Vote in Our 2022 Best Places to Live Tournament!

Which towns are Maine's most liveable? Share your picks in our bracket tournament.

This year’s Best Places to Live Tournament is sponsored by VIP Tires & Service, found in 33 communities all across Maine.

Can you picture yourself in one of these 16 Maine towns? Every few years, Down East takes a close look at what makes a great place to live in Maine, and this year, we want your input! We’ve seeded our March Madness–style bracket tournament with 16 towns in four divisions, from all across the state, each one offering a little something different.

We followed a few ground rules this year: For starters, we didn’t include any towns that made it into our last Best Places to Live issue, in March 2020. We privileged towns that scored highly in 2019 and 2020 on Maine Housing’s Home Ownership Affordability Index. We looked for towns we love for their quality of life: easy access to the Maine outdoors, lively or up-and-coming Main Streets, proximity to fun dining and retail. Not every town checks every box, but each town can make a solid case for being Maine’s best place to live.

Friendship, an unspoiled Muscongus Bay harbor town; Blue Hill, an artsy, historic community at the heart of a breathtaking peninsula; Belfast, a funky midcoast hub; and Wells, the beachside borough that calls itself “the friendliest town in Maine.”

Monson, the Appalachian Trail town and burgeoning arts hub; Winthrop, an affordable, quintessential lakeside community; Farmington, a buzzing college town and mountain gateway; and Lovell, a bucolic hamlet in the foothills of the Whites.

Vibrant South Portland, Maine’s fourth-biggest city; Windham, a bedroom community and red-hot real-estate market; New Gloucester, a countryside haven between two metros; and Topsham, a micro-city on the edge of the Portland metro.

Richmond, a quaint community on the Kennebec; Auburn and Brewer, where homes sales boomed in 2020; and Calais, an idyllic and affordable down east outpost.

Cast your vote below in our first round, from December 29 through January 2! One vote per IP address/email per round. The winners will move on to the next round, and the top town will be featured on the cover of Down East‘s March 2022 issue!

ROUND 1 (16 towns):
December 29–January 2

ROUND 2 (8 towns):
January 3–7

ROUND 3 (4 towns):
January 8–12

ROUND 4 (2 towns):
January 13–17

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Special thanks to VIP Tires & Service, sponsors of Down East‘s 2022 Best Places to Live tournament!

Photo credits: Susan Bell via Flickr (Friendship); JR P via Flickr (Blue Hill); kenmo | iStock (Belfast); Italia | iStock (Wells); Amy Meredith via Flickr (Monson) Barbara Heap | iStock (Winthrop); AlexiusHoratius via Wikimedia (Farmington); pleasantpointinn via Flickr (Lovell); Sean Pavone | iStock (South Portland); pmstephens | iStock (Windham); Elizabeth Prata via Flickr (New Gloucester); Paul VanDerWerf via Flickr (Richmond); Jennifer Yakey-Ault | iStock (Auburn); Timothy Valentine via Flickr (Brewer); kenmo | iStock (Calais)