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Town of Orono

Planning and Economic Development
Photo of Orono Maine
A walking trail in Orono's Dirigo Pines community
Photo of Orono Maine
The Orono Town Office during the Holidays
Photo of Orono Maine
An overhead view of the flagship University of Maine campus


Downtown Orono

Downtown Orono -  Welcome!  Eat, Stay, Explore! (Need a cool map?) 

RIDE the shuttle: Take the Black Bear-Orono Express from the University to Downtown and back - easier than campus parking.

CHECK OUT the region's best cluster of restaurants: Bear Brew Pub, Family Dog, Harvest Moon Deli,  Margarita's, Pat's Pizza, Thai Orchid, Verve, The Roost Pub and Wingery, Woodman's Grill

PARTAKE of coffee, sandwiches, baked good, groceries: Butterfingers Bakery, Circle K, Subway, The Store-Ampersand.

DON'T FORGET the veggies:  Orono Farmer's Market - "winter" market in Downtown; "summer" market at University Steam Plant parking lot

BROWSE for special items: Byer of Maine (camp furniture & hammocks), DeGrasse Jewelers, Dr Records, Front Porch Books Rose's Bike and Ski Shop, Shaw & Tenney (wooden oars and paddles)

STAY overnight, within walking distance of the University:  University Inn

FEEL like a new you: Dick's Barber Shop, Erv's Barber Shop, Fringe Salon, Hair After

FIX the headache: Orono Pharmacy

FIX the car: Murray's Campus Service Center, Swett's Tire & Auto

TREAT YOURSELF to fine wines and hand-crafted beer: Black Bear Microbrew, Burby & Bates, The Store-Ampersand

GET ONE with nature: Walk the Stillwater River trail; kayak or canoe from hand-carry landings on the Stillwater River at the end of Summer Street, at University Inn, or at Brownie's Park along the Stillwater River trail

LISTEN to a summer concert:  Every Wednesday evening during the summer at Webster Park

LEARN and connect: Orono Public Library, Keith Anderson Community Center

EXPERIENCE history: Walk the Orono Main Street Historic District with twenty-nine 19th Century and turn-of-the-century buildings covering all of the major styles of a hundren years

TAKE A DIP at the Town's outdoor pool next to the Orono school campus   

Downtown Plan

Orono's current Downtown Plan dates back to 1995, with significant updates through 2011.  The updates included a new market analysis and a fresh look at facade improvements.

Investing in Downtown

Downtown Orono -- with its mix of longstanding businesses and newcomers, college youth and senior citizens, riverfront and trails  -- is the dynamic core of Orono.  It is a strong address for restaurants, businesses catering to a University market, and professional and R&D offices.  More than a decade ago, the Town, in cooperation with Downtown merchants and residents, reaffirmed its commitment to a healthy Downtown.  It has since:

  • Built a new, LEED-certified public library in Downtown
  • Established a Downtown Development District, which is jointly administered by the Town and the Orono Village Association
  • Initiated the Black Bear Orono Express, a shuttle bus between Downtown and the University of Maine campus -- jointly developed by the University, Town, OVA, Maine DOT and BAT Connector
  • Established a fund for capital investments in Downtown and to help pay for the shuttle bus
  • In cooperation with OVA, engaged the University of Maine Margaret Chase Smith Policy Center to help market Downtown
  • Established a Downtown riverfront park on the banks of the Stillwater, as part of an evolving in-town trail system

To learn more about Downtown business opportunities, contact Belle Ryder, Assistant Town Manager,

Redevelopment Plan

Keep up to date with the plan to redevelop the former Katahdin Building site at the center of Downtown for University Credit Union's new headquarters.