Acadia National Park:
Acadia National Park abounds with an endless variety of sights, attractions and activities. Outdoor enthusiasts can try biking, hiking, rock climbing, kayaking and sailing. While glaciers created the upside-down claw-like shape of the island that is known as Mt. Desert, its shape is hardly the only thing that makes it unique. The third-largest island on the east coast of the United States, Mt. Desert is home to Cadillac Mountain, the highest mountain on the east coast north of Rio de Janeiro. From atop Cadillac Mountain’s 1,532-foot summit visitors are the first to watch the sun rise each day in the United States.
When the words “Maine” and “food” happen to come up in the same sentence, the first thing most people think of is lobster. After all, nearly 90 percent of the lobster that eventually ends up on our nation’s dinner plates is trapped in Maine, and lobster pounds in Maine are as easily found at the shellfish itself. There may be nothing more satisfying than cracking into a freshly steamed lobster pulled from Maine’s waters earlier that day. But Maine’s lobster culture does not stop there. Ride aboard a lobster boat as the captain pulls traps on one of the many tours offered along the coast and learn more about Maine’s iconic crustacean. In addition to telling the story of our beloved lobster there are several other options when it comes to eating Maine-style. Homegrown produce and fresh seafood are staples on many menus throughout the state. Classic, all-American diners, where home cooking and plates piled high please hearty appetites are found in many Maine cities and towns. In addition, Maine has many award-winning chefs preparing gourmet meals in world-class restaurants, charming mountain inns and even rustic sporting camps throughout the state.
National Scenic Byways for Fall Foliage:
For visitors in search of spectacular scenery, Maine’s three National Scenic Byways and its All-American Road encircling Mount Desert Island offer stunning vistas with a good measure of history and local culture mixed in. All four roadways provide visitors with a unique touring experience and an opportunity to visit some of Maine’s most scenic locations. There may be no better time to experience these byways than in autumn when Maine really shows off its true colors. Visitors come from around the world for leaf-peeping as a combination of warm sunshine during the day and cool, crisp nights provide ideal conditions for leaves to display spectacular hues.
More than 60 lighthouses dot the scenic coast of Maine. By taking a trip along Maine’s coastal Route 1 and exploring the rocky shores and peninsulas along the way, visitors can experience a true sense of Maine’s maritime heritage by discovering its lighthouses. Perhaps there is no better way to view a lighthouse than from the water. The Maine Maritime Museum in Bath and the Penobscot Marine Museum in Searsport offer lighthouse cruises.
A perfect way to see and explore the more than 5,000 miles of Maine’s beautiful coastline is doing so by water. All along Maine’s coast there are opportunities for tour boat excursions, sailing trips, and cruises lasting anywhere from one hour to one week. One of the most unique ways to cruise the coast is aboard one of Maine’s historic windjammers. Maine is the only place in North America with such a large, historic fleet of traditional sailing vessels. Windjammer cruises offer an experience of a lifetime as you visit tiny fishing villages, explore islands and lighthouses, view whales, seals and puffins up close, or relax accompanied by dramatic scenery and salt air. You can even help the crew sail the ship if you choose.
Maine’s best attributes are celebrated year-round at events across the state. Summer and fall are signified by agricultural fairs cropping up in Maine’s heartland. Maine’s festivals are an opportunity to mingle with the locals and are also a way to embrace the state’s rich cultural heritage, such as maritime history and our Acadian, French and Native American heritage. The state’s love affair with food from the sea is celebrated all summer long, with events including the Yarmouth Clam Festival and the Maine Lobster Festival in Rockland.
With gradual trails for beginners, some of the steepest terrain in New England for experts, world-class super-pipes, exciting terrain parks, glade skiing and state-of-the-art grooming and snow-making, Maine’s mountains have something for everyone. Maine offers downhill enthusiasts 18 ski areas with a wide variety of on-mountain lodging. Maine also has over 600 kilometers of cross-country skiing at dozens of Nordic ski centers offering visitors a special way to explore winter in Maine. These centers provide safe, well-maintained and groomed trails. Many also offer snowshoeing and ice-skating, and most offer equipment rentals and instruction. The state is home to the Maine Winter Sports Center 10th Mountain Center in Fort Kent, a world-class cross country and biathlon center with trails, lodges with kitchen, locker rooms, sauna and waxing rooms, all groomed and free to the public. Of special interest: Many U.S. Olympians have trained at Maine’s Sugarloaf Resort and at the Maine Winter Sports Center in Fort Kent.
To make the most of Maine’s great outdoors, the adventurous can select a “trail” and experience the rugged beauty of Maine firsthand:
- The Maine Island Trail is a 375-mile waterway extending from the New Hampshire border on the west, to Machias Bay on the east. The trail winds its way along the coast, through protected saltwater rivers and quiet bays, and among islands large and small. It includes over 180 islands and mainland sites along the route.
- The Northern Forest Canoe Trail is a long-distance paddling trail connecting the major watersheds across the Adirondacks and Northern New England. Of the 740-mile trail, 347 miles are in Maine offering canoeists and kayakers a plethora of paddling adventures.
- Maine’s 281 miles of the Appalachian Trail are generally considered the most challenging of all fourteen states. Lakes, streams, and bogs abound, and moose and loon sightings are common.