The West End
The West End was the first part of the peninsula of Portland to develop beyond the original 17th and 18th century Old Port district. Beginning in the 1820's, as the Bramhall Farm began to be sold off, the wealthier merchants of the city moved out of the Old Port and built larger and more extravagant houses on this newly available land. As one walks the idyllic, tree‑lined streets in this historic district of Portland, the affluence of the 19th and early‑20th century homes can still be felt today.
The West End is generally considered to be bounded by the Western Promenade to the west, and State Street to the east. Like Portland’s Eastern Promenade, the Western Promenade was designed by noted landscape architect Frederick Law Olmsted. With restaurants and coffee shops on many corners, the West End is a wonderful neighborhood to live in. The district’s schools, churches, and synagogues are all within a few minutes walk or drive. Two community gardens – Clark Street and Valley Street‑ offer garden plots for raising fresh herbs and vegetables.
The West End’s dining and shopping offerings are many and wide‑ranging. Locals also love to sample the unique take on Asian cooking at hip newcomer Bao Bao Dumpling. Cafe Ohno serves up nationally recognized breakfast sandwiches. It’s a quick stroll to Chaval for a dinner and coacktails with friends, to Bonobo for pizza, or to Rosemont Market for organic produce and a bottle of wine. So many choices ‑ but if you need still more, the Old Port is also within walking distance.
The West End's Historic Streets
Bramhall Hill is noted for its architecture and history. The neighborhood is home to a large number of historic homes and parks and it as been called "one of the best preserved Victorian neighborhoods in the country." The Western Promenade, a park laid out in 1836, overlooks the Libbytown and Stroudwater neighborhoods of Portland and beyond.
Other historic structures include 68 High Street, The Gothic House, Brown House, Butler House, Ingraham House, Morrill Mansion and the Minott House.
Walker’s Paradise – 93 walk score, daily errands do not require a car (walkscore.com)
Bikeable – 68 bike score, flat as a pancake, minimal bike lanes (walkscore.com)
Portland is a beautiful city situated on Casco Bay. Its many distinct neighborhoods have unique personalities. Commercial Street and the Old Port are the historic waterfront and commercial heart of the city. Their many warehouses attest to a trading past. The West End is full of large, historic brick and stone homes on quiet, tree‑lined streets. Congress Street and the arts districts were once the retail downtown and today offer a mix of shopping, art and cultural destinations, professional space, and many restaurants. In Portland, beautiful outdoor spaces and parks are never far.
Portland’s high‑quality dining destinations have been featured in many publications including the Washington Post, the New York Times, and the Boston Globe and earned Bon Appetit's "Restaurant City of the Year 2018" distiction. From the gourmet offerings of our numerous James Beard Award nominees and winners to fresh lobsters and clams at an ocean front shack, you’ll love discovering the full range of dining opportunities. For those who prefer to do their own cooking, twice‑weekly farmer’s markets and a wide range of ethnic food stores provide both the supplies and the inspiration.
- Sebago Lake, Maine: 30 minutes
- Kennebunk, Maine: 40 minutes
- Portsmouth, New Hampshire: 50 minutes
- Newburyport, Massachusetts: 1 hour 10 minutes
- North Conway, New Hampshire: 1 hour 30 minutes
- Sunday River, Maine: 1 hour 40 minutes
- Camden, Maine: 1 hour 40 minutes
- Boston, Massachusetts: 1 hour 50 minutes
- Sugarloaf, Maine: 2 hours 30 minutes
- Burlington, Vermont: 4 hours
- Montreal, Quebec: 5 hours
- New York City: 5 hours 20 minutes