Lighthouses, lobsters and long stretches of beach epitomise Portland. And while that still rings true, Portland is changing. So today, along with the bearded fishermen who have spent their lives at sea, expect a fair smattering of bearded hipsters, who inject their lives into the city.
Portland is a place that delivers, whatever time of year. Summer and you’ll be enjoying some of those famous beaches and winter will have you cosying up around fires in log cabins. Spring is when the glorious forests come back to life but autumn is when Portland’s literal true colours shine through.
The east coast’s famous fall foliage is everywhere, and for anyone lucky enough to be visiting the region around this time of year it would be a crime not to enjoy pyrotechnical displays of Mother Nature’s finest work. But there is much more to this maritime city than trees – although that is enough for many. Victorian architecture, a thriving, arts scene from crafts to clothing and world famous cuisine (Portland has the most restaurants per capita, second only to San Francisco), have put Portland on the map.
The city was founded in 1632 and quickly prospered through shipbuilding and export. The extension of the Canada Trunk Railway to the city gave Portland a heady status as being 100 miles closer to Europe than any other US port, and it became a boom town. A key destination on the freedom trail that helped African Americans escape slavery in the South, the town has retained its tolerant ambience and laid back feel.