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50 States in 52 weeks: Portland, Oregon vs. Portland, Maine

Ian Nelson
26 April 2016

Two great cities, same great name. Sitting on opposite coasts and separated by an eight hour flight, Portland, Oregon and Portland, Maine each have their own unique character. However, in the game of Top Trumps, there can only be one winner. Travel writer and Portland Oregon resident, Ian Nelson, examines the stats and facts for each city to see how they compare

GEOGRAPHY

Portland, Oregon:
Sitting proudly as the largest metropolis in the state of Oregon, Portland has a population of over 2 million. Portland offers all the versatility and energy of a big city, yet on a more manageable scale than that of LA or New York. Sprawled out upon the confluence of two large rivers, it has received the nickname Bridge City for its many well-designed bridges. Better yet, the snow-capped Mt. Hood overlooks the entire city.
Top Trump rating: 5/5

Portland, Maine:
Are you drawn to vigorous yet less stressful environments? This Portland is comparatively laid back, home to a much smaller urban population of 66,000. Ocean lovers may prefer how Maine’s Portland is situated directly on an Atlantic peninsula (whereas Portland, OR is 60 miles inland from the sea). If you favor a “small-town” feel, this Portland is your charming place of refuge.
Top Tump rating: 4/5 

Verdict: City lovers will prefer the Portland of the west over Portland, ME

WEATHER

Portland, Oregon:

Don’t let the gloomy rainfall (154 days per year) fool you! There is a reason so many people have flocked to live in this Northwest city surrounded by breath-taking scenery. Bring an umbrella (or two) in the Fall and Winter, but expect to catch some of the most beautiful Spring and Summer days to be found in the country.
Top Trump rating: 3/5

Portland, Maine:
The locals complain about the cold, snowy winters. In addition, some intense mid-latitude coastal storms between November and March prove too daunting for many visitors. It’s safe to aim for a Spring or Summer visit in this extremely diverse climate.
Top Trump rating: 3/5 

Verdict: Overall, the year-round weather in Portland, ME is less cooperative than its west coast rival

FOOD & DRINK

Portland, Oregon:

Portland has been identified by many as the best city in the world for street food, home to over 600 licensed food carts. In addition, restaurant lovers will enjoy the kung pao calamari and cityscape views from atop Portland City Grill or lick their chops over the unique southern cuisine of Screen Door. Beer and coffee lovers will favor this city as well. Portland officially has the most total breweries of any city in the whole world! Coffee snobs must try the likes of Barista, Good Coffee, or Coava.
Top Trump rating: 5/5

Portland, Maine:
Due to its direct location on the ocean, the seafood in Portland, Maine is greater than that of Portland, OR. The Old Port waterfront features working fishing wharves and converted warehouses packed with restaurants and shops not to be found anywhere else on the east coast. Try the crab cakes at Back Bay Grill or the brown butter lobster roll at Eventide Oyster Co. For a more quirky environment, the locals will claim Duckfat is a once-in-a-lifetime delicious necessity. Coffee lovers will not be disappointed by local Bard Coffee or Coffee by Design.
Top Trump rating: 4.5/5 

Verdict: Portland, OR is difficult to beat, but the seafood in Portland, ME keeps it competitive

SHOPPING

Portland, Oregon:
Home to countless hipsters and fashionistas, this city has the quite the offering. Enjoy an unparalleled experience at Pioneer Place Mall downtown, which is almost entirely underground. Walk the oft-raved boutiques of NW 23rd. Still want more? Try Lloyd Center Mall in SE or Washington Square Mall in the SW suburbs.
Top Trump rating: 5/5

Portland, Maine:
The Maine Mall is the largest mall in the state of Maine. Travelers also delight in shopping at the Old Port District, featuring one-of-a-kind boutiques and both Maine-made and imported goods.
Top Trump rating: 4.5/5

Verdict: Shopaholics will enjoy both, but the bigger city’s variety again gives it the slight edge.

SPORTS

Portland, Oregon:
Being a major city, sports fans can enjoy NBA Basketball with the Trailblazers, or the MLS Soccer of the Timbers—both having extrememly loyal and dedicated fan bases. However, with the city catering more toward art and music, many jocks seem to have fled elsewhere, and there’s no notable football or baseball to speak of.
Top Trump rating: 3/5

Portland, Maine:
Sports fans may want to check out the American Hockey League’s Portland Pirates, or perhaps EL Baseball’s Portland Seadogs. However, the accomplishments of the local University of Maine Black Bears’ ice hockey and baseball programs are arguably more impressive. This smaller city is hurting for more sports affair.
Top Trump rating: 1.5/5

Verdict: Portland, ME is just too small of a city to have any nationally acclaimed sports programs.

OUTDOOR ACTIVITIES

Portland, Oregon:

Portland is a utopia for outdoor enthusiasts. Hikers and cyclists drool over the stunning views of the Columbia River Gorge or nearby Canon Beach. Do you enjoy skiing? Timberline Lodge at Mt Hood is one of a kind. Locals and visitors alike also enjoy casual runs along the gorgeous wildwood trail of Forest Park
Top Trump rating: 5/5

Portland, Maine:
Tourists will love exploring Casco Bay Islands via one of the highly rated boat tours. Hard-core adventurers however would enjoy the challenge of a Sea Kayak Tour at Portland Paddle. Visitors rave about the Western Promenade, a hilltop park providing mountain and river view. The locals will also recommend a stroll through the city’s West End to enjoy Victorian-era homes, including the Victoria Mansion Museum.
Top Trump rating: 5/5

Verdict: Both cities are very fun and unique in different respects.

SO WHO COMES OUT ON TOP?

Portland, Oregon is the winner, with an average score of 4.3
Portland, Maine comes in a respectable second with 3.6

Verdict: 
Both great cities worth exploring