50 Cities of the U.S.A. shares what’s best about Portland with kids! Maine's largest city made the cut of just 50 cities nationwide selected to receive its own featured section in a new book for kids learning about different places across America.

The new book from author Gabrielle Balkan and Quarto Knows walks through Maine's legendary Forest City, offers quick facts about Maine's biggest commercial center, and other interesting tidbits about Portland.

Here's a preview:

For instance... did you know?

  • The official state dessert is made with wild Maine blueberries, the state berry!
  • Ferries take passengers to and from the six nearby islands or all the way to Canada!
  • To stay warm in the cold Portland waters, surfers here wear a five-millimeter-thick wetsuit and surf all year round.
  • The "I love you" sign combines the American Sign Language (ASL) letters I, L, and Y; ASL is one of Maine's official languages.
  • Some 50,000 people come from neighboring towns to enjoy parades, rides, eats, arts, and music at the annual Old Port Festival.
  • Seen off the coast of Portland, humpback whales often leap from the water...but scientists aren't sure why!

The book also shows kids tons of things to do in the area as featured in "Portland.”

9 AM Breakfast on wild blueberries! They are easy to find here, as Maine produces more than any other place in the world.

10 AM Find catmint, elephant ears, and other plants among the meandering paths of the Longfellow Garden.

11 AM Climb to the top of the 86-foot high octagonal Portland Observatory—America’s last standing maritime signal tower.

12 PM  Head to the Abyssinian Meetinghouse, the U.S.'s third oldest African-American church, which hosted antislavery speakers in the 1840s.

1 PM Pile your plate full of bean-hole beans: these beans are baked in a cast iron skillet in a hole in the ground, as the Penobscot Indians used to prepare them.

2 PM Visit the Liberty Ship Memorial overlooking Portland Harbor and pay tribute to the people who built 236 ships here during World War II.

3 PM Take a selfie in front of the Portland Head Light: it's Maine’s oldest lighthouse, and the most photographed lighthouse in the U.S.

4 PM Check out the Portland Science Center—the exhibits are always changing so you are bound to see something new!

5 PM Count the seals off the Eastern Promenade; their thick fur and blubber protect them from the cold waters.

6 PM Walk the winding paths of the garden style Evergreen cemetery. It's the largest cemetery in Maine.

7 PM Satisfy your sweet tooth with a chocolatey, cake-like Whoopie Pie, Maine's official state treat.

8 PM End your day by dipping into and inspiring book by a local, such as Philip Hoose's award-winning The Boys Who Challenged Hitler, which tells the true story of teenagers who battled oppression and injustice during WWII.

Have a youngster around who might like to read more about Portland? Here's a link to get the book.

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