Portland, Maine

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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. Down 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.

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 this list of public and private schools on Wikipedia.

Sports and Recreation for Kids

Aikido of Maine offers Aikido 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.

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

Portland Ballet offers ballet classes for youth and sponsors CORPS, a program that enables Portland High School students to study performing arts alongside traditional academics.

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

Portland 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 Portland YMCA offers many different programs for kids year-round, along with childcare services.

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.

Spiral Tree Yoga offers classes for families and kids ages 2 to 12, as well as yoga birthday parties.

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

What People Say About Us

Travel + Leisure (2012): #7 Greenest City

"Between the farm-to-table restaurantshomegrown microbrews, and all that lobster, you can literally taste the great outdoors here."

Travel+Leisure (2013): #1 Safest City

As ranked by both visitors and residents.

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."

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."

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."

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."

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."

Techie.com (2013): One of the 10 Most Unexpected Cities for High-Tech Innovation

"The Top Gun Accelerated Entrepreneurship Program, part of the Maine Center for Entrepreneurial Development, is one of several efforts that are succeeding in developing technology-based entrepreneurs in the community."

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."

Travel+Leisure (2013): #1 Fourth of July

As ranked by both visitors and residents.

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."

Travel+Leisure (2013): #1 Summer

As ranked by both visitors and residents.

Travel + Leisure (2013): #9 Best City for Hipsters

"(Portland) excels in such hipster essentials as good java (like at Bard Coffee, off Congress Street) and good performance art. The Portland Stage Company does experimental theater, while coop-plus-café Local Sprouts offers both vegan cinnamon rolls and poetry slams."

Travel + Leisure (2014): #8 Best Coffee City

"Since the 1990s, Portland has supported strong local chains that go mano-a-Americano against the big chains."

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."

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."

Food Blogs

Appetite Portland “documents the delights of this city’s restaurants and food stores,” with reviews and commentary on Portland restaurant scene chatter.

Blog About Beer, written by a local home brewer and beer afficionado, proclaims to be a resource for better beer, beer news and fun beer stuff.

Blueberry Files is the blog of a recent Portland transplant and foodie, with photos, recipes, and reviews.

Dine in Portland aspires to bring a fresh perspective to reviews and critiques of Portland’s restaurants. Also featuring recipes.

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.

Edible Obsessions publishes a running narrative on dining, drinking, and life in Portland.

Flock and Vine is the wine and cooking blog of certified sommelier Jennifer Flock, retail store manager of Browne Trading Co.

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

Megansmark is a Portland-based blog that takes a creative approach to cooking seasonally in Maine with locally-sourced ingredients.

Plating Up is the cooking blog of Maine Food & Lifestyle Magazine, featuring recipes with local, in-season ingredients.

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

Portland Food Map tracks and reviews nearly every eating and drinking option in the city.

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

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 & Theater 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.

The Language Exchange has immersion Spanish classes for children ages four through fourteen, and instruction for teens and older learners in eleven other languages, ranging from Swedish to Portuguese. They also encourage homeschoolers to get in touch about language instruction.

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.

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

Neighborhoods

Back Cove is the neighborhood adjacent to the tidal basin on the northern side of Portland circled by a popular running trail and Baxter Boulevard. Quiet residential streets branch out from the Boulevard like spokes. In this neighborhood, three-story Victorians intermingle with little 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 away from where you need to be. To learn more, contact the Back Cove Neighborhood Association.

Bayside is a centrally-located neighborhood with easy access to the heart of the city. It it bordered by Marginal Way to the north, Franklin Arterial 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. To learn more about the neighborhood, contact theDeering 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 Portland’s coffee shops, art museum, 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 neighborhoods in Maine, and is bounded on the west by Franklin Street, the east by Washington Avenue, the north by Marginal Way, and the south by Congress Street. To learn more, contact the East Bayside Neighborhood Organization or check out their Facebook page.

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 train station and the interstate. 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 the downtown. It’s the city’s hip, up-and-coming neighborhood—the Brooklyn of Portland—complete with a coffee shop, a corner store with organic local produce, and several little restaurants. A fire in the mid-nineteenth century destroyed much of this neighborhood, so Munjoy Hill’s two and three-story houses are newer and closer together. 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, follow Munjoy Hill on Twitter, 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 Brook and the Capisic Pond 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. 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 grassy expanse in the center of the city with tall oak trees and fountains, 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 the over 200 islands in Casco Bay, and just an 18-minute ferry ride from downtown Portland. The island is home to many artists, writers, and educators, among others. 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 1000 year-round residents, and the population blossoms to 5,000-6,000 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. To learn more, contact the Riverton Neighborhood Organization.

St. John’s Valley is on the eastern edge of the Portland peninsula, close to downtown and the Western Promenade. To learn more about the neighborhood, contact the St. John’s Valley Neighborhood Association.

Stroudwater encompasses the area to west of the railroad tracks, abutting South Portland to the south and Westbrook to the west. To learn more about the neighborhood, contact the Stroudwater Neighborhood Association.

The West End has an air of quiet and 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 quiet 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 blog and website.

Woodfords-Oakdale is a centrally-located neighborhood just northwest of the downtown area, but with quiet, tree-lined residential streets and easy access to several schools. 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.

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.

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.

Yoga and Pilates Studios

Bhakti in Motion is a West End movement studio, offering yoga, buti, and dance classes.

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

Sports to Play and Do

Bicycle Coalition of Maine sponsors weekly rides across the state. 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 bowlingbasketball, and soccer.

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

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

Maine Belly Dance offers authentic Arabic belly dancing classes and special events.

Maine Rock Gym is a climbing facility with 5,000 square feet of rock surface, offering open climbing hours and special clinics.

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

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

The Mainiac Swing Dance Society holds workshops, dances, and special events throughout the state, including Port City Swing's First and Third Friday Swing Dances at The Woodford's Club in Portland.

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.

Beginners and dodgeball veterans alike can dip, dive, duck, and dodge their way to athletic enjoyment with the Portland Dodgeball League.

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 Club 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.

The Institute for Civic Leadership offers training opportunities for nonprofit boards and a year-long networking and leadership development program.

The Maine League of Young Voters galvanizes young people about political issues affecting the community and works to involve more people in the political process. There are also many volunteer opportunities.

Explore

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’s 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.

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 is a Federally Qualified Health Center that 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.

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.

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.

Southern Maine Agency on Aging matches volunteers with seniors in need, while their RSVP program helps 55+ members 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.

Independent Media

Community Television Network is Portland’s public access television service.

Exception Magazine is a nonpartisan online news magazine that covers the business, politics and culture of Maine.

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 Broadcasting Network has studio offices in Portland, Lewiston, and Bangor and broadcasts on both tv and radio.

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

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

Portland Monthly is Portland’s long-standing city magazine.

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

Seth and the City is a Bangor Daily News blog about Greater Portland by writer Seth Koenig.

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

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.

WPMG Radio features incredibly varied community radio programming from Russian rock to Cambodian pop to old-time country.

Community Media Organizations

Community Television Network (CTN) 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. Support CTN or contact the organization for information on how to get involved.

Maine Public Broadcasting Network (MPBN) 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.

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.

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 run several neighborhood farm stands in Portland.

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 track.

Eat Maine Foods is the networking site of the Eat Local Foods Coalition (ELFC) 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.

Gluten-Free Maine has an array of resources for gluten-free living in Maine, including a list of Maine-made gluten free products, Maine gluten-free events, gluten-free friendly restaurants, and other resources.

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

Maine Organic Farmers and Gardeners Association sponsors food, agriculture, and farming-related events and workshops 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 a monthly multi-course brunch series featuring local chefs.

Portland Farmers’ Market graces Deering Oaks Park with tables of fresh produce every Saturday, and Monument Square every Wednesday, from May through November. Travel + Leisure ranked our market #8 on their list of America’s Best Farmers’ Markets.

Chef David Levi runs the Portland Food + Cooking Course, preparing food as an expression of season and place in Maine.

Portland Food Coop is an evolving member-owned local business that collectively purchases over $6000 of food a month from local and national producers. Learn how to become a member.

Portland Food Map is a comprehensive guide to food and drink in Portland, with regular food news updates via RSS, a graphic 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 events calendar.

Rabelais is a one of the better-known food and cookbook stores in the country, run by the husband-wife duo 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.

Slow Food Portland is the local branch of Slow Food International, a nonprofit dedicated to counteracting fast food and the fast life, and the disappearance of local food traditions.

The Munjoy Hill Food Group has monthly potluck lunches the second Wednesday of every month.

The Portland Permaculture Meetup Group has over 700 members of all ages, ranging from local foods 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.

Urban Farm Fermentory is a hub of creative fermentation located in an old reclaimed warehouse in the Bayside neighborhood. Beyond sauerkraut, pickles, and fermented beverages like cider and wine, here you will also find classes on everything from mushroom cultivation to composting.

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 & 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 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, along with 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. 

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.

The Telling Room is a nonprofit writing center in Portland focused on strengthening the literacy skills of young writers aged 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. America’s oldest recreational water trail, it connects over 200 island and mainland sites 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.

Internships

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.

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 ksibole@smccme.edu.

For communications internship candidates, contact USM Communications Intern Organizer Russell Kivatisky, russellk@maine.edu.

Undergraduate and Graduate Programs

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

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

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

Southern Maine Community College (SMCC) offers nearly forty areas of study including business, health, education, the arts, trades, and the natural and social sciences.

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.

Real Estate and Housing

Maine Listings enables 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.

Realtor.com lets you search property listings for rent and sale by zip code, price range, and number of beds and baths.

Food Publications

Maine Magazine’s website has articles on Maine food destinations, as well as features on Maine food and drink.

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

Portland Press Herald has a Food & Dining column, with restaurant reviews, recipes, and news about who’s opening and closing restaurants in Portland.

Table Art Media is the Portland-based publisher of “Fresh from Maine” and its companion website that talk about the farm to table restaurant movement in Maine.

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

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

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.

The Portland Pirates are Portland’s professional hockey team, playing home games at the Cross Insurance Arena. Here’s their schedule and ticket information.

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 for the Arts‘ mission is to provide effective legal council for artists and organizations with limited financial resources and to educate broadly about arts-related business and legal issues.

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, 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.

Adult and Continuing Education

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 Language Exchange offers courses for adults in twelve languages, from Portuguese and Polish to Russian and Korean.
Maine College of Art Continuing Studies has open-enrollment courses for adults and teens from printmaking to graphic design to interior design.

Economic and Cultural Organizations

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 Hour Exchange 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.

Portland’s Downtown District 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.

Weather

Portland’s current weather and ten day forecast.

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