Portland, Maine features an ideal fusion of cityscapes and seascapes characteristic of a New England coastal community. Portland stakes claim to a scenic peninsula that spans nearly 53 square miles. Located on the southern coast, this historic city remains the largest in Maine. Portland lies within 55 miles of the Capital City of Augusta and within a reasonable driving distance of smaller communities such as Auburn, Bangor, Lewiston, Rockland, and Waterville.
According to 2006 Census estimates, Portland’s population was 63,011, with more than 230,000 residing in the Greater Portland area. Portland also ranks as the principal city of the Portland – South Portland – Biddeford metropolitan area, which reports a population of 513,102.
Portland is the seat of Cumberland County and the business, financial and retail capital of Maine. Portland is also home to ME’s largest port. Traditionally, the local economy relied on agriculture, fishing and manufacturing; however, in recent years, Portland’s economic lifeblood shifted to rely on more service-oriented industries. These include Aetna, Fidelity Investments and Pioneer Telephone. Residents also have access to the job pool in surrounding areas such as Boston, Massachusetts.
Portland families have a modern public school system and a handful of private school options from which to choose. Those seeking higher education in the immediate Portland area have several facilities to meet their needs. These include the Maine College of Art, the University of Maine School of Law, the University of New England and the University of Southern Maine.
With panoramic views of Casco Bay, Portland lures 3.6 million tourists annually. Popular destinations include Portland Head Light in nearby Cape Elizabeth and South Portland’s two lighthouses: Portland Breakwater Lighthouse and Spring Point Ledge Light. Visitors also enjoy the Old Port District on Portland Harbor, and the Arts District, which is home to the Children’s Museum of Maine, Portland Museum of Art, Portland Symphony Orchestra, the SPACE Gallery and numerous art galleries, performance forums and studios. Each district brings its own distinct flavor, whether it be graceful cobblestone pathways, tree lined streets or waterfront promenades.
Portland features a number of hiking and walking trails, and several pristine parks. Historic parks include Back Cove Trail, Deering Oaks Park, and the Eastern and Western promenades. Baxter Woods, Fore River Sanctuary and Payson Park are among the area’s other lovely parks. Additional tourist hot spots are the Casco Bay Islands, East End Beach, Maine Mall, Maine Narrow Gauge Railroad Museum, Martin’s Point, the Old Port Exchange, the Portland Observatory and the Wadsworth-Longfellow House.
Portland is also home to Cumberland County Civic Center, where the Portland Pirates play, and Hadlock Field, home to the Portland Sea Dogs. Unique shopping experiences, a wide range of culinary options and numerous live entertainment venues all lie within a 15-mile radius of the heart of Portland.
Portland, Maine lies within a scenically stunning region between lush mountain forests and rugged coastlines. This south coast metropolitan community has a progressive spirit with national rankings as one of the ten safest cities, and one of the top cities for doing business in the United States. Without the hustle and bustle of a large city, Portland gives residents and visitors a complete picture of all Maine has to offer.