Summer is the perfect time to take a vacation and explore someplace new. Yet, many travelers overlook the beautiful state of Maine when planning their trip. They’ll often head to the nearest beach and miss out on all the natural beauty the rocky northern coastline has to offer. This year, take a look and add even some of these places to visit in Maine to your destination list. Whether you travel alone or bring the whole family, you’re sure to have a grand time in this stunning state.
1. Acadia National Park
If you love hiking and scenic mountain views, check out Acadia National Park on Mount Desert Island. This park welcomes more than 3.5 million visitors each year and is home to moose, bears, birds of prey, and many other types of wildlife.
Stay in one of two park campgrounds or find lodging in a nearby town and spend a few days hiking the trails and exploring the coastline.
2. Pemaquid Point Lighthouse
Three hours southwest of Acadia National park lies Pemaquid Point Lighthouse. Commissioned by John Quincy Adams in 1827, this iconic Maine lighthouse is so popular that the state quarter depicts its likeness.
For just a small fee, you can explore the light tower, keeper’s house, fisherman’s museum, art gallery, and learning center.
3. Boothbay Harbor
If you’re already planning to visit Pemaquid Point, you might as well add Boothbay Harbor to your itinerary, too. This charming little town is a popular summer destination that’s packed with waterfront restaurants, shops, and art galleries.
Hop in a sea kayak or take a boat tour for up-close views of lighthouses, islands, seals, whales, and granite cliff faces that surround the little port.
4. Portland Head Lighthouse
Can’t get enough of those bright white lighthouses? Plan a trip out to Portland Head, where the oldest original lighthouse in Maine sits atop the rocky cliffs of Fort Williams Park in Cape Elizabeth.
While you can’t explore the lighthouse’s interior, you can explore the museum at its base and pick up gifts or souvenirs inside the site’s small seasonal shop. The surrounding area also offers a variety of seafood restaurants, which serve famous Maine lobster rolls and other quick bites.
5. Bar Harbor
A hot spot for summer tourism, the seasonally bustling Bar Harbor is the perfect place to visit if you love shopping, fresh-caught seafood, and people-watching. However, you might also explore the harbor just after Labor Day for a more peaceful — and less crowded — experience.
Head out on a boat tour of Frenchman Bay, climb Cadillac Mountain, or walk the rocky land bridge to Bar Island when the tide is low.
6. Old Orchard Beach
There aren’t many sandy beaches in Maine, but Old Orchard Beach is one of the best. Explore the various shops along the 500-foot pier, sunbathe on the beach, or take a chilly dip in the ocean.
The kids will also enjoy the carnival-like atmosphere where they can ride roller coasters, play carnival games, and watch fireworks at the beachfront amusement park.
While Castine may be a bit more challenging to get to, this historic little town is well worth a visit during the warm summer months. Occupied since the early 1600s, Castine is one of Maine’s oldest towns and is home to Dyce Headlight, Fort Madison, and the Maine Maritime Academy.
Watch the sunset from Wadsworth Cove Beach or enjoy a stroll under the many elm trees that line the streets.
8. Baxter State Park
While many travelers have heard of Acadia, very few know about the gem that is Baxter State Park. With more than 209,000 acres of land, the park is more than four times bigger than Acadia, giving the avid hiker more wildlife, trails, and campsites. Visitors may also hunt wildlife in about 25% of the park, with the exception of moose.
9. Sugarloaf Ski Resort
Don’t think you can visit Maine in the winter? Think again. The state boasts mountains of snow during the colder months, making it a haven for skiers and snowboarders alike.
If you’re looking to hit the slopes, too, book a stay at Sugarloaf Ski Resort, which features areas for everyone from novices to experts.
If you’d rather stick to the coast, take a day trip to Kennebunkport. This southern coastal town is known for its long, sandy beaches and historic houses dating back to the 18th century. Have coffee at a cafe in Dock Square, explore a nearby art gallery, or shop your way through the many upscale boutiques.
Planning a Memorable Trip: Places to Visit in Maine
As you plan your trip, remember to choose attractions and activities that you — or the whole family — will truly enjoy. And don’t forget to try something new!
Whether you hike to the top of a mountain or spend an entire day exploring a coastal town, you’re sure to make some exciting memories along the way with these places to visit in Maine.
- Visit Maine
- On our site: 10 Things to Do in Bar Harbor, Maine
- On our site: We have more to share about the Northeastern United States!
-All photos as credited. Cover photo by wfhayes on Pixabay