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 blossom--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.
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.
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.
Shift Portland believes that fitness and movement are synonymous with a happy, healthy life. Whether you are recovering from an injury or surgery, starting a fitness routine for the first time or are a seasoned athlete, Shift Portland will develop a completely individualized program to reach your goal and get you feeling better than you have in years.
University of Southern Maine’s Sullivan Recreation and Fitness Complex is open to the general public on a membership basis.
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 + Do
Dancing in Maine is a directory of dance resources in Maine, including dance organizations, venues, instructors, and an events calendar.
EVO Portland is Maine's newest and largest indoor climbing gym. The facility has 16,000 square feet of climbing surface and welcomes all levels of ability: beginner, intermediate, advanced lead climbing, speed climbing, and bouldering. There are programs for kids ages three and up, as well as youth summer camps, adult classes, yoga, and zumba.
Maine Ballroom offers dance classes in many styles, from ballroom dancing to Salsa to Argentine Tango.
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.
PortSports is a co-ed social club sponsoring charity-based casual sports leagues, social and charity events, and sport-based excursions throughout the year.
The Racket and Fitness Center 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.
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. It's America’s oldest recreational water trail, connecting over 200 island and mainland sites that are 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.
Yoga and Pilates Studios
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.
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.