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Any Not-to-Miss Little Inland Towns (with some specifics)?

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Any Not-to-Miss Little Inland Towns (with some specifics)?

We're going to base ourselves along the coast and naturally, look at a lot of things along the coast.

However, we want to make some trips inland and see other parts of Maine. We love quaint, little towns, with history. Sometimes these towns have not changed very much during the years, have not been populated with chain restaurants, etc.

Here's what we're looking for:

Towns with old movie theatres (regular or drive in type)

Places where we can see old factories or mills

Towns with art galleries

Any ideas for some special inland type places?

Kennebunks, Maine
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1. Re: Any Not-to-Miss Little Inland Towns (with some specifics)?

I would recommend checking out Skowhegan. It's an old mill town. The HBO film Empire Falls with Paul Newman, Helen Hunt and Ed Harris was filmed there a few years ago. Skowhegan has both a drive-in theater as well as an old fashioned movie theater called the Strand. The Strand Cinema has three movie theaters. The original theater is the best one with the largest balcony and has more of an opera-house feel than a movie theater. The downtown is cute with some little shops and you can check out the river on the walking bridge in the downtown area.

Central Maine
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2. Re: Any Not-to-Miss Little Inland Towns (with some specifics)?

Hallowell -- just south of the state capital in Augusta -- fits some of your criteria... No movie theater, but lots of repurposed old mill buildings (check out Cotton Mill Apartments and the old Granite Sheds -- not sure what they're used for these days -- and the exterior of Row House Apartments -- repurposed old row houses from ice cutting and granite quarrying days). On Outer Winthrop Street is an old granite quarry where the current owner has begun cutting granite again -- some of the old equipment still around. In downtown Hallowell, plenty of long-standing store-fronts with nary a chain restaurant or "big box" in sight. Walk the brick/cobblestone sidewalks, stroll the riverbank and imagine sailing ships waiting to take on ice or granite, and then stroll the Kennebec River Rail Trail for chances of seeing bald eagles, osprey, etc. Also worth seeing while you're in town -- the former Worcester House Hotel (corner of Winthrop and Second Streets), now used as an office building) and the upstairs theater space at Hallowell City Hall, still used by local theater companies.... and a couple of art galleries on Water Street in downtown Hallowell, plus some pretty good restaurants too (Slate's and Liberal Cup are two of our personal favorites.)

And just up the road, the Old Federal Post Office on Water Street in downtown Augusta, Old Fort Western (1700's trading post on the Kennebec River), the former Federal Arsenal on the east side of Augusta (now privately owned but you can still do drive-by's) and the boarded-up Colonial Theater on Lower Water Street.....all close to the Maine State Museum if the weather turns nasty -- State Museum is a great indoor stop -- complete with re-created three-story, working, water-powered sawmill, old steam-powered log hauler used in the Maine woods, displays of live, native fish, and lots of other "good stuff".

Most of the places listed above can be Googled for more info....

Maine
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3. Re: Any Not-to-Miss Little Inland Towns (with some specifics)?

For an interesting contrast, you might want to read the book, When We Were the Kennedys by Monica Wood, then visit the towns of Rumford and Mexico (they are across the river from each other). Lots of changes in the 50 year period from 1963 (when the book takes place).

Saco and Westbrook both have historic drive-ins. Saco has a campaign going on right now to save its drive-in.

L

Central Maine
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4. Re: Any Not-to-Miss Little Inland Towns (with some specifics)?

If you're looking for drive-in theaters, the western Maine mountains town of Bridgton also has a twin-screen drive-in....

Southern Maine
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5. Re: Any Not-to-Miss Little Inland Towns (with some specifics)?

I know you're specifically seeking an inland town or two, but a stop in Biddeford's mill district would fit what you are describing. There is a push underway to further develop the mills along Main Street and the Saco River. There are artists' studios, restaurants, a Saturday farmer's market, an antique car dealer, etc. There is an art walk on the last Friday of each month:

http://artwalkmaine.org/biddeford-artwalk/

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6. Re: Any Not-to-Miss Little Inland Towns (with some specifics)?

Thanks for all these great suggestions. I'm making a long list based on all your ideas and will work in as much as possible.

7. Re: Any Not-to-Miss Little Inland Towns (with some specifics)?

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