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Living in Portland

What do Portlanders care about? Our values are reflected in the kinds of community organizations, independent media, education, recreation, and entertainment opportunities that we enjoy. Below you’ll find information about all of those things, as well as the neighborhoods we live in and how life changes through the seasons.

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Education for Kids

Access Maine keeps a database of local special education, learning disability, and mental health resources for parents and youth.

About 5,000 Maine children are homeschooled each year. Start here for an overview of state requirements.

Maine Unschooling Network describes itself as a “a secular community of whole-life learners, autodidacts, and radical unschoolers of all ages, questioning and living free of institutional education.”

Math Affect is a private consultancy that uses “neuroscience based learning interventions” to help kids with math and other academic challenges on the full range of the educational spectrum. Contact Cristina Cumming at 207-233-2564.

Read, learn, grow, and play at Portland Public Library. PPL has a strong (and long) tradition of serving kids & families with great collections, programs, and services designed to build kids’ love of reading and discovery, as well as engaging with parents, teachers, and other child educators. Every PPL location has a dedicated area just for kids, for reading, exploring, and enjoying their programs.

Portland Public Schools is Maine’s largest and most diverse school district, serving nearly 7,000 students from pre-kindergarten through grade twelve, and more than 4,500 adult learners. There are ten elementary schools (two located on islands), three middle schools, and four high schools, including King Middle School and Casco Bay High School, which both operate on an expeditionary learning model. This quick fact sheet provides additional information about the district.

The city is also home to a number of private day schools that serve students from early childhood through grade twelve. For a comprehensive list, peruse these public and private schools on Wikipedia.

Sports and Recreation for Kids

Aikido of Maine offers instruction for children ages three through seventeen.

Casco Bay Movers has dance classes for children and teens including hip hop, modern, and jazz.

The City of Portland website has a list of all the playgrounds in Portland, with links to further information.

Discovery Martial Arts has martial arts and self-defense classes for children of all ages.

EVO Portland has spring break and summer camps for kids, climbing programs for ages three and up, climbing teams for ages six to 19, a home school climbing class, and space for birthday parties.

Greenlight Studio offers an indoor play space for kids from birth to age six, with climbing structures, a stage for imaginative play, reading and drawing areas, Lego play tables, trains, a kid-size housekeeping area, and a place for crawlers to crawl. For adults, there's a cafe and espresso bar. 

Maine Juniors Volleyball is a non-profit organization committed to the growth and development of youth volleyball in the state of Maine. 

Maine Premier Soccer is Portland’s Premier Development League soccer team, offering a junior program and camps for all ages.

Portland School of Ballet has been the premier dance education center of the Portland community for over three decades, offering ballet and supplemental classes to children ages three and up

The Portland Department of Recreation sponsors a variety of classes, camps, and sports programs for kids and teens.

William B. Troubh Ice Arena has public skating hours from June through April and ice-skating lessons for ages four and up.

Portland Porpoise Swim Club is a private swim team for kids elementary through high school age.

The YMCA of Southern Maine's Portland Branch offers many different programs for kids year-round, along with childcare services.

The Racket and Fitness Center offers tennis programs for kids ages six and up.

Rippleffect offers a variety of outdoor summer youth programs including multi-day kayaking trips and outdoor leadership seminars.

Sail Maine is a community sailing program with an educational focus, offering programs for kids, adults, and people with special needs.

Real Estate + Housing

Apartment Guide & Craigslist are helpful tools for finding apartments/homes for rent in the Portland area. 

Maine Listings lets you browse residential and commercial property listings throughout the state by country, town, and property type. It is the official MLS website in the state of Maine. lets you search property listings for rent and sale by zip code, price range, and number of beds and baths.

Trulia and Zillow provide an easy way to browse available housing--for sale and for rent--in Portland. Both sites make it simple to search by price, type of house, and neighborhood location.

Cultural Resources for Kids

Appolon School of Music and Art offers group and private violin and cello lessons, a chamber orchestra program, and music theory classes.

The Children’s Museum & Theatre of Maine has a full roster of events for the younger set, from story hours and science challenges to cultural cooking classes, as well as ongoing educational programs and summer camps.

Cultivating Community has programs and internship opportunities for young farmers and green thumbs, including the Youth Growers program for ages fourteen to seventeen, which provides hands-on experience with all aspects of the growing cycle, from planting to distribution.

Immersion Programs at the Language Exchange has classes and tutoring for children ages four through fourteen and instruction for teens and older learners in over eleven other languages, ranging from Swedish to Portuguese. They also encourage homeschoolers to get in touch about language instruction. 

Love Lab Studio is a children's art studio offering creative workshops for children and families, day programs, art & craft products, birthday parties, and more.

The Maine Academy of Modern Music is a statewide independent music school focused on rock and contemporary music. Portland programs include music lessons, the rock band ensemble program, and summer rock camps.

Maine Kids Code is an after-school program for middle school students interested in coding and technology in the Greater Portland area. Students focus on creating interactive stories, making games, and on the intersection of technology, art, and music.

Oak Street Studios, an art institute for young people, offers weekly classes for kids throughout the year, as well as summer camps.

Portland Conservatory of Music offers group and private lessons, as well as summer camps focusing on a variety of musical genres, from world music to jazz and rock.

Portland Museum of Art hosts exhibits and special events for kids and families throughout the year, as well as summer Museum Art Camps.

Portland Pottery has classes for kids and teens throughout the year and summer camps focusing on clay sculpture, metalsmithing, fiber arts, and a variety of other disciplines.

The Portland Youth Film Festival is an annual event for students from kindergarten through 12th grade, intended to bring the community together to create and celebrate film. The Festival sponsors the Young Filmmakers' Contest in the categories of Short Film, Documentary, and Potluck .

The University of Southern Maine's Southworth Planetarium offers laser and star shows, classes for kids and adults, and a space for private shows and birthday parties.

The Telling Room is a non-profit community writing center for young writers ages six to eighteen, with after-school tutoring and open writing hours, summer camps, a Super Famous Writers Series, and field trips.


Back Cove is the neighborhood adjacent to the tidal basin on the northern side of Portland, bordered by a popular running trail and Baxter Boulevard. Quiet residential streets branch out from the Boulevard like spokes, and three-story Victorians intermingle with ranch houses with tidy, fenced-in yards. Back Cove is away from the bustle of the downtown, but like most places in Portland, just five to seven minutes from where you need to be. To learn more, contact the Back Cove Neighborhood Association.

West Bayside is a centrally-located neighborhood with easy access to the heart of the city. It is bordered by Marginal Way to the north, Franklin Street to the east, Congress Street to the south, and Forest Avenue to the west, and home to the best bowling alley in town, Bayside Bowl. To learn more about the neighborhood, contact the Bayside Neighborhood Association.

Deering Center is situated between Brighton Avenue, Woodford Street, Forest Avenue, and Walton Street. The neighborhood is home to many schools, including Longfellow Elementary, Lincoln Middle School, and Deering High School, as well as the historic Evergreen Cemetery and Baxter Woods nature preserve. To learn more about the neighborhood, contact the Deering Center Neighborhood Organization.

Downtown is the heart of Portland, running from High Street to Franklin Street, and from Cumberland Avenue down to Portland’s working waterfront. Downtown residents enjoy views of Portland’s picturesque brick cityscape, and coffee shops, restaurants, museums, galleries, and bookstores are conveniently located right outside their doorsteps. To learn more about Portland’s downtown neighborhoods and beyond, explore the Portland Downtown District’s guide to areas of interest.

East Bayside is one of the most diverse, quickly growing neighborhoods in Maine and is bounded by Franklin Street, Washington Avenue, Marginal Way, and Congress Street. The neighborhood is home to businesses including Tandem Coffee, Urban Farm Fermentory, Rising Tide Brewing Company, Portland Power Yoga, and many artist studios and galleries. To learn more, contact the East Bayside Neighborhood Organization or check out their Facebook page.

East Deering is Portland's easternmost neighborhood, situated between Munjoy Hill, North Deering, and the neighboring town of Falmouth. This economically diverse, comfortable suburban neighborhood provides unmatched views of Casco Bay and Mackworth Island from many of its homes. It's also home to the 47 acre Payson Park, which has one of the best sledding hills in the city. Contact the East Deering Neighborhood Association for more information.

Libbytown is a convenient neighborhood for commuters. It’s on the southern edge of Portland, bordered by the Fore River and South Portland, and is close to the Portland Transportation Center and the interstate. Libbytown is home to recreational facilities including the Kiwanis Pool and the Dougherty Field Skatepark. To learn more about the neighborhood, contact the Libbytown Neighborhood Association.

Munjoy Hill is on the eastern edge of the Portland peninsula overlooking Casco Bay and about a half mile from the heart of downtown. It’s the city’s hip, up-and-coming neighborhood, with a coffee shop, a corner store with organic local produce, and several little restaurants. Decks and balconies on Munjoy Hill look out onto the Eastern Promenade, a scenic waterfront park with a small beach and bike path, a favorite of active Portlanders and dog owners alike. For a window into this hilltop neighborhood, peruse Munjoy Hill News or contact the Munjoy Hill Neighborhood Organization. Support Munjoy Hill’s scenic overlook of Casco Bay by joining Friends of the Eastern Promenade

Nason’s Corner includes the areas on both sides of outer Brighton Avenue starting at Wayside Road out to Westbrook. The area is sandwiched by the two largest green spaces in the city, Evergreen Cemetery and the Fore River Sanctuary, and also contains Capisic Pond Park and the Capisic Brook Trail. Also check out the Nason’s Corner Park Community Playground Greening Project. To learn more, contact the Nason’s Corner Neighborhood Association.

North Deering is a large residential neighborhood on the northeastern edge of Portland, bordered on the west by train tracks, and on the east by the town of Falmouth. North Deering is home to some of Portland's oldest houses, spared from the fire that burned much of the city in the 19th century, as well as the 48-acre Presumpscot River Preserve. To learn more about the neighborhood, contact the North Deering Neighborhood Association.

Parkside is—as it sounds—the area adjacent to Deering Oaks park, a 55-acre grassy expanse in the center of the city which has nearly 1,000 trees, a pond, wading pool, playground, tennis and volleyball courts, and is also the site of the weekly Portland Farmers Market between the months of May and November. To learn more about the neighborhood, contact the Parkside Neighborhood Association.

Peaks Island is one of over 200 islands in Casco Bay and is just an 18-minute ferry ride from downtown Portland. The island is home to many artists, writers, and educators. There is a public elementary school on the island, and Peaks Island students attend King Middle School and Portland High School. The island is home to around 900 year-round residents, and the population blossoms to 2,000-4,000 in the summertime. To learn more, check out the Peaks Island website, as well as the community site.

Riverton is a large neighborhood in the northwest corner of Portland, bordered by the town of Westbrook. The Riverton neighborhood is home to a branch of the Portland Public Library, the Riverton Community Pool, the 1.5 mile long Riverton Rail Trail, and one of the city's best sledding hills, at Riverside Golf Course. To learn more, contact the Riverton Community Association.

The family-friendly Rosemont neighborhood, with its small streets and older homes, is tucked between Deering Center to the north and Libbytown to the south. It's home to the original Rosemont Market, as well as Spiral Tree Yoga and the Rosemont Artists Guild of Maine. Rosemont has an active Neighborhood Association that can provide you with more information.

The St. John Valley neighborhood is on the eastern edge of the Portland peninsula, south of 295 between Libbytown and the Western Promenade. This eclectic neighborhood includes the Valley Street Dog Park, a variety of restaurants and markets, including Salvage BBQ and The Holy Donut, and King Middle School. To learn more about the neighborhood, contact the St. John Valley Neighborhood Association.

Stroudwater encompasses the area west of the railroad tracks, abutting South Portland to the south and Westbrook to the west. At the southern tip of Stroudwater is the Portland International Jetport, and the neighborhood is home to the Tate House--the oldest building in Portland--and the Stroudwater Historic District, as well as the Stroudwater River and Trail. To learn more about the neighborhood, contact the Stroudwater Village Association.

The West End has an air of quiet grandeur. It’s home to large nineteenth and early twentieth-century brick, stone, and clapboard homes with tidy yards and colorful gardens. The tree-lined streets with single and multi-family homes feel much like the residential streets of Cambridge. The Western Promenade, a grassy walkway with views of the White Mountains and the Fore River, slopes down to the historic Western Cemetery, creating a natural boundary for the neighborhood. From the West End, Portland’s downtown district is just a short walk away. To learn more, contact the West End Neighborhood Organization or the Western Promenade Neighborhood Association, and read the West End News website.

Woodfords-Oakdale is centrally located, just northwest of the downtown area, but with quiet, tree-lined residential streets and easy access to several schools. This walkable, bike-friendly neighborhood extends to the Back Cove at its northeast edge, and includes the Portland campus of the University of Southern Maine, as well as Big Sky Bread Company and Artist & Craftsman Supply. To learn more about the neighborhood, contact the Woodfords-Oakdale Neighborhood Organization.

Fitness Centers

Bay Club is a premiere fitness facility with personal trainers, steam and sauna rooms, a raw juice and smoothie bar, chiropractic and massage services, and a wide array of classes and exercise equipment.

The Body Architect is a hidden gem of a fitness center in Portland’s East End. Treadmills and elliptical machines face out over the Back Cove, and membership includes full access to classes like kettle bells, yoga, and cardio kickboxing.

Planet Fitness is on Marginal Way, making it convenient for commuters. The basic membership is just $10/month, and the gym is open 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

Shift Portland believes that fitness and movement are synonymous with a happy, healthy life. Whether you are recovering from an injury or surgery, starting a fitness routine for the first time or are a seasoned athlete, Shift Portland will develop a completely individualized program to reach your goal and get you feeling better than you have in years.

University of Southern Maine’s Sullivan Recreation and Fitness Complex is open to the general public on a membership basis.

World Gym is known for their “boot camp.” It’s on Marginal Way, a convenient location for those who come into town by the highway.

Sports to Play + Do

The Bicycle Coalition of Maine works to make Maine a better place to bike and walk. Also check out their event calendar.

Casco Bay Movers Dance Studio offers classes for both kids and adults.

Casco Bay Sports is a locally run sports management company that organizes adult sports leagues, including bowling, basketball, and soccer.

Dancing in Maine is a directory of dance resources in Maine, including dance organizations, venues, instructors, and an events calendar.

EVO Portland is Maine's newest and largest indoor climbing gym. The facility has 16,000 square feet of climbing surface and welcomes all levels of ability: beginner, intermediate, advanced lead climbing, speed climbing, and bouldering. There are programs for kids ages three and up, as well as youth summer camps, adult classes, yoga, and zumba.

Fleet Feet Maine Running sponsors a variety of running groups and training programs for both new and serious runners in Portland. 

Maine Ballroom offers dance classes in many styles, from ballroom dancing to Salsa to Argentine Tango.

Maine Triathlon Events Calendar lists the numerous triathlons in Maine every year.

Riverton Pool, Reiche Pool, and the outdoor Kiwanis Pool offer swim lessons for children and adults, adult aerobics, open swim, and rental opportunities. Check out the schedules of these public pools.

Portland Community Rowing Association offers both competitive and recreational rowing opportunities to kids and adults from Portland’s East End Beach.

Portland Department of Recreation sponsors a variety of recreational activities for adults, including yoga classes, a soccer league, and group trips to Boston Red Sox games.

Portland Ice Arena has public skating hours from July through April and ice-skating lessons for both kids and adults. It’s also home to the Casco Bay Hockey Association.

Portland Porpoise Swim Club has swim teams for ages six through 24.

Portland YMCA has a pool and fitness center, and offers classes for kids and adults throughout the year. Here’s how to join.

PortSports is a co-ed social club sponsoring charity-based casual sports leagues, social and charity events, and sport-based excursions throughout the year.

Porttango lists Portland Argentine tango classesevents, and more.

The Racket and Fitness Center is Maine’s largest indoor tennis facility, with nine air conditioned tennis courts, racquetball and wallyball courts, and a fully equipped fitness center.

Rosa Noreen is a belly dance performer and teacher based in Portland. Learn more about her classes.

Civic Engagement Opportunities

The Bicycle Coalition of Maine has done a variety of advocacy and structural improvement work in the city and Greater Portland since 1992. Join them to make Maine better for biking.

The City of Portland oversees a diverse group of committees and boards, from the Land Bank Commission to the Public Art Committee. Contact the individual committees for information on how to get involved. You can also check out current volunteer opportunities with the City or make a donation.

Food Blogs

The Blueberry Files is the blog of a Portland transplant, food expert, and writer, with photos, recipes, and reviews.

While Eater Maine does cover the whole state, you can use the sort-by-town feature to find out what's happening in Portland's food scene.

Eating Portland Alive is the blog of a Maine-raised teetotaler who dines his way around the Portland area.

Food Coma is a blog about eating and drinking (a lot) in and around Portland, and sometimes cooking.

Immigrant Kitchens is the blog of professional cook Lindsay Sterling chronicling her adventures in the kitchens of local immigrants.

Peter Peter Portland Eater is the blog of a hungry local who eats his way around Portland, reviewing restaurants as he goes.

Portland Food Map is a complete resource for nearly every eating and drinking option in the city, as well as food and drink-related businesses, events, news, and more.

Snap Reviews is described as a "diary of dining our way through Greater Portland, Maine." A camera-phone shot and a few sentences capture moments in time at area restaurants and cafes.

The (207) Foodie is a Bangor Daily News blog that explores Portland's food scene.

Urban Eye is the Bangor Daily News food, culture, and coffee blog of writer Kathleen Pierce.

Urbanspoon Portland has an impressive collection of restaurant reviews by critics, food bloggers, and Urbanspoon users.

Vrai-lean-uh is a blog about cooking and eating, including recipes, tips for feeding kids, and local restaurant reviews.

Food Publications

The Bollard features a Food & Booze column, with restaurant reviews and tales of eating, drinking, and food shopping in Portland.

Community Kitchens is a local access cable cooking show on Portland's CTN5. Each month the hosts visit and interview a chef in his or her kitchen.

Maine magazine’s website has articles on Maine food destinations and features on Maine food and drink.

Portland Monthly has a dining guide and an extensive archive of restaurant reviews.

The Portland Phoenix has a Food + Booze column, with a collection of restaurant reviews and articles on farmers, food and drink purveyors, and local food culture.

The Portland Press Herald's Food column features restaurant reviews, recipes, and news.

Independent Media

The Bollard is a monthly independent news and arts publication, featuring news, reviews, and music and theater listings.

The Forecaster newspaper covers southern Maine from Scarborough to Bath in four print editions and online. 

The Free Press is the University of Southern Maine's campus newspaper, published weekly in print and online during the academic year.

Maine Home + Design is a shelter magazine that focuses on Maine interiors, architecture, arts, and crafts.

Maine magazine covers the whole state from its home base in Portland including food, recreation, travel, music, art, style, and notable people.

Maine Public, the state's premier, independent public media resource, has studio offices in Portland, Lewiston, and Bangor and broadcasts on TV, radio, and online.

Maine Women Magazine is a monthly publication for, about, and by Maine women and is distributed throughout Southern Maine. 

Mainebiz is a twice-monthly publication that covers statewide business issues.

Old Port Magazine is published quarterly and covers food and drink, art and culture, interesting people and places, and noteworthy happenings in Portland. 

Portland Media Center (formerly Community Television Network) is Portland’s public access television service.

Portland Monthly is our glossy “city” magazine featuring personality profiles, arts news, food and local flavor, reviews, events listings, and original fiction.

The Portland Phoenix has its finger on the cultural pulse of Portland, with articles, reviews, and editorials about the latest news, music, movies, art, and places to eat and drink in Portland.

The Portland Press Herald is Portland’s daily newspaper. It is part of the Maine Today Media company, which also publishes the Maine Sunday Telegram.

The West End News is a free, independent community newspaper published monthly and circulating on First Friday. 

WMPG is Portland's community radio station, based on the campus of the University of Southern Maine, and features incredibly varied community radio programming from Russian rock to Cambodian pop to old-time country.

What People Say About Us

Business Insider (2014): One of the 14 Places You Should Plan to Visit in 2014

"America's other Portland has been gaining a reputation as a funky low-key destination that prizes quality food and cutting-edge art." (2014): One of 7 Cities that Handle Snowstorms Like Pros

Portland is among the towns that "handle snowstorms like absolute professionals," earning it's accolade of "one of the toughest towns in America."

CBS San Francisco (2013): One of 5 Best Places in America for a White Christmas

"Featuring stunning views of the rugged Atlantic coastline, the state’s largest city kicks off the holiday season with its annual Christmas Tree Lighting the day after Thanksgiving in Monument Square."

Condé Nast Traveler (2014): #1 Most Underrated American City

"Time to give some love to this coastal city, which is rich with history, has a thriving microbrew scene, and more catch-of-the-day seafood restaurants than any one city deserves."

Elle Decor (2015): The Coziest City in America

"A team of environmental scientists revamped the definition of 'cozy' to evaluate this year's contenders, looking at restaurants and coffee shops but also museums, florists, breweries, and bed-and-breakfasts."

ESPN (2014): One of the Top 6 Places to Watch Elite Baseball Prospects

The Sea Dogs, the Boston Red Sox's Double-A affiliate, boasted enough elite prospects on this year's team that they made this list of the most exciting minor league teams to watch in America.

Forbes (2012): #5 Best City for Finding Employment Right Now

"The ranking reflects considerations such as: the diversity of industries in the city, the cost of living, the range in size of companies offering employment, and high level of education among its residents."

Green Living Magazine (2014): #1 Happiest City in the Eastern US

"Between the impressive air and water quality, and twice as many doctors per capita versus the national average, the smogless skies make Portland the healthiest urban center in the States."

Huffington Post (2014): One of the 13 Greatest Destination Food Towns

"Local cuisine is king in Maine's coastal food town. The innovative Vinland restaurant serves only local ingredients -- waiters are outfitted in locally-made duds, and the interior is decorated with white birch, too."

Outside Magazine (2014): #13 Greatest Place to Live in America

"With an influx of bike commuters and locally sourced eateries, and a burgeoning art and music scene, the East Coast’s Portland (pop. 66,000) is starting to resemble its beard-dominated West Coast counterpart."

Popular Mechanics (2014): The 4th Best Startup City in America

"Three square blocks. That's roughly the size of the epicenter of the industrial boom in Portland right now. You'll find them in East Bayside, your classic old-tool-and-dye-factories-turned-coffee-roasters-and-breweries-plus-a-Whole-Foods neighborhood. Bomb Diggity Bakery, Rising Tide Brewing Company, Urban Farm Fermentory—businesses like these are redefining this historic port-based trade hub as startup central."

Smarter Travel (2014): One of America's Best Small Cities on the Rise 

"There are so many artists, photographers, ad-agency writers and designers, and high-tech creative types in Portland that collectively they're driving change in the city."

Parenting Magazine (2012): #3 Best City for Education

"Already doing well with its small class sizes, Portland also ranked for its low student-to-teacher ratio and high graduation rate."

Parenting Magazine (2012): #3 Best City for Families

"New to this year's list, Portland is another small, northeastern city that lures parents with clean air, plenty of outdoor space for kids to play, and a laid-back lifestyle that encourages healthy, active family living."

Kiplinger Magazine (2012): #1 Best City for Your Second Act

"Portland's lively arts scene, highly skilled workforce and inventive cuisine, along with a low crime rate and high-quality medical facilities, are drawing professionals who are making their home base here and telecommuting or flying to their jobs."

USA Today (2014): #7 Best Beer Town

"Spearheading the beer movement in Portland, Maine is Allagash Brewing, which produces some of the country's best Belgian ales and offers one of the best brewery tours."

USA Today (2014): One of 10 Best Cities for Urban Cross-Country Skiing

"Downtown Portland, Maine's Exchange Street is often treated to the unusual sight of skiers zapping by after substantial snowfall. This oddity begins to make sense when one discovers that Exchange Street is home to the Ski Maine Association, representing the Maine Alpine & Nordic Ski Industry."

Wine Enthusiast (2014): One of America's 5 New Foodie Cities

"Here, a spate of new restaurants join burgeoning coffee and distillation scenes. Don’t miss Eventide Oyster Co.’s remarkable array of oysters and a great reserve wine list shared with Hugo’s next door, or Maine’s first 'restaurant-within-a-restaurant,' David’s Opus Ten."

Yelp (2014): #1 Best City to Shop Local For the Holidays

Yelp "analyzed millions of reviews and business listings to determine the US cities with the largest concentration of highly-rated local businesses where holiday shoppers can find great gifts."


Casco Bay Lines offers year-round ferry service between Portland and the islands of Casco Bay: Peaks, Little and Great Diamond, Cliff, Long, and Chebeague, as well as special summer cruises to Bailey Island.

Maine Department of Conservation has information about parks and public lands in the Greater Portland and Casco Bay region, including Mackworth IslandTwo Lights, and Crescent Beach State Park.

Maine Living has a guide to beaches in the Greater Portland and Casco Bay region.

The Portland Freedom Trail, comprised of sixteen marked sites, recognizes people and places associated with the Underground Railroad and anti-slavery movement in Portland. You can print out a map to guide your walk.

Portland Trails is a nonprofit urban land trust that maintains fifty miles of multi-use trails in the greater Portland area. Check out the trail map.

Community Support Organizations

Catholic Charities Maine is dedicated to providing support for the refugee and immigrant communities in Maine. Learn more about making a donation or volunteer opportunities, from ESL tutoring to the American Friends Program, which matches English-speaking families or individuals with refugee families.

For more than 30 years, the Center for Grieving Children has been an oasis of loving support for children, teens, young adults, and others experiencing loss and grief. The services of the Center are free, and made possible because of trained, dedicated volunteers and community support

The Immigrant Legal Advocacy Project provides free and low-cost immigration information and legal assistance to low-income Maine residents. ILAP helps immigrants keep their families together, gain protection from persecution and domestic violence, attain residency and work authorization, and become proud U.S. citizens. There are many volunteer opportunities.

ITN Portland offers dignified, affordable rides to seniors and visually impaired people within a 15 mile radius of Portland. You can donate money, a car, or volunteer as a driver

LearningWorks helps provide learning opportunities for at-risk youth, the immigrant community, and low-income families. Learn about making a donation or volunteering with one of the organization’s programs.

Maine Medical Center is a nonprofit community hospital serving the greater Portland area. Learn about volunteer opportunities at the hospital.

Mercy Hospital is a nonprofit community hospital sponsored by the Sisters of Mercy of the Americas. Learn how to make a donation or volunteer.

The mission of The Opportunity Alliance is to transform the community by helping people in need build better lives. To support the Alliance, make a donation here.

The Portland Community Health Center provides primary and mental healthcare for adults and children. Portland CHC is dedicated to providing high quality, patient-centered healthcare that is affordable and culturally sensitive. In addition to serving uninsured patients on a sliding fee scale, Portland CHC welcomes individuals with MaineCare, Medicare, and private insurance. Portland CHC welcomes donations.

The Portland Housing Authority, which provides affordable housing and services, runs three neighborhood study centers for students who might otherwise have trouble finding a place for quiet study and homework help. The study centers primarily serve students in grades three through 12, but they are also a resource for community members and Adult Education students. Find out more about volunteering.

The Portland Ronald McDonald House provides a home away from home for families of children with cancer and other serious illnesses. Families can stay in proximity to the treatment hospital, be comfortable and cared for during their stay, and enjoy home-cooked meals, private bedrooms, and a place for children to play. There are many volunteer opportunities.

Preble Street provides support for people experiencing problems with homelessness, housing, hunger, and poverty through drop-in centers, soup kitchens, food pantries, shelters, social work services, and supported housing. You can help by volunteering, making a financial contribution or in-kind donation, and more.

Southern Maine Agency on Aging matches volunteers with seniors in need, from Meals on Wheels to Veterans Helping Veterans, while their RSVP program helps members aged 55 and over find meaningful volunteer opportunities.

STRIVE (Socialization-Transition-Reflection-Innovation-Vocation-Education) is an organization designed to address many of the issues faced by young adults with disabilities. Learn about the many ways to get involved.

Wayside Food Programs is dedicated to increasing access to nutritious food for those in need in Southern Maine. Wayside’s hunger relief efforts include free community meals, mobile food pantries, a kids’ healthy snacks program, and community gardens. Wayside collects and distributes food to 47 agencies, including soup kitchens, food pantries, and other social service providers. You can help by donating money, food, or time.

Economic and Cultural Organizations

ProsperityME offers financial literacy courses and one-on-one financial counseling for individuals and families. Their services are open to all refugees, immigrants, asylees, and low-income individuals in Greater Portland and Lewiston/Auburn, Maine. 

Friends of Congress Square Park is a non profit organization that maintains, beautifies, and holds over 200 arts related events over the course of their season in Congress Square Park. Their mission is devoted to creating a welcoming, safe, supportive, and fun atmosphere in the heart of Portland's downtown area. 

Hour Exchange Portland is a community service exchange network that enables members to donate their time and expertise in exchange for needed services. Learn how to become a member or make a donation.

The Maine Charitable Mechanics Association is a community organization that supports and builds networking for Maine's makers and arts and cultural entrepreneurs. MCMA co-sponsors non-profit events, rents space for private functions, and looks for partnerships and volunteers in the local community.  MCMA is located at Mechanics' Hall.  Mechanics' Hall includes a membership library and hosts MCMA maker lectures and gatherings, as well as member-sponsored exhibits and performances.  

Portland Buy Local is a thriving independent community and business alliance, with over 450 nonprofit and business members. Find out more about volunteering, becoming a member, and Portland Buy Local events.

Portland Downtown is a nonprofit dedicated to the economic vitality of Portland’s downtown. Learn more about the organization, or contact for information on how to get involved.

Adult and Continuing Education

Continuing Studies at Maine College of Art has open-enrollment courses for adults and teens from printmaking to graphic design to interior design.

Immersion Programs at the Language Exchange offers courses for adults in over twelve languages, from Portuguese and Polish to Russian and Korean. They also offer language programs abroad.

Osher Lifelong Learning Institute is a national network of adult learning facilities with an outpost at the University of Southern Maine. The center offers classes, workshops, special interest groups, and extracurricular activities for adults and seniors.

Portland Adult Education offers academic, community life, and job skills courses.

Explore the world through books at the beautiful, newly renovated Portland Public Library.

The University of New England offers courses for continuing professional education in various health and pharmacy professions.

The University of Southern Maine's Professional and Continuing Education program has flexible options for adults to finish a degree or obtain professional development certifications. 

Food Events, Groups, + Classes

Cultivating Community‘s mission is to strengthen communities by growing food, preparing youth leaders and new farmers, and promoting social and environmental justice. They connect Maine's newest Americans--primarily immigrants from East Africa and Central America--with the land, skills, and resources needed to start farm-based enterprises.

The Eat Maine Facebook group, an offshoot of Maine magazine, is a guide to the latest Maine food news, events, what’s in season, and places to eat both on and off the beaten path.

Eat Maine Foods is the networking site of the Eat Local Foods Coalition of Maine. You can create a profile and connect with other local foods enthusiasts, find an event, or participate in the forum. Also, check out the Maine Food Map to find the nearest apple orchard or raw milk producer.

Elizabeth Fraser of Girl Gone Raw offers classes on raw food preparation. Eager to learn more? Attend one of the free monthly potlucks the second Sunday of every month at Elizabeth’s home on Munjoy Hill.

Local Sprouts is a culinary and cultural organization with a mission to provide people in Maine with creative local and organic food and holistic learning through cooking. To get a taste of what this means, check out the Local Sprouts Cafe, which serves healthy dishes at affordable prices.

Maine Organic Farmers and Gardeners Association sponsors food, agriculture, and farming-related events throughout the year, from mushroom cultivation workshops to conversations about how education can support agriculture in Maine. Check out their event calendar and don’t miss their annual Common Ground Fair in Unity each September.

Pocket Brunch is an intermittent multi-course brunch series held in various Maine locations, featuring local chefs.

The Portland Farmers’ Market graces Deering Oaks with tables of fresh produce every Saturday, and Monument Square every Wednesday, from May through November. The Winter Farmers' Market at Urban Farm Fermentory in East Bayside lasts from the first Saturday in December until the second to last Saturday in April. 

The Portland Food Co-op is a grocery store, owned by members and open to the public, that offers a wide selection of high quality and fairly priced local, organic, and natural foods and household products. You can become an owner-member.

Portland Food Map is a comprehensive guide to food and drink in Portland, with regular food news updates, a map of Portland’s restaurants arranged by category, and an exhaustive list of all things food-related—from fish mongers to doughnut shops, Indian restaurants to food blogs. Stay up to date on what’s cooking in the Portland food scene with their event calendar.

The Portland Permaculture Meetup Group has over 700 members of all ages, ranging from local food enthusiasts to local resilience and sustainable living advocates. Group activities include potlucks, workshops—permaculture design, foraging, and cold-frame building are some recent topics—as well as lectures, discussions, and film screenings.

Rabelais is a well-regarded food and cookbook store run by Smantha Hoyt Lindgren and Don Lindgren. It’s located in the North Dam Mill in nearby Biddeford. The store sponsors many food-related events, including a FoodFilms series and book signings. Check out their calendar.

Urban Farm Fermentory is a hub of creative fermentation located in a reclaimed warehouse in East Bayside. Beyond fermented beverages like cider, mead, and kombucha, you will also find classes on everything from mushroom cultivation to composting. The Winter Farmers' Market is held at UFF from December to April.

Green Organizations

Cultivating Community’s mission is to strengthen communities by growing food, preparing youth leaders and new farmers, and promoting social and environmental justice. Learn about volunteer opportunities with the organization.

Local Sprouts is a culinary and cultural organization with three main branches: a Community Supported Kitchen, Cooperative Catering, and Community Learning and Food. Learn how to contribute as a volunteer, worker, worker-owner, or advisory board member.

Portland Trails is a nonprofit urban land trust maintaining more than fifty miles of trails in the greater Portland area. Learn more about individual membershipplanned giving, and volunteer opportunities ranging from doing trail work to helping coordinate events.

Reverb is a nonprofit organization founded by environmentalist Lauren Sullivan and her musician husband Adam Gardner, of Guster, that educates and engages musicians and their fans to take action toward a more sustainable future. Learn more about the organization and ways to give.

Other Organizations

EqualityMaine works to secure full equality for lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people in Maine through political action, community organizing, education, and collaboration. Find out how you can get involved

Hardy Girls Healthy Women is a nonprofit organization dedicated to the health and well being of girls and women. Their mission is to create opportunities, develop programs, and provide services that empower them. You can volunteer to help.

Peace Action Maine is the state’s largest peace organization and is part of National Peace Action. Learn how to become involved with Peace Action.

Pride Portland! brings together Portland’s lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, and allied community to celebrate the achievements of the LGBTQA movement and raise awareness of the work that still needs to be done. Pride Portland! sponsors the city's annual Pride Festival and Parade, and welcomes volunteers.

Educational Organizations

Greater Portland Landmarks promotes the preservation and revitalization of historic buildings, neighborhoods, and landscapes, while encouraging high-quality new architecture that enhances the livability and economic vitality of greater Portland. Learn about ways to get involved as a member, volunteer, or docent.

LearningWorks helps provide learning opportunities for at-risk youth, the immigrant community, and low-income families. Learn about making a donation or volunteering with one of the organization’s programs.

Maine Historical Society’s collection and work chronicles five centuries of Maine living. Learn about how to support the organization by becoming a member or making a contribution.

Maine Kids Code is an after-school program for middle school students interested in coding and technology in the Greater Portland area. Students focus on creating interactive stories, making games, and on the intersection of technology, art, and music.

Maine Preservation is a nonprofit statewide historic preservation organization, and partner of the National Trust for Historic Preservation. Learn more about becoming a member, volunteering, or making a donation.

Portland Adult Education offers business and skills training, literacy classes, and “personal enrichment” offerings such as dance, crafts, or cooking courses. Enrollment is open to everyone, and there is a great need for volunteers to assist in classrooms and to work as tutors with students who are learning English as a second language. 

Portland Public Library is Maine’s oldest and largest public library system and is the most visited cultural institution in Maine, serving 675,000 visitors annually at four locations and a bookmobile. The library offers over 300,000 books, audiobooks, musical recordings, movies, and digital resources, and access to the collections of the world’s great libraries, plus robust internet access and free wireless connectivity. They present a wide variety of lectures, classes, exhibits, programs and performances for all ages.

Portland Society for Architecture's membership includes architects, engineers, landscape architects, design professionals, and individuals committed to the protection and enhancement of those aspects of urban design which contibute to Portland's economic activity and cultural identity. Their work includes advocacy and educational programming open to everyone. 


The Multilingual and Multicultural Center oversees Portland Public Schools' English Language Acquisition Program for students whose home language is not English. Currently, the district has over 2,200 students who come from homes where over 60 different languages are spoken, representing about 25% of the schools' total enrollment. There are many volunteer opportunities.

Salt Institute for Documentary Studies offers intensive fifteen-week programs in documentary writing, radio, and photography for undergraduate and graduate students.

Side x Side, which brings innovative, creative, arts-based educational programming into Portland classrooms, offers volunteer opportunities for teachers, artists, and people with experience in the business or creative worlds. Financial donations are welcome as well. 

The Telling Room is a nonprofit writing center in Portland focused on strengthening the literacy skills of young writers ages six to eighteen. Learn more about volunteer opportunities or make a donation.

Outdoor Recreation

Higgins Beach is a popular destination for local surfers. Check out the surf report.

Maine Huts and Trails is a non-profit organization that manages a system of four backcountry eco-lodges and more than 80 miles of trails in Western Maine. The trails can be used year round for a variety of recreational purposes ranging from hiking and paddling in summer to nordic skiing in the winter.

Maine Island Trail Association is a great wilderness resource, with many sites located in our Casco Bay backyard. The Maine Island Trail is a 375-mile recreational waterway that spans the entire coast of Maine. It's America’s oldest recreational water trail, connecting over 200 island and mainland sites that are open for day visits or overnight camping.

Maine Outdoor Adventure Club (MOAC) is an all-volunteer member organization. Members organize and lead trips and activities for both beginners and experts, from winter camping, rock climbing, hiking, and mountain biking to whitewater kayaking, sailing, walking, and snowshoeing.

Portland Paddle offers sea kayaking and paddleboard rentals, guided trips, and lessons. Experienced paddlers can rent a kayak on Portland's East End Beach and explore the hundreds of islands of Casco Bay, while novices can paddle along the protected coastline of the waterfront.  

Rippleffect offers a variety of outdoor summer youth programs including multi-day kayaking trips and outdoor leadership seminars, as well as private outings and corporate retreats for adults.

SailMaine is a nonprofit community-based sailing organization offering programs for both kids and adults.

Ski Maine has a comprehensive guide to alpine and Nordic skiing in the state, including a directory of ski areas and conditions.

Yoga and Pilates Studios

Hustle and Flow is a West End movement studio, offering dance, fitness, and yoga classes

Lila East End Yoga is a lovely yoga studio at the foot of Munjoy Hill. View their class schedule here.

Maine Hatha Yoga is the go-to spot for Bikram yoga in Portland. Check out their schedule. New students enjoy an introductory rate of 30 days of unlimited classes for $30.

Pilates at Baxter Place specializes in authentic Pilates conditioning. Learn more about their classes.

Portland Pilates offers both group mat classes and individual instruction.

Portland Power Yoga is a power Vinyasa studio.

Portland Yoga Studio offers classes, workshops, and retreats in Iyengar, gentle, vigorous, prenatal, and therapeutic styles of Hatha yoga. Check out their current schedule.

Pure Movement offers BarSculpt fitness and pilates classes. Here is their schedule.

Spiral Tree Yoga and Wellness Studio, located in Portland's Rosemont neighborhood, offers programs for kids and family, adults, teens, as well as pre-natal and post-natal yoga.

The Still Water Yoga Studio teaches Hatha Yoga classes with an emphasis on proper alignment and a balance between strength and flexibility.

An East End studio for yoga, bodywork, and meditation classes, Studio 72 offers Ashtanga yoga classes and private sessions.

WholeHeart Yoga Center offers classes and special workshops in Kripalu yoga.

The Yoga Center offers yoga instruction based primarily on the Iyengar method, with free introductory classes.


The Maine Arts Commission provides a list of arts-related internship opportunities in Portland and throughout the state.

Maine Campus Compact provides information on a variety of of sustainability internships, as well as other sustainability-related opportunities including the anti-poverty AmeriCorps VISTA program. 

Since 1998, the Maine Jewish Film Festival has curated an annual program of films that explore the Jewish experience through independent drama, comedy, documentary and short film formats. The MJFF has internship positions open throughout the year.

Portland Stage, northern New England's leading professional theater, is committed to training future generations of theater professionals. Their interns work with leading designers, directors, administrators, and their professional production team throughout the season. 

Side x Side, which brings innovative, creative, arts-based educational programming into Portland classrooms, offers internship opportunities for teachers, artists, and various experts who are passionate about their fields of study.

To learn about video production and editing, web production, graphic design, or animation and gaming internships, contact Kate Sibole, Chair of Communications & New Media Studies at SMCC, (207) 741-5768 or

For communications internship candidates, contact USM Communications Intern Organizer Russell Kivatisky,

Undergraduate and Graduate Programs

Maine College of Art (MECA) offers a Bachelor of Fine Arts, a Master of Fine Arts in Studio Arts, Master of Arts in Teaching, and Salt Graduate Certificate in Documentary Studies as well as Continuing Studies for adults and kids, including a Pre-College intensive for high school students. 

Maine Technology Institute (MTI) has seven Advanced Technology Development Centers across the state to provide business incubation and help nurture young, entrepreneurial companies in Maine, including the Upstart Center for Entrepreneurship at the University of Maine campus in Orono and the Maine Center for Entrepreneurs at the University of Southern Maine in Portland.

Southern Maine Community College (SMCC) offers nearly forty areas of study including business, health, education, the arts, trades, and the natural and social sciences. Qualified high school students can also enroll in courses for college credit.

University of New England (UNE), with campuses in both Portland and Biddeford, offers a range of undergraduate and graduate programs.

University of Southern Maine (USM) offers both undergraduate and graduate programs, with more than seventy areas of study. USM also offers opportunities for qualified high school students to enroll in courses through their Early Study Aspiriations Program.

Community Media Organizations

Maine Public is Maine’s public radio and television network. There are a variety of ways to support the network, including making a donation or becoming a member.

Portland Media Center is a nonprofit organization that operates the public access television station, Channel 2, for the City of Portland and a community television station, Channel 5, for the greater Portland area. Their mission is to educate, connect, inform, and facilitate creativity through various aspects of video production. 

WMPG is Portland’s community radio station. They also host the Blunt Youth Radio Project, an award-winning weekly call-in talk show that's staffed by free and incarcerated high school age youth from the Portland area. Learn how to make a donationbecome an underwriter, or volunteer.

Spectator Sports

The Portland-based Maine Red Claws are an NBA Development League team. Get the current schedule and ticket information here.

Maine Roller Derby is Maine’s first women’s flat track roller derby league, comprised of three teams: an all-star team called The Port Authorities, a "junior varsity" or B-team called The Calamity Janes, and a C-team of scrimmage-eligible skaters called the R.I.P.Tides. Their home bouts are usually held at the Portland Expo.

Portland is also home to a beloved minor league baseball team, The Portland Sea Dogs, playing home games at Hadlock Field. Check out their schedule and ticket information.

Professional and Leadership Opportunities

Maine Volunteer Lawyers Project coordinates the volunteer efforts of Maine attorneys and community members to help low-income people navigate the civil justice system. Learn more about volunteer opportunities for community members, students, and attorneys.

The Maine Women’s Fund is a philanthropic and leadership community for women in Maine. Learn more about the organization and how to get involved.

SCORE Maine, part of the national SCORE Association, offers free counseling and business training for individuals who have a business idea, want to start a business, or have a business problem to solve. Learn more about volunteering with SCORE’s Portland chapter.


Portland’s current weather and ten day forecast.

Guide to average temperature, precipitation, and days of sunshine in Portland.