Portland is locally organized by neighborhoods, each with its own flavor.
A few blocks from the waterfront, Portland’s Arts District has been re-imagined from the original department store shopping area to be the home of our world class Portland Museum of Art, the Children’s Museum and Theatre of Maine, the Maine College of Art (MECA), Salt Institute of Documentary Studies, Cross Insurance Arena, the renovated State Theatre, Portland Stage Company, the Maine Historical Society, Museum of African Culture, the stunningly-renovated Merrill Auditorium, and many more museums and art galleries mingled with numerous contemporary music and performance venues, fine and ethnic dining choices.
Walking Congress Street provides a glimpse of office buildings intermingled with historically preserved buildings such as the Wadsworth-Longfellow House, the 19th century childhood home of the poet, and the First Parish Church with an original cannon ball from the revolutionary war as a chandelier. Portland’s City Hall was built by Carrere and Hastings, best known for their design of the New York Public Library. And Portland High School is the oldest standing high school in the country.
The Arts District is also our newest residential neighborhood featuring new condominiums, artist housing, student dorms, and other housing for Portland’s vibrant and diverse residents.
Portland’s Historic Waterfront District
Portland’s Old Port is one of the most successful revitalized warehouse districts in the country. Seamlessly connected to the waterfront, the Old Port is both a working waterfront and a local shopping, dining, residential, and entertainment district.
Taking a walk at the water’s edge along Commercial Street provides a window into the working waterfront. Just steps from the water, one can stroll down the cobblestone streets and experience the quaint charm of this district. The boutique shopping, one-of-a-kind stores, restaurants serving Maine’s famous lobster dishes or the latest farm/ocean-to-table restaurants, and a vibrant nightlife are all unparalleled to any other New England city.
The smell of the sea air, the sound of a foghorn, and the chatter of seagulls add to an atmosphere that is undeniably Portland, undeniably Maine. Church with an original cannon ball from the revolutionary war as a chandelier. Portland’s City Hall was built by Carrere and Hastings, best known for their design of the New York Public Library. And Portland High School is the oldest standing high school in the country.
West End neighborhood is famous for its architecture and boasts some of Portland’s largest historic homes including the historic Victoria Mansion museum. Located on the Western side of the peninsula, with parks, and Victorian neighborhoods the West End is not to be missed.
At the far Eastern end of the promenade is the East End neighborhood that encompasses Munjoy Hill, the Eastern Promenade, East End Beach and the Portland Observatory. Just a few minutes walk to the Old Port, an expansive lawn to enjoy the water views and take in the annual July 4th fireworks!
Bordered by Forest Avenue, Marginal Way, Cumberland Avenue, and Franklin Street, the Bayside Neighborhood hosts an eclectic mix of families and singles, immigrants, large new businesses, and an active neighborhood association. It is also home to Whole Foods, Trader Joes and the Bayside Trail.