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Portland Travel Guide, Maine

Portland is the largest city in the US state of Maine. Ranked among America’s top ten places to reside in 2007 and also named in the Frommer’s list of Top Travel Destinations for the same year, Portland has all the attributes of an advanced, modern city. It is the cultural as well as economic capital of the state and the level of affluence is quite evident in the ways people lead their lives.

The city of Portland was gutted in fire four times but every time the city swept everything aside to rise again; and the indomitable, ‘never say die’ spirit of the inhabitants is something that need an applaud.


Area: 136.2 sq Km

Population: 64,000

Language: English

Currency: USD


In Portland you see grand, magnificent structures standing side by side modern sophisticated buildings. Thus, Portland’s tallest building, the 17-storey Franklin Towers (a high-rise completed in 1969), stands just beside the over-a-century old Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception.

Apart from the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception, Portland has some more buildings and edifices belonging to the 1800s; the Marine Hospital built in 1859 is one such structure and also the 1873-built granite Italianate Custom House.

The 1924-built 14-storey commercial complex (nicknamed by the locals as the Time and Temperature Building) is another notable structure. Following the construction boom of the 1980s, many new buildings have come up. Portland also has many parks and promenades.

Economy and Infrastructure

Portland has a stable economy now but that was not always the case. There was a time when agriculture and fishing formed the base of Portland’s economy but now it has become more service-oriented. Many nationwide financial services and organizations have their operations in Portland. With new openings provided by them, the unemployment level in Portland has lowered.

With ample education, healthcare/medical and other amenities of life, Portland has the perfect infrastructure to sustain day-to-day life. With buses running on important highways connecting Portland to major cities (both within the state as well as to other US cities), the city has excellent transportation facilities. Train services are equally commendable. The Portland International Jetport (located west of the city's downtown district) offers commercial air services. Cruise and ferry services are also available.

People and Culture

The city’s populace comprises people belonging to various cultures and races. About 90% of Portlanders have European ancestry but you will come across Native Americans, Hispanics, Pacific Islanders, African Americans and even Asians. Portland has a large Muslim community.

People are sociable and cultured. They nurture great fondness for various forms of art and Portland has an exclusive Arts District in the downtown area. Besides being the home to the Portland Museum of Art and Maine College of Art, the city also has many auditoriums and theaters, where plays and live concerts are staged to packed audiences.

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