While you’ve bought 3500 miles of sand and granite shoreline, studded with fishing villages, forts, lighthouses, lobster shacks, islands and Acadia Nationwide Park, you gotta present all of it off, proper? That is how Maine hooks you in.
Its beautiful pure magnificence and wealth of outside actions imply it has forested mountains for mountain climbing, biking, alpine snowboarding and using. Clear lakes for boating and swimming. Rivers and streams for rafting and fishing. Open stretches of freeway for some candy highway journeys.
However Maine ain’t solely an outdoor state – there’s loads of indoor enjoyable and meals available as properly. Listed below are the 9 greatest issues to do in Maine.
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1. Dine out in Portland
From its juicy mussels to whoopie pies, you would spend months consuming your method round Maine. However for the very best grub in a single place, head to Portland. Regardless of a inhabitants numbering fewer than 70,000, town ranks as one among America’s greatest foodie cities.
With farms edging its boundaries and the ocean lapping its shores, it’s no marvel Portland earns raves from culinary heavyweights and produces so many award-winning cooks. Pattern meals delicacies on a Maine Day Ventures culinary strolling tour or get the lowdown on Higher Portland’s spectacular beer scene on a Maine Brews Cruise strolling or bus tour.
Native tip: For a deeper beer dive, take one of many 1.5-hour immersive tasting experiences at Allagash, which earned a James Beard Award of Excellence for its Belgian-inspired brews.
2. Raft the Kennebec River
Wheeee! Maine’s Kennebec River tumbles 12 miles from the Harris Station dam to The Forks, the place it flows into the Useless River. In every raft, a Registered Maine Whitewater Information steers as you paddle by way of the Kennebec Gorge’s whitewater roller-coaster. After a riverside lunch, you would possibly float in Class II ripples. Maine’s oldest rafting firm, Northern Outdoor, pioneered the journey, and its Kennebec River base gives lodging, eating and a brewery.
Detour: Hike to Moxie Falls, one among New England’s tallest waterfalls. A mild path threads by way of woodlands and connects to a collection of boardwalks. Remark platforms overlook a number of swimming pools and drops, together with a spectacular plunge of just about 90ft.
The Knife Edge Path on Mt Katahdin is a part of Maine’s 100-mile wilderness © Aurora Open / Getty Photographs
3. Trek lodge to lodge in Maine’s famed 100-mile wilderness
Maine is laced with scores of fantastic hikes, together with its 100-mile wilderness, thought of by many as one of many hardest sections of the Appalachian Path. However you possibly can ease into it at 4, off-the-grid, rustic waterside lodges with visitor cabins, every a day’s hike, ski or snowshoe aside.
The Appalachian Mountain Membership manages three: Medawisla, Little Lyford and Gorman Chairback, the fanciest. The fourth, West Department Pond Camps, is privately owned. All present meals and scorching showers. Come for the quietude, wildlife watching, swimming, paddling, fishing and the very best stargazing within the AMC Maine Woods Worldwide Darkish Sky Park.
There isn’t a higher method of exploring the coast than on a Maine windjammer ©Warren Worth Pictures/Shutterstock
4. Sail aboard a Maine windjammer
One of the simplest ways to discover Maine’s coast and greatest seashores is aboard a sailboat. For a singular Maine expertise, ebook a multi-day sail aboard a Maine windjammer on Penobscot Bay, thought of among the many world’s greatest crusing waters. Wind and tide set the course, and climate frames the day. You would possibly anchor off an undeveloped island for a seaside lobster bake or in a fishing harbor, the place you possibly can discover the village. Anticipate a glamping cabin and three all-you-can-eat meals every day, together with a lobster feast.
Native tip: Constructed on the location of a former shipyard, Rockland’s Sail, Energy & Steam Museum reveals marine and native industrial-related artifacts, images and fashions. If Capt. Jim Sharpe is onsite, ask him for a tour. He’s a beautiful storyteller and a traditional outdated salt.
5. Uncover Maine’s Indigenous historical past on the Abbe Museum
Eons earlier than vacationers got here to Mount Desert Island for Acadia Nationwide Park – Maine’s greatest state park in our opinion – the world’s Indigenous Folks gathered right here every summer time. Maine’s Wabanaki, comprising the Maliseet, Micmac, Passamaquoddy, and Penobscot Nations, hint their historical past right here again 12,000 years.
Collectively often known as Folks of the Daybreak, this tribal confederation shares its historical past and heritage within the Abbe Museum, Maine’s solely Smithsonian affiliate, in downtown Bar Harbor. However don’t miss the unique trailside museum at Sieur du Monts Springs in Acadia.
Native tip: Whereas in Bar Harbor, tour the La Rochelle Mansion and Historical past Museum, located in a harborfront mansion that survived the Nice Fireplace of 1947. Right here, you’ll be taught in regards to the glitz and glamour of Bar Harbor’s gilded period, on a regular basis island life, the fireplace and noteworthy people.
No lobster tastes higher than one you caught your self © Daniel Grill / Tetra Photographs / Getty Photographs
6. Catch a lobster at Casco Bay
Boarding a working lobster boat, donning oilskins, and serving to bait, set, and haul traps could be essentially the most Maine factor you are able to do. And you are able to do it with Capt. Tom Martin’s Fortunate Catch Lobster Excursions. You’ll be taught all in regards to the tasty crustacean and sure see islands, lighthouses, forts, seals, sailboats, ferries and different vessels cruising Casco Bay. Normally, about 10 traps are hauled on the 80- to 90-minute journey, and passengers are invited to assist. When the tour ends, purchase any lobsters caught at boat worth and get them cooked close by for an affordable price.
Native tip: Favor a lobster roll or a full lobster dinner? Select from two glorious choices inside strolling distance: few frills Portland Lobster Firm or the fancier Luke’s Lobster.
7. Tour Stephen King’s Derry
Followers of creepy books and flicks will thrill to find the place horror maven Stephen King will get his inspiration on a 2.5- to 3-hour van tour of Bangor, a.ok.a. Derry, Maine, with SK Excursions of Maine. Among the many highlights are filming places, King’s home, and websites that impressed scenes and characters. The guides convey King to life by way of tales, anecdotes and enjoyable info. You’ll additionally study Bangor and acquire native suggestions. This tour’s so good that it even wins over non-fans.
8. Museum hop alongside the Maine Artwork Museum Path
Visiting every of the 9 museums on the Maine Artwork Museum Path gives entry to regional and world-class works, European and American Masters, and effective craft. Along with sharing artwork, the museum places present snapshots of Maine. One museum occupies an island lighthouse complicated, one other is on a bridge-and-causeway-connected island, three are on school campuses, three are in downtowns and one instructions an oceanfront cliff.
Planning tip: Pair visiting the Portland Museum of Artwork with touring Winslow Homer’s studio, a Nationwide Historic Landmark. The museum spent six years restoring the American Grasp’s oceanfront studio, the place he painted a few of his biggest works, to the way it appeared in 1910. The one technique to go to is with a museum information on a small-group Winslow Homer Studio Tour.
Take a stroll to Portland Breakwater Lighthouse and revel in unimaginable views of the bay © Carol Boldt / Alamy
9. Attain enlightenment at Maine’s lighthouses
Maine’s 64 lighthouses salt the shoreline from Kittery to Calais. However the very best concentrations of simply accessed lighthouses is within the Higher Portland and Rockland areas. Portland Breakwater Lighthouse and Spring Level Ledge Mild supply eye-candy views over Portland and Casco Bay. From Portland Head Mild, commissioned by George Washington and first lit in 1791, you possibly can look out to sea to view Ram Island Mild.
If you happen to’re surefooted and the climate’s effective, stroll the practically one-mile granite breakwater to Rockland Breakwater Mild, which guards the doorway to Rockland’s harbor. Owls Head Mild, dwelling to the Keeper’s Home Interpretive Middle & Present Store, winks from throughout the harbor. Drive down the St. George Peninsula to tour the Marshall Level Lighthouse and Museum.
Native tip: The Maine Lighthouse Museum is another excuse why Rockland ranks as among the finest locations to see lighthouses in Maine. The downtown museum homes the nation’s most intensive assortment of Fresnel lenses and engaging lighthouse-related artifacts.