A travel guide to the beautiful scenery, unique towns and interesting attractions of Maine.
From the rocky shorelines of the Mid-Coast to the countless lakes of Aroostook County to the historic streets of Portland and Kenebunkport, Maine offers a little something for everyone. Whether you like relaxing on the beach, hiking on rural mountain trails or fishing in a secluded lake, Maine has it in spades. It is also important to understand the state’s diverse regions and attractions to have the best trip possible.
Maine is a rural state, with most of its population concentrated along its southern coastline. Moving away from the coast brings you to Maine’s vast interior, with its myriad lakes, mountains and forests. Here, you’ll find no major cities but plenty of campgrounds, fishing spots and hiking trails. Being the most northeastern state in the U.S., it has developed a unique culture and identity all its own. Lobster rolls, moose sightings and the beautiful outdoors are all a part of everyday life. Culturally, most Mainers identify themselves with New England, but French Canadian influence from neighboring Quebec also plays a considerable role.
Coastline and cities
Maine’s southern and central coastline boasts many tourist attractions and unique towns. The southern coast offers beautiful sandy beaches and coves. Here, you can go sailing, swimming, kayaking and fishing. Nubble Lighthouse on Cape Neddick offers a great photo op, and there are even more lighthouses to explore as well. This region also has a number of interesting towns to check out. Ogunquit and York have many galleries, quirky shops, antique stores and cool souvenir shops. The Kennebunks and Wells have a more upscale, elegant feel but with many interesting shops and restaurants too. Portland plays host to a number of cool attractions as well. Visit the city’s many galleries, shops and restaurants and pay a visit to the Portland Museum of Art, Fore River Gallery and Victoria Mansion for a cultural excursion. Be sure to check out the Old Port, a historic area with many boutiques, shops and restaurants. Also make a point to visit the Arts District, which is home to many of Portland’s galleries and art shops. Portland’s suburbs, known as Greater Portland, boast many beaches, picturesque lighthouses, historic neighborhoods and the shopping mecca of Freeport, home to L.L. Bean. Maine’s Mid-Coast is famous for its breathtaking scenery and iconic rocky shores. Lobster roll shacks and eclectic towns abound in this area. Pay a visit to the lighthouse of Pemaquid Point, the historic Boothbay Harbor and Acadia National Park. The views from the park’s Cadillac Mountain are nothing short of phenomenal.
DownEast is picturesque Maine at its best. This region is known for its rocky shores, vast forests and photogenic towns and villages. Here, travelers can visit the famed and historic resort town of Bar Harbor, well known for its spectacular scenery and historic charm. Mount Desert Island also boasts stunning views of the shoreline and ocean. In DownEast, recreational opportunities abound. Biking, hiking, sailing, fishing and ocean cruising are all popular options.
Lakes and Mountains
The Lakes and Mountains region of Maine’s interior is an outdoorsman’s paradise. True to its name, this region offers countless lakes, hills and mountains to explore. Camping, fishing, hiking and biking are all readily available in this scenic region.
Valleys and the Highlands
The Highlands and the Kennebec and Moose River Valleys boast a diverse mix of bustling cities and rustic, scenic woodlands. These regions play host to many rivers and lakes, making them ideal for fishing. There are also many hiking and walking trails to explore as well. For those needing a break from the outdoors, head to Bangor or the state capital, Augusta. These historic cities offer all the creature comforts of modern civilization but are still within Maine’s scenic and rugged interior regions.
Arrostook County in the far North of Maine is known for its extremely rural character, outdoor recreation options and beautiful scenery. Bordered on three sides by Canada, Quebec culture is felt in many of the county’s picturesque towns. Often simply called “The County,” Aroostook County boasts 2,000 lakes, rivers and streams as well as many hiking trails and woodland areas.
It’s easy to see why Maine is nicknamed “Vacationland USA.” With its stunning shoreline, picturesque towns and lighthouses, beautiful mountain scenery and rural charm, Maine offers the perfect vacation, with outdoor and cultural options to boot. No matter what time of year, pay a visit to Maine. You won’t be disappointed!