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Nestled between Maine's forest-covered mountains and spectacular rugged coast, Portland is a rough-hewn gem of New England. Unspoiled landscapes, beautiful vistas, world-class cuisine, stately lighthouses, outdoor adventures, exceptional shopping, unique architecture, an eclectic arts scene… the list goes on. In the Casco Bay region of Greater Portland you'll find it all within a 15-mile radius surrounding the state's largest city — Portland. Right here, in Greater Portland, you can experience a bit of what everyone's talking about, a hip little city on Maine's classic coast. Maine, touted as the outdoor capital of Northern New England, provides the stunning backdrop to the vibrant city life found in Portland.
The past is present throughout the Greater Portland Casco Bay region; ambling through downtown, you'll notice the Victorian architecture and cobblestone streets residing graciously beside modern office buildings. In the Old Port, grand brick buildings, once warehouses for local merchants, now hold a myriad of original shops, galleries and restaurants.
Its history intricately bound to the sea, Portland remains proud of its working waterfront and the celebrated beauty of its rock-bound coast. The waterfront provides access to the sea for commercial shipping and a host of pleasure activities. With some of Maine's best water-access to islands, historic forts and lighthouses, Greater Portland is a choice destination for maritime enthusiasts. In years past, tall ships plied the waters of Portland Harbor where cargo freighters still operate in one of the deepest, best-protected harbors on the east coast. Today, from the welcoming beacon of Portland Head Light to the salty lobstermen of Casco Bay, the coast remains an area steeped in nautical history and graced with the beauty of the sea.
Portland boasts a thriving arts scene and an exclusive Downtown Arts District. As one of the premier cultural centers in northern New England, Portland's visual and performing arts rival those of regions much larger in size. Stroll through the world-class Portland Museum of Art, or wander the cobblestone streets in search of local galleries. From classical to cutting-edge, performing and visual arts are vibrantly alive in Portland and infuse the region with a surprising sophistication. Shop one-of-a kind boutiques, and in the evening dive into a nightlife that features award-winning local brews and a flourishing live music scene.
Greater Portland's Casco Bay area has a beautiful balance of rocky coastline and sophisticated cityscape; toasted Lobster Rolls and gourmet Lobster Thermidor; invigorating sea-spray and spa treatments; lobstermen and businessmen. She has borne destruction by fire and canon and she has been rebuilt. Its citizens are colorful, tenacious and entrepreneurial; they have a genuine love for the region that they share warmly and proudly with visitors.
Named one of 10 best places for the "outdoorsy type” to live by howstuffworks.com — ADiscover (channel) Company. March 2010
US Airways Magazine named Portland, Maine, #14 of the top 17 Destinations to visit in 2010. January 2010
Bon Appétit Magazine named Portland, Maine as the "Foodiest Small Town in America.” October 2009
Forbes.com named Portland as one of America's Most Livable Cities.
U.S News & World Report named Portland, Maine as one of the "Best Places to Retire.” September 2008
Portland was named among the top twelve surprising, thriving and emerging world travel destinations for 2007 by Frommer's Travel Guides and Frommers.com.
Is recognized as one of the healthiest states in the nation with summer temperatures averaging 70°F and winter temperatures averaging 20°F.
Has 5,500 miles of coastline, and about 2,000 islands off the coast.
Is about 320 miles long and 210 miles wide, with a total area of 33,215 square miles or about as big as all of the other five New England states combined.
Consists of 16 counties with 22 cities, 435 towns, 33 plantations, 424 unorganized townships and 1.2 million residents.
Has 542,629 acres of state and national parks, including the 92-mile Allagash Wilderness Waterway, Acadia National Park, and Baxter State Park (location of Mt. Katahdin and the northern end of the Appalachian Trail).
Has one mountain which is approximately one mile high — Mt. Katahdin (5,271 ft. above sea level).
Has the largest wild blueberry crop in the nation, raising 99 percent of all wild blueberries in the United States and is the single largest producer of any blueberries (wild or cultivated) in the U.S.
Ranks seventh in acreage and tenth in production of potatoes nationally.
Is nationally famed for its shellfish. Almost 90 percent of all American lobster is trapped in Maine.
Is the most sparsely populated state east of the Mississippi.
Is the only state in the continental U.S. to be bordered by only one other state (New Hampshire).
Includes Aroostook County which is so big (6,453 square miles) that it actually covers an area greater than the combined size of Connecticut and Rhode Island.
Contains 32,000 miles of rivers and streams equal to more than the combined length of the Mississippi, Amazon, Yangtze and Nile rivers.
Claims America's first chartered city: York, 1641.
Entered the Union on March 15, 1820, as the 23rd state. Thomas Jefferson wrote portions of Maine's Constitution.