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About Portland, ME


About Portland - "The Forest City"


If you head to Portland, Maine, make sure you bring your lobster bib because you're going to need it. In the so-called "Forest City", lobster isn't relegated just to swanky and expensive restaurants. In fact, some of the best lobster in the city (and even the country!) can be found at intimate seaside shacks, such as the Shaw's Fish & Lobster Wharf or 5 Islands Lobster Co.

Maine's local food scene has a lot more to offer than "just" lobster. Like fresh maple syrup? Each spring Maine taps into the local trees to produce some of the best syrup in the world. Come fall and you can swing by an apple orchard and pick some of the many variety of apples grown in the state. If you love apples, nothing tops a crispy, fresh-off-the-branch apple.

Portland is also a great place to grab a slice of pie. There are a number of "pie ladies" around town slinging delicious pastries out of their homes, along the side of the road heading to Bar Harbor, or in places like Mt. Desert Islands. Many of the pies are hand prepared by stereotypical grandmas. Don't worry if you're not sure where to find a fresh desert, just ask a local and they'll get you heading in the right direction.

Old Port is an especially interesting neighborhood in Portland. The cobblestone streets and 19th century buildings are definitely worth a visit. There are also a number of great restaurants, pubs, and a healthy helping of night life in Old Port.

There's a lot more to Portland and Maine than great food, however. The state is the definition of picturesque, and many of the landscapes seem like they are straight out of a painting. Towering light houses, steep ocean cliffs, secluded coves, and miles upon miles of beach are just some of the landscapes you can see. Maine has so many sandy beaches that it rivals Florida and other "beach" states. There are plenty of ocean waves as well, and it's not uncommon to see whale breaches. Whether you're collecting beach glass, sunbathing, paddleboarding, or just taking a dip, Maine's coasts offer plenty of opportunities.

You can also head out onto the waves by taking a whaling tour. Often, the whales will pop up right next to you. Besides whale watching, Maine is home to a lot of boat lovers. People aren't all too picky and will take to the seas in just about any vessel. So if you like sailing or boating, you'll certainly fit in.

As for forests, Acadia National Park has just about everything that an outdoor enthusiast could desire. The oldest national park in the East, it's filled with winding hiking trails, biking paths, massive granite peaks, and mountains that stand among the tallest on the East Coast. There are also historical carriage roads, and plenty of trees and greenery. Acadia is a great place to get some fresh mountain air.

The mountains in Maine are especially popular come winter time. Whether you're experienced or have never tried skiing or snowboarding, Maine offers many great opportunities to hit the slopes. If snow's not your thing, consider checking out the fall foliage. Autumn in Maine can be beautiful with trees turning a wide range of reds, yellows, and oranges.

Portland is one of only three states with its own official state "cat", the Maine Coon. Maine is a great place for cat lovers, with one of the highest percentages of households with cats in the country. Felines tend to enjoy longer lifespans here and there's a large number of no kill shelters as well. So if you're looking to take in multiple feline friends, Maine is a great place to do so. No one will give you a second look.

Antique lovers will love the local shopping. The Maine Antiques Trail will take travelers to 29 unique antique shops and malls across the state.

Anyone looking to visit Portland, ME should consider staying at one of the many bed and breakfasts. These quaint and cozy establishments have practically taken the state over, but no one seems to mind. Many feature comfortable rooms, and a warm "at home" feel. Delicious breakfasts are pretty much standard every morning. Many locals also like to retreat to a B&B for R&R from time to time. They are perfect for couples looking to go on a romantic getaway.

When you think of island getaways, you're probably thinking of the tropical sun. However, in Maine you won't have to travel to the tropics. The Maine Coastal Island Registry features 3,166 coastal islands right in state. Instead of choosing one to visit, you can partake on the Maine Island Trail, boating and kayaking from island to island. At night, you can camp out on the shores.

Just make sure you bring bug spray no matter your Maine destination. Mosquitoes should probably be anointed the state bird, and swarms of blackflies can crop up. Bugs certainly aren't the only wildlife, however. Moose are common with only Alaska being home to more. Be sure to treat the moose with respect and caution, however, as they are large and powerful animals.

One thing you might notice in Maine: many of the people are a bit older than usual. Maine's population has an older average age, partly because the state makes such a great retirement destination. Maine has also struggled to attract younger transplants, and some younger folks move out.

However, the state government is working with local employers to draw talent into Maine with its "Live and Work in Maine" program. The "Visit for a Week, Stay for a Lifetime" program even provides funds for Maine employers to provide vacations for potential recruits to come up to the state. Go for a job interview, take a vacation, and if it's a good fit, why not stay? Regardless, Maine's population is still growing slowly.

Either way, from forests to islands, to moose to cats, variety can certainly be found in Maine. Spanning over 33,000 square miles, Maine is nearly as large as the rest of "New England" combined. While Portland is a major Maine attraction, there are plenty of other sites to see and things to do.


Photos of Portland:


Portland, ME
Portland, ME
Skyline
Skyline
Downtown
Downtown
At Nighttime
At Nighttime
From Above
From Above
Harbor
Harbor


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