Located on the coast with easy access to the western lakes region and mountains, Portland is the largest city in Maine with a population of approximately 64,000 people. It has much to offer in the sports arenas with its own minor league baseball team, the Portland Sea Dogs, and hockey team, the Portland Pirates. The downtown art district is anchored by the Portland Museum of Art, located in a building designed by I.M. Pei. Just down Congress Street is the Maine College of Art , which trains artists of the future and draws some of the best contemporary artists in the world to its gallery, the Institute of Contemporary Art.
If it is music you are looking for, Portland offers a wide variety of venues. The Cumberland County Civic Center hosts big-name acts such as Eric Clapton and Elton John while the 1,900-seat Merrill Auditorium draws performers such as Lyle Lovett and Jerry Seinfeld. The Portland Stage Company is the professional theatre in the area and the Portland Symphony Orchestra and the Portland Opera Repertory Theater offer numerous classical music performances.
Portland is located on the western side of Casco Bay. The bay's 220 islands make it the perfect place for kayaking, sailing, or fishing. There are cross-country ski areas within 15 minutes of the city and two major downhill ski areas within a two-hour drive. The Sebago Lake Region, 20 miles northwest of the city, offers opportunities for canoeing, fishing, and swimming as well.