Westbrook, Maine, is located in Cumberland County and is part of a metro area that also includes Portland, South Portland, and Biddeford. Two rivers run through the city: the Stroudwater through the southern part and the larger Presumpscot through the center. The town was originally known as Saccarappa, named for a waterfall on the Presumpscot River. The city’s population is about 18,000 (2015 estimate).
The city is named for Thomas Westbrook, an officer in the New England Militia who served during Father Rale’s War. Upon retiring from duty, Westbrook settled in Falmouth and built a business supplying masts for the British Navy. It was not until 1814, however, that the city was sectioned from Falmouth and officially took Westbrook’s name.
The weather in Westbrook is generally more comfortable than most U.S. cities, with an average high temperature for July (the warmest month) of 78°F. Winter is chilly, with 13°F the average low temperature in January, the coldest month. You’ll see a bit more rain than in most places (43.2 in. annually) and a good deal of snow—71.5 in. a year compared to the U.S. average of 25 in.
Westbrook residents enjoy local transportation via the Metro, a public bus system operated by nearby Portland. The city is two miles from the Amtrak Downeastern Rail Route which serves areas north of Boston, and two miles from the Concord Trailways, a bus line providing transportation to Boston and Logan Airport. The Portland International Jetport (PWM) offers regional air travel and connections to major cities.
Westbrook Cost of Living
The cost of living in Westbrook carries about a ten percent premium, primarily due to higher costs for housing and health care. The unemployment rate is 4.8 percent, and the state sales tax rate is 5.5 percent. The median income for Westbrook households is $45,544. What will your earnings buy in Westbrook? The links below will show you the numbers.
The Westbrook School Department administers public education with three K-4 schools, Westbrook Middle School, Westbrook High School, and Westbrook Regional Vocational School. There are many private school options within 20 miles of Westbrook, including 17 private high schools. Among the local colleges and universities are Husson University in Westbrook and the University of Southern Maine in Portland.
U.S. Hospital Finder locates 12 hospitals within 30 miles of Westbrook, including one within the city, Spring Harbor Hospital. It is a nonprofit, private psychiatric hospital and a division of Maine Behavioral Healthcare. Maine Medical Center in nearby Portland is the state’s largest medical center, licensed for 637 beds. Mercy Hospital in Portland is part of Mercy Health System, a nonprofit sponsored by Sisters of Mercy of the Americas.
Westbrook Real Estate
The most recent census shows just under 8,000 housing units in Westbrook, and an average of 2.2 persons per household. The median value of owner-occupied houses is $196,000, and the median monthly cost of ownership is $1531 with a mortgage ($616 without a mortgage). Housing costs in general are about 25 percent higher than the U.S. average. The median cost renters is $871 a month.
Most lodging choices are located on the east side of Westbrook with access to I-95 and SR 47. The Super 8 on Larrabee Road is easy on your budget, with free WiFi and indoor pool. Or enjoy the casual vibe at Fireside Inn & Suites in Portland. It features two indoor pools and free breakfast—plus a free Isamax Snacks Wicked Whoopie Pie at check-in.
Westbrook is home to several restaurants specializing in local and ethnic cuisine. The Original Frog & Turtle is the place for Sunday brunch with donuts made from scratch and fried to order. Casa Novello serves Italian the way it is meant to be—including gourmet hand-tossed pies. (If you’re not worried about your cholesterol, try the “No Veggie Here” with five kinds of meats.) For that aching sweet tooth, check out the homemade ice creams at Catbird Creamery.
Things to Do in Westbrook
You’ll find plenty of things to do in Westbrook, especially if you like the outdoors. The city maintains more than two dozen parks and recreational facilities for hiking, skating, biking, golf, boating, softball and tennis. Join the Westbrook Trail Blazes Club to join other snowmobile riders for miles of fun on groomed trails. The comfortable Westbrook Performing Arts Center seats 1000 for a variety of shows throughout the year.