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Photo of Belfast, Maine
"A Most Charming Coastal Maine Town"
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Photo of Belfast, MaineBelfast, Maine (photo by Joan H.)

Article by Eric H.

Belfast, located in mid-coastal Maine's Waldo County, acts like the prototype for a classic New England waterfront town yet this charming community doesn't get complete, proper travel attention. Vacationers on their way north to famous Acadia National Park often bypass Belfast when driving on the Route 1 bridge. The view from the bridge is so overwhelmingly pleasing, it makes me wonder why more people don't visit for Belfast for awhile.

What a shame for the tourists that don't visit as from a distance, Belfast looks absolutely beautiful.  Upon closer inspection in the downtown area, Belfast indeed turns out to be a charming little Maine city that could stand on its own as a New England vacation destination. The friendly Mayberry-RFD-meets-the-sea downtown has been lovingly restored with a nice mix of locally-owned shops, galleries and boutiques, as well as the the grand art deco-style Colonial Theater. Belfast, in fact, has more art galleries than any Maine city, comparable in size. The Belfast dining scene is also impressive with several area seafood restaurants, as well as other restaurants ranging from populist to ethnic. We especially like Darby's Pub (155 High St.), a quaint, cozy little downtown dining spot that has been around since 1865 with the original walls, tin ceilings and bar still in place. The cuisine is eclectic, including Moroccan lamb, Maine sea scallops, prime rib, pulled pork soft tacos, fish and chips and Pad Thai!

Belfast does have an element of sophistication rare for a community of around 7,000 residents, but ultimately, it's still a working class coastal town where the picturesque, active waterfront, spectacular sea captain's mansions, and relaxed, quiet, slower pace of life serve as the anchors of a beautiful, little town that has wonderfully rediscovered itself in the past 25 years. We hope you can discover Belfast, too!

We recommend logging onto the City of Belfast web page to learn more about this great city, including attractions, events, and history. For lodging, check out our Belfast Maine hotels page

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