The midcoast area of Maine has long been a favorite vacation spot for tourists up and down the East Coast of the United States, across the country, and even from around the world. Maine is known, affectionately, as Vacationland, and the midcoast area is partly why. Most visitors begin coming to Maine in the late spring when the many deciduous trees are beginning to bud, the forsythias bloom, and the tulips and daffodils begin to pop out of the still frosty ground. Summertime is the most popular time of year for vacationers, as Maine offers mild temperatures and plenty of fun things to do. Autumn is the most beautiful time to be in Maine, when the colors of the abundant maple trees are at their peak with red, gold, and orange hues. Midcoast Maine is one of the favorite places to go because it is easy to access, the towns are friendly and quaint, the drives scenic, and it is right on the coast of the Atlantic Ocean.
Midcoast Maine includes the town of Freeport, just fifteen minutes north of Portland, and it extends all the way up the meandering coast, almost to Mount Desert Island, but not quite. Some of the more popular towns in the midcoast area, in addition to Freeport, are Brunswick, Bath, Wiscasset, Damariscotta, Rockland, Camden and Rockport. While each of these has its draw, all are charming and quaint in a way specific to Maine.
Freeport is known world-wide as the home of L.L. Bean, the famous catalog outlet that sells hunting, fishing, camping, and other outdoor clothing and equipment. L.L. Bean is open twenty-four hours a day, 365 days each year, so shoppers can come visit the flagship store when it suits them; even if they are only driving through Freeport in the middle of the night. Freeport also has many other outlet shops and a wide variety of ecletic restaurants.
Brunswick, just a few miles up Coastal Route One from Freeport, is the home of Bowdoin College and boasts the historic home of Civil War Hero, Joshua Chamberlain. Brunswick is one of the largest towns on the coast with movie theaters, several chain restaurants, a small mall, several shopping centers, and a large library. The downtown area of Brunswick is charming with the widest Main Street in America.
Bath is just north of Brunswick and is the home of Bath Iron Works, the ship builder and one of the largest employers in Maine. Bath is a quaint town with numerous historic homes and it sits on the banks of the Kennebec River.
Wiscasset, just ten miles north of Bath is known as the Prettiest Village in America, and the name fits. Wiscasset is home to many art galleries and sits on the banks of Sheepscot Bay. It is not a large town, but Wiscasset has a few wonderful restaurants and shops tourists will not want to miss.
Upon leaving Wiscasset, visitors to midcoast Maine will marvel at the drive across Sheepscot Bay on Coastal Route One. Fisherman and Clam diggers can often be seen in the shallow water, especially when the tide is out. The charming town of Damariscotta is not far away, complete with a cozy main street, cute little shops, and beautiful New England style, white-steepled churches. A short drive south from Damariscotta will take visitors to the famous Pemaquid Lighthouse.
But if one travels on up Coastal Route One, the next stops are Rockland, Camden and Rockport, all towns on the beautiful Penobscot Bay. Camden, especially, is quaint, beautiful, and world famous for its ties to the movie, Peyton Place. Camden has a small, round harbor filled with sail boats of all shapes and sizes, and small islands can be seen out in the distance in the large bay. Nearby is Mount Battie, where tourists can take a short drive to the top of one of the taller mountains in Maine for a spectacular view of the town of Camden, the coast, and the nearby islands.
Midcoast Maine is a vacationers dream whether in the spring, summer or fall, and the best way to see Maine is by car; that way visitors can go at their own pace, see the beauty of the state, and meet the people who make it all possible.