Visit Portland Maine

Visit Portland Maine


Welcome to Southern Maine’s most wonderful community just 2 hours north of Boston.  Portland is the largest city in the state of Maine with the population at approximately 66,000 in 2010.  Notes from the National Register of Historic Places tell us that Portland was originally known as Machigonne, meaning Great Neck, by the Native American people who first lived here.  In 1632, the British arrived and established a fishing and trading settlement called Casco, later changing the name again to Falmouth.  In 1675, the Wampanoag  people destroyed the settlement and as quickly as it was rebuilt destroyed it again.  In 1775, the city was destroyed yet again during the American Revolution.  Following the war, the area began to develop as commercial port and shipping center and in 1786 a group of citizens broke off from Falmouth and formed a separate town named Portland.

For a while life was good in Portland.  Then on July 4, 1866, fireworks ignited a great fire that once again destroyed most of the city leaving 10,000 people homeless.  Maine’s rugged fortitude persevered.  Portland was rebuilt stronger than before with Victorian style brick buildings and huge Victorian mansions along the promenade.  Today, Portland is one of the most beautiful cities in northeastern United States.  Much of the Victorian architecture has been meticulously preserved.  A strong sense of community, progressive outlook and scenic beauty make it easy to see why Portland consistently ranks high on “most distinctive places to visit” and “perfect places to live” lists including Forbes magazine, April 2009.

The erection of the Maine Mall, an indoor shopping center established in the suburb of South Portland during the 1970’s economically depressed downtown Portland.  The trend reversed when tourists and new businesses started revitalizing the old seaport, locally known as the Old Port.  Since the 1990’s the historically industrial Bayside neighborhood saw rapid development.  The emerging harborside Ocean Gateway neighborhood at the base of Munjoy Hill and the Maine College of Art have been revitalizing forces downtown, attracting students from around the country.

Areas of Interest Around the Portland, Maine Area

Portland’s City and Government Information

Learn more about our City Council, meetings and local events, airport, seaport, transportation, public libraries, recreation, police and fire services, neighborhoods, jobs and much more!

Top Reasons Why You May Want to Consider Moving to Portland, Maine

Portland Maine ranked #1 Forbes Magazine’s “America’s Most Liveable Cities, 2009

Portland Maine ranked as Bon Appetit magazine’s “America’s Foodiest Small Town” 2009

  • Portland named among the top twelve surprising, thriving and emerging world travel destinations for 2007 by Frommer’s Travel Guides and Frommers.com
  • Portland Ranked #2 in Self Magazine’s 2006 Healthiest cities for women
  • Portland Ranked #20 in Inc Magazine’s 2006 Boston Town List of Hottest Cities for Entrepeneurs
  • Portland named among the top 50 “Best Places for Business and Careers in the U.S.”  These rankings combine nine factors, including cost of doing business, job growth, income growth, educational attainment and crime rates. (Forbes Magazine, May 2006)
  • The Port of Portland emerged as one of the Nation’s Leaders in four separate categories in 2005 according to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Annual Table Report.  The Port of Portland ranked as: 1. The largest foreign inbound tonnage transit port in the United State; 2. The largest tonnage port in New England; 3. The 25th largest port in the United States; 4. The largest oil port on the U.S. East Coast
  • Maine named the second-safest and fourth-healthiest state in the nation. (Morgan Quitno Press, 2006)
  • Portland named #15 in medium sized Top U.S. Cities for Doing Business.  In the overall category of small, medium and large cities combined, out of 25,000 cities examined, Portland ranked #32. (INC. Magazine, May 2005)
  • Portland Named #1 Top Market in Small Business Vitality.  The study suggests Portland to be the strongest small-business sector of any large metropolitan area in the United States and ranked it as the hottest small business market in which to develop a company.  (American City Business Journals, January 2005)
  • Portland Named #14 in “Best Performing Cities” index, for its economic vitality based on measures that include employment and salary growth, with an emphasis on high-tech industries. (Milken Institute, California, November 2004)
  • Portland Named “One of the 10 Great Adventure Towns” (National Geographic Adventure Magazine, August 2004)
  • Portland named #23 in the Top 25 Cities for Doing Business In America (INC. Magazine, March 2004)
  • Portland Named #6 as one of the ten safest, culturally most fascinating U.S. Cities (Travel Smart Consumer Newsletter, January 2004)
  • Portland Named Bike Town U.S.A. (Bike Town Magazine, January 2004)
  • Portland Maine Ranked #20 on the list of Top 20 Best Small Cities for College Students by the American Institute for Economic Research
  • Portland Maine named one of the “Coolest Small Cities in America” by GQ Magazine

Information from the Convention and Visitor’s Bureau of Greater Portland