By Katy Kelleher
Photograph by Sean Thomas Photography
01 Hussey’s General Store
Rumor has it that this is the largest general store in the state of Maine, an idea that’s reflected in the no-nonsense slogan: “If we ain’t got it, you don’t need it.” A sign out front advertises what they do “got” in big, bold letters: guns, wedding gowns, and cold beer. Inside, you will also find groceries, fishing supplies, and other necessities to make your vacation—or impromptu honeymoon—truly special.
02 Abol Bridge Campground + Store
True to its name, the Hundred-Mile Wilderness is an uninhabited stretch that dominates the Maine Highlands, lending credence to the myth of Maine as an untouched, uncharted corner of the country. Before you head off the Golden Road, a highway made famous by loggers, and onto the Appalachian Trail, stop in at this charming little store. Beloved by locals, it carries a surprising array of objects, from backwoods supplies to the tasty treats of civilization. With the Appalachian Trail running right by its door, you’re bound to meet a few hikers during your visit.
03 Owls Head General Store
Proving that great eats aren’t served only on linen tablecloths, the Owls Head General Store is more than a place to grab a bag of chips—it’s a culinary destination. The roadside attraction boasts some of the best whoopie pies in Maine, fantastic sandwiches; and for the brave, the famed seven-napkin burger, which comes piled high with toppings and is guaranteed to leave your hands sticky and stomach full.
04 Hope General Store
Since 1832, Hope General Store has been stocking essentials and serving up deli fare. However, the quaint store was given life when Andrew Stewart took the reins. When we asked readers about their favorite general store, Hope was the clear popular winner, due to the kindness of the owner, the great selection of food and drink, and the friendly, helpful staff. A true community hub, you can often find locals bonding over coffee and swapping stories of epic nor’easters.
05 Bailey Island General Store
If you’re craving a hearty early-morning breakfast to kick off a day of island-hopping, Bailey Island General Store—or BIGS, as it’s more commonly known—is the answer to your maple-syrup prayers. Stocking everything from beer to batteries, the large market-cum-diner is open almost 365 days a year, including Thanksgiving. In case the weather outside is truly frightful, BIGS stocks oil lamps, snow shovels, and thick and hearty chowdah to get you through the storm.
06 Port Clyde General Store
Located where the town meets the water, this useful shop is where locals, fishermen, and visitors all converge. Colorful buoys adorn the weathered wood deck, and picnic tables offer plenty of seating for those looking to dine on the water. If you prefer your lobster to go, the Port Clyde General Store sells and ships fresh Maine lobster. Fuel up your boat, stock up on chicks, and sail off to your next adventure.