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Portland area Portland, ME metro area
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Old 01-24-2012, 09:07 PM
9 posts, read 21,955 times
Reputation: 18


My partner and I are considering moving to several different cities in the Northeast. We are planning to take a trip, but unfortunately we won't have very much time in each city, so we want to make the most of making sure we see the right things to decide if the city fits us.

We would appreciate any advice people could give about what are the important areas or places to see in Portland, not as tourists but as people thinking about moving there.

Some info about us..

We are a lesbian couple, late 20's, both with MA degrees but both thinking about new careers (her library science, me public policy/ women's/LGBT nonprofit work)
We don't have and aren't planning on kids for awhile, so we're not worried about available schools, etc.
We like living in the city rather than the outskirts/suburbs - being able to walk to stores, etc. would be ideal
We can handle cold weather and snow
We like outdoor opportunities to go hiking, biking, canoeing, etc.
We are looking to rent a 1-2 bedroom apartment or small house, probably can't afford anything over $1000/month - are there nice neighborhoods in the city for this rate?
We have a 50-pound dog so specific neighborhoods that might be more dog-friendly are welcome

We'd like to get a feel for the culture of the city - where do young professionals hang out? What are the most popular areas in town that locals return to, that are worth seeing before we decide? What are the social "hubs" of the city?
Are there any major dislikes you have about living there? Anything we should see firsthand that might make us NOT want to live there?

Basically, we don't want to drive around aimlessly once we get in town.. but we also don't want to follow a tourist guidebook because that doesn't give the same feel as actually living there.

I have and will be reading older threads to get information as well, but any new advice would be awesome. Thanks!
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Old 01-25-2012, 10:43 AM
Location: Cape Elizabeh, ME
404 posts, read 718,099 times
Reputation: 272
Well downtown Portland really isn't that Big.
If you want to get a feeling for the city, park up near Monument Square (note the library right across the street) then walk on down to the old port and walk around. meaning somewhere in the neighborhood of exchange & middle streets, walk on down to Fore and commercial streets. There are actually apartments around to be had in this area which will accept dogs around downtown. You'll find all of portland very dog friendly.
After that, take a drive down congress st to the east end promenade there are rentals to be had over here too. Lastly before leaving drive over to the west end go down pine st. while the westend is a great neighborhood I'm thinking downtown and east end is what your describing.
If you don't spend too much time in the old port this should take you not more than an hour and a half.
Note that there is a whole foods and a trader with in walking distance of monument square.
Based on what you described you'd love it here. Youshoudl be able to find an apartment in the range you've described possibly with heat included, might be on the smaller side though. But check out craigs list and filter on downtown Portland or old port or eastend or westend.
If you have additional time you might head over to south portland and check out willard beach (willard and pillsbury st) , its a really cute little neighborhood and Willard beach is known as dog beach after 5pm. end of willow Street. South Portland can be alittle confusing, even if you have a GPS get a local street map. If you have a little more time on your hands proceed just a little further south to on cottage rd Fort William and visit the Portland headlight. I know touristy...but you'll feel like your in Maine, its part of the experience. Locals do go there and its also an off leash dog park.
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Old 01-25-2012, 04:18 PM
9 posts, read 21,955 times
Reputation: 18
awesome! Thanks so much!
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Old 01-25-2012, 04:45 PM
Location: Bangor Maine
3,442 posts, read 6,044,948 times
Reputation: 4032
I agree that after you see the downtown area you should head out to Ft. Williams Park and Portland Head Light - right on the water and it's very pretty. My daughter had her wedding pictures there.
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Old 01-27-2012, 06:32 AM
Location: Nevada City, California
331 posts, read 592,248 times
Reputation: 390
I second the recommendations for the East End/Munjoy Hill and the West End. Both have wonderful neighborhood restaurants & shops and are an easy walk, bike or bus ride to Portland's Old Port, downtown and Arts District.

Portland has a great trail system, and there are lots of hiking trails a short drive away. Make sure to walk the trails on the Eastern Promenade and the Western Promenade. The Back Cove Trail is popular, too. There are plenty of opportunities nearby for canoeing and kayaking.

The Eastern Prom is very popular with dogs. Lots of people play with their dogs off leash on the hill just north of Fort Allen Park in the morning or late afternoon and at the East End Beach. There are dog parks on Valley Street, on Ocean Avenue and at Hinckley Park in South Portland, and many beaches allow dogs at certain times/seasons of the year.

Portland has a wonderful First Friday Art Walk. It's a great chance to check out the art galleries and other local spots. We also have farmers market in Deering Oaks Park and at Monument Square.

Portland is a small city, but we have a lot going on! I think you would both really like it here and feel welcome. My husband and I moved to Munjoy Hill with our two dogs about two years ago, and we love it. The only thing I don't really care for is the winter wind (worse near the water, of course) and icy sidewalks. Let us know if you have more questions!




LiveWork Portland


Portland's Downtown District

Portland, Maine and the Greater Casco Bay - Official Tourism Site


Preserving, protecting and enhancing the Eastern Promenade







Last edited by la_cavalière; 01-27-2012 at 06:54 AM..
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Old 05-08-2012, 09:13 AM
Location: Virginia
6 posts, read 9,004 times
Reputation: 12
My husband and I are considering a move to Portland ourselves. This thread is very helpful for us. Good luck with the move, metalrainbow!
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Old 05-13-2012, 12:36 PM
24 posts, read 35,578 times
Reputation: 67
We are about to move in to our new house in Yarmouth. One more month!

While "yuppie" no longer applies to us, we do have a young teen-aged daughter, and so need to be up on things.

We'll be 18 miles closer to the city (Portland) than we have been to Chicago--so we will have the best of both worlds. This information will be quite helpful as wel orient ourselves to our new surroundings. Thanks!
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