8 Underrated Things to do Brunswick, ME
Whether you live in Brunswick or are just visiting, you’ll quickly learn how rich in history our small city of 20,000 residents is. We’re home to Bowdoin College, the Bowdoin International Music Festival, and so much more.
Here are eight things to do while here that we consider underrated. Each one is worth a visit.
Harriet Beecher Stowe House
This is one of a few historical sites on our list, all of which date back to the 19th Century. It’s also one of the sites maintained by Bowdoin College.
Harriet Beecher Stowe, author of Uncle Tom’s Cabin, was strictly anti-slavery. She and her family rented this house from 1850 to 1852, and they sheltered a runaway slave, John Andrew Jackson, here during that time.
At the Harriet Beecher Stowe House, you can visit her writing room, where she penned Uncle Tom’s Cabin and other books. Stowe wrote 30 books, which included memoires, novels, articles, and letters.
Bowdoin College Museum of Art
At Bowdoin College Museum of Art, you’ll learn a lot about American history and more. Their collections include art from the Civil War, plus more American art, Asian art, ancient art, European art, and modern art.
See them in person if you can do it safely, but you may also want to visit some of these on their website in the “Visit from Home” section.
The museum also has a shop, both physical and virtual, that sells art books, posters, prints, and other gifts.
Peary-MacMillin Arctic Museum
This is a sort of research museum, also run by Bowdoin College. Peary–MacMillan Arctic Museum was named for two Bowdoin College students, Robert. E. Peary and Donald B. MacMillan, who became Arctic explorers.
Inside, you’ll find exhibits about them and others who explored the arctic tundra. You can learn about how they traveled, which includes displays of kayaks and sleds, and about their scientific equipment. The museum also showcases photography collections, arctic animals, papers, specimens, and more. You can also learn about the ongoing arctic research conducted every year at Bowdoin College.
Joshua L. Chamberlain Museum
This two-story mansion, built sometime between 1824 and 1829, was the home of Joshua Lawrence, a Union Brigadier General during the Civil War. He began renting it in 1856, and while it was owned and occupied by many over the ensuing decades, it became the Joshua L. Chamberlain Museum in 1984.
Chamberlain, born in 1828, was also a student at Bowdoin College. He received his degree in 1852 and later taught rhetoric and modern languages there.
Thomas Point Beach
Whether you’re visiting or you live in Brunswick, Thomas Point Beach is a great place to visit. Spend a day outdoors in this beautiful, natural setting, or spend a few days here camping. The site, full of pine groves, grassy areas, and including a tidal beachfront, has more than 100 campsites on 84 acres.
Come here for a picnic, to go hiking, or to ride your bike. And, when camping, you don’t have to give up all conveniences of modern living, as the site has wifi. This is also a nice place to hold various celebrations, from birthday parties to weddings.
First Parish Church, Brunswick
Whether you’re religious or not, we recommend a trip to check out First Parish Church. The church, and congregation, affiliated with the United Church of Christ, date back to 1717. The church's current building was erected in 1845, and not only is it still in operation, it has regular congregation and services. In 1969, it was added to the National Register of Historic Places.
You’ll find First Parish Church between Bowdoin College and downtown Brunswick. The architecture of this one-story building includes a tower, arched windows and doors. In centuries past, when slavery was still practiced in the United States, this church was opposed to it. In fact, this was the church that Harriet Beacher Stowe attended when she lived in Brunswick, and where it’s said she got the idea for Uncle Tom’s Cabin.
Flight Deck Brewing
When you’re ready to take a break from the camping and historical sites, you can grab a beer at Flight Deck Brewing, or order some of their brews online. This is a locally and environmentally conscious company, where they make their beer with 100% renewable energy, buy most of their ingredients locally, and strive to keep improving their recipes.
Yes, they also serve food in food trucks, so the kids are welcome. Before you go, we encourage you to check out the photos on their site. This brewing company is housed at a former shooting range. The tall,wide windows and the patio give the entire place a comfortable, open feel. You’ll also find live music, and outdoors, dogs are welcome.
They normally host live events, but have paused them due to COVID-19 safety precautions.
Cabot Mill Antiques
Multiple dealers sell unique and historic items in this 16,000 square-foot antiques emporium. You’ll find more than a 160 displays of all sorts of items. They include vintage clothing, paintings, porcelain figurines, clocks, crystal, oriental rugs, furniture, and collectibles.
Cabot Mill Antiques is the sort of place that, even if you don’t purchase anything, is fun to peruse. In the same building, you’ll find two restaurants and several art studios, so if you’re hungry while there, you can grab a bite, and if you want to have a longer stay, you can enjoy some local art.
We’re proud to provide self storage for such an amazing city, and we hope you enjoy visiting these spots.