Located 15 miles inland, in the Georges River valley, Appleton has enjoyed a small-farm revival in recent years. Forest products and wild Maine blueberries are the principal agricultural products today, with a lavender farm, a creamery producing goat cheese, and a water buffalo farm. The Bartlett Farm has become a golf course. There are a surprising number of highly skilled artisans and visual artists in town, as well as writers, musicians, and woodworkers. Sennebec Pond, a lake on the St. Georges River, spreads across the boundary of Appleton and Union, and is a recreational and scenic resource for both towns. Part of the Five Town School District, Appleton sends children to Appleton Village School and Camden Hills Regional High School.
Located “Where the Mountains Meet the Sea,” Camden has been named one of the most beautiful towns in the country. Camden Hills State Park offers camping, 26 miles of hiking trails, and Mount Battie (790’)—accessible by trail or auto road–with its stunning panoramic view of Penobscot Bay.
Camden harbor features a mix of working and pleasure craft including a fleet of windjammer schooners, and you’ll find hiking, mountain biking, skiing, snowboarding, and tobogganing at the four-season Camden Snow Bowl at Ragged Mountain. Shopping in Camden’s compact downtown offers a varied selection of Maine-inspired crafts, gifts, and merchandise–all within walking distance of the harbor, dining, and lodging.
Public schools include Camden-Rockport Elementary School (Rockport), Camden-Rockport Middle School, and Camden Hills Regional High School (Rockport).
Situated on its own peninsula southwest of Thomaston, Cushing is at the heart of Maine’s “Wyeth Country” and is home to the Farnsworth Museum’s Olson House. A National Historic Landmark, the Olson House is the subject of numerous works of art by Andrew Wyeth, including the painting Christina’s World, now owned by the Museum of Modern Art in New York. Opened in 2015, the Langlais Sculpture Preserve showcases the work of renowned Maine artist, Bernard “Blackie” Langlais and features a .5 mile ADA-accessible trail around 12 sculptures. The Preserve is operated by the Georges River Land Trust. Cushing Community School, part of Regional School Unit 13, serves Grades K-5 while older children attend Oceanside Middle School in Thomaston and Oceanside High School in Rockland.
Located at the tip of the Cushing peninsula, Friendship is a small fishing village. Children attend the local elementary school, Medomak Middle School and Medomak Valley High School in Waldoboro.
Hope is a thriving community located seven miles north of Camden and Rockport and the shores of Penobscot Bay. Farm families specialize in dairy, poultry, apples, blueberries, and Christmas trees. Hope Village and South Hope are the principal centers of business including the Hope General Store, a specialty grocery store, True Park with a playground and athletic fields, and Alford Lake Summer Camp. Children attend Hope Elementary School for grades K–8 and Camden Hills Regional High School.
Isle au Haut is a small, year-round un-bridged island town in Knox County, Maine. About half of Isle au Haut is a remote outpost of Acadia National Park. The one-room schoolhouse serves children up to grade 8. Older students choose from several off-island high schools and boarding schools. A passenger boat provides service between the island and Stonington.
Located off the coast of Lincolnville in Penobscot Bay and served by a ferry that makes several trips a day, the 14-mile long Islesboro is a vibrant island community boasting 600 residents from all walks of life. After departing the ferry, be sure to visit the nearby Grindle Point Lighthouse and Sailor’s Museum inside the Lighthouse (July through Labor Day). Island amenities include a state-of-the-art Community Center complete with a workout facility, café, and cultural arts programming; health center, and an assisted-living home that allows elderly residents to remain on island. Islesboro Central School, serving Grades K–12 school, is so highly regarded it attracts students from the mainland.
Located on Great Bay of Damariscotta Lake in Lincoln County, rural Jefferson is home to Damariscotta Lake State Park, a popular swimming, canoeing and picnic destination while Hidden Valley Nature Center offers 1,000 acres of protected land including over a mile of shore front on Little Dyer Pond. Enjoy miles of multi-use trails great for hiking and biking, rolled and groomed XC ski trails, and several rustic huts and tent sites. Jefferson Village School serves grades K–8. Secondary students attend the high school of their choice.
Liberty village in Waldo County is home to the beautiful Lake St. George and mountains, woodlands, and ponds, perfect for boating, kayaking, fishing, hiking, and bird watching, and the Roberts Memorial Recreation Area, Stevens Pond and Marshall Shore, with beaches, swimming, and boat ramps. The traditional village center features the Davistown Museum and the old Liberty Post Office, the only octagonal post office in the United States (no longer in operation) and listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Walker Memorial School serves children in grades PK–5. Secondary students attend Mt. View Middle School and Mt. View High School, both in Thorndike.
Lincolnville is noted for its diverse geography including a sandy beach on Penobscot Bay, numerous lakes and ponds, and gorgeous mountains and hiking trails. One of the smallest local towns in population but the largest in area, Lincolnville spans two settlements, Lincolnville Beach and Lincolnville Center. You’ll find a mix of shops including the Lincolnville General Store, a library, lodging, the ferry to Islesboro, and Cellardoor Winery. Lincolnville Central School provides K–8 education, after which children attend Camden Hills Regional High School.
A 23-mile ferry ride from Rockland, Matinicus is the East Coast’s most remote island community. While it has a Post Office and seasonal rentals, there are no year-round stores, restaurants, or paved roads, and one industry — lobstering. The state ferry travels between Matinicus and Rockland once to several times a month, depending on the time of year. Penobscot Island Air, based at Knox County Regional Airport in Owls Head, offers regular air service to Matinicus. Matinicus Island School serves children through grade 8.
Located about 10 miles out to sea, and in Lincoln County, Monhegan has an enduring mystique, thanks in large measure to the art of George Bellows, Edward Hopper, Rockwell Kent, and Jamie Wyeth. Just 1.4 miles long and .7 mile wide, Monhegan has one small grocery, library, various lodgings, yoga studio, a handful of gift shops, a fish market and a few dining options including a brewery. The Monhegan Museum of Art & History is housed in the former keeper’s house on the lighthouse grounds. Ferries run seasonally from Port Clyde, New Harbor, and Boothbay Harbor. The one-room schoolhouse serves grades pre-K–8.
The island of North Haven lies in Penobscot Bay approximately twelve miles from Rockland. The year-round population is small but swells in July and August with the return of seasonal homeowners. A handful of shops, galleries, and an inn compose the downtown. The island is served by a Maine Department of Transportation ferry making three round trips a day from Rockland. The Town operates the North Haven Medical Clinic staffed by two family nurse practitioners in rotation with occasional supplementary coverage provided by physicians, other nurse practitioners and physician’s assistants. The North Haven Community School serves children from kindergarten through grade 12.
Set apart from the hustle and bustle of surrounding towns lies the quiet, wooded community of Northport with a nine-hole golf course, yacht club, and frontage on Penobscot Bay. Home to the summer coastal community of Bayside, lobstermen still work their traps from the town landing in Saturday Cove, while sailboats dominate in summer. The Edna Drinkwater Elementary School serves grades K–8 and High school students can choose to attend any approved high school.
Owls Head stands on its own peninsula and is generally believed to have derived its name from sailors (1759) who observed the tall headland of trap rock extending far into the water and imagined it resembled the neck and head of an owl. Today, Owls Head boasts the Knox County Regional Airport and two State Parks: Owls Head State Park with a lighthouse and Birch Point Beach State Park. The renowned Owls Head Transportation Museum is home to Maine’s largest operational collection of vintage aircraft and automobiles. In addition to ever-changing indoor exhibits and educational offerings, the Museum hosts a variety of special events utilizing their expansive outdoor campus. Owls Head is part of Regional School Unit 13 and offers Pre K – grade 5 while older children attend Oceanside Middle School in Thomaston and Oceanside High School in Rockland.
Rockland is a vibrant city located on Penobscot Bay, renowned for its importance to Maine’s lobster fishing industry and its working waterfront. A number of historic windjammers call Rockland Harbor home and offer sailing and sightseeing opportunities. Rockland is one of just 16 Coast Guard Cities and is home to the Maine Lighthouse Museum. The prominence of visual arts-based businesses plus the renowned Farnsworth Art Museum and Center for Maine Contemporary Art have contributed to Rockland’s reputation as a unique, creative community; it’s also gained status as a foodie destination with a multitude of dining options.
Shopping on Rockland’s Main Street offers a varied selection of Maine-inspired crafts, gifts, and merchandise.
Students attend South (Elementary) School, Oceanside Middle School in Thomaston, and Oceanside High School while the Mid-Coast School of Technology serves students regionally.
Located between Camden and Rockland, Rockport has a longstanding reputation as an artists’ community, with notable artists and art institutions like Bay Chamber Concerts and the Rockport Opera House playing a significant role in the town’s economic and social life. Shops, restaurants, and parks round out this vibrant community. Shipbuilding, ice harvesting and lime manufacturing were important early industries with remnants of the original lime kilns still visible at Marine Park as is a statue of favorite past resident Andre the Seal. In search of the “oreo” cows, visitors flock to Aldemere Farm Preserve, a working Belted Galloway cattle farm offering agricultural programming and community events. Part of the Five Town CSD, Rockport sends children to Camden-Rockport Elementary and Middle schools and Camden Hills Regional High School.
Searsmont is located in south-central Waldo County on the banks of the St. George River. Known for its white pine timber and water resources, lumber mills first made an appearance in Searsmont prior to 1800 and its lumbering heritage continues today. The Searsmont Community Building houses the Town Office, Searsmont Town Library, Searsmont Historical Society Museum, and community meeting rooms. Searsmont is served by two elementary schools, Gladys Weymouth School in Morrill for grades K-2 and Ames Elementary School in Searsport for grades 3-5. Students attend middle and high school in Belfast.
Located about thirty minutes from the coast, Somerville is a quiet, rural, residential town. Residents enjoy its peaceful forest and numerous small ponds, including Long Pond, Jones Pond, and Turner Pond, which has public access. Somerville is part of Sheepscot Valley Regional School Unit 12. Children attend elementary school in Windsor, Washington or Jefferson and secondary students have their choice of a number of high schools.
The South Thomaston peninsula community is comprised of three primary villages: the town center, known locally as the “Keag” (pronounced “Gig”), Spruce Head, and Spruce Head Island, a lobstering port. Within these villages you’ll find lodging, camping, seasonal cottage vacation rentals, lobster shacks, and a brewery. South Thomaston is part of Regional School Unit 13. Elementary students attend the Ash Point Community School in Owls Head, Pre-K to Grade 5, and secondary students attend Oceanside Middle School in Thomaston and Oceanside High School in Rockland.
Primarily a fishing and lobstering community, St. George is made up of several distinct villages: Tenants Harbor, Port Clyde, Clark Island, Wiley’s Corner, Martinsville, and portions of Spruce Head as well as some 218 ocean islands. Lodging establishments, restaurants, art galleries, and small businesses run along the length of this coastal peninsula. Standing on a rocky point at the end of the St. George peninsula is Marshall Point Lighthouse, featured in numerous commercial photo shoots and in the movie, Forest Gump, featuring Tom Hanks. The lighthouse property includes the light tower, restored 1880’s Keeper’s House, summer kitchen, reconstructed late 19th century barn, and the original oil house. Housed within the keeper’s house and summer kitchen is a museum, well-stocked research room, and gift shop. Sightseeing tours depart from Port Clyde where you can also rent kayaks. St. George School is a public K–8 school. High school students (grades 9-12) can choose from five area schools.
Thomaston overlooks the head of the St. George River Estuary and is known as “The Town that Went to Sea.” Boat building and lobstering related industry can be found in this village in addition to a wealth of historic homes. The Museum in the Street is an outdoor museum comprised of a series of twenty five plaques placed throughout the historic district with historic photographs and legends, in both English and French, about the town’s history while the General Henry Knox Museum (dba Knox Museum) honors the life, times, and legacy of Henry Knox; the heritage of Montpelier; and the veterans and families who have served, and continue to serve, our nation. You’ll also find cafes and restaurants, antique stores, gift shops and the Maine State Prison Showroom featuring more than 600 crafted products. Thomaston’s largest event of the year is its rousing Fourth of July celebration. Thomaston is part of RSU 13, and children attend Thomaston Grammar School, Oceanside Middle School, and Oceanside High School in Rockland.
Nestled among extensive farmland, Union sits at the center of Knox County’s agricultural region. Union Common, a classic New England green encircled by small businesses, is the village’s heart. The town boasts two vineyards, Savage Oakes Vineyard & Winery and Sweetgrass Winery, and The Pour Farm, a microbrewery. The Union Fair, one of Maine’s oldest agricultural fairs, occurs annually in August. Children attend Union Elementary School while older children attend Medomak Middle School and Medomak Valley High School in Waldoboro.
Located about 15 miles off the coast of Rockland, Vinalhaven is the largest of Maine’s 15 year-round island towns. Lobster fishing is the largest component of Vinalhaven’s economy, followed closely by tourism. The village on Carvers Harbor, at the southern end of the island, has a market, gift and craft shops, and a couple of restaurants, and you’ll find a mix of hiking trails, parks, and preserves on the island. Lodging includes a motel, B&Bs, and cottage rentals. Vinalhaven is served daily by ferry, operated by the Maine State Ferry Service, out of Rockland. Children attend grades K–12 at the Vinalhaven School.
Waldoboro is located along the coast of Lincoln County about 18 miles west of Rockland. Historically, it developed a reputation as a ship building and port facility from the banks of the Medomak River. Today, Waldoboro is known as having the largest soft-shell clam landing in the state and a renewed interest in farming includes traditional natural fiber production, cheesemaking, farm brewing, fermentation, soapmaking, and other lost agrarian arts. The town center hosts a supermarket, cafes, a Theatre, and a continuing interest in its past as a German settlement. Waldoboro has three public schools: Miller Elementary School, Medomak Middle School, and Medomak Valley High School.
Stretched between Waldoboro and Thomaston, Warren is a farming and rural community with a number of small industries and commercial establishments—principally along Route 1 and Route 90. You’ll find the village center a few blocks away from both of those highways. Warren is home to several recreational lakes and ponds, campgrounds, and seasonal cottage/vacation rentals. Children attend elementary school at Warren Community School, and Medomak Middle School and Medomak Valley High School in Waldoboro.
This rural inland town, known as the “Western Gateway to Knox County,” is rich with 19th century farmsteads, open hayfields, and blueberry lands and is comprised of several small villages: Washington village, West Washington, Razorville, and Stickney Corner. Two unique summer camps, Medomak Family Camp and Med-O-Lark, are located on the shores of Washington Pond. Social centers include a general store and a cafe, as well as a number of civic and fraternal organizations. Children attend Prescott Elementary School for grades K–6, then Medomak Middle School and Medomak Valley High School in Waldoboro.