BATH — The City of Ships may not have a “Main Street” in name, but it has one in spirit on Front Street.

In an “Insider” article it posted on Oct. 29, Microsoft News named Front Street the “most beautiful main street” in Maine, alongside 49 other top rankers across the U.S.

“Not all main streets in the U.S. are named ‘Main Street,'” the article notes, “but every state has a beautiful thoroughfare with historic buildings, funky shops, and scenic views.”

The piece lauds the city for its “up-and-coming arts scene” and events such as the annual Bath Heritage Days celebration, adding that Bath’s brick sidewalks and storefronts frequently earn it the honor of one of the best small towns to visit in America, a nod to a Visiting New England article from 2016.

“Generations of people who have put their energy into keeping the heart of our city healthy” is what makes Bath and its downtown great, City Council Chairwoman Mari Eosco said Nov. 7.

Bath was named one of the country’s “Dozen Distinctive Designations” in 2005. The American Planning Association named Front Street one of 10 “Great Streets of 2009″ for showcasing the character and planning that go into communities of rich and lasting value.

Three years later, MSB was one of five organizations across the country to receive the 2012 Great American Main Street Award. And in 2016, USA Today named Bath No. 9 among the 10 best Main Streets in the country.

Amanda McDaniel, director of the Main Street Bath organization, called downtown “a beautiful painting come to life.”

“It’s a portal to the past with buildings that have been thoughtfully preserved, retaining the glory of the mid-19th century,” she said. “It’s a way of life with special touches like our streetlamp flowers and neighboring shopkeepers who all know your name and welcome visitors with a warm smile.”

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