Life in Portland
Called the “Jewel by the Sea” by its celebrated native, Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, Greater Portland combines the best of all worlds – the variety of a big city and the beauty and quality of life in Maine. Located near lakes and mountains, on the shores of Casco Bay, Portland boasts innumerable fine restaurants, shops, and cultural institutions. The pace of Portland is a comfortable one. There are no wild dashes for commuter trains, no miles of frustrating traffic jams. Instead, there are rolling hills, picturesque villages and stretches of sandy beaches within fifteen minutes of the city center. Casco Bay, 20 miles long and 12 miles wide, is streaked with numerous long, thin peninsulas, and 136 islands.
The Portland area provides many high-quality, affordable living opportunities, as well as excellent school systems and the safety of one of the lowest violent crime rates in the United States. Accessibility, excellence, and affordability are key words in describing the cultural experiences available in the area. The nationally acclaimed Portland Symphony Orchestra, led by conductor Robert A. Moody, performs in the historical Merrill Auditorium. The Portland Museum of Art, designed by the architectural firm of I.M. Pei, recently acquired the collection of Joan Whitney Payson, including works by Picasso, Whistler, Wyeth, and Chagall. The Cumberland County Civic Center provides a forum for concerts, ice shows, circuses, and semi-professional hockey. Hadlock Field is home to the popular Portland Sea Dogs AA League baseball team. Learn why Livability.com ranks Portland as one of the top 5 best places to live.
Above all, however, it is the healthy and invigorating outdoor experiences that define the Portland way of life. World-class hiking, sailing, skiing, and beaches, to name but a few, make this an attractive area in which to live and work. Combined with a Greater Portland area population of over 200,000 hardworking and friendly people, the Maine slogan “The Way Life Should Be” suggests that life in Portland will be a pleasant and enduring experience.
Things to Do!
Take a deeper look into all of the great things Portland has to offer.
Research Institutes and Agencies
- Bigelow Laboratory for Ocean Sciences
- Biotechnology Association of Maine
- Gulf of Maine Research Institute
- Foundation for Blood Research
- The Jackson Laboratory
- Maine Medical Center Research Institute
- Maine Space Grant Consortium
- Maine Technology Institute
- Mount Desert Island Biological Laboratory
- Shoals Marine Laboratory
Forbes Magazine recognized Portland as America's Most Livable City. Many residents get together on a frequent basis and take advantage of all the greater Portland area has to offer, including:
- BEACHES! The Maine coast has a plethora of beaches, check out some of the best ones here. Crescent Beach is beautiful and only 15 minutes from MMC.
- Outdoor activities, such as hiking, sea kayaking, biking, camping, surfing, and skiing. Hiking is all over Maine; Bradbury Mountain is 30 minutes from Portland and Acadia National Park is 3 hours north. Camping is scattered throughout Maine. For skiing, Sunday River is 90 minutes from Portland and Sugarloaf an hour further.
- Amazing restaurants. Portland won Bon Appetit's distinction of being America's Foodiest Small Town in 2009 by Bon Appetite Magazine and we compete with San Francisco for having the most restaurants per capita. Check out an overview of our incredible food scene here and scroll through the Portland food web here.
- Craft beer. We've got 14 breweries in our city and all offer unique tastes. Don't forget to stop in at the craft beer bars and restaurants.
- Arts scene. First Friday art walks, local and nationally known musical acts, Maine craft stores, and the Portland Museum of Art are all great ways to explore the area.
- Sports. Portland boasts the Sea Dogs, a Double A affiliate of the Boston Red Sox; The Pirates, the minor league hockey team for the Arizona Coyotes; and the Red Claws, the minor league basketball team for the Boston Celtics.