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5 Cozy small towns in Maine for the perfect summer getaway

Discover the best small towns in Maine for a cozy summer escape with picturesque scenery and vibrant communities :

  • Camden : Hike Mount Battie, explore historic architecture, and attend the Windjammer Festival.
  • Kennebunkport : Visit Dock Square, the Seashore Trolley Museum, and enjoy fine dining and ocean views.
  • Bar Harbor : Gateway to Acadia National Park, with whale watching, historical museums, and diverse dining options.
  • Rockland : Explore the Farnsworth Art Museum, Harbor Trail, and enjoy the Maine Lobster Festival.
  • Brunswick : Home to Bowdoin College, with cultural landmarks, vibrant downtown, and scenic bike paths.

Looking for the perfect summer escape ? Maine offers an array of charming small towns that capture the essence of a cozy retreat. With its picturesque scenery, rich history, and warm communities, you’ll find yourself immersed in New England tranquility. Here, we highlight five cozy small towns in Maine that are ideal for your next summer getaway.

Camden : a picturesque coastal village

Known as the jewel of the Maine coast, Camden offers a combination of coastal beauty and vibrant community life.

Start your visit at Camden Hills State Park, where you can hike up to Mount Battie. The summit offers panoramic views of Penobscot Bay and the surrounding islands. The Megunticook Lake, another gem, provides opportunities for swimming, kayaking, and fishing in a serene environment.

In the heart of Camden, the historical architecture and unique shops provide a charming backdrop. Wander through the Camden Public Library and its amphitheater, a National Historic Landmark. Visit the Penobscot Marine Museum to learn about the maritime heritage that shaped the town.

Don’t miss the Camden Windjammer Festival in September. This annual event celebrates Maine’s maritime culture with parades, boat races, and live music. The local cuisine also deserves a mention, with seafood being a staple. Restaurants like the Waterfront Restaurant offer delicious meals with breathtaking views of the harbor.

Kennebunkport : a blend of luxury and tradition

Once a bustling shipbuilding and fishing village, Kennebunkport has evolved into a luxurious destination, albeit without losing its historical charm. Known for its beautiful beaches, charming boutiques, and upscale dining, it is perfect for a summer getaway.

Begin your tour of Kennebunkport at Dock Square, the town’s focal point. The square features several charming shops, art galleries, and eateries. The Seashore Trolley Museum, the world’s oldest and largest museum of mass transit vehicles, is a must-visit for history buffs.

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Stroll along the scenic Ocean Avenue for stunning views of the Atlantic Ocean. Another significant landmark is the Walker’s Point, the summer home of the Bush family. Events like the Kennebunkport Festival in June celebrate the town’s vibrant cultural scene with art shows, culinary experiences, and live performances.

The dining experience in Kennebunkport is exceptional. Restaurants such as The Clam Shack serve some of the best seafood in town, while Earth at Hidden Pond provides a farm-to-table dining experience surrounded by nature.

Bar harbor : gateway to acadia national park

Nestled on Mount Desert Island, Bar Harbor offers an array of outdoor activities and a peek into Maine’s past. This popular destination is the gateway to Acadia National Park, one of the most visited national parks in the United States.

Acadia National Park should be at the top of your itinerary. Key highlights include Cadillac Mountain, where you can witness the first sunrise in the United States, and the Jordan Pond Path, offering mesmerizing views of the surrounding landscape. The park also offers opportunities for biking, birdwatching, and tidepooling.

In town, the Bar Harbor Historical Society Museum and the Abbe Museum present an exploration into the region’s history and the Wabanaki indigenous culture. Take a stroll down the Shore Path, offering stunning vistas of Frenchman Bay and the Porcupine Islands. For marine enthusiasts, whale watching tours provide an unforgettable experience of the local marine life.

Dining in Bar Harbor ranges from casual eateries to fine dining. Try Galyn’s for a taste of fresh local seafood, or Havana for an eclectic fusion of Maine ingredients with Latin cuisine.

Rockland : the artsy hub of maine

Known for its vibrant art scene and bustling harbor, Rockland is a must-visit for art enthusiasts and seafood lovers. This charming town hosts numerous festivals and boasts a rich maritime history.

Begin your tour at the Farnsworth Art Museum, home to an extensive collection of American art and works by the Wyeth family. Adjacent to the museum, the Wyeth Center provides an in-depth look at the works of N.C., Andrew, and Jamie Wyeth, celebrated local artists. The Center for Maine Contemporary Art showcases the rugged beauty of Maine through contemporary art exhibitions.

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Rockland’s Harbor Trail offers scenic walks along the waterfront, while the Maine Lighthouse Museum gives insight into the state’s maritime heritage. For a touch of nature, venture to Owls Head State Park and enjoy its scenic lighthouse and serene coastal views.

Rockland also hosts the annual Maine Lobster Festival in August, a celebration of the town’s lobster fishing heritage. The event features live music, cooking contests, and lobster feasts. Dining options abound with eateries like Primo, offering farm-to-table dining experiences, and the Brass Compass Cafe serving famous lobster rolls.

Brunswick : a historic college town

Home to Bowdoin College and steeped in history, Brunswick melds educational prestige with New England charm. This small town offers a rich cultural experience, beautiful landscapes, and a welcoming community.

Bowdoin College is a cornerstone of Brunswick. Its picturesque campus houses the Bowdoin College Museum of Art and the Peary-MacMillan Arctic Museum, named after arctic explorers who were Bowdoin alumni. The Joshua L. Chamberlain Museum, dedicated to the Civil War general and former Maine governor, offers additional historical insight.

Brunswick’s downtown area features a mix of historic buildings, trendy boutiques, and inviting cafes. The Farmers’ Market on the Town Mall is a delightful spot to sample local produce, artisan goods, and handmade crafts.

Outdoor enthusiasts will appreciate the Androscoggin River Bicycle Path, offering scenic views and a perfect route for biking or jogging. Nearby, the Merrymeeting Bay estuary presents a unique ecosystem teeming with wildlife and lush landscapes.

The dining scene in Brunswick boasts a variety of options. Frontier offers a relaxed atmosphere with river views and globally-inspired cuisine, while The Great Impasta specializes in Italian dishes made with fresh, local ingredients.

The combination of a historic educational institution, cultural richness, and scenic beauty makes Brunswick one of the most cozy small towns in Maine for a memorable summer retreat.

Lance Brownfield