This is quite possibly the best time of year in Maine -- the weather is slowly starting to shift to warmer temperatures on a more consistent basis, everything is beginning to bloom, and we're almost fully in spring mode headed for summer. But the best part about it is it's that perfect not-too-cold, not-too-hot temperature to get out in nature, whic his always good for the mindset.

And that's why Old Town's Paige Emerson is thriving and living her best life right now.

Hiking up

According to WABI TV5, once the pandemic really kicked into full gear last year, Paige was looking for some kind of escape to help her mental health, which was taking a beating once everything started shutting down. So, she did what a lot of us started doing around this time last year when we were quarantined and confined to our homes, but the weather started turning more favorable -- got outside more.

Paige told WABI that she had gone hiking before in her life, but not in a long while, until the pandemic gave her an excuse to hit the trails again. And with her goal to be able to show that anyone can be a hiker, she's created a hiker blog of all the trails she's hit all over Maine where she ranks the difficulty of each trail and provides pictures. She's even gone as far to split them up into different sections of Maine, so you know where to go and what to expect.

We've gone through a lot in the last year, but one thing that we've seen constantly is an outpouring of creativity as well as love and caring for others. Whether it's been donations to kids around the holiday season, paying for families' groceries around Thanksgiving, or inspiring others of all shapes, sizes, body types and personalities that ANYONE can get out and be active in nature -- no pandemic can kill the Maine spirit or loyalty to other Mainers. And Paige is one of the many proving factors of that.

LOOK: Here are the 50 best beach towns in America

Every beach town has its share of pluses and minuses, which got us thinking about what makes a beach town the best one to live in. To find out, Stacker consulted data from WalletHub, released June 17, 2020, that compares U.S. beach towns. Ratings are based on six categories: affordability, weather, safety, economy, education and health, and quality of life. The cities ranged in population from 10,000 to 150,000, but they had to have at least one local beach listed on TripAdvisor. Read the full methodology here. From those rankings, we selected the top 50. Readers who live in California and Florida will be unsurprised to learn that many of towns featured here are in one of those two states.

Keep reading to see if your favorite beach town made the cut.

LOOK: Full List of the Best Places to Live in Maine

Stacker compiled a list of the best places to live in Maine using data from Niche. Niche ranks places to live based on a variety of factors including cost of living, schools, health care, recreation, and weather. Cities, suburbs, and towns were included. Listings and images are from On the list, there's a robust mix of offerings from great schools and nightlife to high walkability and public parks.

Some areas have enjoyed rapid growth thanks to new businesses moving to the area, while others offer glimpses into area history with well-preserved architecture and museums. Keep reading to see if your hometown made the list.

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