Some might think that because of Maine's vast green forests and undeveloped terrain that there are not places to shop. They would be wrong. So if while visiting Maine you are dreaming of malls and smoking credit cards instead of the rugged beauty of ocean crashed shorelines there is hope for you. Maine is overwhelmed with places to spend your money from traditional malls to flea markets to shopping towns.
The traditional halls can be found in South Portland and Bangor. The mall in South Portland is actually called the Maine Mall. With 140 stores, 18 restaurants and anchor stores such as Sears, Macy's and JC Penneys you can have hours of shopping enjoyment. Because of its size, everyone in your family will find places to lose some green. Do not worry guys, there is a Best Buy, Electronics Boutique, and Fye to feed your electronic urges. Kids will find the Disney Store, Build-A-Bear and, if they're like my chocolate munching children, Godiva of special interest. The traditional mall in Bangor is appropriately called the Bangor Mall. Shocking, huh? It's about half the size of the Maine Mall with 79 stores but it has the same anchor stores. You can find hiking, fishing and outdoor gear at the Dick's Sporting Goods store. For those seeking to support Maine businesses I'd suggest stepping into Berg Sportswear and picking up your University of Maine Black Bear's t-shirt.
If a traditional mall is too sterile, new or ordinary maybe a flea market is for you. It's difficult to tell what strange forgotten treasures you can find at a flea market. In Maine there are too many flea markets to review so I'll give you a list to explore.
Flea Market – City
Augusta Flea Market – Augusta
Bargain House – Lebanon
Cascade Flea Market – Saco
Evergreen Flea Market – Poland
Gloria's Flea Market – Topsham
Gorham Flea Market – Gorham
Granite Ridge Flea Market – Waterboro
Montsweag Flea Market – Woolwich
North Vassalboro Flea Market – North Vassalboro
Undercover Antique Mall – Oxford
Waterfront Flea Market – Brunswick
West Gardiner Flea Market – Gardiner
Another shopping experience can be found in towns that specialize in shopping. Yes, you heard me correctly, entire towns dedicated to fine art of shopping. Freeport Maine is such a town. A motivated shopper could spend days wandering through the streets of Freeport, it's an incredible place. From the whimsical fun of the Cool as a Moose store to the striking beauty of the pottery at Edgecomb Potters there is a store for you. Because of an unwritten law, I have to mention the massive LL Bean store or they will bar me from Freeport forever. After a tiring day of shopping go to Gritty McDuff's to unwind. They have a fenced yard with a swing set for the kids to play while you enjoy adult conversation on the deck. Those of you who have rug rats know how rare it is to eat and chat without interruption. Bar Harbor is another quaint town with plenty of shopping and other fun tourist activities. If you've ever been to Ben and Bill's Chocolate Emporium and savored some delectable treats you understand that being a tourist is not a bad thing. Overall, Bar Harbor has a flare for local crafts and arts. It seems as though the entire town is comprised of artists and craftsmen. Long ago Bar Harbor was known as a place for the ultra wealthy but today everyone can feel comfortable here.
Please realize that these are not even a fraction of the shops in Maine. There are tiny towns throughout Maine with wonderful shops and breathtaking views that offer additional shopping. Take a day or two to meander through harbor towns with small mom and pop shops to really understand Maine and its friendly people.