Shopping is one of the more relaxing things to do in Maine – and what better way to experience the culture of Maine than visiting the local markets. You can buy Maine-made goods directly from those who made or grew them at local farms, farmers' markets and craft markets. You can also find budget-friendly items at flea markets.
You'll find farm-fresh produce and locally raised meats and poultry at the state's farmers' markets. You can also find cheeses, jams, jellies, pickles, mustards, breads, pies, chocolates, cookies, crafts and even Maine’s famous seafood at these markets. Many markets also provide entertainment, demonstrations or children's activities. For more information on the state's farms and farmers' markets everywhere from Aroostook to Kennebunkport, visit www.GetRealMaine.com.
Maine's dedicated craft markets are the best bet for browsing fine and folk crafts and purchasing directly from the maker. The Maine Indian Basketmakers show, sell and demonstrate their crafts—basketry, walking and talking sticks, and jewelry—at three locations: Bar Harbor in early July, Maine Organic Farmers and Gardeners Festival in September, and the Hudson Museum, on the University of Maine's Orono campus in December. Two other sources for finding Maine-made crafts markets are the Maine Crafts Association, which maintains a calendar of craft sales, and the United Maine Craftsmen, which presents craft markets statewide.
Flea markets are a bonanza for budget-conscious shoppers. Who knows what fabulous finds you'll discover, from signed artwork to antique furniture to 1920s collectible glass to '50s memorabilia. Just remember, go early for the best selection and finds. A few notable markets are the Portland Flea-for-All, the Southern Maine Indoor Flea Market in Scarborough, and the Cascade Flea Market near Old Orchard Beach, Maine.