Brunswick, Maine, a designated Main Street Community, is a quintessential college town in Midcoast Maine with a convenient Amtrak Station located steps from downtown. Bowdoin College, founded in 1794, sits in the heart of the town on a beautiful campus. Maine Street and the grassy Town Mall are favorite places to shop, dine and enjoy the vibrant community.
Brunswick has a rich history. Joshua Chamberlain was a professor at Bowdoin during the Civil War who joined the Union army; his heroism at the Battle of Gettysburg made him a legend. Harriet Beecher Stowe, author of Uncle Tom’s Cabin and member of the Underground Railroad, lived and worked in town. Her house is now a designated National Historic Landmark.
The neighboring town of Topsham, situated along the Androscoggin River, is home to the popular Topsham Fair an annual celebration with crafts, activities, and harness racing for more than 160 years.
Things to Do in Brunswick and Topsham
Brunswick is home to the Maine State Music Theater, with Broadway-quality performances. The Bowdoin College Museum of Art is one of nine art museums of the Maine Art Museum Trail with more than 20,000 objects in its permanent collection. It’s free to the public. Dive into history with a self-guided tour of historic properties in Topsham including an underground tunnel used to help slaves reach their freedom. The Skolfield-Whitter House is a museum in a sea captain’s home, offering an excellent glimpse into the town’s past. For year-round exhibits, workshops and a perfect start for planning visits to fiber artist’s studios, stop in at Maine Fiberarts.
Shopping is fun in Brunswick – the Tontine Mall has the Evening Star Cinema. Maine Street has bakeries, shops, boutiques, antique shops and restaurants. Check out Gulf of Maine Books for a terrific selection of bestsellers and Maine titles. In Topsham, Renys is a favorite among both locals and visitors. Freeport and its many outlets is only ten minutes south of Brunswick and Portland is only a half-hour’s drive.
There are numerous events and musical performances in Brunswick, such as the Bowdoin International Music Festival. Brunswick Town Mall – the grassy park between Maine Street and Park Row – has a free summer concert series, and May-November there is a twice-weekly Farmers’ Market. In the winter months the Brunswick Winter Market is in the restored Fort Andross Mill Complex.
Where to Stay in Brunswick and Topsham
From casual lodging in Brunswick, there’s the Travelers Inn, cozy bed & breakfasts, and boutique hotels and inns such as The Federal and OneSixtyFive. The Brunswick Hotel and Tavern has one of the most popular restaurants in Brunswick as well as a convenient location near the college. In Topsham, The Black Lantern B&B has views of the Androscoggin River and is right across from downtown Brunswick.
Restaurants in Brunswick and Topsham
Brunswick is one of the best towns in Maine to eat. Cuisines from around the world are found in the many restaurants on Maine Street. The Brunswick Diner on Pleasant Street has long been the go-to place for a quick bite to eat and to catch up on the local news. Enjoy the finest farm-to-table experience at 555 North, and Nomad in the Fort Andross Mill is the place for a delicious wood-fired pizza. Want to try one of the best tasting rooms in the state according to DownEast magazine? Flight Deck Brewing is the spot – located at Brunswick Landing. The brewery is in good company with Moderation Brewing Company and Black Pug Brewing. Bolos offers a wide variety of tasty options plus games like corn hole and darts. Head to ZaoZe, a café and market offering Asian grocery staples and fresh produce. No trip to Brunswick is complete without a sweet treat from Gelato Fiasco’s flagship location on Maine Street. For a delicious breakfast, lunch or baked good, everyone loves Blueberries in Topsham.