Calais, Maine, a small city nestled on the banks of the St. Croix River, is a hidden gem waiting to be discovered. Known as the Eastern Gateway to the Pine Tree State, Calais is a charming city that offers a unique blend of natural beauty, rich history, and warm hospitality. Despite its small size, Calais is packed with attractions that cater to all types of travelers, from outdoor enthusiasts and history buffs to foodies and shopaholics. This article aims to unveil the charms of Calais and provide a comprehensive guide to exploring this delightful city.

Historical Attractions

Calais is steeped in history, and there are several attractions that allow visitors to delve into the city’s past. The city played a significant role in the American Civil War and the Prohibition era, and these historical periods are well-documented in the local museums and historical sites.

St. Croix Island International Historic Site

One of the must-visit historical attractions in Calais is the St. Croix Island International Historic Site. This site commemorates the French attempt to establish a settlement in North America in 1604. Today, visitors can explore the interpretive trail, view the outdoor exhibits, and enjoy the stunning views of the St. Croix River and the island.

Calais Free Library and War Memorial

The Calais Free Library and War Memorial is another historical gem in the city. The library houses a vast collection of books, periodicals, and historical documents, while the war memorial pays tribute to the local heroes who served in the American Civil War.

Natural Attractions

Calais is blessed with an abundance of natural beauty, from its scenic riverfront to its lush parks and nature reserves. Outdoor enthusiasts will find plenty of opportunities for hiking, bird watching, fishing, and boating.

St. Croix River

The St. Croix River is a major highlight of Calais. This majestic river offers excellent opportunities for boating, fishing, and wildlife viewing. The riverfront also features a beautiful promenade, perfect for a leisurely stroll or a picnic.

Moosehorn National Wildlife Refuge

Located just a short drive from Calais, the Moosehorn National Wildlife Refuge is a paradise for nature lovers. This vast refuge is home to a diverse range of wildlife, including moose, deer, and a variety of bird species. The refuge also offers several hiking trails that wind through its stunning landscapes.

Culinary Delights

Calais may be small, but it boasts a surprisingly diverse food scene. From classic American fare to international cuisine, the city’s restaurants and cafes offer something for every palate.

Calais Crossing Wine and Spirits

For wine lovers, a visit to Calais Crossing Wine and Spirits is a must. This local favorite offers a wide selection of wines from around the world, as well as a variety of craft beers and spirits. The knowledgeable staff are always on hand to offer recommendations and help you find the perfect bottle.

Yancy’s Restaurant

Yancy’s Restaurant is a popular dining spot in Calais. Known for its friendly service and delicious food, Yancy’s offers a menu that features a mix of American classics and international dishes. Whether you’re in the mood for a juicy steak, a hearty pasta dish, or a fresh salad, Yancy’s has you covered.

Shopping and Souvenirs

No visit to Calais would be complete without a bit of shopping. The city offers a range of shopping options, from charming boutiques and antique shops to modern shopping centers.

Calais Antique Mall

The Calais Antique Mall is a treasure trove for antique lovers. This large mall features a wide range of antiques and collectibles, from vintage furniture and home decor to rare books and jewelry. It’s the perfect place to find a unique souvenir or gift.

Calais Crossing Shopping Center

For a more modern shopping experience, head to the Calais Crossing Shopping Center. This bustling shopping center features a variety of stores, including fashion boutiques, electronics stores, and a supermarket. It’s a convenient one-stop-shop for all your shopping needs.

In conclusion, Calais is a city that has much to offer. From its rich history and natural beauty to its vibrant food scene and shopping options, there’s something for everyone in this charming city. So why wait? Start planning your trip to Calais, Maine, and discover the hidden gems in the Eastern Gateway to the Pine Tree State.

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