If you’re looking for charm, history and beauty, Maine is a great place to visit. Count yourself extra lucky if you happen to live in or near one of these beautiful, charming small towns in Maine. Check out this list for some of the best we have to offer.
A lovely town about 100 miles from Portand, Belfast provides a great mix of art, local food and waterfront views. In June 2015, the first "Maine Fare" took place, celebrating and sharing local artisans, food and musicians. Check out the Maine Fare website for next year's schedule of tastings, live concerts and farm tours.
Bath is renowned for its shipbuilding industry and has become known as the "city of ships." The famous "Bath Iron Works" can still be found here. Stop by the Maine Maritime Museum as well as the Chocolate Church Arts Center which often hosts events.
Not only is Eastport unique for being the easternmost city in the US (not to be confused with Lubec, which is the easternmost municipality), but it is also a city comprised solely of islands. Come in July for the annual July 4th Codfish Relay (which is actually part of a larger celebration of both the US and Canada) and stay for the Salmon Festival in September. If you leave and crave more, come back for the New Year's Eve sardine drop at midnight.
Vinalhaven is a town on the Fox Islands accessible by ferry from Rockland. Oftentimes used to refer to the entire island, Vinalhaven is one of the smallest towns on this list and offers visitors a handful of locally owned bars and restaurants, many of which shutter for the winter. Come for lovely walks in the Lane's Island Preserve, a look at the Robert Indiana pieces scattered throughout, and for at least one night at the beautiful Tidewater Motel.
Rockland may be the point of departure for the ferry to Vinalhaven, but it's worth sticking around a while to enjoy it before heading off. Or, maybe even instead! While not exactly off-the-beaten-path, Rockland offers small town charm and quintessential Maine feel. Enjoy unique local food (our current favorite is food truck, "'Wich, Please" currently sharing indoor winter space with "Comida") and drinks. You'll find plenty of shops to pop into along the way.
Rockland is also home to the annual Maine Lobster Festival that takes place each summer.
Lisbon is known for the annual summer Moxie Festival which features a parade, fireworks, and 5k road race. Originally marketed as a medicine in 1876 by its creator, Dr. Augustin Thompson, it was guaranteed to cure “loss of manhood, paralysis and softening of the brain.” When the soft drink market kicked up, he switched up his tactics and Moxie became what it is today. The 2016 festival will take place from July 8th to 10th.
This easternmost municipality in the US is also the closest place to Africa in the contiguous US. You'll also find the beautiful West Quoddy Head Lighthouse here, which sits next to the Quoddy Narrows separating the US from Canada.
A Nordic coin was famously found in Brooklin. Whether it indicates that there were once Vikings in the area remains to be proven, but the town has earned its way onto this list for plenty of other good reasons. Take a trip here to see the Brooklin Boat Yard as well as artists, writers, musicians, and potters. Combine this will a trip to Blue Hill, a lovely little village with a general store, galleries and places to sleep. If you can't make the trip, pick up a copy of any E.B. White book to get a literary sense of the place. Much of his inspiration came from his hometown of Brooklin.
Home to the Maine Maritime Academy, Castine has a rich seafaring history. When you're there, check out the town's post office - the oldest, continuously running one in the USA.
This list wouldn't be complete without mention of Maine's favorite outlet town! Come for the outlets, but don't forget that Freeport is more than just shopping. Check out the Harraseeket Lunch & Lobster for a roll and their "onion middles." Then, walk it off in Wolfe's Neck Woods State Park.
What are your favorite small towns in Maine? Live in one that you think we should write about? Let us know!