Lincolnville, Maine

The upside of the good life down east

Jan 8, 2004
Outside Magazine
best American towns Lincolnville, Maine

Ply your kayak where the mountains meet the sea

best American towns Lincolnville, Maine

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.