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Best Things to do in Maine
If you’re looking for the best things to do in Maine, look no further!
From Acadia National Park to the Portland Head Light, the Pine Tree State has many spectacular vistas and year-round fun. Whether you’re a nature lover or a history buff, there’s something for everyone in Maine.
Here are the best things to do in Maine:
Visit Acadia National Park
Acadia National Park is one of the most popular tourist destinations in Maine. With its stunning scenery and diverse wildlife, it’s no wonder why. Plenty of activities keep you busy, such as hiking and camping. You can also take a scenic drive along Park Loop Road or a boat tour of the coastline.
Watch the sunrise from Cadillac Mountain or drive around and look for wildlife.
Acadia National Park is a great road trip from Boston or NYC. This is the best thing to do in Maine and attracts 1 million visitors annually.
Bar Harbor is a charming seaside town located on Mount Desert Island. Bar Harbor is the closest town to Acadia National Park and is the perfect place to stay for your Acadia adventure.
It’s known for its quaint shops, restaurants, and beautiful beaches. Various boat tours are also available, including whale watching and lobster fishing.
You can visit one of the many ice cream shops in town in the summer. Get a double scoop in a waffle cone and walk down by the water.
Portland is the largest city in Maine and is full of things to do. There’s something for everyone, from shopping and dining to museums and art galleries. Don’t forget to check out the iconic Portland Head Light, one of the most photographed lighthouses in the world.
You will love the beaches, the cobblestoned streets, and all the great lobster all over Portland.
Portland also has a great food scene, so it is a great place to stop for a bite to eat!
Stroll around Ogunquit
Oganquit, Maine, is a beautiful coastal town that is worth a visit. It’s home to the Ogunquit Museum of American Art and several beaches. Perkins Cove is a popular spot for shopping and dining, and you can also take a scenic boat ride from here.
In the summer, Ogunquit becomes a buzzing town, and it can be hard to find parking and lodging. Book your hotel or Airbnb at least 2-3 months before your trip.
Ogunquit is beautiful at all times of the year, but it gets super touristy in the summer. I prefer the fall to have beautiful weather and fewer crowds.
Visit the Maine State Capitol
The Maine State Capitol is located in Augusta, the state capital. It’s a beautiful building that houses the state legislature and governor’s office. You can tour the facility or admire it from the outside.
Take a Boat Tour
Maine is known for its stunning coastline, and there’s no better way to see it than from the water. Plenty of boat tours are available, ranging from short cruises to multi-day excursions. You’ll see everything from dolphins and whales to seals and seabirds.
My favorite place to take a boat tour is on Penobscot Bay in Camden, Maine, on a historic schooner.
Visit a Lighthouse
Maine is home to over 60 lighthouses, more than any other state in the US. These iconic structures are scattered along the coast, providing a beautiful sightseeing opportunity. Many of the lighthouses are open to the public and offer tours.
Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens
The Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens are located in Boothbay, Maine. With over 200 acres of gardens and nature trails, it’s a great place to spend a day exploring. You’ll find everything from roses and daisies to ponds and streams. There’s also a Children’s Garden with interactive exhibits.
This is one of my personal favorite things to do in Maine. If you are in the area, it is so worth the stop!
Old Orchard Beach
Old Orchard Beach is a popular summer destination for tourists and locals alike. Its seven-mile-long sandy beach is the perfect place to relax and soak up the sun. There’s also a boardwalk with shops, restaurants, and amusements. If you’re looking for a bit of adventure, you can go parasailing or take a ride on the Ferris wheel.
Kennebunkport is a lovely seaside town located in southern Maine. It’s known for its quaint shops and restaurants and its beautiful beaches. Various boat tours are also available, including whale watching and lobster fishing.
There is a delightful Christmas festival here each year that is considered to be one of the best in the United States.
Go rafting on the Kennebeck River
There are some super white water rapids on the Kennebeck River. You can go rafting with a guide or on your own. It is an excellent river for beginners as the rapids are not too scary. Either way, it’s sure to be an adrenaline-pumping experience!
Visit the Maine Maritime Museum
The Maine Maritime Museum is located in Bath, Maine. It’s dedicated to the state’s maritime history and culture.
You’ll find exhibits on shipbuilding, lobstering, and the coastguard. There’s also a working shipyard where you can see ships heading out to lobster.
The museum is open year-round, but the best time to visit is in the summer when the weather is warm and sunny.
Baxter State Park
Baxter State Park is a large state park located in northern Maine. It’s home to Mount Katahdin, the tallest mountain in the state. Hikers flock to the park to scale Katahdin and enjoy the beautiful forest.
There are plenty of hiking and camping opportunities and canoeing and fishing. In the winter, you can go snowshoeing in the park.
Sunday River Resort
Sunday River Resort is a popular ski resort located in Newry, Maine. With over 130 trails and 18 lifts, it’s one of the largest ski resorts in New England. In addition to skiing and snowboarding, the resort also offers ice skating, snowmobiling, and zip-lining.
You will find excellent swimming spots along the river and rock pools during the summer.
Shop at the LL Bean Flagship Store
The LL Bean flagship store is located in Freeport, Maine. This massive store spans over 300,000 square feet and sells everything from clothing to camping gear. You can also take a factory tour to see how the iconic Bean boots are made.
Visit Stonewall Kitchen
Stonewall Kitchen is a gourmet food company located in York, Maine. The company started as a small jam and jelly business but has since expanded to include a cooking school, cafe, and store. You can take a tour of the facility or simply browse the delicious selection of food items.
They have a delicious cafe where you can have lunch or an afternoon snack.
Eat some delicious Maine wild blueberries
Maine is known for its wild blueberries, and they make delicious snacks. You can find them fresh at farmers’ markets or baked goods at local cafes. They are tinier than a regular blueberry and so much brighter in taste. Make sure to try a blueberry pie from a roadside stand!
Get a lobster roll at Red’s Eats
Red’s Eats is a famous seafood shack in Wiscasset near Boothbay, Maine, and Maine lobster is known as the best in the US. This is considered the best lobster roll in New England, and while I’m not sure I agree, I can tell you, it’s a dang good one!
Red’s Eats is best known for its lobster rolls, made with fresh lobster meat and served on a buttered and grilled roll. You can also get clam chowder, fried clams, and lobster bisque.
Beware, the lines are very long during lunchtime. The wait can be over an hour long, but if you time it right by getting there at 11 am, you will have a much shorter wait.
Eat a Whoopie Pie
A whoopie pie is a dessert made with two rounds of cake filled with frosting. They are believed to have originated in Maine and are now famous all over the country. You can find them in various flavors, but a chocolate cake with vanilla frosting is the classic.
The very best whoopie pie is in Portland at Cape Whoopies!
Stroll through Portland’s Old Port
The Old Port is the historic district of Portland, Maine. Cobblestone streets, brick buildings, and Victorian architecture make a beautiful window shopping place.
There are plenty of shops and restaurants to explore, art galleries, and museums. Take a walk along the waterfront to enjoy views of the harbor and islands.
Visit the Portland Head Light
The Portland Head Light is a landmark lighthouse in Cape Elizabeth, Maine. It was built in 1791 and is the oldest lighthouse in the state. This is a 15-minute drive from Downtown Portland and a must-visit when you are in town. You can take a guided tour of the lighthouse or admire it from the outside. Either way, it’s sure to be a beautiful sight.
A large playground is located down by the waterfront, there are picnic benches throughout the property, and a great lobster roll truck called “Bite into Maine.”
Get your shopping on in Kittery
Kittery is home to Kittery Outlets, a large outlet mall with over 100 stores. You’ll find popular brands like J.Crew, Nike, and Gap. The prices are already discounted, but you can usually find even better deals during the sales.
Take a Scenic Drive along the Coastline
Maine has over 5,000 miles of coastline, so plenty of coastlines exist. Take a drive along Route 1 for stunning ocean views. Stop at some small towns to explore the shops and restaurants.
I’m sure there are other things that I have missed. If you know of something that is one of the best things to do in Maine, please let me know in the comments!
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