Nothing is more emblematic of Maine than conspicuous lighthouses and ubiquitous lobsters. From sandy beaches and salty coves to rolling mountains and evergreen woodlands, the ‘Pine Tree State’ has striking scenery and diverse resources. Picturesque waterways, silky meadows, and colorful blueberry fields add more value to its image as a ‘Vacationland’. Lauded in poems of Longfellow and journals of Thoreau, and portrayed in the horror stories of Stephen King, Maine oozes with elegance of New England.
Places to Visit in Maine
Acadia National Park – Established in 1916, this national park comprises more than 120 miles of historic hiking trails, 50 miles of carriage roads, glacier-carved mountains, pink granite cliffs, offshore islands, inland lakes, and cobblestone beaches. Mount Desert Island, which includes Bar Harbor, Southwest Harbor, Seal Cove, and Northeast Harbor, has the lion’s share of total national park acreage. Despite its relatively small size, it’s the second most visited national park in the United States. The Park Loop Road, which starts at the Hulls Cove Visitor Center, winds its way through a number of major attractions. While boating and fishing let you discover the shoreline, there’s no better way to explore the country than camping and biking.
Museums – While the Portland Museum of Art exhibits more than 17,000 objects of decorative and fine arts from the 18th century to the present, the Colby College Museum of Art features outstanding collection of American and contemporary art, Chinese antiquities, and European paintings. Farnsworth Art Museum, Maine State Museum, and Maine Discovery Museum celebrate the role of Maine in American art.
Lighthouses – Perched on the tips and rocky ledges of wayward islands, there are more than 60 lighthouses along the state’s craggy Down East peninsulas. Some of these are: the most photographed Cape Neddick Light, the tallest Seguin Light (55 meter), the oldest Portland Head Light, and the easternmost point of the contiguous US – Quoddy Head Light.
Amusement Parks – Located in Saco, the Funtown Splashtown USA features state’s only wooden roller coaster, Excalibur. Thunder Falls is the longest and tallest log ride in New England. A 67-meter-tall drop tower called Dragon’s Descent and an indoor Scrambler, Astrosphere are also the most popular rides in the park. The Palace Playland, located in Old Orchard Beach, is a seasonal amusement park that has several thrill and family rides to entertain visitors of all age groups.
York’s Wild Kingdom – It’s a family oriented zoo and an amusement park that has up to 75 animal exhibits. It offers interactive encounters with animals such as duck feeding and deer petting, a special section to observe butterflies, and a kids zone.
Victoria Mansion – Built in 1860, this extraordinary Italianate villa is renowned for its striking brownstone exterior, intricate interior design, and opulent furnishings. In 1971, this well-preserved mansion was declared a National Historic Landmark.
Desert of Maine – Surrounded by pine trees, it’s a 40-acre region of glacial silt near the town of Freeport. On Narrated Coach Tours and Walking Tours, visitors can learn about the history behind the formation of these barren dunes. A picnic area, a gift shop, and a barn museum is located here as well.
The Penobscot Narrows Bridge and Observatory, Fort Knox, Fort Williams Park, Bailey Island Bridge, Tate House, and Wadsworth-Longfellow House are among other places to visit in Maine.
Things to Do in Maine
Whether it is catching an eargasmic performance by Portland Symphony Orchestra at the Merrill Auditorium or collecting clams and shellfishes in the Cobscook Bay State Park, Mainers embrace all unique activities.
Parks and Recreation – Find your inner peace or your own inspiration by camping in Mount Blue State Park, climbing in Aroostook State Park, hiking to the summit of Tumbledown Mountain and Pleasant Mountain, whitewater rafting in Kennebec River, birdwatching in Reid State Park, whale watching in Bar Harbor, and yachting in Boothbay Harbor.
Lakes and Bays – The unspoilt landscape of Maine is strewn with secluded lakes that harbor opportunities for water sports. Moosehead Lake region is popular for fishing, boating, canoeing, rowing, and even dog-sledding during winter. While the Flagstaff Lake offers stunning views of Mount Bigelow, the Sebago Lake is renowned for its prized landlocked salmon. Go for sailing, hop on a ferry, or take scenic cruises in Casco Bay to catch a glimpse of inhabited islands and every day lifestyle of islanders.
Beaches – The coastline of Maine runs about 3,500 miles long, which is more than the one in California. The Willard Beach, Crescent Beach, Old Orchard beach, and Scarborough Beach are famed for amazing seascapes. They are all within an hour’s drive away from Portland. Ogunquit Beach, stretching three and a half miles, is ideal for swimming and bodysurfing.
Ski Resorts – Maine’s alpine and nordic ski areas are perfect winter playgrounds. Sugarloaf – the largest ski area east of the Rockies – offers skiing, snowboarding, nordic skiing, and slopeside lodging. Summer activities here include golfing, mountain biking, ziplining, and moose view tours. The Sunday River resort features 135 trails across interconnected mountain peaks and provides all modern amenities.
Heritage Tours – With red-brick buildings and cobblestone streets, sip and savor your way around Old Port that lives up to the charm of New England. From antique shops to one-of-a-kind boutiques, this district is also the mecca of shopping in the state. Situated on the banks of the Narraguagus River, the Cherryfield Historic District is esteemed for its 19th-century architecture.
Following are the major international airports in Maine –
Portland International Jetport (PWM)
Bangor International Airport (BGR)
Maine is the easternmost and northernmost state in the New England region of the United States. It is bordered by the Atlantic Ocean to the East and South, New Hampshire to the West, and Quebec and New Brunswick (Canadian provinces) to the North.
How to Reach?
By Air – Portland International Jetport, two miles west of downtown Portland, is served by American Airlines, Delta Air Lines, Southwest Airlines, and United Express.
By Train – The Amtrak regional passenger train, Downeaster, runs from North Boston Station in Massachusetts to Brunswick in Maine. It operates five daily round trips between Portland and Boston and two of which continue to Brunswick. The main route of Pan Am Railways (PAR) runs from Mattawamkeag in Maine to Mechanicville in New York.
By Road – Interstate highway I-95 enters from New Hampshire and connects the state capital, Augusta, and cities of Saco, Portland, and Bangor. Moreover, state routes (SR 11, SR 9, SR 6, and SR 16) and U.S. routes (US 1, US 2, US 201, US 202, and US 302) form a dense network of road system. Portland Transportation Center is connected via Megabus (by Concord Coach Lines) and Greater Portland Metro.
Facts about Maine
It was the 23rd state to enter the union on March 15, 1820.
The state motto is ‘Dirigo’, which is Latin for “I direct” or “I lead.”
Seashore Trolley Museum, founded in 1939, is the oldest and largest electric railway museum in the world.
With an elevation of 1,606 meter above sea level, Mount Katahdin is the highest point in the state.
While the town of Cherryfield bills itself as the “Blueberry capital of the world”, Bath holds the title as the “City of Ships.”
At DeLorme’s headquarters in Yarmouth, Eartha, with a diameter of 41 feet, is the largest rotating and revolving globe in the world.
Mount Kineo contains one of the largest formations of rhyolite (volcanic rocks) in the world.
Eastport, first to receive the rays of the morning sun, is the easternmost city in the US.