At the end of Portobello Peninsula sits a marine research station, the Portobello Marine Laboratory, which is part of the University of Otago. Close to the end of this peninsula lies Saint Martin's/Quarantine Island.
Portobello features a Historical Society Museum, the 1908 Restaurant, a local primary school (Portobello School Dunedin NZ, Years 1-8), the old Portobello Hotel (a pub) and several accommodation providers, including a camping ground, bed and breakfasts and motels. A local dairy acts as the community's grocers, though most of the village's retail needs are served by Dunedin, which is easily accessed via the winding but well-surfaced Portobello Road which runs along the edge of the harbour. A more convoluted but scenic route, Highcliff Road, connects Portobello with Dunedin city centre via the ridge of the peninsula.
Boating is an historical focus for Portobello. The Boating Club owns the remnants of the ferry jetty (http://jetty.portobello.net.nz) and a slipway a short distance from the centre of the village. In the past, Portobello residents caught the ferry to the city, before the Portobello Road along the foreshore was constructed.
Portobello Community Inc. (http://community.portobello.net.nz) is the local community group, which works to improve Portobello for its community.