The northeasternmost U.S. state is known for its scenic, rocky coastline, maritime history, quaint small towns, and family-friendly beaches. From clam shacks and lobster shacks serving up fresh seafood like the famous Maine Lobster, to historic lighthouses, visitors can enjoy the unique charms of “Vacationland”.
Any time of year is a good time to visit Maine, with all four seasons offering plenty to do. Take in the stunning fall foliage in autumn, go bird watching or windjammer sailing in the spring, snowmobile in the winter, and swim in the summer. Or, hike to Mt. Katahdin, the endpoint of the Appalachian Trail. Enjoy food, art and culture by visiting one of the many farmers’ markets and unique galleries and museums, like the Farnsworth Art Museum featuring The Wyeth Center. Maine is also home to a thriving craft distillery scene. An easy getaway from Boston, visitors can experience both New England city life and rural life when they visit Maine.
Best Places to Visit in Maine
Maine’s hip, waterfront city sits on a peninsula extending into Casco Bay. The state’s largest city exudes charm with cobblestone streets, bookstores, and ornate mansions.
Portland Head Lighthouse: The historic lighthouse just south of Portland was the first U.S. lighthouse commissioned by President George Washington in 1787.
Old Port: This quaint historic district’s cobblestone streets are lined with gourmet food stores, breweries, and seafood restaurants.
West End: The upscale neighborhood features Victorian era homes including the Victoria Mansion, an 1800’s lavish Italianate home.
Cities in Maine
Augusta: The state’s capital is most known for the Old Fort Western National Historic Landmark, an 18th century wooden fort with a recreated general store.
Ogunquit: This artsy community on Maine’s southern coast is a popular summer destination with oceanfront inns and hotels and a summer playhouse.
Bar Harbor: Located on Mount Desert Island along Maine’s Frenchman Bay, this town is the gateway to Acadia National Park.
Camden: The “Jewel of the Maine Coast”, this charming town, dotted with schooners and tall ships, is the gateway to Penobscot Bay.
Bangor: The "Queen City" of Maine played an important role in the lumber and shipbuilding industries of the 19th century.
Maine State and National Parks
Acadia National Park: The 47,000-acre Atlantic coast park is most known for its rugged landscape which includes granite peaks like Cadillac Mountain– the highest point on the East Coast at 1,530 feet tall.
Baxter State Park: This 210,000-acre wilderness area is dotted with 46 peaks and ridges and 215 miles of hiking trails throughout inland Maine.
Scarborough Beach State Park: Locals and tourists flock to this state beach in the summer for family-friendly swimming and recreation.
Katahdin Woods and Waters National Monument: Spanning over 87,000 acres of mountains and forestland, this park offers wilderness camping, hiking, whitewater rafting, and fishing.
Popular Tourist Attractions
Beaches of Maine
Home to both rugged coastline and sandy beaches, Maine’s coastline is full of quaint coastal towns and is a popular destination for sunbathers, families and children during the summer months.
Old Orchard Beach: Located on the inner side of Saco Bay, this beach town houses clam shacks, a wooden pier and a seven mile long stretch of beach.
Kennebunkport: This beach town is best known for the long, sandy beach of Goose Rocks Beach.
Popham Beach State Park: This popular public recreation area covers 605 acres along the Atlantic Ocean in the town of Phippsburg.