The Washington Post recently did a travel story singing the praises of the Midcoast area of Damariscotta, Maine.

Calling Damariscotta an ideal alternative to the often overcrowded areas of Camden and Boothbay, The Washington Post notes a smaller area, fewer tourists to deal with, and significantly more parking options than the other towns.

The article highlights the "authentic, small-town Maine" feel of the Damariscotta area including the twin village of Newcastle.

As someone who will forever consider the Damariscotta area home, I completely agree. It wasn't until I reached adulthood that I realized how lucky I was to be from the area and decided I would never take it for granted.

If you've never visited, here are 5 things you must do while there!

5. Snag a parking spot and walk Main Street.

Most people know about Renys here in Maine but in Damariscotta, the store is split in two; Renys and Renys Underground. At Renys, you'll find apparel and at "The Underground" you'll find everything else, plus a soda fountain! Great prices, brands, and items ranging from shoes to home decor to toys! If you're looking for the perfect Maine gift be sure to stop by Puffins Nest. Looking for unique jewelry? Se Vende Imports is your spot. Looking for something to read by the ocean? Look no further than the Maine Coast Book Shop. There really is something for everyone on Main Street!

4. Eat at Schooner Landing Restaurant.

In my opinion, you won't get a more complete Midcoast Maine food experience than this spot. You'll have a front-row seat to the harbor on their outdoor deck to enjoy your lobster or oysters. Plus, they often have live entertainment!

3. Enjoy homemade ice cream at Round Top


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Happy family

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With tons of flavors, you're sure to find a new favorite? Mine happens to be Eagle Tracks! Enjoy a cone on the deck while recovering from a fun day downtown.

2. Stop by S. Fernald's Country Store

A blast from the past this charming store has all your favorite classic candies, fun toys, sandwiches, and more!

1. Take a drive to the Pemaquid Point Lighthouse.

If you owned a Microsoft Computer in the last decade you may have unknowingly set this lighthouse as your desktop background as it was featured as a stock photo! Trust me, it's more beautiful in person. Nearby is Pemaquid Beach State Park. These two spots alone are worth a day in the area.