What is it like to live in Portland Maine?
Well. I actually grew up in boston, moved to portland maine for high school, went back to boston for college, and now that ive graduated im back in portland and working (im 24, m) so i think i should be able to help.
the first thing i compared when i came back was the bar scene. unlike boston where there are multiple neighborhoods to go out to (fenway, boylston/the pru, fanueil hall, etc.) portland isnt as spread out.
yes there is the old port, the monument square area, state street/congress bars, etc., so theres still multiple places to go. just not as many. then as you go further from downtown theres little niches with bars in them around. but still, there is a very high density of bars in the downtown portland area, a pretty decent nightlife with high turnover. meaning i dont run into high school buddies everywhere i go, id say 95% of people i see at bars ive never seen before, but the local colleges probably have a lot to do with that. so that scene i still find pretty fun (only downside is last call is 1am….awful….but i also live downtown so i usually have ppl over after to continue the evening)
the culture is also pretty cool, theres a huge gay/lesbian/etc. presence in portland, which you wont really find elsewhere in maine. during warmer months theres farmers markets twice a week in portland, lots of volunteer groups, AMAZING local music scene…seriously, if youve ever spent time seeing local music in cambridge, for instance, the portland scene seriously rivals it. though IMO the portland scene is better (more local, community support for the bands, makes the shows more fun i think)
in winter some of the day-to-day culture 'events' dont really happen, but if your into skiing you're that much closer to the mountains. however since the college students are all around in the winter the bar scene doesnt take a hit at all, in fact since winter hit i prolly go out to bars 4-5 days a week (there are some pretty great happy hours around too)
between the spring - fall though portland is quite an awesome place. not sure if you know about the islands off the coast, but theres a ferry system downtown that goes to a group of islands which people do live on year round, but in the summer some cool stuff happens there. for instance, EVERY weekend in the summer there is a reggae festival on Peaks Island. Also, every thursday downtown theres something called "Alive at Five" in monument square, basically from 5-8pm theres a free concert outside, pretty cool stuff. theres all kinds of festivals, other outdoor shows, etc. that happen during the summer months. portland is a pretty big tourist spot so its a pretty busy place.