The Portland peninsula juts into Casco Bay, a protected part of the Atlantic Ocean. The sea tempers Portland’s climate, creating mild winters and cool summer breezes. We love the seasonality of our environment. Portland-based pattern designer Angela Adams says, “There’s something really great about the days getting really short and then the days getting really long, and being able to experience the snow, the rain, the heat, and the fall. There’s new growth, the palette changes, the light changes all the time–I think that’s a real treat.”
The changing seasons keep us fresh. Summer is a time of sunshine, salt water, and lush green grass, a time of exploration, and of new creative inspiration. When the evenings grow cooler and leaves begin to take on their fiery hue, we feel sadness at summer’s passing, but also a sense of relief: we are again able to turn inward, to start coaxing shape and form from summertime’s inspirations. When fall gives way to winter and snow begins to swirl outside our windows, we go into creative hibernation. Just as we begin to tire of the muted landscape and bare tree branches, things thaw, the birds begin their songs, the forsythia blossoms—and we feel inspired once again.
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.
Planet Fitness is on Marginal Way, making it convenient for commuters. The basic membership is just $10/month.
University of Southern Maine’s Sullivan Recreation and Fitness Complex is open to the general public on a membership basis.
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.
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 and Do
Dancing in Maine is a directory of dance resources in Maine, including dance organizations, venues, instructors, and an events calendar.
Riverton and Reiche pools, 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.
PortSports is a co-ed social club sponsoring charity-based casual sports leagues, social and charity events, and sport-based excursions throughout the year.
Racket and Fitness Club is Maine’s largest indoor tennis facility, with nine air conditioned tennis courts, racquetball and wallyball courts, and a fully equipped fitness center.
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.
The Portland Freedom Trail, currently comprised of sixteen marked sites, recognizes people associated with the Underground Railroad and anti-slavery movement in Portland. Visit the website for a map to guide your walk.
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.
Yoga and Pilates Studios
Portland Yoga Studio offers classes, workshops and retreats in Iyengar, gentle, vigorous, prenatal, and therapeutic styles of Hatha yoga.
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.