Portland, the largest city of Maine, consistently ranks at the top of national “best of” lists. It has placed sixth on Forbes’ “Best Cities for Young Professionals” as well as topping its “Most Liveable City” list. It is not only one of the “Coolest Small Cities in America” according to GQ, but it is also one of the “Best Healthy Places to Retire” according to US News. And then, of course, there are all the awards it garners for its restaurants. With about 230 eateries, Portland is one of the cities with the most restaurants per capita in the nation. It was also Bon Apetit’s “Foodiest Small Town” in 2009. Its restaurants and chefs are consistently nominated for the James Beard Foundation Awards.
Portland’s top restaurants such as Hugo’s and Fore Street place an emphasis on the local produce and the exceptional local seafood. Anyone who feels like recreating a fine dining experience at home will be glad to know that the Browne Trading Market is located downtown. This is where you can go shopping for the very uni or Maine sea urchins that are served in the top restaurants across the nation. Nightlife is also plentiful, especially in the Old Port neighborhood down by the waterfront—a perfect setting for getting acquainted with the excellent local beers.
Though the Old Port holds a central place in local culture, the city has several other neighborhoods to offer, each with its own distinct character. There is the West End, known for its well-preserved Victorian architecture. Several of the historic houses in the neighborhood are listed on the National Register of Historic Places. It is bounded by the Western Promenade, a public park that is the venue for the Summer in the Parks Concerts series. There is a corresponding Easter Promenade along the waterfront, looping around Munjoy Hill, a warm, community-oriented neighborhood. The monthly First Friday Art Walk is the perfect time to visit Portland’s thriving art district. The Portland Museum of Art was lauded as “one of the best medium-size museums in New England” by the Boston Globe. There are many more interesting pockets of Portland. Residents will find the exploration of their own city limitless.
There is also plenty to do just a short drive away. Start out with a tour of the area lighthouses. Make sure to go to “Two Lights”. It’s the perfect excuse to stop for a bite at the nearby Lobster Shack. Old Orchard Beach, a popular summer destination, has a beautiful sandy beach that is 7 miles long. Go outlet shopping at Freeport and don’t miss the L.L.Bean flagship store, which is open around the clock. Nature lovers will be overwhelmed by the choice that Maine has to offer. Sebago Lake, the second largest in the state, is thirty minutes away. Rafting and kayaking are both options on the Presumpcot River. Then there is anything from hiking and camping to swimming and bird watching in any one of the numerous national parks to be found around Portland.
Useful links for Portland:
Maine Trail Finder: http://www.mainetrailfinder.com
Portland Museum of Art: http://www.portlandmuseum.org
First Friday Art Walk: http://www.liveworkportland.org/arts/walk
Fore Street: http://www.forestreet.biz
Do you have questions about living and working in Portland or the Greater Portland area? Please contact us at The Hatcher Group and we will be happy to assist you!
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