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3 Midcoast Maine Day Trips
An authentic fishing village. A world-renowned shopping mecca. The City of Ships
Brunswick, Maine, is your gateway to Maine’s splendid Midcoast, and The Brunswick Hotel is an idyllic place to call your home base as you explore the diversity of our region.
Bailey Island: Authentic Fishing Village
Distance: 30 Minutes
Located just south of Brunswick down Route 24 sits coastal Harpswell, Maine. The scenic drive winds past rolling fields, clapboard clad cottages, fishing boats bobbing on the waves, and masses of beach roses waving in the breeze. Lobster traps stacked neatly in rows alongside houses and buoys suspended from sheds are all classic markers that this is indeed an authentic fishing village. At the tip of Harpswell, accessible by a narrow curve of a bridge constructed of granite slabs – unofficially called Cribstone Bridge – sits Bailey Island.
This thin ribbon of land could easily be renamed “Land of the Lobster Shacks” and offers glimpses of Casco Bay on either side of the road that slices through it. At Johnson Field Preserve at Mackerel Cove you’ll find a petite slip of a beach punctuated by views of the harbor and working waterfront, while Bailey Island Beach is hugged by an outcropping of stone that is typical of Maine’s rocky shoreline.
Don’t Miss: The Fishermen’s Memorial in Lands End is an oft photographed landmark which bears the inscription “A memorial to all Maine fishermen who have devoted their lives to the sea.”
Freeport: Maine’s Shopping Mecca
Distance: 20 Minutes
The home of L.L. Bean’s flagship store, dozens of top retail brand outlet stores, plus local shops and restaurants along a bustling, yet walkable Main Street – Freeport is a shopper’s paradise. Where else can you find bargains on international brands like Polo, Crate & Barrel, and Mizuna alongside local favorites like Wicked Whoopies, Sea Bags, and Wilbur’s Candy Shoppe? Even the fast food kingpins have adapted their presence to match the look and feel of this classic coastal town.
Summer visitors tend to stick to the main drag, but to really experience Freeport, Maine, you need to veer off Route 1. A mere five minutes from downtown, Wolfe’s Neck Woods State Park features five miles of easy walking trails, picnic areas, and ocean views.
Don’t Miss: The Desert of Maine – a natural phenomenon that is one of Maine’s most unique roadside attractions.
Bath: The City of Ships
Distance: 20 Minutes
Cradled between Brunswick and The Kennebec River, Bath, Maine honors its rich maritime heritage with historical markers on every corner. From the first two vessels built in 1743 to the roughly 5,000 that have been launched from here since, the “City of Ships” continues its long tradition of ship building at Bath Iron Works. No visit to Bath is complete without a stop at the Maine Maritime Museum where you can marvel at a hulking steel sculpture that pays tribute to the Wyoming, a six-masted vessel constructed in 1909 which was the largest wooden schooner ever built in the U.S.
In town, an eclectic mix of businesses line Front Street where longtime Maine institutions such as Reny’s and Wilson’s Drug Store rub shoulders with upscale shops and quaint eateries. Steps away, a public green dotted with benches gently slopes toward the river at Linwood E. Temple Waterfront Park. It’s here that the community gathers to enjoy impromptu picnics, live music, and river views.
Don’t Miss: The Spirit of the Sea sculpture located at City Park (often referred to as “Library Park”) was a created by internationally renowned local sculptor William Zorach.