Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Small Towns To Visit #1: Cornish, Maine

Last week, we decided to take a day trip and headed for the little town of Cornish, Maine. It's a beautiful ride, especially in the fall when the foliage is at its peak. Once you leave the Portland area, Route 25 twists and turns as it follows the Saco River back in time to Cornish.

 Cornish is about 35 miles inland from Portland and the hour ride is perfect for day tripping. Cornish is a tiny old New England town (settled in 1794) in the foothills of the White Mountains, close to the New Hampshire border.
Part of our reason for treating ourselves to a mid-week adventure (aside from the fact that I can do that now that I'm free to do whatever the hell I want whenever I want to retired) was to try out our new Toyota 4-Runner. We needed a heftier tow vehicle for our camper now that we'll be taking longer trips in it...so we got one with all the bells and whistles. Now we just need to figure out how to use them all!

For a small  town, Cornish has some great antique shops so it's a treasure-hunting destination for me. We also love to just walk through the town, stop and sit for awhile in the town green, and admire the old homes, churches and shops. In case you live close enough to visit yourself some day, here's a link to an article on antiquing, lodging and dining in Cornish from Boston.com.

There are also a couple of interesting jewelry shops in town. For funky costume jewelry, I like Trilby & Friend.

On our last day trip to Cornish, DH treated me to this expansion bracelet with alternating pieces of silver, copper and gold (the costume jewelry versions). It has just enough bling to make it fun. For $16.00, it was a steal.

Crafts, books, jewelry, a quilt shop, and antiques...it's all here, just in small doses in the tiny Main St. shops.. Here's a link to shopping in Cornish in case you go.

The window below is at Trilby & Friend...doesn't it make you just want to stop in?
One ulterior motive for a day trip to Cornish is always a chance to have lunch at Bay Haven. From the outside, this place does not look inviting at all...a low, white roadside diner-type building on the outskirts of town. But inside...Yum! Bay Haven has the best (and biggest portions) of seafood in Southern Maine. Locals from as far away as Portland travel inland to eat fish here...go figure!
 This is a lunch portion of the Seafood Platter. Anything fried is a major treat for us after three years as Weight Watchers but we plan for it and share one order...it's plenty for two plus some to take home.
Fortified by all those clams, scallops, and shrimp, we need another walk...and more antiquing, of course. This place is amazing...right in the center of town...and stuffed with a huge collection of unique advertising and country store items. The owner told us that he has been collecting for over 40 years.

There is so much here that it just spills out onto the sidewalk in one chaotic (but tempting!) mess. There is no order here either...you just step over and around things and hope to see it all.

The town is anchored by the Cornish Inn, which has been catering to travelers since the early 1800's. From the porch, you can see past the town green all the way up the main street to the old mill. We haven't tried the food at the inn yet but have teacher friends in the area who eat there often and really enjoy it.

It was beautiful day to be retired and on an autumn adventure. I only wish you all could have come along with us!

p.s. For those of you who live in northern New England, I had to include this photo. DH took it on the day we picked up the new car at Prime Toyota...yours truly with Ira Rosenberg. I think he's adorable, even if he is made of cardboard!


  1. Cheryl what a fun trip! I love day trips and take them often now that I'm retired also! it is so much fun to go during the week. Love your bracelet!

  2. What a pretty little town Cheryl! I have not heard of it but it looks delightful. I love places like this with unique shops, antique stores and old heritage buildings. And good food! That seafood platter is HUGE! lol Thanks for sharing your day trip. It's fun you can do that now. How did you like the Rav 4?


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