Situated on the southern third of Maine’s nearly 3,500 miles of coastline, Portland’s history and culture are deeply rooted in the sea. For centuries, the region of DownEast Maine that’s now home to the state’s largest city served as an important hub for fishing on the East Coast, drawing the Wabanaki Peoples during the summers before Europeans settled in the area. Once Europeans immigrated to Maine, the region’s fishing industry came to be one of the earliest successful European economic pursuits in the region.
But over the years, as the city grew in size and population, so did its offerings. Today, the fishing industry continues to thrive, with boats coming and going from the area’s ports in search of lobster, cod, haddock, and mackerel daily. But Portland is also home to a wide variety of arts, quiet residential streets lined with Victorian houses, and a number of world-class breweries — more per capita than in any other US city. And being just one hour by air from New York City, it’s a great place to explore during a long weekend.