Brunswick, located in Maine’s Greater Portland area at the north end of Casco Bay, includes nearly 47 square miles of land and over 7 square miles of water. From historical sites and museums to outdoor parks and public spaces, visitors can find things to do in Brunswick that reflect the town’s motto: “Beautiful Balanced.”
First settled in 1628 and incorporated in 1739 before Maine separated from the Massachusetts Bay Colony, Brunswick is a town rich in history. Several historic districts are on the National Register of Historic Places, including the Pennellville Historic District where mansions once owned by sea captains and shipbuilders have been preserved and stand as examples of Federal, Italianate, and Greek Revival architecture.
Located downtown a few miles from the ocean is Bowdoin College, Maine’s first college. The campus attracts Brunswick visitors to its historical buildings, including must-see Hubbard Hall which houses the Peary-MacMillan Arctic Museum and Arctic Studies Center. The Bowdoin College Museum of Art exhibits colonial artwork as well as paintings by international artists. A museum honoring former Bowdoin College President Joshua L. Chamberlain, also a celebrated Civil War General and past Governor of Maine, is located in this area.
Maine Street offers Brunswick visitors a variety of shopping, dining and entertainment options. Harry and Marty’s restaurant features vegetarian and gluten-free menu selections. Scarlet Begonias specializes in original pasta dishes, pizzas, soups and fresh salads. The Eveningstar Cinema, a classic movie theater committed to keeping yesteryear’s movie experience alive, plays only one movie at a time and features new and independent films.
Brunswick’s Parks and Recreation Department maintains and manages 42 parks, public spaces and recreation facilities, including three ice skating rinks and the Androscoggin River Bicycle Path, an award-winning trail recognized by the American League of Bicyclists. The Brunswick-Topsham Swinging Bridge spans the Androscoggin River, book-ended by parks. Built in 1892 by the firm that built New York’s Brooklyn Bridge, the bridge originally played a key role in both Brunswick’s and Topsham’s growth and development. Renovated in 2006, the bridge is one of a few pedestrian suspension bridges that remain in use.
Located north of Bowdoin College and east of the Brunswick-Topsham Swinging Bridge is Trattoria Athena on Mill Street, a restaurant option for those who enjoy traditional Greek and Italian food and wine in a casual, festive atmosphere. Menu selections vary seasonally due to the chef’s commitment to using locally grown vegetables and fruits.
On the list of things to do in Brunswick is shopping. Within a five-mile radius, shoppers can find a broad range of shopping options, including large national chain stores with major brands and small, independent businesses specializing in products of particular interest to local residents. Shoppers who enjoy looking for vintage collectibles can browse more than 160 displays at Cabot Mills Antiques, one of Maine’s largest multi-dealer stores. Located in a restored textile mill on the Androscoggin River, this well-organized antique showroom houses over 16,000 square feet of retail space.