South Portland’s lovely parks lie on the other side of town. Stop for a picture at Fort Preble and another at Spring Point Ledge Lighthouse, where a 900-foot breakwater leading to this historic struc- ture creates a majestic bulwark against the sea. Another great green space is Mill Creek Park, where fragrant roses burst into life come summer, and in the winter, ice skaters can be found making frozen tracks on the pond. Salt-water junkies can slip into the Atlantic at Willard Beach, one of the city’s few free public beaches located in one of Maine’s hippest neighborhoods. At nearby Bug Light Park, named for the diminutive lighthouse which sits at the end of a pink granite breakwater, you’ll see plenty of kite-flyers enjoying the ocean winds. You’ll find shops and coffee houses in Knightville, a lesser-known neighborhood just over the Casco Bay Bridge from Portland. Enjoy a fabulous meal just around the corner at Saltwater Grille where the quality of dining is matched by the unobstructed view of the dramatic city skyline.
Photos, clockwise from top: Casco Bay and the Calendar Islands, Portland Paddle; College students enjoying campus in Gorham, Univer- sity of Southern Maine; Fall foliage riverfront heading into Westbrook, Cynthia Farr-Weinfeld