Portland, Maine is the best city on the East Coast. Don’t fight me on this. I dreamed of moving to Portland for years and as soon as I finished college and found a job, I shipped off for Maine’s historic city by the sea. I’ve been here for five years and each day I am so grateful to be living in such a fun city filled with food, history, opportunity, and the sweet smell of the salty ocean.
There are still some cons to living in a city with so many pros. But I’m still a big fan, so any downside has a silver lining for me. If you’re considering a move to Portland, Maine, here are a few things you should consider.
7 Reasons You Shouldn’t Move to Portland, Maine
1. You will spend way too much money at local restaurants.
If you’ve ever met a Portland foodie, you’ve probably heard the statistic that our city has more restaurants per capita than New York City. The culinary diversity here is amazing! However, if you want to patronize all of the local eateries you will encounter some pricey menus along the way. And every time a new place pops up, you’ll forget the lasagna you had planned for dinner and dine out instead. Watch your wallet in this food friendly city.
2. The apartment search process will put you in an early grave.
It’s expensive. It’s competitive. It’s frustrating. If you’re apartment hunting anywhere on the Portland peninsula you’ll need to be prepared with references, a completed application, and a signed check for first, last, and security the second you walk in. Landlords totally have the upper hand here, which means inventory flies off the shelves and you’ll pay way more for it than other places in the state. Still, you’ll be hard pressed to find neighborhoods that off both city AND ocean views at the same time.
3. You will increase your chances of a sprained ankle by 87% (non-scientific estimate).
Cobblestone streets are tough, man. I’ve seen many people take hard tumbles on Saturday nights on Wharf Street. However, these cobblestone streets and sidewalks are a wonderful reminder of our city’s past. I appreciate the bumpy drive and treacherous walks for the history that lingers between the stones.
4. You’ll feel guilty about not spending enough time near the ocean.
When you live so close to the ocean you will face a painful on-going battle about not spending enough time in, around, or near the water. Portland even has a beach on one end of the peninsula, so it’s way too easy to get your saltwater fix.
5. Tourist season adds at least 20 minutes to your commute.
Tourists love our city, especially now that Portland keeps popping up in travel magazines and blogs as a great place to visit. This is stellar for our restaurants and businesses that rely on those tourist dollars to stay afloat. However, have you ever attempted to drive any distance on Commercial Street during daylight hours in the summer? Most Portland-savvy drivers know to avoid it, but on the rare occasion it is unavoidable, your commute will probably double in length.
6. Winter parking bans.
Is there a silver lining to the winter parking ban? Can you possibly find a positive to shuffling your car around each day it snows so the city can (maybe) clear your street? Give me some time on this one.
7. You may never, ever leave. If you do, you’ll come back.
If I’m going to spend the rest of my life somewhere, I’m okay with Portland, Maine being that somewhere. I may never live in a state with a pleasant year-round climate, I may never know what it’s like to not live near the ocean, but I’m okay with that. I do know that if I move away from my city, that I will find my way back here again and again. It’s too lovely to resist the brick-lined sidewalks, the rich seafaring history, the oceanfront setting, and the culinary delights of my Portland, Maine.