Maine isn’t called Vacationland for nothing. As one of the most lovely states in the country to visit, we see more and more folks deciding that actually living here would be even better. While we’re not trying to lose the laid-back vibe of America’s best state, we do think it’s worth mentioning that Portland was recently named as
one of the top 50 towns in America by Business Insider. Here are a few reasons why we completely agree!
1. It's got a wonderful working waterfront.
While most Portlanders won't ever have a reason to leave the docks as early as a fisherman, so much of Portland's history is captured at these working piers. There's even a day dedicated to exploring these in-use areas.
2. The amenities are great.
With a list of restaurants, bakeries, bars and concert venues that's a mile long, you can't pick a better place for amenities. It's not the peaceful woods, but if you need a hospital, hair cut or hair-of-the-dog to get you through the day you'll want to head straight to Portland.
3. You'll have access to Deering Oaks Park.
This 55-acre park is located west of Downtown Portland and acts as home to the weekly Farmer's Market on Saturday into the fall. It's a perfect place to take your time enjoying the outdoors without leaving town.
4. It's consistently ranked as one of the best places to retire.
Portlanders have access to trails, skiing, swimming, running and many other outdoor activities. As a result, it's often said to be one of the healthiest places to grow old.
5. The city has a rich history.
Pictured here is the old trolley car system on Commercial Street. The Native Americans who first lived in the area named Portland “Machigonne,” which means Great Neck. The first European, an English navy captain (Christopher Levett) arrived in 1623. He had been granted the land by the King to start a settlement in Casco Bay.
6. The city has relatively low unemployment.
Compared to the rest of the country (and the state), Portland has a lower unemployment rate. Compared to the national average of around 4.9%, Portland's 3.6% looks pretty good.
7. The cost of living is lower than others on the list.
The truth is that many national reports place Portland at a slightly higher cost of living index compared to the national (and even Maine) average. Not hugely, but slightly. The good news is that Portland Maine has a significantly lower cost of living than the often confused (and we say lesser) Portland Oregon.
8. It's the best in overall quality of life.
, ranks Portland one of the best in overall quality of life. According to the site, Portland ranks 53% higher than the national average in terms of quality of life. We believe it - between the proximity to history, beauty and nice people it's hard to believe any place would rank higher.
9. It has the most breweries per capita than any other city in America.
Always found at the top of the list in terms of number of breweries and the overall beer culture, Portland has at least 17 microbreweries currently operating. With only 60,000 residents there might be more beer than people!
10. Portland's Jetport was ranked best in North America.
Last year, Airports Council International named Portland International Jetport the best airport in North America. This is a result of high rankings in efficiency and wait times for check-in, courtesy of airport staff, cleanliness of terminal, as well as ground transportation.
11. Casco Bay offers access to tons of local island escapes.
Portland is located on Casco Bay, home to over 200 islands. We recommend the short ferry ride to any of the inhabited ones for a day escape from the city to explore a beautiful, slower pace of life.
12. Portland was America's first state capital.
It remained the first for seven years when, in 1827, the state capital was moved to the more centrally located Augusta.
13. It offers city living with access to the outdoors.
Living in Portland means walkable access to bars and restaurants, with the added bonus of being able to access nature and Maine's landscape with a short drive.