If shopping is your idea of an adventure, then you’ll definitely want to spend some vacation time here in the Damariscotta Region of Maine. With all of the eclectic shops and boutiques in the Newcastle and Damariscotta area, we don’t know how anyone could classify vacation shopping in Maine as anything but an adventure.
For example, when were you last in a store that sold oriental rugs and violins? The Salt Bay Trading Co. in Newcastle sells both. The shop sells rugs made mostly in Afghanistan, Pakistan, India, Nepal and Turkey. The business supports education and environmental efforts in small villages by buying most of its inventory from fair trade projects, which compensate workers fairly and reinvest profits locally. Salt Bay Trading Co. provides violins for Midcoast Maine music students, and carries violins made in New England and overseas. The shop also reconditions old violins and sells Eastman acoustic guitars.
Up the road a bit you can channel your inner hippie by visiting Mexcali Blues, a shop that features imported clothing, jewelry, home furnishings and Grateful Dead T-shirts. There’s lots of tie dyed merchandise, too. The local store was the first location for what is now a chain of six shops, all in Maine.
On the other side of the bridge in Damariscotta, you will find Gifts at 136, a shop that sells work by more than 50 Maine artists and craftsmen. The store refers to itself as a “gift-store-with-a-gallery-feel,” and was a DownEast Magazine Readers Choice for best gift shop. The store also sells Artisan Chocolate.
When you’re ready to unwind from vacation shopping adventures, visit the Maine Coast Book Shop & Café in downtown Damariscotta. The store has all that you’d expect from a bookstore plus a section devoted to Maine authors. The café section offers up soup, sandwiches, coffee and self-proclaimed “zillions” of flavors of fruit smoothies. WiFi is available in the café, too.
And finally, a trip to Maine would not be complete without a stop at Reny's, "A Maine Adventure". There are now 16 stores located across Maine, but the orignal, and first store, was located right here in Damariscotta.
There are many other boutiques Maine vacation shoppers can explore in Damariscotta and Newcastle. For a list of others, check the Damariscotta Region Chamber of Commerce.