Friday, 5 October 2012

The 5 Prettiest Fishing Villages in Maine

This fall, Down East Magazine published an article on Maine's 10 Prettiest Villages. While the article was lovely, most of the villages referenced were in southern Maine and very much summer tourist communities.  This has inspired me write my own article on what I think are the five prettiest fishing villages in Maine.  All of these coastal towns are in Downeast Maine and all are authentic lobster fishing villages.  Tourists are welcome but the communities aren't based on tourism.  They are based on commercial fisheries and this is reflected in the spirit of the towns and their people.

So without further adieu, the five prettiest lobster fishing villages in Maine are:

1. Stonington, Maine

Stonington is one of the biggest lobster fishing villages in the state of Maine as well as one of the most picturesque.  This small town, perched on an archipelago, actually brings in more lobster “landings,” or catches, than anywhere else in the state.  Stonington's quaint main street, which runs along the harbor, feels like it's straight out of a Norman Rockwell painting.  There are several simple restaurants and gift shops as well as an opera house constructed in the early 1900s which continues to feature films and cultural events.  For more on the lobster fishing village of Stonington, click here.

2. Winter Harbor, Maine


Best known for hosting a 2,366-acre sea-swept section of Acadia National Park, Maine's Schoodic Peninsula is also home to the pretty lobster fishing village of Winter Harbor. Smaller than Stonington, Winter Harbor is a classic Downeast fishing village with a population of less than 1,000. A Main Street with several stores and a bakery leads down to a snug little harbor filled with lobster boats. In the summer, Winter Harbor hosts a wonderful Lobster Festival, complete with lobster boat races and a delicious lobster dinner. For more on the lobster fishing village of Winter Harbor, click here.

3. Lubec, Maine 


Lubec is not only the easternmost town in the contiguous United States, it is also a pretty little lobster fishing village with an old-fashioned Main Street and lighthouse views. The town plays host to several nice restaurants and gift shops as well as Quoddy Head State Park, with its iconic red and white stripped light house. Lubec is also a great jumping off point for a trip to Campobello Island and Easport, which you can reach by ferry from Lubec in the summer months. For more on the lobster fishing village of Lubec, click here.

4. Eastport, Maine

Perched on Moose Island and connected to the mainland by causeways, Eastport's walkable downtown includes 29 buildings on the National Historic Register, many filled with charming gift shops, delicious bakeries and salty pubs.  The edges of the town are lined with old sea captain homes and the harbor is filled with traditional lobster fishing boats. For more on the lobster fishing village of Eastport, click here.

5. Cutler, Maine

 If you are interested in experiencing the authentic Maine coast and don't want a "tourist" experience then Cutler Maine is an ideal spot for you.  There are no restaurants or gift shops but the town makes up for it with stunning views, nature trails,  Atlantic puffins, salt-of-the-earth fishermen and the opportunity to spend the night on an island with a working light house.  For more on the lobster fishing village of Cutler, click here.
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