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36 Hours in Brunswick

Brunswick, a designated Main Street Community, is the epitome of a college town (home to Bowdoin College), with the Androscoggin River to the north, Casco Bay to the south, and the Brunswick Town Mall — a greenspace with a seasonal farmers market and live music — the delightful anchor of the community.

Region: MidCoast & Islands
Activities: Hiking, biking, birdwatching, picnicking, shopping, dining

Start your day with a coffee or tea from one of the many coffee shops in town. Grab a sticky bun and a Café Nico at Dog Bar Jim or a delicious freshly made pastry from Ritual or pick up a breakfast sando at Union Street Bakery.

Shopping is wonderful in Brunswick — charming Maine Street is lined with shops of all sorts, including amazing antique stores, boutiques and book shops. Find the perfect gift, chocolate treat or piece of artwork. The Fort Andross Mill is filled with dozens of artist studios, an indoor flea market and an antique mall. Beginning November, there is a Winter Market held each Saturday morning.

There’s much more to Brunswick than shopping, of course. Enjoy a film at the independant movie theater, Eveningstar Cinemas or visit Bowdoin’s Peary-MacMillan Arctic Museum - dedicated entirely to all things Arctic and in a new location. Spend some time cycling on the Mere Point Bike Ride, a 15-mile scenic road ride on the peninsula of Mere Point, or take a hike through the Town Commons, a 71-acre woodland park. Bring your leashed dog and a picnic lunch. Birdwatchers should visit the Kate Furbish Preserve.

For a look back in time, visit the Joshua L. Chamberlain Museum — in what was the Civil War hero’s home for more than 50 years — or the Skolfield-Whittier House for guided tours that provide an excellent glimpse into 19th-century upper-middle-class life in Maine.

Once you’ve worked up an appetite, there is no end to the dining possibilities. From award-winning chefs to old-fashioned drive-ins, Brunswick is a foodie’s paradise. Head to Enoteca Athena for freshly made pasta dishes and other delightful Italian classics in a warm and cozy dining room or  Bolos  for tasty south-of-the-border options and games. For a cold beer, try Moderation Brewing’s taproom on Maine Street. Wildflours Bakery offers everything from bread and scones to cakes and doughnuts, all gluten-free. The Brunswick Diner on Pleasant Street has long been the go-to place for a quick bite to eat. Head to the Brunswick Landing for Wild Oats Bakery and Cafe, or grab a pint and a slice at Flight Deck Brewing. There are often food trucks at the brewery, serving alongside the wood-fired pizza. Grab lunch or to-go items like bahn mi and frozen dumplings at ZaoZe Café and Market. Ready for dessert? Don’t miss a chance to try Gelato Fiasco at its flagship location on Maine Street.

Enjoy an evening of art and music! See what’s playing at the Maine State Music Theatre, with Broadway-quality performances for all ages. The Bowdoin College Museum of Art has more than 20,000 objects in its permanent collection, and it’s free to the public. Enjoy a beach day or live music and festivals at Thomas Point Beach.

After a day of exploring this amiable town, find a cozy place to spend the night. OneSixtyFive – across from the Town Mall – has the Main House, Carriage House and Cottage to choose from and The Brunswick Hotel and Tavern has one of the most popular restaurants in Brunswick as well as a convenient location near the college. The Federal is a boutique hotel in a former sea captain's home with an on-site restaurant, 555 North by Steve and Michelle Corry. Affordable comfort is found at the Travelers Inn on Pleasant Street.

Bangor: 105 miles
Portland: 26 miles
Lewiston/Auburn: 20 miles
Ellsworth: 130 miles

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