Maine is stuffed with small-town appeal that usually will get neglected when guests flock to the southernmost elements of the state. As a Mainer, I at all times encourage vacationers to save lots of time for all of the magic that lies north of Portland.

My recommendation typically invitations the query, “Oh, you imply Acadia Nationwide Park?” Whereas Acadia shouldn’t be missed, I am speaking in regards to the in-between cities — the locations with comfort shops that promote a mishmash of groceries, antiques, and garden ornaments; locations the place your server might be additionally the proprietor, and the place “ayuh” is used as an alternative of “sure.”

Listed below are a number of the finest small cities in Maine.


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Most know Ellsworth as a spot to drive via en path to Acadia Nationwide Park and Mount Desert Island. However there are just a few causes it’s best to do greater than stretch your legs right here. For starters, you should purchase cheesecake on the honour system. Momo’s Cheesecakes gives its treats from a storage that has been renovated to maintain up with the demand.

On the opposite finish of Foremost Avenue, 86 This! calls itself “an aesthetic, punk-rock burrito store.” All kinds of inventive wraps are good in your picnic basket. In the meantime, yogis will enjoyment of Steamy Buddha‘s choices. And simply previous the Ellsworth line, there is a Maine expertise like no different: Timber Tina’s Nice Maine Lumberjack Present. Watch the present or attempt your hand at log rolling.

The place to Keep: Underneath Canvas Acadia, a luxurious glamping expertise, is a brief distance away in Surry.


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Moosehead Lake is Maine’s largest lake, but it surely’s not as frequented as its southern counterpart — Sebago Lake. Greenville is a 1.5-hour scenic drive from Bangor Worldwide Airport and Moosehead is actually the focus of the city. A method to absorb the lake’s magnificence is by reserving a seaplane experience — excellent for each the summer time and fall.

Steamboat Katahdin has been round for 100 years and outlived what was a aggressive market of vessels. Guests may also be part of a Registered Maine Information for a singular moose safari. And highway trippers will love Lily Bay State Park for its sandy seashore, campsites, playground, and picnic areas.

The place to Keep: Lease a camp. “Camp” is a time period Mainers use instead of lake home, cottage, cabin, and extra.

Swans Island

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For those who’ve dreamed of staying in a Maine city that is solely accessible by ferry service, Swan’s Island is the place to go for lazy days on the seashore with a view that has no finish. Its appeal lies in its simplicity: one retailer, lighthouse, museum, and library. Whereas swimming is accessible at 4 public seashores, the “quarry pond” provides guests the choice of a freshwater dip. A wide range of trails, boat charters, and eco excursions are additionally out there for vacationers wanting some exercise. For those who’re already planning a visit to Acadia Nationwide Park, do not miss this close by treasure.

The place to Keep: Trip leases could also be your finest guess right here. Because the ferry leaves from Bass Harbor, staying at The Claremont is commonly most popular.


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Once I attended the College of Maine, Orono appeared like a school city. Now as a mom of two, Orono seems like a household vacation spot. These seemingly contradictory vibes boil all the way down to the truth that nobody is an outsider right here. You may by no means really feel like a vacationer (except you wish to).

After grabbing espresso and an acai bowl from Nest, cross the road to the Stillwater River Path, which is simply wanting 4 miles out and again. For one thing extra outdoorsy, Maine Certain Journey Heart on the college gives kayak, canoe, and paddleboard leases (together with rooftop kits for transport). Locals additionally love Pat’s Pizza (or the fish tacos at Woodman’s). And in true school city vogue, there are many locations to get pleasure from a beverage, with Orono Brewing having essentially the most in depth choice of craft brews.

The place to Keep: Away from downtown, part of Orono is positioned on Pushaw Lake, the place this quaint cottage is positioned.


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Maine’s Mid-Coast is lined with charming, can’t-miss cities, like Camden. Whereas the downtown space is chock-full of outlets, eating places, and cafes, remember to search out some elevation by mountaineering or climbing Mount Battie at Camden Hills State Park. For a singular approach to see Maine’s coast whereas capturing its magnificence, take a look at a pictures workshop tour on board the Moon Canine.

The place to Keep: 16 Bay View overlooks the harbor and is centrally positioned to dozens of outlets and eating places.


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Dwelling to the Maine Maritime Academy, Castine is without doubt one of the state’s most neglected locations and likewise one of many oldest, with greater than 100 historic markers all through city, which landed it on the Nationwide Register of Historic Locations. To get a way of its appeal, be part of a strolling tour or meet up with the native crowd on the newly renovated Dennett’s Wharf, which has been a staple in the neighborhood for 50 years.

The place to Keep: Test into the Pentagoet Inn & Wine Bar, a historic bed-and-breakfast with an on-site pub and quaint woodland backyard with views of Penobscot Bay.


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Within the winter months, Kingfield comes alive as a ski city of kinds, located subsequent door to the famed Sugarloaf Mountain. However to solely know Kingfield as a spot to relaxation your head between journeys to the slopes could be lacking out on a special kind of magnificence that blossoms in the course of the summer time and early fall. Outside lovers deliver their bikes and mountaineering footwear to hop on the 80-mile community of groomed paths referred to as Maine Huts & Trails. In case your aim is to cowl as a lot of the Maine woods as potential, reserving a “hut” to sleep in between hikes is a good way to fulfill native adventurers.

The place to Keep: Try this lovable A-frame cabin on Airbnb.


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Situated on Deer Isle, Stonington has every part a customer might need from a historic fishing village. A working waterfront provides vacationers a glimpse into how their famed lobster dinner was made potential. The city is nestled right into a hillside, with sweeping views of the bay. You may get misplaced in nature, busy your self with artwork galleries, or absorb a present on the Stonington Opera Home. In fact, it would not be a visit to the island with out stopping at Nervous Nellie’s Jams and Jellies. Eclectic sculptures and items made by Maine artisans accompany the treats.

The place to Keep: Aragosta at Goose Cove not solely gives dreamy oceanfront lodging in cottages and suites, however the fine-dining restaurant serves inventive culinary delights from a famend chef who works straight with native fishermen and farmers to curate the freshest delicacies.


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A former mill city, Buckport sits on the banks of the Penobscot River and is residence to a thriving waterfront with picturesque views of the Penobscot Narrows Bridge and Fort Knox. The paved walkway stretches for nearly a mile, and guests can discover a bench and revel in some fried clams from close by Crosby’s Drive-In. Friars’ Brewhouse Faucet Room serves native beer and is a superb place to cease in between looking outlets on Foremost Avenue.

The place to Keep: Try this quiet waterfront Airbnb.


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Maine’s Lakes and Mountains area within the western a part of the state is residence to a number of idyllic cities, together with Naples, which is nestled between Sebago Lake and Lengthy Lake (with one other 50 lakes close by). Discover ways to water ski or wakeboard, or take it simple with a pontoon rental. Eating choices are plentiful, too, with many waterfront eating places and eateries (suppose: all of the seafood and blueberry desserts you’ll be able to eat).

The place to Keep: Lakeview Inn is a bed-and-breakfast the place you’ll be able to anticipate ukulele concert events and weekend barbecues.