Almanac: Bethel, Maine

Travel
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Population 2,379

Town Elevation 700 feet

Median Home Price $160,000

Property Tax $16.45 per $1,000 of valuation

Main Businesses Skiing, tourism, wood products

Public School Population 896

Local Ski Areas Sunday River: 2,340 (non-contiguous) feet; 654 skiable acres; 127 trails; 155 annual inches; lift ticket, $51; season pass, $1,299. Mt. Abram: 1,030 feet; 339 skiable acres; 35 trails; 150 annual inches; lift ticket, $32; season pass, $479.

Best Events Locals celebrate New Year's Eve with live music, dancing, skating, bonfire and fireworks in the historic district. Competitors ski, snowshoe and canoe in costume for Pole, Paddle and Paw, April 1 at the Sunday River Inn.

Locals' Favorite Hangouts The Great Grizzly (207-824-6836), where Joyce tends bar and the Matterhorn bakes up the town's best pizza pies; Sunday River Brew Pub (207-824-3541) for home-brew and bands on weekends; Suds Pub (207-824-6558) for crazed open-mike Hoot nights and local bands.

Best Places To Eat Enjoy a breakfast of eggs Benedict or fruit-covered waffles at The Briar Lea Inn (207-824-4717). For lunch, The Bottle and Bag (207-824-3673) serves sandwiches on fresh baked bread and homemade chowders. For dinner, The Victoria Inn (207-824-8060) offers an eclectic menu in an elegant setting; The Briar Lea (207-824-4717) serves pot roast to pasta, topped with friendly service.

Best Places To Stay On mountain, Locke Mountain condos or the Jordan Grand (207-824-5000) offer the highest quality and best locations. In the village, The Victoria Inn (207-824-8060) is a restored high-style mansion; The Bethel Inn (207-824-2175) has cross-country skiing out the back door.

Information Bethel Area Chamber of Commerce, 207-824-2282; www.bethelmaine.com; Bethel Area Reservation Service, 800-442-5826.