5 Under-the-Radar Shops on the Pemaquid Peninsula

Bristol is big on art, curios, and handmade treasures, if you know where to look.

By Jesse Ellison
Photographed by Benjamin Williamson

Lovely, sleepy Bristol, on the Pemaquid Peninsula, may not be a shopping mecca; in fact, the near absence of commercial activity is part of its charm. But what it lacks in quantity it makes up in quality. Tucked along rural roads winding through five distinct villages, including New Harbor, Pemaquid, and Round Pond, are several under-the-radar, eclectic shops. These “little nuggets of gold,” as one lifelong resident describes them, promise to delight the intrepid coastal traveler.

North Country Wind Bells

North Country Wind Bells

Established in 1975 by a lobsterman enchanted by the sound of bell buoys, North Country is now a bustling factory along Route 32 in Round Pond. “We’ve always been right here, proudly and passionately,” says Connie Davidson, the lobsterman’s daughter and current owner. In what she calls a “humble” on-site showroom, visitors can shop factory seconds along with the full line of chimes — each named after specific locales, including Boothbay Harbor, Camden Reach, and, of course, Pemaquid — plus handmade bracelets, wind catchers, and garden stakes. 544 State Rte. 32. 207-677-2224

The Good Supply
Courtesy of Catherine Walton

The Good Supply

Filling a 150-year-old post-and-beam barn practically to its rafters, The Good Supply is an improbable vault of art, gifts, and home goods that alone justifies a trip down the peninsula. Some 115 artists are represented, nearly all from Maine, with works ranging widely in price and medium. Find necklaces crocheted with silk thread, note cards printed on Swan’s Island, enormous waterscapes by painter Jessica Lee Ives, ceramics by Monohanako, and garden hoes made with old lawnmower blades by a neighbor up the street. 2106 Bristol Rd. 207-607-3121


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Pemaquid Craft Co-op

Pemaquid Craft Co-op

The 26-year-old Pemaquid Craft Co-op occupies 15 rooms in the historic Munsey House in New Harbor. Everything is made in Maine, and two rooms are devoted entirely to Christmas décor. Among the mugs, homemade barbecue sauces, earrings, and handmade doll clothes are quirkier finds, like a tiny moose made of Sculpey and holding a blueberry muffin. An artisan-run cooperative, the shop is staffed entirely by people whose work is represented there. At the register, you might even encounter a potter decorating ceramics. 2565 Bristol Rd. 207-677-2077The 26-year-old Pemaquid Craft Co-op occupies 15 rooms in the historic Munsey House in New Harbor. Everything is made in Maine, and two rooms are devoted entirely to Christmas décor. Among the mugs, homemade barbecue sauces, earrings, and handmade doll clothes are quirkier finds, like a tiny moose made of Sculpey and holding a blueberry muffin. An artisan-run cooperative, the shop is staffed entirely by people whose work is represented there. At the register, you might even encounter a potter decorating ceramics. 2565 Bristol Rd. 207-677-2077

Granite Hall Store

The Granite Hall Store, nestled in the village of Round Pond, in an 1873 building that once served as a dance hall, proffers everything from Scandinavian-designed modern housewares and kitchen tools to ice cream and old-fashioned penny candy. It’s nostalgic in the best of ways: a screen for silent movies still hangs above the shelves of children’s books upstairs, and it’s not unusual to find barefoot youngsters trading crumpled singles for sweets. 9 Back Shore Rd. 207-529-5864

Saltwater Artists Gallery

Saltwater Artists Gallery

Farther down the peninsula, towards Pemaquid Point Light, the Saltwater Artists Gallery offers a thoughtful selection of art and high-end crafts. Founded in 1967, the gallery is owned and operated by about 25 jury-selected artists (including painter and pastelist Kay Miller, pictured) who take turns manning the store. Find watercolor paintings, large-format photography, hand-blown glass garden mushrooms, and turned-wood bowls. 3056 Bristol Rd. 207-677-2490