Lincolnville, Maine

The upside of the good life down east

Ply your kayak where the mountains meet the sea     Photo: Eyewire

WITH ITS ALLURING CONTRAST of mountains giving way to Penobscot Bay, on Maine's jagged central coast, Lincolnville attracts people who could live anywhere: artists, writers, boatbuilders, and Silicon Valley icons like Ethernet inventor and 3Com founder Bob Metcalfe. Plus, you can take advantage of the highbrow cultural agenda in Camden, just ten minutes down Route 1: foreign-affairs and technology conferences, a refurbished opera house, and, for a real change of pace, a summer harp workshop.

OUTDOORS: Spectacular, expansive, and right outside the door. Camden Hills State Park, most of it within Lincolnville town limits, offers more than 30 miles of hiking and cross-country-skiing trails, some with Camden harbor views from atop 780-foot Mount Battie. The massive "ponds" (Norton, Coleman, Pitcher) are peaceful redoubts for swimming and canoeing. Possibilities for sea kayaking and day sailing are practically limitless; a $45 membership to the Maine Island Trail Association grants visitors access to the 325-mile waterway that links the coast with 48 islands, many of which have campsites.
REAL ESTATE: Anything on salt water fetches a high price (don't bother looking for even a three-season cottage for less than $400,000); older farmhouses along the Atlantic Highway (a.k.a. Route 1) with a glimpse of ocean list for $175,000 to $350,000. Inland in Lincolnville Center, three-bedroom farmhouses on a couple of acres start at $175,000.
HANGOUTS: The Youngtown Inn, a restored 1810 farmhouse, sits in the Camden Hills just five minutes from the Lincolnville harbor (doubles, $110–$165; 800-291-8438, Tilt a glass of locally brewed Andy's English Ale, summer or winter, at the waterside Whale's Tooth Pub, on Lincolnville Beach.

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