Portland is Maine's largest city: Almost one-quarter of the state population lives within the greater metro area. Set on a peninsula that stretches into Casco Bay, Portland is a sophisticated coastal city with a working waterfront, but it also has its share of nearby beaches and lighthouses.

Fittingly, Portland has many of the enjoyable things, minus the hassle, that a big city can provideā€”a healthy arts scene, stylish restaurants, a respected symphony, the world-class Portland Museum of Art, minor-league baseball and ice-hockey teams, a slew of galleries and boutiques, and a collection of stately homes.

A downtown Portland renewal effort over the past few decades has reclaimed treasured Victorian-era buildings, refitted the gas lamps along the cobblestoned streets in the Old Port Exchange (known to locals as the Old Port) and sparked civic pride among residents.

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