South Portland, Maine
South Portland, Maine overlooks the islands of Casco Bay and Portland’s picturesque skyline in the striking New England region. Founded in 1895, this waterfront community is situated along the Portland Harbor less than four miles from the City of Portland. South Portland has a distinct commercial region in the west, while the eastern portion caters to recreational pursuits.According to Census 2000 data, South Portland has a population of 23,324, making it the fourth-largest city in ME. South Portland, a principal city in the Portland – South Portland – Biddeford Metropolitan Area, covers more than 12 square miles. South Portland is in Cumberland County.
With its working waterfront and massive retail center, this suburban community boasts a diverse economic profile. There are world-renowned computer chip factories in South Portland. These include National Semiconductor and Fairchild Semiconductor. Anthem Blue Cross & Blue Shield also has its Maine headquarters in South Portland, and the city is home to Wright Express. Together, these local companies provide employment to more than 6,000 individuals.
South Portland residents enjoy the convenience of air, highway and water transportation. The main runway of Portland International Jetport, Maine’s largest airport, lies within the boundaries of South Portland, while the City of Portland claims the passenger terminal. Rigby Yard, New England’s largest rail yard, is a vital part of the Pan Am rail system, and South Portland is also home to the Port of Portland and the Portland-Montreal Pipeline, the second busiest oil port on the East Coast.
South Portland affords residents and visitors access to a wide array of cultural, historical and recreational activities. History buffs enjoy sites such as the Fort Preble, South Portland Historical Society and the stunning local lighthouses: Portland Breakwater Lighthouse and Spring Point Ledge Light. South Portland also has an impressive selection of beaches, parks, marinas and trails. These include the Greenbelt Walkway, Hinckley Park, Mill Creek Park, Wainwright Farm, and Willard Beach, the area’s last free beach. Those visiting the area also enjoy sites such as the Lyric Music Theater, Maine Mall and the Shoreway Arboretum.
South Portland features a modern public school system with five neighborhood elementary schools, two middle schools and one high school. Portland also has two private parochial schools. Those seeking higher learning have Andover College, Husson University-South Portland Campus, New England Bible College, and Southern Maine Community College from which to choose. In nearby Portland, prospective students also have easy access to facilities such as Maine College of Art, the University of Maine School of Law, the University of New England and the University of Southern Maine.
South Portland, Maine, with its high tech business opportunities and college town atmosphere, continues to progress while maintaining its suburban ambiance. South Portland residents enjoy a centralized location with access to surrounding communities such as Auburn, the Capital City of Augusta, Bangor, Biddeford, Lewiston, Rockland and Waterville, all within a reasonable driving distance.