• Making Friends

My Home Away from Home: Making Friends in Maine

Published: August 28, 2011 | Last Updated: July 7, 2024 By | 5 Replies Continue Reading

A woman has trouble making friends in Maine. There are challenges in making and keeping friends in two geographical locations simultaneously but they can be overcome if you set your mind to it.


Dear Irene,

I am spending five months in Maine, which is new to me. I don’t have much to do there or to get involved in. The seven months I spend in Florida are very different with lots of activities. I’m having trouble making friends in Maine and need help.

Signed, Allison


Dear Allison,

Most people would think that you are fortunate to be able to split your time between two nice places and take advantage of the best of the seasons at each. Yet, moving back and forth can take a toll on friendships at both ends.

It sounds like you’ve been able to make friends in Florida and it may be easier to do there for several reasons: You have been there longer, the weather facilitates going outdoors, and many retirees live around you who are free from work responsibilities and thus, tend to be more sociable.

Coincidentally, my friend Hilary Nangle is a travel writer, who calls herself the Maine Travel Maven. Hilary is like an encyclopedia on what to do in Maine and has written three books on the state (Moon Coastal Maine and Moon Maine). I posed your dilemma to Hilary and these are her thoughts:

Great ways to make friends in Maine and meet others, especially during the warmer months, are by: shopping at local farmers markets; volunteering at local museums or library; taking part in outdoor-oriented activities such as garden clubs, paddling or walking groups, and land trust programs; attending concerts, festivals, and talks. All the standard ways apply, too: knitting/quilting groups, book clubs, exercise programs, etc. 

Mainer’s tend to be reserved by nature, but don’t take that as unfriendliness. Just give them time to warm up to you.  

Since you have a long season in Maine, why don’t you try some of Hilary’s suggestions, which sound solid to me? You might also want to pick up a copy of her book and begin to explore the nooks and crannies where friendly people in Maine tend to hide out. J

My best, Irene

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Comments (5)

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  1. Ben says:

    I just moved from Maine to Florida last year. There are some distinct differences in people there as compared to people living here in Florida. 1. There is a more reserved New England ethos which compared to a place like Florida would be considered “reserved” or less extraverted. I lived in Maine from 1966 to 2014 but also traveled around the world in the military and lived in other parts of the country. I don’t understand why that exists but it does. There are many good people in Maine it is just different. I think one of the challenges in our humanness is to learn how to adjust for current environments. Having traveled all over the country it has been my experience that people from the mid-west have been very friendly. I’m sure there are difficult people in every state just like there are nice people in every state. I agree with advise of the person overseeing this site that simply smiling, trying to be friendly, finding groups where mutual interests exist and trying to see past the unmet expectations is the best way to go….

  2. Anonymous says:

    I posted earlier about my aunt & uncle who are at age 80 retiring from their respective work. They have mentioned Maine as a retirement option. Are any readers here from Maine and can they share their opinions? Thank you.

  3. Anonymous says:

    Hi — There’s a national network called meetup.com where you can search out people with like interests in your area. For instance, there are groups of knitters, hikers, board game players, people who get together for lunch, etc. Saved my life when we moved to our new place here. Good luck! 🙂

  4. Anonymous says:

    I’m a big fan of both Irene Levine’s friendship blog and Hilary Nangle, the Maine Maven who has made excellent suggestions for getting to know people — regardless of location. I’ve never met a volunteer I didn’t like!

    • Jordana says:

      I’m also new to Maine and noticed the same observation.. We are in Kbp area. This is 1st time not working , due to husbands health. I’m slowly putting myself out there also. We kayak and love enjoying outdoors. Best of luck. And look at it as an adventure. We visited the brick store museum and they are having a tea at one the beautiful homes in kennebunk if it’s something you might enjoy let me know

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