Maine is full of small towns that most of us will never get to see. There are simply too many! From the borders of Canada to the waters of the midcoast, these towns represent what Maine is all about. Some feature saltwater air and others are rich with the smell of pine forests. How can such different places represent Maine? It’s simple! Maine is made up of quintessential coastland and a wonderful inland. Make this year one that includes exploring the best towns in Maine. And start with these towns that represent what Maine is all about!
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. Ogunquit, York County
Ogunquit is a tourist destination for many. And, for good reason! It gives off the kind of Maine vines you can expect to see in a postcard. Lobster boats, buoys and lots and lots of seafood!
2. Greenville, Piscataquis County
Greenville is located inland, which some might find a surprising pick for something that's supposed to be a typical "Maine" town. But, what most Mainers know is that our inland represents us just as much as our coast. Head to this town to enjoy beautiful Moosehead Lake.
3. St. Agatha, Aroostook County
A surprising choice to some, this small Maine town actually represents what life is life for many Mainers. It's cold in the winter and extremely small, but that doesn't mean it's not busy in the summer. Even a small, rural Maine town near the Canadian border sees an influx of visitors who come to access the 6,000-acre Long Lake.
4. Vinalhaven, Knox County
Vinalhaven is the largest town on the Fox Islands off the coast of Rockland. Primarily a fishing community, this town gets very slow during the off season. But, take a trip in the summer and it's everything you could ask for in a small, Maine island town!
5. Roque Bluffs, Washington County
The small towns of Washington County often get overlooked, due in part to their small size and teensy populations. Roque Bluffs reports about 300 people living there. What makes it so Maine? For one, it's home to Home to Roque Bluffs State Park, which represents some of the best nature that the state has to offer. And, two, Maine has only become what it is today due to the small towns that have helped keep its history alive.
6. Port Clyde, Knox County
Port Clyde is featured in one of our favorite movies - Forrest Gump! Aside from being the town responsible for the way most people from away see Maine, it's also pretty representative of what a lovely, coastal Maine town feels like. Visit Marshall Point Lighthouse for a REAL taste of coastal Maine.
7. Hallowell, Kennebec County
A walk through Hallowell feels a little bit like walking the high street of an English town! The main street is lined with shops and pubs and its location along the banks of the Kennebec River reminds us how much of Maine has water access that doesn't include the ocean! The town is adorable and picturesque, certainly worth a few hours visiting.
8. Stonington, Deer Isle
Looking for a small fishing village in Maine where you're guaranteed to feel as if you're in a postcard? This is it! Stonington is located at the southern end of Deer Isle and is made up of Stonington is made up of the small villages of Oceanville and West Stonington. It's known as one of the last big fishing villages in Maine, where lobsterman exist not for show or for tourists, but to make a living. The area has also become a haven for Maine's artist community.
9. Castine, Hancock County
Castine is known to be one of the most Maine towns there is! It's home to the Maine Maritime Academy, making it synonymous with our seafaring history. Plus, visually, it might be as Maine as it gets. Lots of boats, foggy mornings and small fish houses dotting the shores.
10. Damariscotta, Lincoln County,
The Damariscotta River is a go-to waterway for all kinds of boating and fishing. And its waters produce Pemaquid oysters as well as the local mussels that can be found in neighborhood restaurants. But, what really makes it a Maine town is the annual Pumpkinfest, featuring an actual pumpkin regatta where folks take to the water IN a pumpkin. Mainers are wacky and we love how much this shines through during the fall in this town.
11. Belfast, Waldo County
Belfast, otherwise known as "Moonbat Kingdom," is high on our list of most hippie towns in Maine. What makes it so "Maine' is the artistic vibe that floats through the streets. Come here for art galleries, great coffee shops and nice people.
12. Kennebunkport, York County
Oh, Kennebunkport. How Maine are you? Let us count the ways! As one of the most visited tourist destinations in New England, this small town oozes adorableness. But, it's also home to lots of small local shops and a wonderful waterfront with sandy beaches and boat rides.
13. Surry, Hancock County
Small Surry is a surprising addition to this list, perhaps because it's relatively under-the-radar. It's nestled between well-known Ellsworth and Blue Hill, but we think it's worth a visit on its own. Any town with a sunset lake view like this is pretty indicative of the perfect Maine summer day!
14. Bath, Sagadahoc County
You didn't think we'd leave BATH off the list, did you? Does it get any more Maine than this small town with shipping roots? 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 incredible community events.
Did you see our recent article all about a former mental hospital sitting in Augusta? If not,
click here for 21 eerie photos.