Coming from the NYC/NJ area we were used to almost every other town having a Home Depot AND a Lowes, and an expansive mega indoor mall within a 20 minute ride from anywhere in the state. The environment enabled consumerism at a stratospheric level. In Maine, not so much.
Kittery and Freeport are the outlet capitals of Maine. The outlets stores in Kittery cover the usual brands, and are located just over the southern border. Freeport is about 20 minutes north of Portland and is also home to L.L. Bean. The flagship store for “Beans” is worth the trip to Freeport alone.
Although we’ve heard rumors of malls in Auburn and Bangor, all we’ve seen is “the” mall in maine, the Maine Mall. Sure, there are strip malls here and there with the usual Lowes or Home Depot and a Best Buy, but you’d think that a state that has 9 months of winter weather would have more INDOOR malls. I guess that goes to show how rugged Mainers are.
Outdoor Sporting Gear
There are plenty of small sporting gear shops in Maine. Seems every town has a bait and tackle shop, so we won’t get into where the locals go. As a tourist, or a newcomer to Maine, there are three big one near the Portland area.
In Scarborough we have Cabela’s. Their store also doubles as a great place to take kids on a rainy day. In the center of the store is a huge mountain littered with various stuffed animals. Want to see the fabled Maine moose? See it here, safely stuffed.
As we mentioned above, in Freeport we have L.L. Bean. Yes, they’re pricer than other places, and although they do carry some brand names most of their stuff is LL Beans branded. But their salespeople are the friendliest we’ve ever met, and their return policy is second to none.
Last but not least, if you visited Kittery for the outlets you also ran across the Kittery Trading Post.
Reny’s. You need to experience it, really. You can get everything from Carhartt clothes, to Bogs boots, to kids games and toys, to living room carpet, to groceries, to a garden hose. Think an old time “5 and dime” and Walmat had a baby.
Mainers love used stuff, and there are two places for used stuff on the internet. Sure, there’s CraigsList, but if you want to do as the Mainers do, you want to go to Uncle Henry’s. Think CraigsList but personally created just for Mainers. Uncle Henry’s is also a great website to visit when there’s nothing on TV, just to see what stuff people are selling. Forget about the usual boat, canoe or bicycle. How about a “New England twist drill ship auger bit, 5/16″ x 9″ SA9-516“, or “3 hens and 1 rooster free for the taking“, or a ” 1/8 diamond plate steel tool box for sale home made very rugged box 62 pounds for what ever will fit in it“? I love looking through the Miscellaneous section. You never know when you’ll need “medieval armor for sale. used in live steel combat“.