New England Travel: New England's Best Small Towns

CAMDEN, ME

Because… this is the Main Street of all Main Streets.

 Photo by Todd Dionne

With the Camden Hills as a backdrop and an oh-so-lovely harbor, this is small-town Maine so classic it might have come off a Hollywood backlot (Peyton Place was filmed here, in fact). The most iconic view is right through the historic heart of Camden, where every block has a story to tell. —Rachel Levitt

• The one-story building that now holds the Smiling Cow gift shop was rolled down Main Street from the village green in 1919.

• The town nearly burned to the ground in an 1892 fire, which started here.

• The spire of Chestnut Street Baptist Church, built in 1837, is a focal point of Main Street.

• Boynton-McKay Food Co. opened in 1893 and still features an art deco marble soda fountain counter rumored to have cost as much as a small farm.

• After the 1892 fire, this side of Main Street was rebuilt entirely of brick.

• The town held its first, and only, lobster festival here in 1947—with all-you-can-eat lobster for $1. (Too many littered shells saw the festival moved to nearby Rockland.)

WHERE TO EAT, STAY, AND PLAY

New England’s Best Small Towns 

ADVERTISMENT

  • Dan

    Don’t miss Great Barrington Bra & Girl (GBBG) at the top of Railroad Street, the area’s only full-service bra shop, and one of the best intimate apparel and accessories shops that you’ll find anywhere!

  • lo

    also- see Brad at Allium-the best bartender in the Berkshires

  • Dan Shaw

    One of the best places to eat in GB is not on Restaurant Row–it’s Cafe Adam http://tinyurl.com/nuqhc5

  • Claudia

    If you are serious about food, this is the place. It’s a couple of miles north of town.

  • fred

    no one in Shelburne Falls drinks Bud… they (we) prefer locally made micro-brews

  • Marti

    Don’t miss Millerton NY, one of Arthur Frommer’s Budget Travel “10 Coolest Towns in America”. We are just 10 minutes or less to Sharon, CT and about 30 minutes to Great Barrington We’re a little bit Hip and a little bit Homey! To come on over.

  • Chris

    I have lived in Sharon all my life and it’s nice to see Sharon getting such recognition . The article got it right when it added Sharon.

  • Jonathan

    In Harvard, between orchards, you also have to go to the General Store (a gourmet/locavore paradise), get a cappuccino, sit on the Common, and look at the beautiful old houses. Then go to Fruitlands Museum.

  • Eve

    You forgot to mention the magnificent hillsides and valleys (ablaze with color right now) and the ancient pot holes and waterfalls, and my favorite – the very beautiful bridge of flowers.

  • Eve

    I forgot to mention above, I am talking about Shelburne Falls, MA.
    1

  • J

    Couple comments:
    The bad: Putnam might be quaint because of the antiques, but other than that – it’s pretty much a dump. I grew up near there.
    The good: Hancock IS a beautiful town, not to mention the incredibly nice people. It’s also next door to another beautiful town, my other hometown of Harrisville.