When you think of Portland, what comes to mind first?
Is it the West Coast eco-wonderland in Oregon, or the East Coast seafood haven in Maine?
Well, for us, it's both, though to be honest, we didn't quite know all the ins and outs of each city before our personal exploration. This blog is going to help fill you in on all the similarities and differences between these two well-known Port cities, and give you a few fun facts along the way as well!
Portland Oregon and Portland Maine share an interesting background together, though they were founded 65 years apart from one another.
Portland Maine was founded in 1786. 65 years later, in 1851, a couple New England settlers made their way to the west coast in what we now know as Portland Oregon. The two settlers were Aso Lovejoy of Massachusetts and Francis Pettygrove of Maine. Both men wanted to name this new settlement after their respective hometowns, so they flipped a coin, an 1835 penny to be exact, and Pettygrove won. He named the area after his home town, Portland Maine. If the coin had landed the other way, the area would be named Boston. You can actually see this coin at Oregon's Portland Historical Society!
This is a point of great difference between the two cities, as Portland Oregon has a population of about 647,800 and Portland Maine has a population of 66,880. Portland Oregon is a much bigger city, whereas Portland Maine has a small town, more quiet and quaint feel to it.
There are some serious similarities with the attractions in both of these cities, both Portland's offering excellent eco-adventure, art galleries, and water-based activities. Here are just a few of the top attractions in each:
- Portland Head Lighthouse
- Peaks Island
- Portland Museum of Art
- Old Port
West Coast port views vs East Coast port views... this point boils down to a matter of personal opinion. Both cities are absolutely STUNNING. Portland Oregon provides gorgeous views of the Columbia and Willamette Rivers amidst a city setting, with snow-capped Mount Hood serving as the backdrop.
Portland Maine is more of a waterfront fishing community with dramatic bluffs every which way surrounded by spectacular river and mountain views as well, with the Appalachian mountain range close by.
There is an easy distinction between the cities when it comes to food: Maine brings the best seafood, Oregon the best BBQ. Don't get us wrong, Portland Oregon does bring in some killer seafood options as well, but people tend to notice the bbq and even fried chicken options throughout the city before the seafood.
Check out the Lobster Roll from Becky's Diner or J's Oyster in Portland Maine, and check out the bbq brisket from Matt's BBQ or fried chicken from Hat Yai in Portland Oregon. These are arguably the best dishes (and restaurants) in each city!
Both Portland Maine and Portland Oregon think they have the best breweries around, but one big difference is that Portland Maine also boasts some of the best wineries in the area.
Portland Oregon holds brewery standards high with over 60 craft breweries within its confines, holding the self-proclaimed title of 'Craft Beer Capital of the World.' Head to Occidental or Stormbreaker Brewery to check it out for yourself.
Portland Maine holds the most breweries per capita (versus Portland Oregon's most breweries overall), Allagash and Austin Street Breweries being a couple of the favorites. Winery-wise, Sweetgrass and Maine Mead are always popular choices.
Cost to Visit
The average daily cost to visit Portland Maine, according to budgetyourtrip.com, is about $120, versus an average of $140 in Portland Oregon. Basically, it all boils down to what exactly you want to do during your visit and how long you want to stay. They aren't too terribly different in cost overall.
This is certainly a point of similarity, both seaside cities well-known for their more dreary, wet, and colder weather. Portland Oregon has a slightly higher yearly temperature average, however, and a lower rainfall average.
Annual high temperature: 55.8°F
Annual low temperature: 37°F
Average temperature: 46.4°F
Average annual precipitation - rainfall: 47.33 inch
Annual high temperature: 63.3°F
Annual low temperature: 45.7°F
Average temperature: 54.5°F
Average annual precipitation - rainfall: 35.98 inch