Maine July 31, 2017
Why Everyone In Maine Should Visit This One Tiny Town
Hallowell has been on our must-do list for a while now, so when we had a chance to visit after a trip to camp in Winthrop, it was a no-brainer. The 6.1-mile town (actually, it’s considered the smallest city in Maine!) is located on the banks of the Kennebec and offers tons in the form of food, shopping and summer festivals!
Hallowell, incorporated in 1771, was named after Boston merchant Benjamin Hallowell who was one of the Kennebec Proprietors.
Deacon Pease Clark and his family were considered the first settlers. As the legend goes, the arrived in Hallowell and took shelter in their own overturned cart near what is today Water Street.
In its early history, Hallowell was bustling, with more than 70 shops along Water Street and nearly 2,500 residents. Residents were involved in the logging, trading, and shipbuilding industries.
It was incorporated as a city in 1850, and continued to thrive, in part because of its access to the Kennebec River allowing for an export business in things like textiles, wire, shoes and books.
After some ups and down, the city saw a re-invention in the 1970s.
The downtown was revitalized, allowing it to flourish again. At the time it was a notable town to find beautiful antiques, but today it's become a wonderful place to spend a day for many other reasons!
On a sunny day, Hallowell is wonderful for a stroll down Water Street, the main street in town.
Visitors will find a wonderful walking history trail full of anecdotes and information about the creation of today's city.
And, there are plenty of restaurants and bars to enjoy.
For a casual snack, check out The Shack.
You'll love the offering lobster rolls, hot dogs and delicious Gifford's ice cream. // 176 Water Street
For more of a restaurant vibe, check out the well-known Liberal Cup.
The Liberal Cup is possibly the closest you'll feel to England without having to set food outside Maine. Inside feels like a proper English pub and the local vibe provides the perfect atmosphere to cozy up with a pint and their famous beer cheese soup. // 115 Water Street // 207-623-2739
Strolling through Hallowell means an opportunity for some fun shopping at the Hallowell Antique Mall.
This is the largest antique store the city and features items from more than 30 dealers. Prices are reasonable, which means you'll probably wish you parked nearby so more easily haul your new things back before continuing your trip downtown! // 91 Water Street // 207) 430-8315
For more shopping, with an opportunity to create some things yourself head to Hallowell Clay Works.
This clay studio offers classes for kids and adults. There are 1 day workshops, 8 week classes, as well as summer camps. And, there's a small gallery with handmade pottery and jewelry. // 157 Water Street // (207) 480-1122
Now, for a healthy refresh, check out Juiced.
Since 2014, Juiced. has been serving juices, smoothies, protein shakes, wraps, salads, paninis, tea, coffee, espresso, and baked goods. // 130 Water Street // (207) 623-7700
The Maine House is a great option for dinner.
One of the best things about this spot is the variety of specialty cocktails that are created using spirits made right here in Maine! The menu features tapas-style small plates for sharing, and entertainment includes fun local musicians on weekends. // 119 Water Street // (207) 621-1234
To close out the day, we recommend saving a few hours to relax at The Quarry Tap Room!
There's a street-level offering a menu and bar...
...but our new favorite is the river-level patio!
An afternoon here means relaxing with patio games and laid back seating.
The Quarry Tap has 30 Domestic and Micro Brew Beers on tap, many of which are bound to be Maine brewed! The menu
is unique, and features things you're not likely to find anywhere else in town. For instance, mozzarella stuffed meatballs tossed in Parmesan cheese, then fried in duck fat and served on a bed of homemade sauce! // 122 Water Street // (207) 213-6173
The Kennebec Wharf is your spot for fun and music!
You're likely to hear live music coming out of these walls and if you love to dance, you'll probably find yourself inside! // 1 Wharf Street // (207) 622-9290
While it's fun to enjoy the stores, restaurants and bars along Water Street, don't forget how close you are to the Kennebec River!
Make your way to the banks to enjoy the calm view, and even launch a kayak.
If relaxing is more your thing, there are plenty of ways to do absolutely nothing by the banks!
This is also where you'll find the Rock on the River events throughout the summer.
to check out what to see the rest of the summer!
And, best of all, do NOT miss the Hallowell Woodstock Revival!
On August 16th, this music and arts festival hits the town with a free concert at the local bandstand at 2pm. Come to celebrate with a recreation of some of the best songs of Woodstock. The event will also include art vendors along Granite Park and one of the most special parts...the peace flag that will stretch down the length of town!
to learn more.
Another great thing about Hallowell? It’s got tons of fun outdoor activities just outside of town! Check out the Kennebec Rail Trail (included in
this article about great Maine trails) and this beautiful Hobbitland, just minutes from downtown.