Lesbian Travel: Portland, Maine

Portland Maine A little over an hour by air from New York City is Portland, Maine, a charming and picturesque port city with a concentrated population of over 60,000 residents. Flying in you might be dazzled—if it’s summer—by the sapphire blue water and emerald green vegetation. Once you land and make your way to the historic center you will marvel at the lovely examples of architecture that survived four terrible fires and a couple of terrible battles, which earned the city its seal of a phoenix rising from the ashes, and its motto “Resurgam” or “Rise again.” Indeed, Portland is a survivor and has reinvented itself numerous times. Located on a peninsula in Casco Bay on the Gulf of Maine and the Atlantic Ocean, it was originally inhabited by Indians, and then settled by white men as a site of trading and fishing. It grew into a bustling port and commercial center, reached by both rail and by sea, once icebreakers were invented for Canadian exports. Today, the prettiest—and certainly the most touristy—part of town is arguably the Old Port, which is still a commercial center, selling everything from nautical mementos to souvenirs to fresh local fish; and the vibrant and pleasant Arts District, which follows Congress Street through the city center. Only a couple of laneways and cobblestone streets down near the piers speak of the city’s rough-and-tumble past, and even they do so delightfully. Finance, petroleum, and tourism form the backbone of the city’s economy now, and the tourism is especially welcoming of LGBT travelers and hipsters. I visited for Pride, on June 10-19, and was thoroughly charmed by the city and its people, as well as this great event, which had plenty on for lesbians, including spoken word poet Andrea Gibson and DJ Mary Mac. I mingled with the local lesbians, two of whom have transplanted themselves here because they were charmed by the place too! Kim Chesterfield, who works with the local Pride organization, came to Maine in 1992 to work at a summer camp. “I fell in love with my first partner and with Portland… I just never left,” she says.

By Merryn Johns – Full Story at Curve Magazine

Maine’s South Coast Gay Travel Resources


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