We recently had the chance to partner with Maine’s MidCoast & Islands, traveling throughout the MidCoast region to visit some of the area’s most beloved general stores. Always looking for a chance to travel with our dog, we happily loaded Orvis in the car and set off for a day of exploration, adventure, and good food throughout our favorite region in all of Maine.
The following MidCoast Maine General Store Route is made up of a few of our favorites – we hope it comes in handy for planning your next MidCoast Maine road trip. Be sure to check out our post on Maine’s MidCoast for more photos and a map of our route!
Just outside of Wiscasset, on the drive up from Portland is a tiny town along the Sheepscot River, Alna. We’re quite familiar with this beaucolic stretch of Maine countryside, as my parents ended up moving to Alna a few years ago. On hot summer days we like to take a dip in the Head Tide swimming hole, but sometimes we prefer to stretch our legs after an hour in the car with a short hike through the 126-acre Trout Brook Preserve. Just down the road is The Alna General Store, where traditional general store fare is served alongside authentic Mexican cuisine from the owners’ own family recipes.
About 10 miles up Route 218 from Alna is the town of Whitefield, home to as many cows, goats, and sheep that one could hope to see in a single day of traipsing through MidCoast Maine. Swing by Fuzzy Udder Creamery on Townhouse Road to sample some delicious soft-ripened cheeses and catch a glimpse of the fuzzy crew of animals, and while in Whitefield, a visit to Sheepscot General Store is a definite must. Whether you’re stopping in for a quick snack from the bakery, eating a Reuben at the counter, picking strawberries in the summer, or enjoying their widely popular Pizza Nights on Fridays, Sheepscot General has a little bit of everything.
Washington & Union
You simply can’t miss the big red barn, home to the Washington General Store, just off of Route 220 in the center of the village. While the sandwiches and pizza are made to order, the rotating selection of house-baked sweets, like the Strawberry Rhubarb Pie or the Banana Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting, are certainly eye-catching, and the beer, cider, and wine selection is quite impressive.
A stop in nearby Union, at Sweetgrass Winery & Distillery to sample their award-winning, small batch Back River Gin is a must for any cocktail enthusiast. If it’s a nice day, we highly recommend ordering a Gin & Tonic and sipping it out back in the comfort of an Adirondack chair in the garden overlooking the rolling hills.
Perhaps the most quintessential general store on our route, with its location at the town’s four-way stop and a history that dates back to 1832, the Hope General Store is one of Maine’s oldest and most beloved general stores. Known for its made to order pizza and deli sandwiches, the store also stocks more than 130 different types of beer and offers Atlantic Bakery Co. pastries for breakfast.
For us, no visit to Lincolnville in the summertime is complete without taking a dip in Megunticook Lake with our dog. On this trip, we happened to pass a great (new to us) public town landing while making the drive from Hope to the Lincolnville General Store. After a swim, quench your appetite by taking full advantage of the turkey club sandwich (served on house baked bread) or a made-to-order wood fired pizza, and salted chocolate-chip cookie on their dog-friendly wraparound porch.