Portland masterfully synthesizes not only its seascape with its cityscape, but also its historic buildings with its modern buildings. The Riverton Trolley Park and 9/11 Memorial Garden blends history and beauty. The city's working waterfront and the cobblestone streets of the restored Old Port are great sights to see. Residents delight in the multiple attractions and lively nightlife of the Downtown District – home to the Arts District and Old Port. Attractions in the Art District abound, including the Portland Museum of Art, Children's Museum of Maine, State Theatre and Merrill Auditorium.
Other attractions include the Portland Observatory, Portland Symphony Orchestra, Maine Narrow Gauge Railroad Company and Museum, Fifth Maine Regiment Museum and Portland Harbor Museum.
Portland's events, like the Tree Lighting Ceremony, Old Port Festival, summer outdoor concert series and movies in the park, liven up the city year-round. While resident sports fans can follow the scores of the popular Portland Sea Dogs – double-A affiliates of the Boston Red Sox – who play at the state-of-the-art Hadlock Field.
Post-secondary students can choose from several higher-education facilities in town. These include the University of Southern Maine, Andover College and Maine College of Art. Additional colleges and universities, such as University of New England, St. Joseph's College, University of Maine at Augusta and University of New Hampshire, are within 60 miles away.
Recreational enthusiasts value the area's many recreational opportunities. Portland's historic 51-acre Deering Oaks Park is equipped with tennis courts, basketball courts, baseball diamonds, horseshoe pits, a skating pond – good for summertime paddle boating – and sledding hills. Portland is also home to about 25 playgrounds and an ice arena. The ice arena is a favorite spot for figure skaters and hockey players. Various leagues, including the minor league Portland Pirates team, practice at the ice arena.
Crescent Beach State Park, about eight miles south of Portland, has a nice family beach. Eagle Island and Wolf Neck Woods State Park have nature trails. Fort Williams Park, home to the Portland Head Light, is a favorite picnic and kite-flying destination. The Maine Audubon Sanctuary is located at Gilsland Farm and the largest salt marsh in the state is found at Scarborough Marsh Nature Center. Residents can explore the marshes via canoe.
Famed poet, Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, who lived in Portland as a child, called Portland "a jewel by the sea." Residents and visitors appreciate the recreational, economical, educational, and scenic riches of Portland and agree with Longfellow's name for this fine city.
In addition, Portland residents have easy access to the world-famous city of Boston, Massachusetts – which is a distance of approximately 100 miles from Portland.
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