Attractions April 18, 2016
These 11 Perfectly Picturesque Small Towns In Maine Are Delightful
We’ve been talking a lot more about small town Maine lately. With summer on its way, it’s easier than ever to explore the parts of Maine you’ve never seen. If you’re in need of a little inspiration, take a look at these lovely small town photos we’ve compiled. It could be just the catalyst you need to avoid Portland and head for the (metaphorical) hills.
We’re aware that these uncertain times are limiting many aspects of life. While we continue to feature destinations that make our state wonderful, please take proper precautions or add them to your bucket list to see at a later date. If you know of a local business that could use some extra support during these times, please nominate them here:
1. Searsport, Waldo County
Searsport is Maine's second largest deep water port and is ideally located from the point of view of railroad, wood products and other development interests. Searsport has a rich maritime history. During the 19th-century the port had 17 shipyards and built 200 ships. It is the second largest deep water port in Maine and is ideally located at the confluence of the Penobscot River estuary and the Penobscot Bay. The rich heritage of the town can be seen at the Penobscot Marine Museum in town.
2. Brooklin, Hancock County
Brooklin is named for the brook that separates it from Sedgwick, the town it was originally a part of. Historically, the town was a fishing and overall seafaring place. Fun fact: Allegedly, an 11th-century Norse coin was found in Brooklin. If this is true (some believe it to be a hoax), it would be the only physical evidence of Nordic settlers having entered the United States. An alternate explanation is that the coin was brought to the site not directly by Vikings, but rather through trading.
3. Rockport, Knox County
The town of Rockport is close to Camden, but many believe it has far more unspoiled character. Forbes Magazine even named it one of America's prettiest towns! Rockport is named for its rocky land and its lime stone industry. The town supplied most of the stone used in the US Capitol Building in Washington DC after it was damaged during the War of 1812. Rockport is also the home of Andre the Seal, the childhood book that was made into a movie. Andre is a true story, written by local Harry Goodridge, whose family adopted the seal in the 1970s. Andre the seal was known for entertaining guests in the Rockport harbor until he passed away in 1986. (source:
4. Port Clyde, Knox County
Port Clyde is the southernmost settlement on the St. George peninsula in central Maine.
In the 19th century, Port Clyde became a busy port with granite quarries, tide mills for sawing timber, and shipbuilding and fish canning businesses. Today, the area's quiet location attracts artists and writers.
One of its most notable attractions is the Marshall Point Lighthouse. You may remember it as one of the most beautiful scenes during Forrest Gump's cross-country run in the movie, "Forrest Gump."
5. Stonington, Hancock County
The lovely town of Stonington is located on the southern portion of Deer Isle. It was incorporated as a town in 1897 and renamed from Green's Landing to Stonington for its granite quarries. Despite its somewhat hard to reach location, you'll find plenty to enjoy here. From the Stonington Opera House to the museum, it's a lovely place to spend a weekend.
6. Phippsburg, Sagadahoc County
Sitting on the west side of the mouth of the Kennebec River, Phippsburg is a lovable small town with a tight community. There's no shortage of outdoors to enjoy here. You'll find the Bates-Morse Mountain Conservation Area, Fort Popham State Historic Site; along with Fort Baldwin which overlooks Fort Popham. Head over to Popham Beach State Park and Pond Island National Wildlife Refuge for even more outside goodness.
7. Andover, Oxford County
Andover was first settled in 1789 by Ezekiel Merrill, a Revolutionary War veteran, who came with his wife and seven children from Andover, Massachusetts. The first settlers were farmers and woodsmen and forest products are still an important part of life here. In addition to local shops, you'll find plenty of things to do outdoors. From hunting, fishing, boating, skiing, and snow mobiling to hiking on the Appalachian Trail, which passes through the western edge of town, Andover is perfect for the true Maine lover of nature.
8. Stratton, Franklin County
Stratton is officially considered a part of Eustis and was incorporated as a town in 1871. Benedict Arnold and his troops passed through here on October 19, 1775, on their way up the North Branch of the Dead River to fight in the ill-fated Battle of Quebec. Its close proximity to the Flagstaff Lake made it an ideal new home after the Flagstaff Plantation was flooded. You can read more about that
9. Sebec, Piscataquis County
While these photos are of Sebec, it's almost impossible to choose just one of the Three Rivers Communities. They're all perfectly nice and visiting any will give you the feeling of small-town Maine. Incorporated in 1812, Sebec is the oldest town in Piscataquis County. Come for the country feel and to visit Sebec Lake on which it is located.
10. Hartland, Somerset County
If you've never been to Hartland, you're missing out on some opportunities for lovely camp spots. With both Great Moose Lake and Morrill Pond nearby, it's easy to relax your days away.
11. Kennebunkport, York County
One of the oldest towns in Maine, Kennebunkport was incorporated as Cape Porpus in 1663, prior to the existence of the actual state of Maine. It is a popular tourist destination, but it's also a great place for Mainers to visit. Don't discount it! If you want to get out of the tourist congested town center, head to The Rachel Carson National Wildlife Refuge, which has a significant portion of lands in Kennebunkport northeast of Cape Porpoise and through Goose Rocks.
What small towns do you find the most charming? Let us know on our
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