Get Away to Adventure, Romance and Fun
One of the best vacation spots is Maine where you can get back to nature, and replace big city bustle with the peace and tranquility of Maine.
Maine, the Pine Tree State, is one of the New England states in northwestern United States. This vacation spot has the Atlantic Ocean to the southeast, New Hampshire to the southwest, and Canada to the northeast. What is most memorable about Maine is the scenery, 3500 miles of picturesque coastline, lighthouses, fishing villages, the great pine forests, lofty mountains and wildlife. Maine has thousands of offshore islands, including the Isles of Shoals. The population of Maine is small, less than 1.5 million people. Ninety percent of Maine is forest. The Great North Woods of northern Maine are largely pristine wilderness.
Major Cities in Maine with the Best Vacation Spots
The cities of Maine are small and quaint. These are the major cities in Maine with some of the best vacation spots.
- Augusta is the capital of Maine. With about 25,000 people it is a small city, yes, but it has lots for the tourist to enjoy. Vacation spots of Interest in Augusta are the Children’s Discovery Museum, Kennebec Historical Society & Museum, Kennebec River Rail Trail, Maine Military Historical Society Museum, Maine State House, Maine State Museum, Old Fort Western, and Pine Tree State Arboretum.
- Portland has a population of more than 65,000, which makes it the largest city in Maine. Portland has many historic points of interest and vacation spots. There is a large collection of Winslow Homer paintings at the Portland Museum of Art as well as 17,000 sculptures, paintings, and objects, some dating to the 8th century. Next door is the Childrens Museum of Maine with three floors of interactive exhibits for young people and for the child in all of us. Portland Observatory, a 65-foot tower, the only existing historic maritime signal station in the United States. Portland Head Light and Museum is one of the most scenic lighthouses in the country. Portland’s Old Port is a delightful shopping area.
- Bangor is the home of the University of Maine and the University of Maine Museum of Art. Other vacation spots are the Maine Discovery Museum, the Bangor Museum and Center for History, the Police Museum, the Fire Museum and the Bangor Opera House. The Bangor Symphony Orchestra, founded in 1896, is the oldest continually operating symphony orchestra in the U.S. Bangor has a new casino complex. Bangor Raceway has live harness racing and an off-track betting center. But Bangor is most famous as the home of novelist Stephen King, who lives in a Victorian mansion built in 1856. You’ll recognize his house by the bat and spiders on its wrought-iron fence.
- Freeport is the ideal vacation spot for shopping. It is the home of famous retailer L.L. Bean. and its flagship store open 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. Freeport also has a J. Crew Outlet Store, other outlets, small shops, and specialty stores.
- Kittery is a small town on the New Hampshire border with Maine, a shopper’s Paradise, well-known for over 30 national major-brand clothing stores, 20 shoe stores, and dozens more specialty shops. Kittery also has the Historical and Naval Museum. The Kittery Trading Post sells the largest selection of outdoor items in New England.
- Brunswick is the home of Bowdoin College. In Brunswick, you can visit the two-hundred-year-old Harriet Beecher Stowe House, a National Historic Landmark, where she wrote her masterpiece Uncle Tom’s Cabin.
- Bar Harbor is a vacation spot beyond compare. This Maine island has a rock-bound coast and soaring granite cliffs. You’ll enjoy beautiful terrain, hiking, views, Native American heritage, unique ecosystems and species, famous micro-brews, and shopping. Bar Harbor is home to the eighth oldest golf course in the United States. Bar Harbor is next to Acadia National Park, the only national park in New England.
- Lewiston in central Maine, home of Bates College, celebrates summer with the annual Great Falls hot air balloon festival.
Some of the Best Vacation Spots in Maine
On your Maine vacation, get out and commune with nature. Maine parks, forests and waterways support a wide variety of outdoor activities. Maine has many vacation spots for nature walks, trail hikes, swimming, surfing, golfing, sailing, whitewater canoeing, hunting, fishing, camping, bird watching, picnicking, bicycling, skiing and snowmobiling. As you hike the trails of Maine, keep an eye out for bald eagles and diving osprey.
- Put on a bib and enjoy the succulent Maine lobsters for dinner, the tastiest of all lobsters. Maine restaurants also serve lobster stew, lobster casserole, and lobster pie. And, yes, they even have lobster ice cream !! The Maine Lobster Festival is held at the end of July.
- Plan a Maine clam bake on the seashore or in a restaurant. The locals serve steamer clams, mussels, lobsters, potatoes, onions and corn, all steamed together over seaweed and saltwater.
- Maine has a wealth of fresh seafood, crab, scallops, shrimp and clams. Try the local red shrimp called Maine shrimp and the Maine crab. Oyster lovers will find varieties like Pemaquids and Sheepscots. Fishermen catch North Atlantic fish of all kinds.
- Rachel Carson did much of her research in Maine for her book “The Edge of the Sea.” The Rachel Carson Salt Pond Reserve at Pemaquid Point was named for her.
- Maine’s unique accent and dialect is called “yankee.” Listening to the locals is an enjoyable experience.
- Henry David Thoreau made three trips to the backwoods of Maine and wrote of his experiences in his book “Maine Woods,” published in 1864.
- The Appalachian Trail begins in Mount Katahdin, Maine and extends to Springer Mountain, Georgia. Completing the Appalachian Trail is a feather in the cap of any hiker.
- Machias Seal Island and North Rock, off the easternmost point of Maine are disputed land claimed by both the United States and Canada.
- Old Sow in Passamaquoddy Bay, Maine, is the largest tidal whirlpool in the Western Hemisphere. It has a vortex 230 feet in diameter, and is one of five significant whirlpools in the world.
- Sample Maine blueberries plain or in blueberry pancakes, muffins, bagels, and ice cream. Maine is the largest blueberry producer in the world.
- Stop by the Howard Johnson restaurant in Bangor while you can. There are only two Howard Johnson restaurants left in the United States.
- Sportsmen will enjoy fishing for wild salmon in Maine. Bring your rod and reel to the Penobscot River for premier salmon fishing. Sport hunters will find plenty of deer, moose and bear.
- Maine is famous for lumberjacking. Many of its early citizens made their money in lumber. Compete in a log-rolling event to see how long you can stay on your feet. While you are in Bangor, visit the famous statue of fictional lumberjack Paul Bunyan.
- Watch for whales along the Atlantic coats. How often do you get a chance to see whales in their natural environment?
- In autumn, every vacation spot in Maine rewards you with the breathtaking foliage of the trees.
- Visit some of the 60 lighthouses in Maine for beautiful vistas of the ocean. Watch the ocean for whales, gulls and osprey.
- The White Mountain National Forest near the New Hampshire border is a vacation spot with outstanding natural beauty, lakes and waterfalls.
- Launch your kayak in the Atlantic Ocean and paddle the entire coast along the Maine Island Trail.
- Skiing is popular in winter at ski resorts like Black Mountain, Eaton Mountain, Lost Valley, Mt. Abram, Sugarloaf, Sunday River, Saddleback, Squaw Mountain Resort and Shawnee Peak.
- Visit one of the micro-breweries in Maine. Maine produces some of the highest quality beers in the country. Stay for a tour and a tasting at your choice of the many micro-breweries in Portland, Bar Harbor, Whitefield, Bangor and Bethel.
Trivia About the Best Vacation Spots in Maine
- Maine is the only U.S. state whose name that is one syllable long.
- Maine is the only state which borders exactly one other state.
- West Quoddy Head, Maine, is the farthest point east in the continental United States.
- The English tried to settle Maine in 1620, but the winter climate, Algonquin Indians, and lack of supplies did them in.
- Maine has one of the lowest crime rates in the United States. Locals leave their houses and cars unlocked even on long trips.
- Much of your bottled water comes from the aquifers and springs of western Maine.
On behalf of Best Maine Vacation Guide we wish you a trip full of adventure and happy memories at the best vacation spots of Maine.