1. When you cross over the bridge from N.H. one of the first signs you read is “Maine…The way life should be.” It’s no wonder that Forbes Magazine named Portland, Maine, America’s Most Livable City in 2009. Portland was chosen for its income growth, culture, low levels of crime, cost of living and unemployment rates. Portland offers a quality of life that few places can: jobs, culture, a thriving art and music scene, history, walking trails, and easy access to the ocean. For more information, visit Forbes.com, http://www.forbes.com/2009/04/01/cities-city-ten-lifestyle-real-estate-livable-cities print.html.
2. Besides being a great place to live; Portland is a great place to eat. From breakfast spots to BBQ, local seafood and organic vegetables, to an abundance of ethnic options, Portland doesn’t disappoint. Bon Appetit found Portland to be America’s Foodiest Small Town in 2009. This is no surprise to locals. See Bon Appetit, www.bonappetit.com/2009/08/americas–foodiest-small–town-2.html
3. In 2008 the National Geographic Traveler rated Portland one of the top historic places in the world for its “aesthetic charm as a port city”. Some of the criteria Portland was rated on was environmental and ecological quality; social and cultural integrity; condition of historic buildings and archaeological sites; aesthetic appeal; quality of tourism, and outlook for the future. From the West End, to the Eastern Prom, to the Old Port, Portland continues its commitment to both its history and its future as a thriving seacoast city. See more at National Geographic Traveler at http://traveler.nationalgeographic.com/2008/11/historic-destinations-rated/intro-text.
4. Also in 2008, the American Planning Association voted Commercial Street to be one of the great steets in America. They said of Commercial Street, “ It is a place where moored fishing boats, lobster pots and fishing gear, and crying seagulls mix with downtown office employees going to work, residents living in dockside condominiums, and tourists visiting restaurants and boutique shops. It’s a dynamic yet precariously balanced amalgam crafted through years of debate and compromise.” More can be at the APA’s site and go to www.planning.org/greatplaces.
5. In 2008, US News and World Report named Portland one of the healthiest places in the country to retire. Portland’s peninsula looks out over Casco Bay and has access to the islands. The Portland trails cover miles of biking, walking and hiking options reach well beyond the city itself. Mountain ranges are near for skiing enthusiasts as well. Check out www.usnews.com for more information.
6. Organic Gardening Magazine named Portland the top green city of its size (under 150,000). In 2010, Portland’s population is just under 63,000. The city boasts parks, walking trails, farmers’ markets, bio-diesel run city trucks, and no-idling laws. See more at www.organicgardening.com.
7. Business Week picks Portland as one of the best place to raise kids. See www.businessweek.com for more information.
8. Outside Magazine named Portland “One of North America’s 10 Dream Towns”. I love the magazine’s take on Portland, “Yachts, catamarans, and cruise ships ply Casco Bay’s natural harbor alongside fishing fleets and tugboats hauling in oil tankers. And the pedestrian traffic in the adjacent Old Port district, a bustling brick-and-cobblestone mix of locally owned restaurants, offices, and upper-story apartments, suggests that different worlds can overlap: landscapers, lawyers, and lobstermen all coexisting.” See more at www.outside.away.com.
9. The National Trust for Historic Preservation names Portland as one of a dozen “Distinctive Destinations”. Its cultural offerings mixed with the historic architecture is worth a visit in itself. See more at www.preservationnation.org.
10. Finally, Inc. Magazine sites Portland, Maine as a great place for entrepreneurs to get up and running. See more at www.inc.com.