10 Best Small Towns in Maine, According to a Local

Maine is full of small-town charm that often gets overlooked when visitors flock to the southernmost parts of the state. As a Mainer, I always encourage tourists to save time for all the magic that lies north of Portland.


My advice often invites the question, “Oh, you mean Acadia National Park?” While Acadia should not be missed, I’m talking about the in-between towns — the places with convenience stores that sell a mishmash of groceries, antiques, and lawn ornaments; places where your server is probably also the owner, and where “ayuh” is used instead of “yes.”


Here are some of the best small towns in Maine.



Ellsworth

Fred J. Field/Portland Press Herald via Getty Images

Most know Ellsworth as a place to drive through en route to Acadia National Park and Mount Desert Island. But there are a few reasons you should do more than stretch your legs here. For starters, you can buy cheesecake on the honor system. Momo’s Cheesecakes offers its treats from a garage that has been renovated to keep up with the demand.


On the other end of Main Street, 86 This! calls itself “a classy, punk-rock burrito shop.” A wide variety of creative wraps are perfect for your picnic basket. Meanwhile, yogis will delight in Steamy Buddha‘s offerings. And just past the Ellsworth line, there’s a Maine experience like no other: Timber Tina’s Great Maine Lumberjack Show. Watch the show or try your hand at log rolling.


Where to Stay: Under Canvas Acadia, a luxury glamping experience, is a short distance away in Surry.



Greenville

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Moosehead Lake is Maine’s largest lake, but it’s not as frequented as its southern counterpart — Sebago Lake. Greenville is a 1.5-hour scenic drive from Bangor International Airport and Moosehead is certainly the focal point of the town. One way to take in the lake’s beauty is by booking a seaplane ride — ideal for both the summer and fall.


Steamboat Katahdin has been around for 100 years and outlived what used to be a competitive market of vessels. Visitors can also join a Registered

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Culinary gardens provide fresh, local produce for Napa Valley’s food and wine pairings | Local News

Napa Valley has marketed itself as a food and wine pairing destination, but behind the carefully-curated plates and perfectly-positioned fruits, veggies and herbs are not only the chefs, but also the culinary gardeners keeping these farm-to-table offerings afloat.

Spending their days plucking microgreens, snipping flowers and watering vegetable beds, these farmers grow produce like leafy greens, fancy herbs and more to supply fresh and local ingredients to their teams of chefs, eventually landing in the mouths of visitors.

You won’t find any grapevines in these gardens — there are enough of those in the surrounding areas anyways — and now that spring has sprung, a lot of change is happening in the Napa Valley’s edible estates.

“Right now is sort of a transitional time,” said Tessa Henry, manager of the Clif Family Farm up on Howell Mountain. “We have spring plants growing, but then we have hot days where it doesn’t feel like spring anymore, so the lettuces and the spinach might not be so happy, but we are also preparing peppers and harvesting fava beans, green garlic, tatsoi and parsley.”

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Clif Family has one of Napa County’s approved culinary garden programs, and since Henry took over as farm manager after working as a gardener for Frog’s Leap Winery, she has been able to experiment with growing fruits, vegetables and flowers on the hillside property.

“Every season has been trial and error with what we can grow and what the kitchen likes and the amounts, because they like pretty much everything we give them, but they also want to make sure that there is room for it on the menu,” she said.

When miscalculations do happen, though, the chef team can get creative. 

Once, Henry and her fellow gardeners harvested far more sunchokes than expected, resulting in some innovation and an added soup item on the menu.

“When it becomes available, the kitchen team figures out what to do with it, and they always turn it into something really delicious,” she said.

Additionally, since Clif Family manages a food truck and sells food retail items

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Redevelopment would mean another hotel for downtown Lincoln | Local Business News

A hotel is back in the plans for the Gold’s Building.

Mike Works, who bought the building at 11th and O streets for $5 million last fall, said he’s planning a ”limited-service hotel with first-floor restaurant and retail opportunities.”

The hotel will have approximately 100 rooms and will take up the six-story north part of the building.

Works, who has experience developing other hotels in Lincoln, including the Holiday Inn Express at Ninth and O streets that opened last year, declined to provide any other details about the hotel planned for the Gold’s Building.

A redevelopment plan announced for the building in 2019 had originally included a hotel, but that plan fell through because of the coronavirus pandemic. A subsequent plan to turn the building into apartments also fell apart when developers failed to get approval to use historic tax credits to help pay to add windows on the south side.


Downtown Lincoln Gold’s building to be sold to local investor

The previous owner, Gerard Keating, had said he might demolish the whole building after the redevelopment plans fell through.

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Works’ plan would save the northern half of the building, but he does plan to demolish the southern half.

Representatives of Works who spoke to the city’s Historic Preservation Commission on Thursday said the south part, which had housed a number of state government offices, now is completely vacant and needs too much work to make a redevelopment feasible.

Demolishing the building will provide space for some hotel parking, but Works said he does plan to eventually redevelop the site with a mixed-use building that would include apartments.

Works indicated that a formal redevelopment plan will likely be coming forward in the next few weeks that will focus on the hotel plan, which if all goes as planned could open sometime in late 2023.

A potential sticking point is the StarTran bus transfer station on the 11th Street side of the building.

The representatives who spoke to the Historic Preservation Commission, attorney Andrew Willis and Justin Hernandez of NGC Construction, said the hotel plan might not

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