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(CC) Paul VanDerWerf


Harpswell, Maine: A Coastal Haven in Cumberland County

Located in the heart of Cumberland County, Harpswell, Maine, is a hidden gem in the southern region of the state. This picturesque town, encompassing a vast 69 square miles, is a captivating blend of coastal peninsulas and woody islands. The geography of Harpswell is defined by its breathtaking shoreline, dotted with rugged cliffs, pristine beaches, and picturesque coves. Unique architectural styles, characterized by traditional New England coastal designs, grace the town's buildings. The general feel of Harpswell is undeniably coastal, with a laid-back ambiance that invites visitors to explore its natural wonders.


History of Harpswell

Harpswell boasts a rich history dating back to its colonial roots. Shipbuilding, milling and most importantly fishing, have all been staples of Harpswell’s local economy. Notable figures like Joshua Lawrence Chamberlain, a celebrated Civil War hero, have called this town home. Chamberlain's legacy and contributions to American history are celebrated throughout the region, adding a layer of historical significance to Harpswell.


Weather in Harpswell

Harpswell experiences the full spectrum of New England's four seasons. Summers are pleasant, with temperatures averaging in the mid-70s to low 80s Fahrenheit, ideal for enjoying the coastal beauty. Fall brings stunning foliage as temperatures cool. Winters can be chilly, with temperatures averaging in the mid-20s to low 30s, and occasional winter storms may blanket the area in snow. Springs in Harpswell are a refreshing experience, with temperatures rising from the mid-40s to the mid-60s Fahrenheit. The town falls under the Köppen climate classification of Dfb, characterized by warm summers and cold winters.


Hotels in Harpswell

Harpswell offers a range of accommodation options to enhance your stay. The Harpswell Inn, a charming historic inn, provides guests with a comfortable and cozy atmosphere. For those who prefer a waterfront view, the Sea Escape Cottages & Charters offers both lodging and stunning sailing trips. Additionally, there are several delightful Bed and Breakfasts and cozy inns to find amongst Harpswell’s many islets and coves.


Restaurants in Harpswell

The culinary scene in Harpswell is a delightful journey of seafood and local flavors. Notable restaurants include the iconic Cook's Lobster & Ale House, where you can savor fresh lobster and other seafood delicacies while enjoying panoramic waterfront views. The Dolphin Restaurant, also offers a delectable dining experience. These establishments, along with charming cafes and bistros, ensure that your taste buds are well-catered to during your visit.


Things to do in Harpswell

Harpswell is a paradise for outdoor enthusiasts and families. You can explore scenic coastal trails, take leisurely walks on pristine beaches, or visit historical societies to learn about the town's past. The Harpswell Heritage Land Trust offers a network of trails through woodlands and along the shoreline, perfect for hiking and birdwatching. While there are no museums within Harpswell itself, the Maine Maritime Museum in nearby Bath provides a captivating look into maritime history.


How to get to Harpswell

Getting to Harpswell is convenient, thanks to its proximity to major transportation routes. Interstate 295 is the primary highway serving the area, ensuring easy access to nearby cities and regions. 


Real Estate in Harpswell

Real estate in Harpswell offers a variety of housing options to suit different preferences and budgets. The town's median household income reflects its comfortable, coastal lifestyle. Housing market trends in recent years have shown a steady increase in property values, making Harpswell an attractive destination for those looking to invest in the coastal Maine experience. Harpswell’s mill rate is an extremely affordable $6.10 per $1000 of assessed value.


Education in Harspwell

Harpswell's commitment to education is reflected in its well-regarded public school system, serving the needs of the community. RSU 75’s district covers Harspwell, Bowdoin, Bowdoinham and Topsham. For those seeking private education, nearby options are available to cater to different educational preferences.


Amenities in Harpswell

Harpswell offers essential amenities, with supermarkets providing groceries like the Bailey Island General Store. DIY stores and pharmacies can be found in nearby Brunswick. While there are no sprawling malls, the charming shopping districts in nearby Freeport and Portland offer a diverse shopping experience.



Harpswell, Maine, offers a captivating blend of coastal beauty, rich history, and outdoor adventures. Whether you're drawn to the rugged shoreline, the cozy inns, or the fresh seafood cuisine, Harpswell has something to offer every visitor.



What outdoor activities are available in Harpswell?

Harpswell offers a range of outdoor activities, including hiking, beachcombing, boating, and birdwatching along its beautiful coastline.


How can I get to Harpswell, Maine?

Harpswell is conveniently accessible via Interstate 295, and the nearest airport is Portland International Jetport.


What is the real estate market like in Harpswell?

The real estate market in Harpswell has shown steady growth in recent years, making it an appealing destination for those seeking coastal living. There's a variety of housing options to suit different budgets.