Moving to Maine

From its charming seaside towns and 3,478 miles of epic coastline (more than California!) to its wild blueberries and luscious lobster, Maine’s treasures attract millions of tourists every year. But did you know that this New England state is also an amazing place to live? Whether it’s the breathtaking fall foliage, affordable housing, stellar education, abundant nature, or that quintessential New England charm, residents have a hard time not falling in love with The Pine Tree State.

Mulling over a move to Maine? We’re here to help. Great Guys Long Distance Movers has put together an informative ME moving guide, conveniently divided into the following sections:

  1. Things to Consider Before Moving to Maine
  2. Top Places to Live in the Northeasternmost State
  3. Comprehensive Interstate Moving Checklist
  4. Great Guys Quality, Affordable Moving Services

Plus, we can help you secure free quotes from long distance Maine moving companies! Click “Get Started” now and start receiving quotes in just minutes – because finding movers doesn’t have to be hard!

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Living in Maine: What to Know Before Moving to Maine

Pondering a move The Polar Star State? To help you decide, we’ve gathered a wealth of information on the nation’s 39th largest state (35,385 square miles) and 9th least populated state (1.34 million residents).

Pros and Cons of Living in Maine

Pros: 

  • Low unemployment: Maine’s unemployment rate is below 3%, which places it in the Top 10 states for employment. This low rate is partly due to its proximity to Boston, New York City, and other major urban areas.
  • Higher wages: Currently $11 per hour, the state has one of the highest minimum wages in the country. This wage allows residents to make a decent living in the beautiful Northeast.
  • Safest state: According to The 10 Safest States in America by US News & World Report, Maine is ranked #1 overall (as well as first in low violent crime and fourth in low property crime).
  • Sea(food) heaven: Maine produces 99% of blueberries and supplies 90% of the nation’s lobster. From blueberry pie to iconic lobster rolls and clambakes, the food is fantastic here!
  • Trees & seas: Nicknamed the Pine Tree State, it has the highest percentage of forested land in the US. As for coastline, there are 5,000+ miles of lovely beaches and rugged terrain to explore.
  • New England charm: As the northernmost state in New England, it is full of friendly folks that extend a special kind of courtesy and hospitability not found in other states.
  • Cats welcome: Love kitties? You’re in good company. Home to the largest number of households with cats (plus, the most no-kill shelters in the nation), it’s super feline-friendly here.

Cons:

  • Harsh winters: From Nor’easters to average temperatures in the low teens, winters are intense, long, and cold. Gear up with winter coats, gloves, shovels, ice scrapers, and boots.
  • Slow internet: A slower pace of life in Maine comes with some drawbacks. Outside of major urban areas like Portland, it’s hard to find high-speed internet services. 
  • Narrow job market: Though unemployment is exceptionally low, work in the state of Maine is primarily limited to blue-collar, highly specialized, or minimum-wage jobs.
  • Lack of diversity: Nearly 95% of the state is white. If you’re looking for a wide variety of different cultures and people, you should be aware of the state’s limited diversity.
  • Not exactly youthful: Having earned the unofficial title of the “oldest state in the country,” Maine struggles to attract younger people with its lack of entertainment and nightlife, but is popular among retirees.
  • Chatty folks: Mainers appreciate face-to-face interactions. They tend to be very open, honest, and opinionated. Be prepared for long stories and frank (sometimes critical) discussions.
  • Wacky laws: Every state has them, and Maine is no exception. For instance, you can’t walk down the streets of Augusta while playing the violin. Also, it’s against the law to have a pet armadillo.

Tax Rates

  • Property Tax: 1.35%. The effective real-estate tax rate is #36 in the US. The annual property tax bill on the median home value of $237,800 is approximately $3200.
  • Sales Tax: Maine’s sales tax rate is currently 5.5%; local jurisdictions do not impose additional sales tax.
  • Income Tax: 5.8–7.15%. The state has a progressive income tax code. The highest rate applies to earners with income greater than $50,750.

Housing Market

To Buy or Rent? For buyers, Maine ranks as a Top 20 state for affordability. However, the real estate market is currently very hot. For renters, Portland and Lewiston claim the #42 and #46 spots, respectively, for the best places to rent in America. Overall, Inland Maine tends to be cheaper compared to Coastal Maine. 

  • Median Home Value: $235,900
  • Median Rental Expense: $764 (1BR), $949 (2BR)

Cheapest Places to Live in Maine:

  1. Caribou
  2. Gardiner
  3. Brewer
  4. Presque Isle
  5. Auburn
  6. Calais
  7. Belfast
  8. Lewiston
  9. Waterville
  10. Augusta

Cost of Living

According to the Cost of Living in Maine by BestPlaces, Maine has a cost of living index of 104.7. This index is higher than the nationwide average of 100.

Utilizing the Family Budget Calculator, we can compare the average monthly costs in three Maine areas. We’ll use a family of four (2 adults + 2 children) for our examples.

Portland (Cumberland County):

  1. Housing = $1,348
  2. Food = $903
  3. Childcare = $1,233
  4. Transportation = $1,189
  5. Healthcare = $1,076
  6. Other necessities = $908
  7. Taxes = $1,113
  8. Grand total = $7,771 per month or $93,252 per year

Bar Harbor (Hancock County):

  1. Housing = $854
  2. Food = $916
  3. Childcare = $888
  4. Transportation = $1,250
  5. Healthcare = $1,432
  6. Other necessities = $714
  7. Taxes = $921
  8. Grand total = $6,975 per month or $83,702 per year

Farmington (Franklin County):

  1. Housing = $697
  2. Food = $853
  3. Childcare = $820
  4. Transportation = $1,281
  5. Healthcare = $1,159
  6. Other necessities = $625
  7. Taxes = $723
  8. Grand total = $6,158 per month or $73,897 per year

Weather & Natural Disasters

The state of Maine has a humid continental climate. This results in warm, humid (but not particularly hot) summers and snowy, cold winters.

As the northernmost state in New England, Maine typically has intense winters in the western and northern portions of the state (with temps averaging in the low teens). Coastal Maine experiences marginally warmer winters and cooler summers (due to the effects of the Atlantic Ocean). 

One can separate the state into three regions: Northern Interior (north), Southern Interior (central), and Coastal. The Northern Interior accounts for about 60% of Maine and has the highest elevations. The Southern Interior covers another 30% of the state. The Coastal Division makes up the remaining 10% of Maine, extending approximately 20 miles inland.

Climate Statistics:

  1. Average rainfall: 50–70 inches
  2. Average snowfall: 75 inches
  3. Sunshine: 195 sunny days
  4. Summer high: 78°F (July)
  5. Winter low: 7°F (January)

Natural Disaster – Threats & Risks:

  1. Hurricanes
  2. Nor’easters
  3. Ice Storms
  4. Flooding
  5. Earthquakes
  6. Wildfires
  7. Landslides

Economy & Job Market

According to Economy Rankings by US News & World Report, Maine currently ranks #37 in the United States. This score derives from three subcategories: business environment (#46), employment (#29), and growth (#24). Its GDP is approximately $61.7 billion, and the median income is $31,088.

Top Industries:

  1. Paper Production
  2. Agriculture
  3. Healthcare
  4. Management
  5. Retail
  6. Education
  7. Manufacturing
  8. Mining
  9. Fishing
  10. Hospitality

Top Employers:

  1. MaineHealth (Portland)
  2. L.L. Bean (Freeport)
  3. IDEXX (Westbrook)
  4. Hannaford Supermarkets (Scarborough)
  5. State of Maine (Augusta)
  6. Cianbro (Pittsfield)
  7. CMMF (Lewiston)
  8. MaineGeneral Health (Augusta)
  9. WEX (South Portland)
  10. University of Southern Maine (Bangor)
  11. First Atlantic (Portland)
  12. The Jackson Laboratory (Bar Harbor)
  13. Colby College (Waterville)
  14. Cherryfield Foods (Cherryfield)
  15. Spurwink (Portland)
  16. Big Apple (Poland)
  17. Maine Veterans’ Homes (Scarborough)
  18. VIP Tires & Services (Lewiston)
  19. Auburn School Dept. (Auburn)
  20. Mayo Regional Hospital (Dover-Foxcroft)

Looking for work in Maine? Here are some helpful resources:

  1. Maine.gov page: Job Opportunities – Maine
  2. Job search: Indeed, LinkedIn, CollegeRecruiter, CareerBuilder
  3. Resume help: Monster, TopResume, ResumeRobin

Traffic and Transportation

Maine is a place of self-reliance, which can extend to getting around the state. With an overall lack of public transportation, it is virtually required to own a vehicle (except for commuters in major towns and cities). There is also only one interstate highway (I-95) that runs south to north. Regardless, there are several convenient options when it comes to traveling in Maine and beyond.

Major Forms of Transportation:

  1. Personal vehicles
  2. Air (including Portland International Jetport and Bangor International Airport)
  3. Bus (Greyhound, Concord Coach, Metro in Portland, etc.)
  4. Train (Amtrak Downeaster Passenger Rail Service)
  5. Statewide commuter program (GO MAINE)
  6. Taxis (Portland and other major areas)
  7. Limousine services
  8. Ferry services (Casco Bay Lines, East Coast Ferries, etc.)
  9. Car rentals
  10. Ridesharing (only in select regions)

Primary Interstate Highways:

  1. Interstate 95: At 303 miles long, I-95 is the only two-digit interstate highway in Maine. Runs from Kittery to the Canadian border (close to Houlton).
  2. Interstate 195: Also known as the Saco Industrial Spur, I-195 is a short auxiliary interstate highway (2.4 miles long) located in the eastern portion of York County.
  3. Interstate 295: At just under 54 miles in length, I-295 is another auxiliary interstate highway. This section serves the Portland metro area and is a bypass of the Lewiston-Auburn twin cities.
  4. Interstate 395: This short auxiliary interstate highway (approximately 5 miles long) runs through the Bangor area. I-395 serves as a bypass of Brewer and Bangor.
  5. Interstate 495: Known as the Falmouth Spur, this short freeway is an unsigned designation of I-495. This toll road is part of the Maine Turnpike located north of Portland, ME.

According to Best and Worst States to Drive In by WalletHub, Maine comes in at #39 in the nation. This score depends on four subcategories: cost of ownership & maintenance (#39), traffic & infrastructure (#36), safety (#13), and access to vehicles & maintenance (#36).

Things to Do

Known for its beautiful evergreen forests and impressive coastline, Maine is a nature lover’s paradise. But that’s not all it offers. Check out these top attractions in the place nicknamed Vacationland. 

Tourist Destinations:

The Northeast state easily captures the hearts of its visitors with its iconic scenery and locales. 

  • Arcadia National Park: As far as parks go, this is Maine’s crowning jewel. From breathtaking views from Cadillac Mountain to waves crashing at Thunder Hole, it certainly is impressive.
  • Portland Museum of Art: This is the largest (as well as the oldest) public art facility in the state. It is home to 18,000+ pieces of artwork that span from the 1700s to the present.
  • Kennebunkport: Approximately 13 miles south of Portland, you will find this charming coastal town. It’s packed with lobster boats, historic homes, museums, and shops, and is also home to the Bush family compound.
  • Monhegan Island: This small island can be found 10 miles off the coast of Maine. From its granite cliffs to renowned artist community, Monhegan is a stellar day-trip pick.
  • Boothbay Harbor: Formerly a shipping port, it has since transformed into a popular summer resort for boat enthusiasts and anyone drawn to the allure of the sea.

Food & Drink:

Along with its world-famous lobster, Maine offers many delicious delights! Here are the top picks:

  • Top All-You-Can-Eat: Harraseeket Inn (Freeport)
  • Top Bar: Ebenezer’s Pub (Lovell)
  • Top Beach Bar: Thurston’s Lobster Pound (Bernard)
  • Top Craft Brewery: Maine Beer Company (Freeport)
  • Top Brunch: Bayside American Café (Portland)
  • Top Burger: BRGR Bar (Portland)
  • Top Chocolate Shop: Wilbur’s of Maine Chocolate Confections (Freeport)
  • Top Coffee Shop: Bard Coffee (Portland)
  • Top Donuts: Holy Donut (Portland)
  • Top Food Truck: Bite Into Maine (Cape Elizabeth)
  • Top Lobster Roll: Red’s Eats (Wiscasset) serves up meat from a pound-plus lobster on each of its buttered and grilled rolls

State Parks:

Want to explore Maine’s charming natural beauty? Consider these popular state parks:

  • Quoddy Head State Park: This stunning coastal park offers hiking trails along rocky cliffs that rise as high as 80 feet above the Atlantic Ocean. (Lubec)
  • Popham Beach State Park: Found close to Bath in Sagadahoc County, this park is situated on a peninsula and has a long, sandy beach area. (Phippsburg)
  • Grafton Notch State Park: If you’re looking for the trifecta – magnificent trails, waterfalls, and caves – this stunning park is the place to visit. (Bethel)
  • Baxter State Park: Like moose and mountains? With Mount Katahdin as the main attraction, Baxter treats visitors to sightings, camping, and more. (Millinocket)
  • Camden Hills State Park: You won’t be wanting for hiking here. Offering 30+ miles of trails, the most popular hike is up to the summit of Mt. Battie. (Camden)

Museums:

Maritime history is big in Maine, among other interests. Here’s our list of the Top 5 museums:

  • Maine Maritime Museum: Daily lighthouse cruises and sailing on schooner Mary E.
  • The Seal Cove Auto Museum: Boasts a wide-ranging collection of antique automobiles.
  • Cole Land Transportation Museum: Dedicated to Maine’s transportation equipment.
  • Colby College Museum of Art: A museum with various collections, exhibitions, public events, etc.
  • Seashore Trolley Museum: The largest electric railway museum in the world.

Cool & Unusual:

Looking for something off the beaten path in Maine? Check out: 

  • International Cryptozoology Museum: The world’s greatest (and only) international cryptozoology museum, dedicated to the unusual, from sea serpents to Yetis and Bigfoot.
  • Stephen King’s House: If you’re a fan of the famous horror writer, you’ve got to check out this distinctive mansion (located just outside the downtown area of Bangor). 
  • The Desert of Maine: This is quite a sight in the land of pine trees. At 40 acres, this desert-like patch of land is the result of an 1800s farmer neglecting to rotate the crop.
  • York Witch Grave: Dating back to the 17th century, The Old Burying Yard of York houses the remains of Mary Nasson, an alleged witch (according to the residents of York).
  • Wiggly Bridge: The name says it all. As possibly the smallest suspension bridge in the world, the 75-foot long structure offers a bouncy walk and a beautiful scenic route.

Schools and Universities

According to USA Today’s States with the Best (and Worst) Schools, Maine ranks #12 in the United States. It has the seventh-highest public-school funding (at $15,912 per student), along with the seventh-highest high-school graduation rate nationwide. The state is also home to several acclaimed universities and colleges, including the University of Maine and Bowdoin College (a Top 10 liberal arts college).

Top ME Colleges:

  1. Bowdoin College (Brunswick)
  2. Colby College (Waterville)
  3. Bates College (Lewiston)
  4. University of Maine (Orono)
  5. College of the Atlantic (Bar Harbor)
  6. University of New England (Biddeford)
  7. Maine Maritime Academy (Castine)
  8. University of Maine – Farmington (Farmington) 
  9. University of Maine – Fort Kent (Fort Kent) 
  10. University of Maine – Presque Isle (Presque Isle)

Top ME Public School Districts:

  1. Yarmouth Schools (Yarmouth)
  2. Cape Elizabeth Public Schools (Cape Elizabeth)
  3. Falmouth Public Schools (Falmouth)
  4. Scarborough Public Schools (Scarborough)
  5. Regional School Unit No. 51 (MSAD 51) (Cumberland)
  6. Regional School Unit No. 26 (MSAD 26) (Orono)
  7. Brunswick Public Schools (Brunswick)
  8. Wells-Ogunquit Community School District (Wells)
  9. Islesboro Public Schools (Islesboro)
  10. Regional School Unit No. 21 (MSAD 21) (Kennebunk)

How to Become a Maine Resident

From tax purposes to in-state tuition, there are several reasons for becoming an official resident of Maine. Residency involves physically living in the state and establishing legal domicile (aka fixed or permanent home in the state).

Here’s a list of things that help establish residency in Maine:

  1. Acquire a Maine driver’s license (see below)
  2. Title & register your vehicle here (see below)
  3. Register to vote in the state (see below)
  4. Change mailing address to Maine home
  5. Keep a record of days spent in ME and other state(s)
  6. Open & maintain bank accounts here
  7. Rent or purchase a home in Maine
  8. File a resident tax return in the state
  9. Update address on passport and other important docs

For tuition purposes, determining residency is based on many factors. Because of its case-by-case nature, prospective applicants (and guardians, if applicable) should take the time to fully read and understand a particular Maine college or university’s residency requirements.

Moving to Maine DMV

Acquiring a new driver’s license:

After moving to the state, new residents have 30 days to obtain a ME driver’s license.

Steps to getting a new license:

  1. Establish Maine residency
  2. Visit a Bureau of Motor Vehicles office (BMV)
  3. Provide proof of identity, legal US presence, and residency
  4. Complete a vision screening
  5. Take written and road tests (if applicable)
  6. Surrender out-of-state license
  7. Pay applicable exam and license fees
  8. Wait for new license to arrive by mail (2–3 weeks)

Vehicle registration:

New ME residents must convert registration and title of an out-of-state vehicle within 30 days

  1. Visit your local Maine municipal office (or visit BMV office if the town doesn’t process new registration)
  2. Pay excise tax (municipal tax)
  3. Present: current title, a current registration, proof of insurance (ID card, policy or binder), and copy of excise tax receipt & registration application
  4. If there’s a lien, be prepared to provide info on the lien holder.
  5. Pay title application fee (for model years 1995 and newer)
  6. Pay applicable registration fees
  7. If you would like vanity plates, they are available at any BMV branch office
  8. For disability plates, you’ll need to have a physician sign the application

Note: Maine requires an annual vehicle inspection. 

To qualify to vote, you must be:

  1. A United States citizen
  2. An established Maine resident
  3. At least 17 years old to register
  4. 18 years or older on election day

Maine voters can fill out registration cards, then mail or return in person to their local city hall, town office, motor vehicle branch office, or most state / federal agencies. There is no deadline for in-person registration. The deadline for registration by mail is 21 days before the next election.

Voter turnout in Maine is among the highest in the nation. The state offers same-day registration and automatic registration. Voters are allowed early voting and no-excuse absentee voting. At this time, online voter registration does not exist. No form of ID is required at the polls to vote.

Note: Convicted felons in Maine always retain their voting rights.

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Best Places to Live in Maine

Inland Maine

Farmington

Population: 7,700
Median Home Value: $143,400

We start our tour with a lovely, non-seaside town. Located in Franklin County, Farmington is one of Inland Maine’s most beautiful rural small towns. Some 67% of residents are homeowners, and the public schools are above average. 

Home to the University of Maine at Farmington, Farmington enjoys a nice mix of those pursuing higher education and those enjoying their golden years. Plus, it’s known for its affordable rent. If you’re looking to get away from the distractions and noise of a more populated area, Farmington is a great choice. Filled with friendly faces, you’ll find a relaxed atmosphere here. The local pubs serve as the main hangouts, amongst several small businesses and shops. As for drawbacks, there isn’t a whole lot to do here. And aside from work-study positions, you won’t find many job opportunities either.

Are you raising a family? Top public schools serving the Farmington area include W.G. Mallett School, Mt. Blue High School, Bloomfield Elementary School, Skowhegan Area Middle School, and Mt. Blue Middle School. The town is also home to the University of Maine at Farmington (UMF). 

A top pick for college students and retirees, Farmington offers a great blend of peaceful living, affordable housing, safety, and close-knit community.

Hallowell

Population: 2,500
Median Home Value: $195,700

Next on our list of charming inland towns, we have Hallowell. This cozy community of about 2,500 sits on the shores of Kennebec River (just a few miles south of Augusta, the capital of Maine). Just over half of residents own their homes, and the public schools rate as above average.

Ranked the #2 place for retirees in the state, Hallowell is also a perfect spot to put down roots and start a family. If you like music, you’ll love it here. Nicknamed the “New Orleans of the North,” Downtown Hallowell offers a wide variety of live music, taverns, bars, and other nightlife attractions (along with a plethora of shops, cafes, and restaurants). For nature lovers, there’s the trail system of Hallowell Reservoir, nature center of Vaughn Woods, or the 840 serene acres of Jamies Pond.

Are you looking for K–12 education? Top public schools serving the Hallowell area include Henry L. Cottrell School, Dresden Elementary School, Monmouth Academy, Hall-Dale High School, Hall-Dale Elementary School, Halle-Dale Middle School, Marcia Buker Elementary School, and Monmouth Middle School.

If you’re in search of a great small town to retire or raise a family, Hallowell is a kind, active, and peaceful community with a surprising array of fun things to do.

Coastal Maine

Bar Harbor

Population: 5,400
Median Home Value: $317,300

As we make our way to the renowned coast of Maine, we stop in the seaside village of Bar Harbor. Nestled on Mount Desert Island in Hancock County, this town of less than 5,500 is a popular tourist destination. Some 63% of residents are homeowners, and the public schools are highly rated.

Considered one of the Top 5 places to live in Maine (and the #1 place to live in Hancock County), Bar Harbor is famous for being the gateway of Acadia National Park. From amazingly fresh seafood to maritime history and endless outdoor activities (cross-country skiing, hiking, boating guides, the list goes on), the area offers a wide range of experiences. There’s also an abundance of seasonal jobs. Of course, with all this natural beauty, the area is extremely tourism-based.

Have a family or planning on having kids? Top public schools serving the Bar Harbor area include Conners-Emerson School, Mt. Desert Island High School, and Trenton Elementary School. The town is also home to College of the Atlantic, a small private college specializing in humanities and liberal arts.

This idyllic seaside village instantly charms visitors and residents alike. If you’re looking to enjoy pristine coastal living coupled with the proximity of one of America’s most celebrated national parks, Bar Harbor might be your final port of destination.

Brunswick

Population: 20,500
Median Home Value: $278,100

Brunswick, located in Cumberland County, is a college town of less than 21,000. As part of the Portland metro area, it provides a strong sense of community and homey vibe on the north end of Casco Bay. An impressive 69% of residents own their homes, and public schools are highly ranked.

When people think of Brunswick, the words “slow & steady, yet active & vibrant” come to mind. Home to one of the best liberal arts colleges in the nation, Bowdoin College, the college campus brings a lot to the table in terms of culture and recreation (including the Bowdoin College Museum of Arts, college sports, and so on). The town is also home to the L.L. Bean factory, as well as the Bowdoin International Music Festival, the Maine State Theatre, and the Peary-MacMillan Arctic Museum.

With the City of Portland only 30 minutes away, you can easily commute or get on a bus to Boston there. Freeport is also a short drive away (15 minutes), which offers outstanding shopping. And, of course, Brunswick offers a prime location to enjoy everything Maine’s coast has to offer. As for drawbacks, housing prices are on the rise.

Top public schools include Brunswick High School, Brunswick Junior High School, West Bath School, Harriet Beecher Stowe Elementary School, and Coffin. The top choice for private education is St. John’s Catholic School (PK, K–8). The town is also home to renowned Bowdoin College (#2 best liberal arts college in the United States).

Whether you’re a retiree, family person, or young professional, Brunswick is a town with traditional New England charm that offers high quality of life, reasonable cost of living, and plentiful outdoor recreation.

Camden

Population: 4,900
Median Home Value: $361,800

Next, we make our way to Midcoast Maine. Self-proclaimed as the “Jewel of the Coast,” Camden is certainly one of the prettiest seaside towns in the state. Some 73% of residents are homeowners, and the public schools are highly rated.

Radiating character and charm, Camden offers year-round coastal living at its finest (with one of the most picturesque harbors in Maine, populated with delightful sailboats). Couple this with exceptional arts & culture, colorful shops, boundless outdoor activities, phenomenal cuisine, and much more, and you have a wonderful recipe for the quintessential seaside Maine lifestyle. Again, like many of its coastal counterparts, the town attracts flocks of tourists (especially during summertime). The population can double or even triple during peak months.

Top public schools serving the Camden area include Camden Hills Regional High School, Camden-Rockport Middle School, and Camden-Rockport Elementary School. As for private education, there’s Watershed School and Children’s House Montessori School.

Known as a fine place to retire, Camden is nonetheless a great coastal town to live for all ages. Are you looking for pristine seaside living filled with beauty and character? This town definitely fits the bill.

Cumberland

Population: 7,700
Median Home Value: $399,500

Situated in Cumberland County, we have the small town of Cumberland. It is part of the Portland metropolitan area and has a strong history in agriculture and shipbuilding. An impressive 84% of residents own their homes, and public schools are exceptional.

Offering a quiet and friendly atmosphere, Cumberland is one of the wealthiest areas in Maine. It also has some of the best schools in the state. Though this is technically a coastal town located on Casco Bay, it stretches quite a bit inland and possesses an undeniable country charm. On the downside, it can be a bit sleepy and slow-paced here. Housing prices are also on the higher end. 

Are you looking for the best K–12 education in Cumberland? Top public schools serving the area include Greely Middle School, Greely High School, Greely Middle School 4–5, and Mabel I. Wilson School. As for private schooling, there’s Friends School of Portland (PK, K–8).

As a Top 3 place to raise a family, Cumberland offers safe neighborhoods, great education, limitless outdoor recreation, and relaxed living.

Cape Elizabeth

Population: 9,300
Median Home Value: $468,000

Considered the #1 place to live in Maine by Niche and The Crazy Tourist, Cape Elizabeth sits in Cumberland County. An overwhelming majority (88%) of residents are homeowners, and the public schools are highly ranked.

Home to Two Lights State Park and Crescent Beach State Park, Cape Elizabeth embodies classic Maine seaside magic. Packed with scenic attractions, spacious homes, oceanfront parks, cafes, bistros, and playgrounds, Cape Elizabeth is a highly desirable, close-knit area to retire or raise a family.

The town has quite high housing prices (with the highest median home value on this list). However, you get what you pay for in terms of locale, education, and a cornucopia of other amenities.

Have kids or planning for the future? Top public schools serving the Cape Elizabeth area include Cape Elizabeth High School, Pond Cove Elementary School, and Cape Elizabeth Middle School. Are you looking for private education? Consider Aucocisco School (with a student-ratio of 4:1).

Utterly beautiful and enchanting, Cape Elizabeth is a joyful, safe, and gorgeous coastal community.

Portland

Population: 67,000
Median Home Value: $308,900

Last but certainly not least, we end our tour of Coastal Maine in the City of Portland. Not to be confused with the Oregon metropolis, Portland, ME is the most populous city in the state. 

Considered the coziest city in the United States, Portland treats its residents and visitors to the allure of cobblestone streets and breathtaking waterfront views. It is also home to some of the best cuisine in the nation (from lobster to blueberry-infused dishes). Downtown, aka The Old Port, is a highly walkable area brimming with bars, shops, restaurants, and theatres, as well as the Portland Museum of Art. If you’re looking for a classic small-town vibe with big livability, Portland checks all the boxes. 

Top public schools include Casco Bay High School, Baxter Academy for Tech & Sciences, Longfellow School – Portland, Harrison Lyseth Elementary School, and Portland High School. Top private schools include Waynflete, Cheverus High School, St. Brigid School, Breakwater School, and The Children’s Center. Portland also boasts opportunities for higher education at Maine College of Art, University of Southern Maine, and Institute for Doctoral Studies in the Visual Arts.

Top neighborhoods you may want to explore include Old Port, Back Cove, Munjoy Hill, West End, Peaks Island, Parkside, East Bayside, Deering Center, Oakdale, Rosemont, Downtown, Libbytown, Nason’s Corner, and North Deering.

In search of a big-city experience right on the epic coast of Maine? Portland is Maine’s crowing jewel.

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How to Move to Maine

If you’re moving to or from Maine, you’ll want to prepare adequately. Below, you’ll find a handy interstate moving checklist. Follow it to ensure a less stressful, more enjoyable relocation.

  • Plan in advance: At least 8–12 weeks before your moving date, start prepping for your Maine move. First, create a list of tasks. Have help? Get everyone together to discuss logistics and roles. Delegate assignments and make sure everyone is on the same page.
  • Research movers: Compare a handful of moving companies (at least 3–5 candidates). Make sure each one is fully vetted, licensed, and insured for your particular type of move.
  • Book moving services: Once you’ve narrowed your search, select interstate movers ASAP. Staying proactive will ensure best rates and availability. Need help? Great Guys makes it super easy with our free quote system!
  • Inform people of your move: Do you rent? Get hold of your landlord ASAP. This advance notice will save you the headache of extra fees or issues with your security deposit. Own? Get a hold of a real estate professional for a successful sale or rental. Don’t forget to notify friends, family, and neighbors.
  • Prepare children: A move can be very stressful for kids, especially if it’s their first time. Take the time to explain (either through a story or playtime) the change. Also, try to maintain routines.
  • Purge your home: Want to save space and money? Perform a purging process. Start by taking inventory of your household goods. Then, beginning with one room at a time, sort through your stuff. Label or place in piles the items that you want to keep or discard. Repeat until done.
  • Donate, sell, recycle: Okay, now that you’ve sorted through everything, you can now donate to charity, sell online (eBay, Amazon, Craigslist, etc.), or recycle any disused items.
  • Tour new area: If feasible, visit your new community. Explore everything it has to offer: work, housing, schools, shopping, activities, events, and more. Enjoy the adventure! 
  • Begin packing: 4–8 weeks before your moving date, start the packing process. Grab plenty of high-quality packing supplies. Pack heavier items first. Fully tape and label boxes. Don’t have the time, energy or ability to pack everything? Hire our dependable & cheap pro packers.
  • Deal with utilities: Have utilities (electricity, water, gas, and so on) scheduled to turn off the day after your move. Make sure that new services and utilities (such as internet, cable, etc.) will be active by the time you move into your new house or apartment. 
  • Hire a cleaning service: At least two weeks before moving, schedule professional cleaners to come in and perform deep cleaning. Book them to arrive after everything’s been moved out.
  • Check insurance coverage: Stuff happens. Make sure you’re covered. Contact your insurer and moving company to look over policies and consider your available options.
  • Safeguard kids and pets: You’ll be distracted on moving day. Protect your little ones by scheduling a playdate, babysitting, or pet care on the big day.
  • Book special transportation: Got a furry friend that won’t be able to travel with you directly. You can always schedule special transport. The same goes for prized plants.
  • Have the car serviced: If you’re planning on driving, you’ll want to have your vehicle fully inspected and serviced (tire rotation, oil change, air conditioning check, etc.) for safe travel.
  • Transfer vital records: These can include school transcripts, medical records, and school transcripts. While you’re at it, make sure you have enough meds on hand during your move.
  • Update address: Don’t forget! You can either visit your local post office or go online to the USPS site. Also, change your info for box subscriptions and other home delivery services.
  • Throw a moving sale: Even after purging your house, you may still have several items you want or need to let go of. Free up more space, make a little money, and catch up with neighbors.
  • Say your farewells: Remember to take the time to commemorate your move with loved ones. Schedule a party, luncheon, group activity, or one-on-one time with friends and family.
  • Create the first night box: Moving week has arrived. Hopefully, you’re pretty close to having everything packed up. Take this opportunity to fill a box with everything you’ll need for the first day or so at your new place: meds, toiletries, bedding, clothes, snacks, hand tools, and so on.
  • Confirm moving details: About a week before moving day, contact your moving company. Confirm arrival time and contact info. Take this time to ask any questions that come to mind.
  • Confirm travel arrangements: Driving? Inspect vehicle (oil level, tire pressure, etc.) and double-check the driving route. Flying? Look over flight itinerary and luggage restrictions.
  • Charge up your batteries: Literally and figuratively. Make sure you fully charge all your essential devices the night before. Don’t forget to do the same yourself. Relax and get plenty of sleep the night before your move.
  • Meet with movers: Your moving day is finally here! If possible, be physically present so that you can answer questions or give any last-minute instructions to the moving team.
  • Offer snacks: This nice gesture goes a long way. If inclined, provide a light snack and bottled water to the moving crew. This kind act will help start things off on the right foot.
  • Take one last tour: Finally, your old place is empty. Take this last opportunity to perform a walkthrough. Look out for any missed messes, items, or household damage.

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    Quality Moving Services from Maine Movers

    Great Guys Long Distance Movers offers top Maine moving services at unbeatable prices.

    Long Distance Moves

    Moving out of state? Leave it to skilled professionals. We work with fully vetted moving companies in Maine. Enjoy a smooth transition anywhere in the US with the help of top-rated long distance movers.

    Intrastate & Local Moves

    From affordable quotes to stellar moving services, our network of local moving companies are ready to put a smile on your face. Find out how our local movers can make your move a pleasant experience.

    International Moves

    Whether it’s a military move or corporate relocation, there’s a lot of complex logistics and paperwork. Let Great Guys connect you with a fully licensed international relocation service you can trust.

    Small Load Moves

    Who says you don’t deserve a quick, convenient, and cheap move? From one-bedroom apartments to studios and college dorms, our small load moving partners make it look and feel effortless.

    Furniture Shipments

    Worried about damage or injury? No problem. The furniture movers we work with come fully equipped and knowledgable. Sit back while your bulky or fragile furniture is safely and securely shipped.

    Piano Transport

    Moving an organ or piano takes special care and attention to detail. Our piano moving specialists excel in both regards. Enjoy a harm-free delivery of your cherished instrument to its new home or venue.

    Art Shipping & Transport

    Fine art, antiques, and collectibles require special handling. Instead of risking your prized pieces with standard movers, book our specialized art shippers to ensure a flawless relocation.

    Storage

    Renovating, relocating, or traveling? In any case, you most likely need secure and clean storage. Most of our moving partners also provide short-term and long-term storage solutions. Contact us today!

    Last Minute & Short Notice Moves

    We know how you’re feeling. Whether facing a job relocation or eviction, who are you supposed to turn to in the event of an abrupt move? Fortunately, we can connect you with last-minute movers ASAP.

    Residential Moves

    Congrats on the upcoming move! Now, the fun part. If you’re staring at a household filled with stuff, feeling overwhelmed and anxious, we’re here to help. We make it easy to hire reputable residential movers.

    Packing Services

    Not looking forward to packing? You’re not alone. Whether you don’t have the time, energy or capability to handle it all, our professional packers are ready to lend a few extra helping hands.

    Commercial and Office Moves

    Relocating your entire office? Expanding your retail business? In any event, you need qualified experts. Enjoy a successful, smooth transition with top-tier commercial movers.

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