Straddling the beautiful St. Georges River which divides the town in half, Warren has a population of nearly 4,000 residents and is near the other mid-coast towns of Camden, Waldoboro, and Rockland.
Due to its convenient proximity to some of the state’s most scenic and popular coastline, state parks, and historic sites, Warren is the perfect place to stay for those looking to experience the quaint, small-town charm for which New England is famous, while having easy access to the aforementioned attractions.
Though many of the area’s attractions are seasonal, others offer year-round recreation activities; 15 of the best are listed below.
1. Beth’s Farm Market
There are really no better places to visit first than farmer’s markets when exploring a new area.
Full of unique products you won’t find elsewhere, most of them are grown, produced, and created by local farmers and entrepreneurs.
Beth’s Farm Market is one of the Warren area’s oldest markets. Though its beginnings were humble, it has grown to offer a wide variety of seasonal produce and prepared food items.
If you’re not sure if they’ll have what you’re looking for, remember their motto: “if it’s grown in Maine, they’ve probably got it.”
Beth’s also has a great website that’ll let you know what they’ve got in stock, so take a look.
2. Oyster River Winegrowers
Located on Oyster River Road in Warren, Oyster River Winegrowers is part orchard, part vineyard, and part forest preserve.
They specialize in using sustainable and environmentally friendly farming practices, many of which are nearly identical to the ones used before the advent of mechanized equipment and chemical-intensive farming practices.
Needless to say, the grapes they grow create some of the region’s most tasty wine. During the spring and summer months, they host a variety of activities including tours, tastings, and other social events, where you can meet their staff and like-minded locals.
Check out their website for their calendar of events.
3. Christmas by the Sea
For visitors to the Warren area who live in the inland portions of the country, experiencing Christmas by the Sea in nearby Camden would be a great way to immerse yourselves in the region’s nautical heritage.
For more than two decades, Camden has hosted the popular December event; from humble beginnings, it has grown to impressive proportions.
Nothing goes together better than lobster salad and Christmas carols, and many of the area’s homes, neighborhoods, and business go all out with the decorations. Events are spread over the towns of Camden and Lincolnville over multiple days.
Don’t miss the community tree lighting or story time with Santa.
4. North Atlantic Blues Festival
With such an abundance of beautiful scenery and friendly people, it’s a wonder that anyone can sing the blues in Maine, but for fans of the soulful music that got its start in the Mississippi Delta more than a century ago, there’s no better event than the North Atlantic Blues Festival.
The festival is considered by blues aficionados to be one of the best of its kind in the country, and has attracted big names in years past like Bo Diddley, Jimmie Vaughan, and John Lee Hooker.
It lasts two full days in July when the Maine weather is at its best. In addition to live entertainment, there are always great food options and items for sale, like clothes, posters, and even some arts and crafts.
5. The Maine Lobster Festival
Few things are more symbolic of Maine than the common lobster. A tasty source of protein since the old days, there’s no better place to enjoy it in all its glorious forms than at the Maine Lobster Festival.
The five-day event takes place in August in the nearby town of Rockland, and by some estimations attractions more than 50,000 annual visitors.
From bisque to poor-boys and lobster rolls, visitors will have a fantastic variety of treats at their fingertips. For those who are all about the event but not necessarily big seafood fans, there will be plenty of other tasty options as well.
6. The Maine Boats, Homes, and Harbors Show
Another of the area’s most popular annual events is the Maine Boats, Homes, and Harbors Show, which also takes place in Rockland.
There’s no better way to jump headfirst into the seaside culture of Maine’s Atlantic coast. In addition to a variety of guided tours, the event features live entertainment, tons of amazing food, and hundreds of vendors selling locally-made products that you won’t find anywhere else.
Held over three days, one-day passes are available, as are passes that are good for the entire event, which are by far the best value if you’ll be around a while.
7. Maine Antiques Festival
Since 1981, the town of Union, Maine has hosted one of New England’s most popular antique festivals.
Over the years, the Maine Antiques Festival has grown into the state’s largest; it all takes places in August at the Union Fairgrounds just outside of town.
The festival includes more than 300 dealers, vendors, and collectors from all over the country. Regardless of your interests, if it can be classified as an antique, you’ll find it here.
Books, jewelry, furniture, china, and sports collectibles are among the most popular items, but there are too many to list, so you’ll just have to check it out for yourself.
8. Brown’s Head Light
Conveniently located near Warren, Brown’s Head Light is a beacon marking the heavily trafficked seaway between North Haven and Vinalhaven Islands.
The head light was originally constructed in the early 1830s, largely from an appropriation made by then-president Andrew Jackson due to the importance of commerce and the fishing industry for the young country’s economy.
Since it’s located on Vinalhaven Island, Brown’s Head Light is easy to visit, and the rest of the island is well worth exploring as well.
You may not find a more scenic location full of iconic New England scenery, so make sure your camera is fully charged.
9. Center for Maine Contemporary Art
Located in Rockland, The Center for Maine Contemporary Art was founded to promote and preserve Maine’s contemporary art heritage and has been doing just that since 1952.
Nearly 70 years later, the center has become one of New England’s premier venues and is home to the works of hundreds of local and regional artists.
Just a short drive from Warren, in addition to its fulltime exhibits, the center also hosts a variety of temporary ones throughout the year, so you may see something a little different each time you visit.
The center also offers a variety of educational and instructional courses aimed at promoting artistic expression, so check out their website for further details.
10. Coastal Children’s Museum
With so many historical sites that many kids find boring, it might be nice to reward the little ones with a few hours of totally kid-centered activities.
Located in Mechanic Street in Rockland, the Coastal Children’s Museum was designed with youngsters under 10 in mind, though older children and parents often find it fun and engaging as well.
Many of the museum’s exhibits are interactive and encourage children to participate rather than just look.
Science, history, culture, and the natural world are all represented, and there’s a tank full of touchable sea creatures that’s one of the museum’s perennial favorites.
11. Lincolnville Schoolhouse Museum
The one-room schoolhouse that is now part of the Lincolnville Schoolhouse Museum was built in the 1890s and is one of the most well-preserved structures of its kind in the state.
Though parts have been repaired over the years, the schoolhouse retains much of its character and historic charm; it’s the perfect place to get an interesting glimpse into the past, especially as it relates to school age children in a rural community.
The museum’s exhibits include an interesting variety of Native American paraphernalia, pioneer era woodworking tools, and vintage photographs that show a harshness and starkness of life that we can only imagine in our modern, mechanized times.
12. Grindle Point Light
The Native Americans that lived in the area for generations before the arrival of European settlers called the ground on which the Grindle Point Light now sits “the island between channels.”
Isleboro Island is a long and narrow island that resides in the especially scenic upper portion of Penobscot Bay. It can be reached by a ferry boat that departs from Lincolnville.
The light keeper’s home is beside the lighthouse and now houses the Sailor’s Memorial Museum, which is comprised of a unique collection of maritime artifacts.
The museum is open seasonally during the summer months and offers a public beach that’s perfect for swimming, sunbathing, and beachcombing.
13. Birch Point Beach State Park
Comprised of more than 50 acres of land in scenic Owls Head, Birch Point Beach State Park is famous for its semicircular beach that stretches for hundreds of yards and is near to a preserved forest area and tidal marshland.
The beach has no facilities and parking is limited, but for those who persevere and find a spot, the rewards will be great.
The waters off Penobscot Bay are perfect for swimming, fishing, and paddle boarding, but they’re often chilly, even during the summer months.
For fishermen, the area is known for its bluefish, striped bass, and mackerel, which can be caught by surf fishing.
14. Coastal Helicopters
Though helicopter tours aren’t the cheapest option, they’re certainly one of the most unique and majestic ways to see the stunning Maine Coast.
Flying out of Belfast, Coastal Helicopters has been a premier air-tour provider for nearly three decades and offers a variety of tour options to fit most budgets and itineraries.
Considering the uniqueness of their service, the prices are pretty reasonable, and their coastal lighthouse tour is one of their most popular offerings.
Their equipment and pilots meet or exceed all relevant FAA regulations and requirements, so give them a call or check out their website for specific tour information.
15. Maine Eastern Railroad
The railroads have played important roles in the economic development of natural resource-rich New England, and the Maine Eastern Railroad in Rockland is the mid-coast’s premiere recreational train.
Running from Brunswick to Rockland, the railroad operates seasonally and provides an exceptional experience for train aficionados and nature lovers looking to see the amazing Maine coast in a truly unique and exhilarating way.
Special holiday tours run in December, and the railroad’s vintage train cars are a throwback to eras long past, when riding the rails was cutting edge, like airliners were in the ’50s.
A variety of tour packages are available, all of which are great for families with kids.