USA/ME: Portland

Portland (the one in Maine and not in Oregon), is the largest city in this northern state, but not the capital. A fishing and trading settlement appeared near as far back as 1623. The town rapidly grew over the next couple of centuries into a major port, but then eventually lost its importance in the late 20th century. Today, the old port area is the most interesting – cobblestone streets and old brick buildings with the wharf full of seafood restaurants and whale tour charters. On the highest point in town stands the Portland Observatory from 1807, essentially a lighthouse. Speaking of lighthouses, there are two famous ones just outside of Portland – the Portland Head Lighthouse and the Bug Lighthouse.