September 2023

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Down East’s 16th Annual Best of Maine

Our annual roundup of Maine’s best everything: food trucks to florists, diners to dentists, lodging to lobster rolls. How did your favorites do?

Roads Less Traveled

They’re not the state’s heralded scenic byways or well-worn tourist routes. They’re just a few of our favorite back roads, the stretches we never get tired of traveling, where the traffic thins out and vacationland becomes Maine.

Waterville Under the Bridge

Eight years of investment, led by Colby College, have reshaped Waterville’s downtown. What does it mean for the future of the historically divided city?


North by East

Catch a glimpse of stardust, sneak a peek into Governor Janet Mills’s diary from the early days of the pandemic, and make way for a Robert McCloskey exhibit. Plus, in Maine Dispatches, an award for fancy new spuds. 

Food and Drink

Burritos are big in Southwest Harbor, a Bristol charcuterie spot flips the script on “farm to table,” and Aroma Joe’s opens its 100th coffee shop.

Good Things from Maine

A Berwick furniture maker makes woodworking more accessible, a Portland museum strings together the past and present of beadwork, and an Augusta craft fair welcomes makers of unusual wares.

Maine Homes

A new build for a family with old ties to MDI, a West Bath gardener’s dedication to dahlias, and the residential rebirth of historic Bangor buildings.


Where in Maine

Maine Moment


Editor’s note, responses to July’s Where in Maine, the masthead, and more.


Room With a View.

My Favorite Place

Mime and storyteller Antonio Rocha, on South Paris’s Celebration Barn Theater. 

On our Cover: Cod serenata, from Portland’s Papi, a Best of Maine finalist for Best New Restaurant. Photographed by Nicole Wolf. Styled by Catrine Kelty.

Additional Photos: Dave Waddell, Hannah Hoggatt, and Clayton Simoncic