Long Island is one of just 15 Maine islands with year-round residents and businesses. Long Island is a 45-minute ferry ride from Portland. Among the inhabited Casco Bay Islands, Long is one of two that are incorporated as their own towns. With essential businesses located at the town landing, Long Island is a charming small town where you can kick back and relax, while finding comfort in being part of a caring community.
The traditionally agricultural town was first settled in the mid-1600s, and incorporated in 1719. Today, Arundel’s historic charm, wooded areas and rolling farmland continue to attract new residents and visitors. Businesses are concentrated along U.S. Route 1, which provides easy access to neighboring towns including Kennebunkport, and to the Maine Turnpike. Small (pop. 4,259) but fast-growing, the primarily residential York County town offers a peaceful lifestyle within its 24 square miles, and was named a 2014 “Best Place to Live In Maine” by DownEast Magazine.
“The only village in the world so named,” Kennebunk provides the quality of life that people move to Maine hoping to find. Shipbuilding and agriculture are key components of the small coastal town’s heritage; beautiful sandy beaches, and stunning architecture such as the elegant homes that line Summer Street – the state’s first Historic District to be listed on the National Register of Historic Places – illustrate its appeal to residents and tourists alike.
Formerly a shipbuilding town whose settlement dates to the 1600s, Kennebunkport is a classic Maine coast summer colony and a beloved home to presidents. Celebrated for its natural beauty, the town includes the historic fishing village of Cape Porpoise; gorgeous Goose Rocks Beach; stunning architecture, as exemplified by Greek Revival mansion White Columns; award-winning inns; and a wealth of attractions in and around Dock Square. Truly, Kennebunkport is “the place to be all year” (kennebunkport.org).
“So You Think You Know Maine” was a quiz show once broadcast by public TV station Channel 10 in Lewiston. As the title’s challenge to contestants suggests, omniscience regarding our state is probably impossible. Consider Maine’s depth of history, and geographic expanse (35,385 square miles, waters included.) Then reflex on Maine’s boundless natural beauty: One needs a lifetime to explore the state’s wonders properly. To live in Maine is truly a journey of discovery.
Portland’s Parkside neighborhood, on the north side of the city’s peninsula, takes its name from Deering Oaks, the 55-acre, multi-use park that dates to 1879 and is on the National Register of Historic Places. A mix of house styles – many multifamily, many architecturally distinctive – and high-profile local businesses, Parkside is where you can find Hadlock Field, home of the Portland Sea Dogs, and the venerable Expo, where the NBA G League Maine Red Claws play.
“Many of Portland’s most prominent figures in business, industry, politics and the professions grew up as residents of a Bayside with tree-lined streets and open trolley cars,” a 1968 City of Portland neighborhood report noted. Today, Bayside is undergoing “an energetic transformation … into a first-rate, mixed-use urban district … with a wide range of housing development" (portlandmaine.gov) whose attractions include craft breweries and restaurants, music and theater, galleries, trails – and, of course, a landmark ten-pin bowling alley.
Larger than many people realize, Portland’s Riverton neighborhood extends from Evergreen Cemetery and the University of New England’s Westbrook College campus to the south, and north to popular Riverside Municipal Golf Course and a bit beyond to the Falmouth town line. The Presumpscot River defines Riverton’s western boundary. Celebrated by historians for its departed landmark casino and trolley park, Riverton today is a vibrant community – primarily residential, but also home to thriving local businesses new and old.
With a working waterfront and panoramic views of Portland Harbor and Casco Bay, South Portland has not only coastal charm, but also the bustling activity of a larger city. Southern Maine Community College brings students and the Maine Mall brings shoppers, but residential neighborhoods abound. Local restaurants dot the city, offering a taste of various cuisines. Walking trails and parks give residents plenty of quieter spots to relax, and a beach is never far away.