Brunswick, Maine

Best Places to Retire in Maine


Profile Brunswick (population 22,000) is located along the Maine coast, approximately 25 miles northeast of Portland and 30 miles south of Augusta. It is home to Bowdoin College (about 1,700 students) and Naval Air Station Brunswick. This historic community dates back to 1628. Cumberland County, which includes Portland, the state’s biggest city, has a total population of about 275,000.

Brunswick is best described as “a quaint and picturesque New England town, steeped in history.” Like many of the earliest communities, there is a tree-lined green in the center of downtown (known as the town mall) that served as a community meeting place for many years. Today it is a much-used location, with an occasional musical concert, a farmer’s market, ice-skating in the winter and other public activities, or just for relaxing.

Brunswick has a lot to offer, with a thriving arts community in the area, live theater, museums, galleries, numerous historical sites, civic activities, many good dining choices, entertainment events at the college, and an occasional air show hosted by the Naval Air Station. It has access to both rocky and sandy coastal sites, the Androscoggin River, and miles of protected coastal waters for sailing, boating, kayaking, and canoeing.

And, there are a number of state parks in the area that offer beaches, hiking trails, picnic facilities and more. It’s main resource center, Portland, offers outstanding music, dance, entertainment, dining choices, and international airport. Nearby Freeport, Maine is the home of L.L. Bean and a wide selection of outlet stores. Although Brunswick is a coastal city, it is only about 90 minutes from downhill skiing.

The Naval Air Station Brunswick is the last active-duty military airfield in the northeast. It is home to five active and two reserve squadrons. A major element of its mission is long-range maritime patrol. The “Down East” region of Maine (roughly from Belfast to Brunswick) has a number of quaint communities and beautiful coastal areas that are a magnet for summer vacationers and travelers. There are many celebrations, festivals, fairs, arts and crafts shows, antique shows, and of course the annual Maine Lobster Festival at Harbor Park in Rockland. There are dozens of galleries in the area, excellent museums, and many talented artisans who live and work there. Arts & Culture Brunswick Area

Arts & Cultural

Brunswick Art Alliance is a primary advocate for the arts and culture in the Midcoast region. 

Brunswick Area Cultural Directory is a listing of local artist, arts and cultural organizations, and arts related businesses in the Brunswick area. 

Midcoast Symphony Orchestra is a community orchestra of more than 60 volunteer musicians. Its home is the Orion Performing Arts Center at the Mt. Ararat Middle School in nearby Topsham.

Maine State Music Theatre in Pickard Theater at Bowdoin College in Brunswick is a professional theater arts group dedicated to presenting high-quality musical theatre. It is the only resident stock professional musical theater in the U.S. Set designs, costumes and musical arrangements are original.

Bowdoin College Theater and Dance Department presents three major public performances each year. 

Portland Symphony Orchestra is a professional ensemble that offers a classical series, pops concerts and special performances throughout the year. 

The Portland Ballet is a classically-based company founded in 1985. Portland Opera Repertory Theatre presents operatic masterpieces.

Cumberland County Civic Center in Portland is one of he principal venues in the area. 

State Theatre, Portland, presents live music and entertainers.

The Theater at Monmouth (The Shakespearean Theater of Maine) is 26 miles from Brunswick. 

The Peary-MacMillan Arctic Museum, located in Bowdoin’s Hubbard Hall, preserves artifacts and records of these Arctic explorers who are also graduates of the university.

Pejepscot Museum preserves information about the history of Brunswick, Topsham and Harpswell. It also features the Joshua Chamberlain research collection. Its archives include a collection of materials and more than 15,000 local photographs. 

Fort Popham State Historic Site is located 15 miles from Bath, and two miles from Popham Beach State Park. It is a semi-circular fort built in 1861 for use during the Civil War. 

Maine Maritime Museum at Bath collects and preserves materials relating to the history of Maine. This museum, located on the Kennebec River, is a major regional cultural resource.

Whaleback Shell Midden on the Damariscotta River (26 miles) is famous for its large mounds of oyster shells, called middens. They were created by Native Americans more than 1,000 years ago.

Portland Museum of Art —

Portland Harbor Museum is located on the grounds of Fort Preble, overlooking Casco Bay.

Fort Knox is Maine’s largest historic fort. It was constructed from 1844 to 1864 of granite. It was located on the narrows of the Penobscot River to protect the river valley from a naval attack. 

Fort Edgecomb State Historic Site is on Davis Island in the Sheepscott River. The fort dates to the early 19th century. Its blockhouse was built in 1809 and is one of the nation’s best-preserved forts from the period. 

Camden Opera House is a newly renovated 500-seat theater with a horseshoe-shaped balcony and four loge boxes. It hosts a wide variety of events and entertainers, including concerts, opera, jazz, comedians, plays, musicals, lecturers, and more. 

The Rockport Opera House on Rockport Harbor is a 400-seat facility that was renovated in the early 1990s at a cost of one million dollars. It is host to a variety of events, including music, dance, theater, poetry, and comedy. Its Bay Chamber Concerts Series draws world-class performers. 

Camden Civic Theatre presents a full calendar of productions, including comedies, dramas, and a children’s series. Performances are at the Camden Opera House. 

Bay Chamber Concerts (Rockport) produces classical, jazz and world music concerts. It has a Performing Arts Series and summer concerts.

Atlantic Ballet Company (Camden) has a regular performance series and teaches ballet and jazz.

Maine Grand Opera (Camden) offers opera year-round. 

North Atlantic Blues Festival (Rockland) is a two-day event in July. It is held at Harbor Park, overlooking the harbor, and attracts world-famous musicians.

Union Fair is an agricultural fair featuring locally raised crops and livestock. This event and the Maine Wild Blueberry Festival are held for one week in August.

Center for Maine Contemporary Art (Rockport)

Conway Homestead – Cramer Museum (Rockport) is an 18th century restored farmhouse, barn, and maple sugarhouse. 

Farnsworth Art museum and Wyeth Center (Rockland) offers a collection of American art from all eras.

Maine Historical Society (Portland) is comprised of a research library with the largest private collection of Maine-related documents, the childhood home of Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, and the Center for Maine History Museum.

The Maine Lobster Festival in August at Rockland Harbor Park is one of the oldest and most celebrated summer events. In addition to the more than 25,000 pounds of lobster eaten, there is a parade, entertainment and all sorts of activities to entertain and delight young and old alike. 


The Brunswick Parks and Recreation Department manages the town’s facilities and offers programs, sports leagues, and events for the community. Activities include adult tennis, running, sailing, softball, basketball, soccer, baseball, lacrosse and hockey leagues, kayaking, bowling and more. 

Bradbury Mountain State Park, is located on Route 9, just five miles from the Freeport-Durham exit off Interstate 95. This 590-acre site offers picnicking, hiking, mountain biking, horseback trails, snowmobiling, and cross-country skiing. 

Popham Beach State Park, located south of Bath on Route 209, is a 529-acre site with a lovely sand beach, bathhouses, picnic areas with grills, trails and wildlife watching. 

Reid State Park is located in Georgetown, 13 miles from Route 1. It offers wide sand beaches, large sand dunes, and an overlook where you can see scenic seascapes and even spot lighthouses on Seguin Island. There are picnic areas, grills, bathhouses and rest room facilities. 

Damariscotta Lake State Park in Jefferson is a short distance from Augusta. This large freshwater lake has a sand beach and picnic areas. It is one of the most popular parks in the state. 

Dodge Point Public Park in Farmington has 8,000 feet of frontage on the Damariscotta River with sand and pebble beaches, and freshwater ponds and streams that flow through deep ravines. Activities include hiking, cross-country skiing, skating, swimming, and fishing. Visitors arrive by boat from the public landing and by car from Newcastle. 

Shawnee Peak Ski Area, Bridgton (68 miles) is 20 minutes east of North Conway, NH. It offers more than 40 trails, four glade areas, two terrain parks, a 400-foot halfpipe, and five lifts. It has lighted slopes and 98 percent of the areas are capable of snowmaking.


Bowdoin College is a liberal arts institution founded in 1794. It consists of a 110-acre campus with more than 80 buildings, and has an enrollment of approximately 1,700 students. Bowdoin offers more than 40 major courses of study.

Maine College of Art, Portland, is a college of art and design. It offers bachelor and master of fines arts degrees as well as professional institutes and continuing studies for individuals of all ages.

Senior Programs

The “55 Plus Center” sponsors weekday programs, including exercise classes, workshops, music and other entertainment, and meals. (207-729-0757) Hospitals Mid Coast Hospital is an acute care facility with 71 beds. 

Parkview Adventist Medical Center is a 51-bed acute care facility.


Portland International Jetport —


Average temperatures for January are a high of 31 degrees and a low of 10 degrees. The averages for July, the warmest month, are a high of 80 degrees and low of 58 degrees. Precipitation for January averages four inches and for July it is 3.3 inches. 


The Times Record 

State Taxes

Chamber of Commerce

Southern Midcoast Maine Chamber represents three counties: Cumberland, Lincoln and Sagadahoc. 


Bath – 8 miles

Freeport – 10 miles

Bailey Island – 15.5 miles

Wiscasset – 18 miles

Lewiston – 19 miles

Portland – 25 miles

Boothbay Harbor – 29 miles

Augusta – 31 miles

Waldoboro – 36 miles

Thomaston – 47 miles

Camden – 50 miles

Rockland – 50 miles

Port Clyde – 62 miles

Belfast – 76 miles

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