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Off the Beaten Path

Maine’s popular shopping spots – like Freeport and Kittery’s outlets or the Old Port in Portland – attract visitors by the millions, but there are other lesser-known retail havens that are off the beaten path and calling you.

Many of Maine’s smaller communities have delightful shopping districts and downtowns that are just the right size so you can visit all the businesses in half a day or less. Water Street in Hallowell is lined with boutiques, antique shops and restaurants. Along Bath’s Front Street, you can snack on local sweets as you visit galleries and unique local stores. The small city of Waterville has a shopping area on Main Street that provides fun and variety to Colby College students and anyone else passing through – including Modern Underground, which specializes in mid-20th century furniture and vintage audio equipment.

For a unique one-stop-wonder, visit the Liberty Tool Company – full of odds and ends ranging from antiques to comics. You’re sure to find something for everyone there! If your idea of heaven is browsing through more than 150,000 books and hundreds of antiques, the Big Chicken Barn in Ellsworth is your cup of tea. Housed in a former giant chicken barn, there are thousands of square feet dedicated to books and collectibles.

Next time you’re in Maine, take a detour and see what you can find – your new favorite store could be tucked in some little village, hidden plainly in sight.

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