Welcome to Downtown Portland! At first glance you will see a historic seacoast town with a working waterfront representing Maine’s roots in a robust fishing community. But take a second look and you will also find a vibrant community of small business owners whose stores, galleries and restaurants represent the true heart of what it means to be a Mainer: hard work, fine craftsmanship and pride in representing our unique state. Maine’s largest city (but still quaint by most standards) boasts plenty of fine art, award-winning chefs and some of the best shopping experiences where you can support independent stores.
With over 66,000 full-time residents, Portland swells to two million with the addition of its seasonal visitors and part-time residents in the summertime. The city is located on a peninsula in Casco Bay with access to many islands such as Peak’s, Great Diamond, and Long Island.
Portland stands as one of the few working waterfronts left in the United States, acting as New England’s largest tonnage seaport and second largest fishing port. Portland is also the largest foreign inbound transit tonnage port in the United States! Each year our port alone handles over 206,000 international passengers, including 41,000 cruise ship passengers.
As the economic capital of Maine, major national financial institutions as well as law firms and import/export companies base their Maine operations out of Portland. Walking through downtown Portland, you will notice modern high-rise office buildings located in historic districts intermixed with centuries old architecture.
Pick some of your favorite things to do in Portland while you visit this exciting city. To make sure that you are able to find your way around the city, request a Guidebook today!
Your health matters. All Portland parks, playgrounds, athletic fields, trails, beaches and open spaces are smoke-free (City Ordinance Chapter 17, Article V). For more information, please visit www.smokefree.portlandmaine.gov.
A Foodie Town
Portland hosts award winning restaurants throughout the Old Port, Arts District and outlying neighborhoods. From amazing ethnic foods to classic New England offerings, Portland teams with talented chefs and restaurants that are guaranteed to satisfy every palate.
- Food and Wine Magazine editors named Steve Corry of Five Fifty-Five one of the “The Best New Chefs in the U.S. in 2007” and Hugo’s Rob Evans won this award in 2004.
- Bon Apetit awarded Portland Americas Foodiest Small Town in 2009
- Portland was featured in the New York Times as a food destination, and Sperling’s Best Places listed Portland as a best city for foodies.
Portland’s chefs and restaurants have been honored by the the most coveted of all culinary honors, James Beard Foundation Awards including;
- Fore Street for “Outstanding Restaurant”,
- Rob Evans of Hugo’s and Sam Hayward of Fore Street Restaurant for “Outstanding Chef“
- Krista Kern Desjarlais from Bresca and Demos Regas from Emilitsa for “Best Chef in the North East“.
View/download a map of Downtown Portland.
Portland is locally organized by neighborhoods, each with their own flavor and characteristics. Click here for a map of downtown Portland neighborhoods
Moving to and living in Portland A diverse, creative, beautiful city, Portland offers something for almost everyone and has frequently been listed as one of America’s top cities to live, work, play and visit. Portland is a very livable city for everyone who wants to be part of a community that takes responsibility for themselves
Portland continues to be recognized in national “best of” categories. Check out some of our recent accolades. Most Liveable City by Forbes.com America’s Best Town in the East by Outside Magazine A top Greenest City by Organic Gardening Magazine AARP The Magazine‘s top five most affordable and desirable places to retire and U.S. News Editorial Pick