Driving in cities can be a challenge for a lot of people in New England. I know lots of people in Maine who won't drive in Portland because of the amount of traffic and not being familiar with the roads. I get it. If you're going slow, in the wrong lane, or any other things that annoy other drivers, they'll zoom right past you, or worse, blare the horn.

There are two things I hear about Portland that keep drivers in other parts of Maine away: the traffic and the people. Portland is often referred to by those in more rural areas as "Massachusetts North" or Massachusetts Light." They want nothing to do with the city, and I don't blame them. It's a nice place to visit, but you wouldn't want to live or drive there.

Portland, Maine, USA downtown city skyline at dusk.
Sean Pavone

The website The Vacationer had Survey Monkey ask Americans what major U.S. cities they would avoid traveling to at all costs. Just over 1,000 people 18 or older were polled, 47% male and 53% female. 34 cities were chosen, and a selection was also given for "none of these" if the person had no problem going to any of the cities listed.

Boston, Massachusetts, made the list at #27 with just under 10% of the votes.

Boston, Massachusetts, USA skyline over Boston Common.
Sean Pavone

This was a relatively small sample size, however, with only about 1,000 people responding, so you can decide on its accuracy for yourself. With 332 million people in the United States, 1,000 is not even half a drop in the bucket.

I love Boston. Ever since the Downeaster rail service from Portland to Boston started, I always take the train if I can. I roll right into North Station and hop on The T to go anywhere I want in the city. It's pretty stress-free, and I don't have to pay for parking like I do anywhere I go on Portland's peninsula (yet another reason most Mainers don't come to Portland).

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