An eclectic mix of boutiques, cafés, galleries and fishermen make Portland’s waterfront, or Old Port neighborhood, a truly unique locale. Historically a strictly commercial shipping port, downtown now thrives on the service and tourism industry. If high-end, award-winning restaurants are what you fancy, you’re in the right spot. On the other hand, if you want to devour a tried and true easygoing New England classic like clam chowder or lobster roll while watching the ships come and go? Pick your dockside diner. Fresh-off-the-boat dining is, obviously, Old Port’s specialty. If indulging in a trendy café or restaurant just a few steps off the waterfront isn’t fresh enough for you, then stroll down to one of the seaside fish markets where you can have your Atlantic catch sent anywhere in the country. Old Port is sure to answer all of your desires from farm-to-table dining to funky boutiques to cobblestone walkways. If your artistic side needs itching, check out Congress Street in the East End arts district, only a few blocks off the waterfront. The downtown area has done a magnificent job of marrying numerous nineteenth century architectural gems with fresh, chic development.
Whatever your desire, downtown Portland covers the field. It is a rare gem to find a working commercial fishing port chock full of world-class chefs nestled up amongst an up-and-coming art scene. With the sea as a perfect framework, Old Port will leave you grasping for more. With old and new intertwined throughout downtown Portland, the area delights in creativity and perseverance. Having survived four separate fires, Portland lives up to its motto, Resurgam, Latin for "I will rise again". You will walk away with scrapbooks upon scrapbooks of memories.