With over 200
restaurants in Portland, there's almost too much to
choose from for a night out. Stop by Norm's Bar &
Grill on Congress Street, a favorite hangout for ribs.
Or pop into Benkay Sushi & Japanese Restaurant, one
of five Sushi restaurants in the city.
If you want to
splurge, make reservations at Fore Street, written up in
the New York Times as one of the best restaurants in the
country. Then there's the 37,000-square-foot fresh food
hall, the Portland Public Market, featuring products
from over 25 local farmers and food producers.
The city boasts half-a-dozen brew pubs and
there are several microbrew companies that make Portland
one of the top cities in the country for locally-brewed
beers and ales.
The city's Old Port,
a historic district dating back to the 1860s, features a
mix of coffee houses, bookstores and funky clothing and
jewelry stores. It's the kind of city where a local
entrepreneur, Angela Adams, designs high-end rugs
featured in Metropolitan Home magazine and purses that
are now on sale at Neiman Marcus.
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. There are over 50 art
galleries in the area with work ranging from traditional
Maine landscapes to the latest installation art.
It's an easy city in
which to be entertained. Live music, featuring a
particularly strong roots-music scene, flourishes in
local clubs and bars. Big-name acts like Elton John, Bob
Dylan and Eric Clapton play the Cumberland County Civic
Center. The 1,900-seat Merrill Auditorium draws
performers such as Lyle Lovett, Jerry Seinfield and
cellist Yo Yo Ma. And there are a half-dozen resident
theater companies, including the professional Portland
Stage Company. When it comes to classical music, there's
the Portland Symphony Orchestra, the Portland Opera
Repertory Theater and the Portland String Quartet.
With all this
sophistication, it's easy to forget the amazing range of
outdoor activities in Portland. Outside magazine named
Portland one of its "Top 10 Dream Towns" as one of the
best places in North America to live. In the city of
Portland there are over 100 miles of walking trails,
including a 7-mile-stretch right on the ocean. There are
four outstanding beaches within a half-hour's drive of
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 a
half-hour of the city; and major downhill ski areas
within an hour and a half's drive.
Just 20 miles to the
west is the Sebago Lake region, with over 50 lakes
dotting the landscape, providing ample opportunities for
canoeing, fishing and swimming. Covering 45 square
miles, Sebago Lake is the second-largest lake in
The city is home to a
minor league hockey team, the Portland Pirates and the
local baseball team, the Portland Sea Dogs, is
affiliated with the Boston Red Sox.
With its mix of
historic neighborhoods, fine restaurants and numerous
outdoor opportunities, Portland is consistently ranked
by national magazines, Web sites and television shows as
one of the most desirable cities to live in