Shopping & Arts in Midcoast Maine
Vacationers and day-trippers to the Midcoast region know that in addition to Maine’s natural beauty and succulent seafood cuisine, exploring the locally owned shops and art galleries here is second to none. Whether you’re here for a getaway, a vacation or a lifetime, you’ll want to venture out to shop, dine, and explore local businesses.
Have a drink and browse the selections of soups and deli sandwiches. While you are being served, your talented, charming and friendly servers entertain the audience with a lively cabaret featuring the best music from Broadway, composers such as Irving Berlin, Noel Coward and Howard Arlen, or marvelous singers of the 1920s-1960s, such as Frank Sinatra, Judy Garland, Patsy Cline or the Andrews Sisters.
Boothbay Opera House
The Opera House, now in its second century as a mid-coast Maine landmark, has played many roles. From school gym to an indoor mini- mall and many things in between, the Opera House has seen both good times and bad. It was saved and preserved in 2002 by a group of committed citizens, volunteers and donors. Just a few years later, the Opera House is an exciting and well-known destination for Maine arts and cultural activities.
Wiscasset Public Library
The building was completed in 1805, built for the Lincoln and Kennebec Bank under a Massachusetts Charter of 1802. Wiscasset Public Library’s mission is to build literacy and provide up-to-date materials and quality services utilizing a wide range of media, sources, and technology to meet the needs of the citizens of Wiscasset and its neighboring communities.
Boothbay Harbor Memorial Library
The Boothbay Harbor Memorial Library provides the Boothbay Region with free access to information, literature, and learning opportunities. From the lending library to a year-round schedule of events and programs. Patrons enjoy discount Museum Passes, public computers and WiFi, and of course, access to all types of materials. Other services include by-request use of the lawn and community room, a community bulletin board, and the Children’s and Tween Rooms.
Skidompha Public Library
The Skidompha Public Library houses a collection of more than 30,000 books, as well as impressive selections of movies, audio books, and CD’s. In addition to its holdings, the library has a full calendar of special events, such as the Classic Film Series, Toddler Time story hour, and Chats with Champions, a free monthly presentation from a leading figure in the arts or sciences. The library also hosts a variety of informative classes on subjects ranging from poetry to foreign languages like French and Italian.
Opened in 2007 on Rockland’s rapidly developing Main Street, this stylish women’s clothing boutique sticks out—in a good way—in the land of jeans and Crocs. Maine native Beth Bowley’s credentials include a degree from Parsons School of Design, time working with designer Perry Ellis, and creation of her own line of clothing, which has received coverage from many national fashion magazines.
Look for the giant signature boot at the front entrance to locate this monolithic bargain bin amid the raft of high-end outlet stores on Freeport’s Main Street. L.L. Bean’s practical, hunter-chic (albeit not high fashion) clothing is up to 60 percent off at its factory store. And in case the urge for bargains keeps anyone awake at night, it’s open 24/7, 365 days a year. Check out the website for summer concert series, activities and more great fun on the every growing L.L. Bean Campus.
Five Islands Farm
Near Bath, this Mid-Coast Maine farm stand and gourmet market specializes in artisanal cheese and seasonal local produce. Five Islands Farm is a member of the Maine Cheese Guild, so most of what’s in stock is sourced from nearby farms, including cow, sheep, and goat varieties, as well as a small selection of imported cheeses. Baskets and wooden shelves are piled high with specialty foods: jams and chutneys, imported olives and oils, maple syrup, and cured meats. The store also sells wine and beer, plus gardening tools and plants.
Sheepscot River Pottery
Near Wiscasset on coastal Route 1, this homey ceramics studio/shop is a great choice for one-of-a-kind Maine souvenirs: plates, bowls, pitchers, vases, even sinks painted with lighthouses, blueberries, and sea life. As cutesy as they sound, each piece—which is thrown by hand or molded from English clay—is remarkably charming, not to mention useful.