Portland is a blend of old and new architecture where glass buildings abut brickfront landmarks and cobblestoned streets. Sitting on a peninsula in Casco Bay, Greater Portland is home to 25% of all Maine residents. With robust economic health, beauty, and a sporty yet sophisticated attitude, it attracts 3.6 million tourists each year.
Shopping is sophisticated with everything from international fashion to puppy fashion available. Chain stores take a back seat to smaller outfits selling high-end, unique items. The cuisine is also exceptional with a great variety of ethnic foods.
South Portland ("SoPo" among locals) is home to Maine Mall, Portland JetPort, and Bug Light (Portland Harbor Lighthouse). Fore River separates the two Portlands, leaving SoPo with spectacular views of Casco Bay. Like Portland, SoPo has excellent shops and eateries.
A walking tour of Old Port is enjoyable with many historic landmarks along the waterfront. Narrated cruises are offered as well. And there are countless museums and galleries (even a tattoo gallery) to visit.
Portland's sandy beaches invite swimmers and beachcombers to its shores. There's ample resources for sea kayaking, water skiing, surfing, snorkeling and canoeing in addition to offshore fishing, whale watching, hiking, biking and observing wildlife.
Ice skating is available in the wintertime at many parks and anytime at the indoor Portland Ice Arena. Fishing for striped bass is very popular here; and a number of charter boats set out for the snare in estuaries and along beaches of numerous small islands dotting Casco Bay.
There's an abundance of winter sports. Of course, there's the usual alpine and cross-country skiing. But, there's also snowboarding and ice fishing, snowmobiling and dog sledding. An interesting new sport on the scene is skijoring, a blend of dog sledding and cross-country skiing. Snow tubing is always fun. And, spectator sports at Hadlock Field (Portland Sea Dogs baseball) and Cumberland County Civic Center (Portland Pirates hockey) are great, too.
Portland and South Portland are located on the southeastern tip of Maine on I-95.