We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.
We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

Retirement areas

Brasher Falls
Level Contributor
2 posts
17 reviews
Save Topic
Retirement areas

My wife and I will be driving to Maine at the end of June to scout places to move year round. Maine weather is not a factor as we now live within 10 miles of the Canadian border near Potsdam, NY. Our ideal place would have a thriving downtown with a few nice (hopefully ethnic) restaurants - a small town feel. We'd like to live in an older section of town, within walking distance, or just outside of town. The area needs to be picturesque architecturally, with water or mountains. We are in good health, so medical facilities are a factor, but not a concern. We'd like to avoid being overrun by tourists and being in a place with miles of strip shopping centers. Our budget for a home is $200,000 or so. Thanks for your help.

Central Maine
Level Contributor
451 posts
Save Reply
1. Re: Retirement areas

Brunswick.

Enough of a "downtown" w/ shops and restos; Bowdoin College for theater, lectures, etc; close enough to the "big city" of Portland; and proximity to coast.

Bar Harbor, Maine
Destination Expert
for Bar Harbor, Acadia National Park
Level Contributor
3,840 posts
12 reviews
Save Reply
2. Re: Retirement areas

There is a relocation forum that may provide you with more (and more specific) information:

http://www.city-data.com/forum/maine

New York City, New...
Level Contributor
4,109 posts
36 reviews
Save Reply
3. Re: Retirement areas

Start by looking at Kennebunk, then head up to South Portland/Cape Elizabeth, then maybe Thomaston/Rockland (nearby Camden may be too pricey for you).

Brasher Falls
Level Contributor
2 posts
17 reviews
Save Reply
4. Re: Retirement areas

Thank you. I have been to that site, and others, for statistical information. What I am seeking is subjective. A place with descriptions like: quaint, charm, picturesque, friendly. So many places have abandoned downtown, and people go to the new shopping centers. I am looking for a place with community spirit; where the people have gotten together and revitalized, or better, have maintained the local character.

maine
Level Contributor
58 posts
34 reviews
Save Reply
5. Re: Retirement areas

You need to check out Portsmouth N.H. ( on the Maine Border ).It is charming, picturesque, and has many superb restaurants. Portland is only 1 hour, Boston 1 1/2 . Has a hospital, thriving small theater and has been on those "best" places to live lists. And you wouldn't have to pay the absurd Maine TAXES.

Bar Harbor, Maine
Level Contributor
5,462 posts
8 reviews
Save Reply
6. Re: Retirement areas

Here's our story: my husband and I retired to Bar Harbor, Maine fifteen years ago. We were raised in Wisconsin and then spent 26 years in East Tennessee. We utterly, absolutely love it here. It is the home we always yearned for.

Yes, it is over-run by tourists, but that's only two months a year. It has wonderful restaurants, some open on weekends year 'round although few are ethnic. It has a village center, not a downtown. We can walk to the dentist, the coffee shop, the bakery, and the book store. It has a small hospital which can treat emergencies. Anything too complicated, you are stablized and sent to Bangor, Portland, or Boston. That's true of anywhere in Maine.

The real thing going for Bar Harbor is that Acadia National Park is in our backyard. Once you get to know the Park, there is always a quiet place to take a hike, even in the height of the tourist season in July and August. The mountains of Acadia are incredibly beautiful in all four seasons. The carriage roads in the Park are groomed for cross-country skiing in the winter. The fall foliage is stunning.

There is definitely a community spirit here -- reaching out to the poor and to the elderly. Lobstermen, shop owners, B&B owners, professors at College of the Atlantic, scientists and workers at Jackson Laboratory, seasonal workers, retirees, the 30-year-old group who have discovered the area and can't bear to leave -- all of us get along quite well.

It doesn't fit all of your criteria. But it is a wonderful place to live. I highly recommend it.

Maine
Level Contributor
883 posts
Save Reply
7. Re: Retirement areas

A non coastal place to check out is Bridgton. It has a walkable village, is surrounded by lakes and ponds, near the mountains and within an hour of Portland. Housing costs are apt to be less here (unless you want lakefront) than most of the coastal areas.

Bar Harbor, Maine
Destination Expert
for Bar Harbor, Acadia National Park
Level Contributor
3,840 posts
12 reviews
Save Reply
8. Re: Retirement areas

Well, given what you defined as your prerequisites, I'd say that if you found such a place, you certainly would not find it within your stated budget, or anywhere close to it.

Having moved here after retirement, I really enjoy the area. Not that it doesn't have its warts. Local politics (which one can't avoid, whether directly involved or not) can be messy. Things happen that one doesn't particularly approve of, but life goes on. Nonetheless, it is a good place and a place that after a relatively long life, I can genuinely call home.

Southern Maine
Destination Expert
for Maine
Level Contributor
3,589 posts
11 reviews
Save Reply
9. Re: Retirement areas

I think you should look at the Damariscotta/Newcastle area.

http://www.damariscottaregion.com/index.html

http://www.damariscotta.com/

Central Maine
Destination Expert
for Maine
Level Contributor
6,653 posts
146 reviews
Save Reply
10. Re: Retirement areas

The central-Maine community of Winthrop might meet at least most of your criteria -- it's downtown had been in decline for a while, but has recently come back to life.... There are two large lakes and several smaller ponds within town borders.... Some older homes within easy walkig of downtown, and numerous others just a short drive outside. Not sure if by "nice" restaurants you mean "upscale" -- if so, it may not fit that category.... a couple of fairly good, family-type places in town but you'd need to go elsewhere for "fine dining." Nearest major hospitals are eight miles in one direction or 18 miles in the opposite direction -- same with major shopping/commercial centers. But it's definitely a small-town feel that may offer at least some homes within your price range. And it's a nice place for a visit while you're in-state, although it's small enough you may need to check out Augusta for lodging possibilities....