothing, toys, books, personalized mini-license plates & keychains.  edit
  • Company C, 123 Commercial St, (888) 780-1232, [25]. Mon-Sat 10-6, Sun 10-5. This home furnishings and decor store sells rugs bedding, and more, all featuring colorful and fun textures and fabrics  edit
  • Cool As A Moose, 388 Fore St, (207) 774-4515. This quintessentially Maine souvenir store sells cool toys, clothes, and other Maine-y gifts  edit
  • Cross Jewelers, 570 Congress St, (207) 773-3107, [26]. Mon-Fri 9:30-5 (Open until 8 on Thurs). A fine retail jewelry store that has been owned in Portland for over 100 years. Sells diamonds & colored-gem jewelry, plus Maine-mined tourmalines.  edit
  • D. Cole Jewelers, 10 Exchange St, (207) 772-5119, [27]. Extensive collection of handcrafted jewelery in platinum, gold & silver. 5 jewelers for custom designs.  edit
  • Decorum, 231 Commercial St, (207) 775-3346, [28]. Quality restoration, renovation, or new kitchen, bath, door & cabinet hardware, and unique home accessories.  edit
  • Designs by C.C., 7 Pleasant St, (207) 761-9697. Custom jewelry specializing in Maine Tourmaline, other Maine gems & minerals, fossils, glassware & repair.  edit
  • Edgecomb Potters Gallery, 49 Exchange St, (207) 780-6727, [29]. Offers fine pottery, jewelry, art & American crafts.  edit
  • Fetch, 195 Commercial St, (207) 773-5450, [30]. Mon-Sat 10-6, Sun 10-5. Portland's original dog & cat supply. Large selection of dog collars, pet clothing, and other fun, high quality products. Profits help animals & the environment.  edit

The Arts District

The Arts District centers around Congress Street, which runs through the center of the city. The Portland Museum of Art sits in Congress Square across from the Eastland Park Hotel and next to the Children's Museum of Maine. Galleries abound in the Arts District, as do restaurants and watering holes. The Maine College of Art, which houses the Institute of Contemporary Art, and SPACE Gallery are both located on Congress Street. The music venue One Longfellow is located on Congress where it enters the West End and the Portland Stage Company is housed among a cluster of galleries at the top of Forest Avenue, near Congress. Congress street is home to an L.L. Bean outlet store and in Monument Square you can find a permanent farmers' market called the Public Market House. On Wednesdays between May and November other local farmers sell local produce and flowers and in the square.

The Arts District includes more businesses that cater to local residents, but there are also several great used books and music shops:

  • Yes Books on Congress St. near Congress Square is overflowing with used books, including a behind-the-shelf collection of rare and valuable volumes.
  • Enterprise Records [31] sells used vinyl records in the State Theater building on Congress Street just west of Congress Square.
  • Cunningham Books is a slightly-more-organized and spacious used bookstore on State Street in Longfellow Square.

The East End

The East End [32] includes India Street, Middle Street, Washington Avenue and Congress Street as it heads up Munjoy Hill. This neighborhood contains many restaurants, galleries and small shops. At the top of Munjoy Hill is the Portland Observatory and the St. Lawrence Arts & Community Center.

  • Angela Adams is the world headquarters for this designers internationally renowned rugs and home accessories. It is located on Congress Street.
  • Homegrown Herb & Tea is a tea house on Congress Street offering medicinal tea and custom herbal blends. The owner mixes them according to Ayurvedic medicinal traditions.
  • Rabelais Books is a bookstore on Middle Street that exclusively sells new, used and rare food-related books.
  • Eli Phant, 253 Congress Street 207-253-8000 [33]. Eli Phant sells handmade and designer goods including silkscreen prints, pillows, accessories, ceramics and other unique items.
  • Ferdinand is a local favorite and sells cards, vintage finds and all sorts of fun stuff "fashioned by ferdinand".


Portland offers a sophisticated restaurant scene, with chefs focused on locally-sourced food. The city offers white tablecloth restaurants serving tasting menus to cheap eats selling burritos. The abundance of lobster, haddock, clams, scallops and other seafood allows restaurants to sell these usually expensive items at reasonable prices. In the Old Port and especially on Commercial Street, there are many seafood restaurants. Portland is the most ethnically and culturally diverse city in Maine. This means the city offers up Vietnamese, Thai, Polish, African, Middle Eastern, Greek, Japanese and Indian restaurants. Most of these places are inexpensive and delicious. Being home to many eco-conscious people, Portland offers a number of dining options for vegetarians and vegans. Portland also has the second highest restaurant per capita in the country, second to Seattle.

  • Walter's, 5 Exchange Street, Phone: +1 207 871-9258, [34]. Located in the Old Port since the summer of 1989, Walter's has an eclectic selection of international fare that features bright menu ideas and creative dishes that fuse Asian, Caribbean, Mediterranean, and local influences with an emphasis on pasta and fresh fish. Whenever possible, Walter's uses local purveyors for produce, meats and seafood. Walter's has a nice wine list, spanning the world from Napa, South America, France and Italy to the Land Down Under. They also have spectacularly unique martini offerings, including the Pear, made with fresh pear puree."
  • 51 Wharf Restaurant & Ultra Lounge, 51 Wharf Street, Phone: +1 207 774-1151, [35]. Right on Wharf Street, this restaurant and ultra lounge is the newest high end place in the Old Port. 51 is a modern restaurant with a contemporary, yet uncomplicated approach to food. With a cozy fireplace for the winter and a open air bar and deck in the summer, this place is the new place to be. 51 Wharf describes their bar as "51's sleek and sexy first floor bar is perfect for wine, cocktails, a bite from the Bar Menu and to people watch! The cozy lounge area with leather furniture is inviting to all. 51 is perfect to enjoy dinner, a quick snack at bar, or share a romantic bottle of wine in the lounge."
  • Becky's Diner, 390 Commercial Street, a fixture of the working waterfront. Becky's is a well loved greasy spoon that starts serving breakfast a 4AM. Fisherman and other waterfront workers start their early days here. On the weekends you can also find many people ending their nights with pancakes and famous homefries. Bumper stickers can be seen all over town reading, "Becky's Diner -- Nothing Finah".
  • Flatbread Co., 72 Commercial Street, Phone: +1 207 772-8777, [36]. Right on the water with one of the best views of Portland Harbor and Casco Bay in town, a fun and funky staff that toss your pie in a wood-fired clay oven. Flatbread is a great place to go for a fun night out in the old port and also family friendly. It offers organic food and many vegetarian and vegan offerings.
  • Fore Street Restaurant, 288 Fore St., Phone: +1 207 775-2717, [37]. This place is reserved weeks and sometimes months in advance. But, you can get in just about any night if you arrive at opening about 5;00 PM and get on the list for their open seating. It is worth it. Start looking for it early, some people drive past this place three or four times before finding it and ask where it is when they are right in front of it. Very small sign. It's located on the south side of Fore Street between Franklin and Pearl streets, and is to the right of the Bangor Savings Bank / Baker Newman Noyes building. If you see the private garage on the first floor of the bank building, you'll notice a staircase to the right, and then a one-story building that doesn't remind you of a restaurant.
  • Ribollita, 41 Middle Street, Phone: +1 207 774-2972, Excellent Italian food. Fresh pasta, creative specials and the best mussels in Portland!
  • Sebago Brewing Company, 164 Middle St., Phone: +1 207 775-2337, [38]. This brew pub offers 7 unique brews on tap and a wide variety of entrees. There is an upstairs for a more social dining atmosphere and a downstairs for a quieter environment.
  • Susan's Fish and Chips, 1135 Forest Av., Phone: +1 207 878-3240. Known for its large portions, freshness, and those reasonable prices.
  • O'Naturals, 83 Exchange St., Phone: +1 207 321-2046. A four-store restaurant chain local to Maine and Massachusetts that has cafeteria-style natural foods. Great for vegetarians and vegans.
  • Gilbert's Chowder House, 92 Commercial St., Phone: +1 207 871-5636. Old Port District. Taste great New England Clam Chowder here.
  • Fuji, 29 Exchange St., +1 207 773-2900, [39]. Offering a sushi bar, and Hibachi tables, the Japanese cuisine here is delicious. The hibachi tables are a great dining experience, but only open for dinner hours, and the wait can become long.
  • The Front Room Restaurant & Bar, 73 Congress St., +1 207 773-3366, [40]. A neighborhood restaurant started in the first floor of an apartment building on Munjoy Hill near the Eastern Prom, chef Harding Lee Smith's restaurant is getting an excellent reputation off the Hill as well. Excellent food for a good price, with a small bar available. The kitchen is in plain view from the seating area, and that's just the way the owner likes it. Weekend evenings will involve a wait, and the waiting area is rather limited.
  • Stir Crazy, Congress Street. A Chinese restaurant.
  • Caiola's, located on Pine Street. Small rustic restaurant with an ever changing rural european style menu. Fantastic wine and food, a favorite for local foodies.
  • Arabica, located on Free street. Chess can be played here. Coffee biscotti.
  • Bill's Pizza, located in the old port. Also has sandwiches. can be pricey though.
  • Benkay, 2 India St, (207) 773-5555, [41]. Classic sushi bar on the Waterfront.
  • Local 188, 685 Congress Street, [42]. Bohemian elegance with locally produced food and a great wine list.
  • Oh-No Cafe, 87 Brackett Street. Specializing in boutique breakfast sandwiches.
  • Happy Teriyaki, 630 Congress Street, 207-771-2000. Japanese cuisine.  edit
  • Wild Burrito, 574 Congress St, (207) 761-1600‎. Their food is good, very reasonable prices  edit
  • 1 City Center, located in downtown portland. dunkin donuts and other food places are here  edit
  • J's Oyster, 5 Portland Pier, (207) 772-4828‎. 4 stars  edit
  • Breaking New Grounds, 13 Exchange St, (207) 761-5637. located in the old port  edit
  • Mr. Bagel, Downtown Congress Street.  edit
  • Stavros, Forest Avenue. Great pizza for a afordible price!  edit
  • Little Caesars. 5 and change gets ya a hot pizza  edit
  • Old Port Sea Grill and Raw bar, 93 Commercial St., 207-879-6100. Fresh seafood, simply prepared and one of the largest raw oyster selections in the area  edit


Portland, and especially the Old Port, has a reputation for many bars and pubs of varying caliber. From bars for longshoremen and lobster men, to pub serving micro-brews brewed on-site, to night clubs, there's something for everyone.

  • The Great Lost Bear, [43] Located outside of Old Port, this is a must for the discerning beer drinker. With over fifty beers on tap, "The Bear" has gained national renown for the variety, quality, and depth of its local and imported brews. Extensive pub menu with everything from burgers to vegan chili.
  • The Top of the East. Located in the Eastland Hotel, it offers impressive views of the city and top-shelf libations.
  • Comedy Connection, Custom House Wharf, Portland Old Port, Phone: +1 207 774-5554 [44] Occasionally Maine Comedian Bob Marley will have a show.
  • The Big Easy Blues Club, Market Street, Live music in many styles from local, regional and national acts.
  • Brian Boru, 57 Center Street, Phone: +1 207 780-1506 Irish Pub.
  • Gritty McDuffs, 386 Fore Street, Phone: +1 207 772-2739, [45]. Brew pub and good micro brews.
  • Ri Ra's Irish Pub, 72 Commercial Street, Phone: +1 207 761-4446, [46]. Irish pub with Irish food and live entertainment.
  • Three Dollar Deweys 241 Commercial Street.[47] German beer hall atmosphere in the Old Port
  • The White Heart 551 Congress Street, Phone: +1 207 828-5600, [48]. Outdoor dining and original White Heart cocktails!
  • Geno's, 625 Congress St., Phone: +1 207 772-7891, Rock club featuring original local and regional rock acts in the Punk, Metal, Hardcore, etc, genres.
  • Liquid Blue, 440 Fore St., Phone: +1 207 774-9595. Busy dance club.
  • The Oasis, 42 Wharf St., Phone: +1 207 756-8787.
  • The Asylum, 121 Center St., Phone: +1 207 772-8274
  • Amigo's, 9 Dana St. Inexpensive drinks and Mexican food with a nice fenced-in outdoor patio and bands on weekends in the summer.
  • Blue, 650A Congress St., +1 207 774-4111, [49] live music in a casual beer and wine bar setting.
  • Una, 505 Fore St. [50] Small wine bar with creative cocktails and tapas
  • Novare Res Bier Cafe, 4 Canal Plaza Suite 1, 207-761-2437, [51]. The place in Portland for Beer. 300+ bottles, 25 Constantly rotating taps with rare beers, single malt scotch, wines, tequila, meats, cheeses, and small plates. Novare Res features a large expansive deck with table service, a large bar area, proper glassware, and a cozy brick building basement feel.  edit
  • Old Port Sea Grill and Raw bar, 93 Commercial St., 207-879-6100. Beautiful localy made concrete bar, flat screen tvs, full bar, specialty cocktail list, wine list, and in the old port.  edit
  • Gritty McDuff's Brewing Co., 396 Fore St, Phone: +1 207 865-4321. [52].
  • Allagash Brewing Co., 100 Industrial Way, Phone: +1 207 878-5385, 1-800-330-5385. [53].
  • Casco Bay Brewing Co., 57 Industrial Way, Phone: +1 207 797-2020. [54].
  • DL Geary Brewing Co., 38 Evergreen Drive, Phone: +1 207 878-2337. [55].
  • StoneCoast Brewing Co., +1 207 838-3985, [56].

In addition there are numerous bars and clubs along Wharf Street a cobblestoned alley in the Old Port.

  • Portland Regency Hotel and Spa, 20 Milk Street, Toll Free: 1-800-727-3436, Phone: 207-774-4200, Fax: 207-775-2150, [57]. In the Old Port waterfront district. The building dates back to 1895 and includes exquisite turret rooms, working fireplaces and ornate brickwork. All hotel guests get complimentary saunas, therapeutic steam rooms and waterfall Jacuzzi in The Spa. Beautiful chandeliers, towering windows and a working brick fireplace set the mood of the Portland Regency's premier steakhouse, Twenty Milk Street. The Armory Lounge is a cozy hideaway with cocktails, extensive wine list, and hearty pub fare.
  • Portland Harbor Hotel, 468 Fore St., Toll Free: 888-798-9090, Phone: 207.775-9090, Fax: 207.775-9990, [58]. Experience old world charm, distinctive design, and impeccable service at one of the newest downtown luxury hotels. A unique collection of on-premise services and amenities will enhance your stay be it for business, pleasure or a milestone celebration. The "Eve's At The Garden" restaurant located in the hotel is home to chef Jeff Landry. Named Maine Restaurant Association’s Chef of the year, Chef Landry will compliment your stay with a sumptuous meal.
  • Eastland Park Hotel, 157 High St., Toll Free: 888-671-8008, Phone: 207.775-5411, Fax: 207.775-2872, [59]. Combining American history, modern convenience and euro-style service to give visitors a prime lodging and dining experience downtown. The "Top of the East" restaurant at the top of the hotel offers a stunning panoramic view of the city, while occasionally offering low-key live performers.
  • Fairfield Inn Portland Airport, 340 Park Avenue, Phone: +1 207 871-0611, Fax: +1 207 871-8243, [60].
  • Holiday Inn, 88 Spring St, Phone: +1 207 775-2311, [61].
  • Holiday Inn, 81 Riverside St, Phone: +1 207 774-5601, [62].
  • Motel 6, One Riverside Street, Phone: +1 207 775-0111, Fax: +1 207 775-0449, [63].
  • Portland Marriott, 200 Sable Oaks Drive, 207-871-8000, [64]. checkout: 4:00 PM. Portland Marriott at Sable Oaks is located near Portland Airport and historic downtown Portland and offers space for meetings and events, golf course, fitness facilities, as well as dining options. 12:00 PM.  edit
  • Wild Iris Inn, 273 State Street, Toll-free: +1 800-600-1557 or Phone: +1 207 775-0224, [65]. 7 rooms.
  • Inn on Carleton Bed and Breakfast, 46 Carleton Street, Phone: +1 207 775-1910, Fax: +1 207 761-0956, Toll Free: 800-639-1779, [66].
  • Celtic Cottage Maine, 1433 Westbrook St., Phone: +1 207 773-6072, [67]. 3 rooms. $100-$120.
  • The Chadwick, 140 Chadwick Street, Phone: +1 207 774-5141, Toll Free: 800-774-2137, Fax: 207-774-5140, [68]. 4 rooms
  • The Percy Inn, 15 Pine Street, Phone: +1 207 871-7638, Toll Free: +1 888-417-3729, Fax: +1 207 775-2599, [69].
  • The Inn at St. John, 939 Congress Street, Phone: +1 207 773-6481, Toll free: 800-636-9127, [70].

Staying Safe

In keeping with Maine's reputation as a relatively crime-free U.S. State, there is no place in Portland a visitor should feel like they shouldn't visit during the day. As in any city, be alert in areas that are not well lit at night or deserted. Act with common sense and you should have no trouble.

Maine state liquor laws require all bars to close promptly at 1 am. The Old Port's numerous bars empty into the street at this time. Some rowdiness is to be expected, but there is always an increased police presence on busy nights.

Bug Light
Bug Light
  • Falmouth. A northern suburb of Portland, offering Mackworth Island, an island with a pleasant hiking trail.
  • Bailey Island/Orrs Island Home of the world's only cribstone bridge, allowing water to flow through uninterrupted.
  • Old Orchard Beach, a beach resort town reminiscent of the Jersey Shore. 19 miles south of Portland.
  • Freeport, home of L.L. Beans and many outlet stores.
  • Kennebunkport 30 miles south, charming fishing village offers beaches, antiques and a sneak peak at George H.W. Bush's summer estate.
  • Cape Elizabeth for beaches and lighthouses.
  • Saco on Route 1 south of the city has an amusement park (FunTown USA), waterpark (Aquaboggin), IMAX and a variety of tourist shops and restaurants.
This is a usable article. It has information for getting in as well as some complete entries for restaurants and hotels. An adventurous person could use this article, but please plunge forward and help it grow!


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