Top 10 Special Things To Do In Maine

The Pine Tree State is primarily a haven for outdoor enthusiasts who are always looking for things to do in Maine. Acadia National Park, Maine’s undeniable crown jewel, and 32 state parks are all located on forest land, which makes up nearly 90% of the state. Additionally, the summer temperatures rarely rise above 80 degrees, which makes it a wonderful getaway from regions with hotter climates. While winter and spring are ideal for cozying up in a cabin and enjoying winter sports or seasonal festivals, fall brings gorgeous foliage to the state.

In addition to whale watching, swimming, and hiking, Maine also has a thriving art scene, a wide range of excellent restaurants, and a ton of other family-friendly activities. A trip to Maine guarantees a fun-filled experience that you won’t soon forget, whether you want to ski down Sugarloaf Mountain, admire sculptures at the Farnsworth Art Museum, or eat endless lobster rolls along the coast. For more information on the top things to do in Maine, continue reading.

1- Portland

Downtown Portland, Maine Cityscape - things to do in Maine
Downtown Portland, Maine

Portland offers all the classic Maine attractions, but it also has notable food, art, and entertainment scenes. Portland vacation must-dos include perusing the Portland Museum of Art, taking a brewery tour, strolling along the Eastern Promenade waterfront park, and exploring the shops and restaurants that line the Old Port’s charming cobblestone streets. World-class dining establishments like Duckfat, Central Provisions, and DiMillo’s on the Water (a floating restaurant) are sure to impress. Traveler-approved hotels include the Portland Harbor Hotel and The Press Hotel, Autograph Collection.

2- Cape Elizabeth and the Portland Head Light

Portland Head Light - things to do in Maine
Portland Head Light

Portland, the largest city in Maine, receives a lot of visitors who always go straight to the Old Port, the city’s harbor area. They might find a cruise ship there or see the tall masts of a sailing ship there, as Portland is still a bustling port, along with fishing boats, busy docks, and seafood restaurants. The brick and stone structures that supported one of the busiest ports on the East Coast from colonial times through the 19th-century line the narrow streets that ascend from the dockside Commercial Street.

If you arrive early enough, you can watch the fishing boats unload and local chefs pick the menu at the city’s restaurants while shopping for nautical souvenirs in a ships’ chandlery and dining on seafood on the wharf. Several of these can be found on Fore Street, which runs parallel to Commercial. You can take a ferry to the bay’s islands or embark on a cruise of Casco Bay at the docks.

Portland Head Lighthouse, which denotes the entrance to the harbor, is a landmark of Casco Bay and the Portsmouth harbor. One of the most picturesque along the coast, you can see the city and Old Port, as well as passing ships and boats, from its promontory.

The museum in the former Keeper’s Quarters provides examples of lighthouses and the people who manned them, demonstrating how these bulwarks of maritime safety have evolved over time along with technological advancements. Artifacts on display include Fresnel lenses and demonstrations of how they function in addition to old photographs.

3- Marginal Way and Ogunquit Beaches

Boats in Perkins Cove
Boats in Perkins Cove

Ogunquit has everything you need for a restful getaway beyond the Marginal Way. Spend your days swimming and tanning at the more private Footbridge Beach or the 3-mile-long Ogunquit Beach. You can also browse the more than 3,000 pieces of art at the Ogunquit Museum of American Art. Recent visitors advised taking the vintage trolley, which typically runs from Memorial Day through Columbus Day, to explore the quaint town.

Ogunquit has everything you need for a restful getaway beyond the Marginal Way. Spend your days swimming and tanning at the more private Footbridge Beach or the 3-mile-long Ogunquit Beach. You can also browse the more than 3,000 pieces of art at the Ogunquit Museum of American Art. Recent visitors advised taking the vintage trolley, which typically runs from Memorial Day through Columbus Day, to explore the quaint town.

4- Camden

Camden Harbor, Maine
Camden Harbor, Maine

You can frequently see these elegant tall ships in Camden, Maine’s other harbor for Windjammers, which is located just north of Rockland. From here, you can also embark on a two-hour schooner cruise.

The bustling Main Street (Route 1) and Bay View Street in Camden, where you can find shops and galleries selling everything from dreamy knitting yarns to vintage garden ornaments, sits just below the harbor.

Climb or drive to the top of Mount Battie in Camden Hills State Park, where hikers will find more than 30 miles of trails, for an unrivaled harbor and island view anywhere south of Acadia National Park. Visit Merryspring Nature Center for additional trails and lovely flowers.

Even in the winter, Camden is charming. The Camden Snow Bowl boasts two unique features: a 400-foot toboggan chute, which is located there, and the fact that it is the only ski mountain in the East with views of the ocean from its trails. You can ride the steep, ice-covered track that serves as the venue for the annual U.S. National Toboggan Championships.

5- Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens

Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens
Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens

The Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens are a 270-acre lush green oasis with diverse plant families that extend along a mile of waterfront and are close to Portland and Augusta on the Boothbay Peninsula. The garden, which opened in 2007, also has a gift shop, a café, and a visitors center. The Giles Rhododendron Garden, which has a stunning multi-level waterfall on Barters Island Road, is one of the most well-liked spots.

The Bibby and Harold Alfond Children’s Garden, which was motivated by children’s books written by Maine authors, and the waterfront Fairy House Village are popular attractions for kids. In addition, there are the Vayo Meditation Garden, Haney Hillside Garden, Cleaver Event Lawn and Garden, Burpee Kitchen Garden, Perennial and Rose Garden, Slater Forest Pond, and Lerner Garden of the Five Senses. Both permanent sculptures and works by Maine artists that are a part of temporary exhibits are dispersed throughout the gardens.

6- Asticou Azalea Garden

Asticou Azalea Garden
Asticou Azalea Garden

Charles Kenneth Savage established the Asticou Azalea Garden in 1956, and it is situated close to Acadia National Park in Northeast Harbor on Mount Desert Island. Public access to the lovely 2.3-acre garden with its tranquil pond is available from May to October. The garden’s landscape is covered in a variety of azalea and rhododendron species, including the native Rhododendron canadense to Maine.

With gravel paths that have been raked to resemble flowing water, it is intended to resemble a Japanese stroll garden. 86 different bird species call the garden home. There is beauty all throughout the year, though mid-May to mid-June is the best time to see the azaleas in full bloom. The first sign of the season is a flowering cherry tree in mid-May, followed by Japanese iris, rosebay rhododendron, smoke bush, and the sweet, fragrant azalea in July. Water lilies appear in August, and the vibrant fall colors first appear in September and October.

7- Monhegan Island – Things To Do In Maine

Monhegan Island
Monhegan Island

The small island of Monhegan, which is 10 miles off the coast of Maine, is one of many inhabited coastal islands, but it has grown to become famous over time. This is largely because of its lengthy history as an artists’ colony and the numerous tales about its resilient residents and their lives on this storm-battered outpost.

The 75 year-round residents of the island work primarily in fishing and lobstering and there are no automobiles or paved roads there. Visitors can make day trips to the island during the summer from Boothbay Harbor, New Harbor, and Port Clyde, but they will only spend three to four hours there.

Since the middle of the 1800s, Monhegan has been a favorite vacation spot for artists due to its combination of untamed fishing villages, rocky granite cliffs (the highest ocean cliffs in Maine), crashing waves, and distinctive light. There are a ton of studios and galleries because of this long-standing artistic community and the several dozen artists who currently reside and work there.

Monhegan is a favorite among birders, and its 12 miles of trails take visitors to secluded nooks and towering headlands. Anywhere along the southern or back side of the island’s shoreline rocks, use extreme caution because errant waves and a strong undertow present a constant threat.

8- Visit the spooky Stephen King House

Stephen King House
Stephen King House

Travelers concur that a quick stop at Stephen King’s house is a necessity when passing through Bangor, Maine, even though tours inside the renowned horror author’s haunted home are no longer offered. Visitors can observe (and photograph) the eccentric features of the red Victorian mansion from the outside, such as the iron fence decorated with spiders and dragons and the 15-foot-tall wood sculpture in the front yard, which was carved out of a dead tree and features a variety of mystical creatures encircling a bookcase. Recent visitors claim that the location is especially eerie in the fall, and many advise going on a tour to learn more about the places where King lived, worked, and filmed some of his most well-known films.

9- Drive State Route 27 – Things To Do In Maine

State Route 27, Maine
State Route 27, Maine

A road trip to Maine is always a good idea, especially if you plan it around some of the state’s most beautiful scenic drives. One of the top five things to do in Maine might even be taking a scenic drive, especially in the fall when Route 27, also known as the Maine High Peaks Scenic Byway, is ablaze with color. Starting in the charming town of Kingfield, this route follows the Carrabassett River while providing breathtaking views of Mount Abraham and the Bigelow Range. The biggest stand of old growth forest in the state, Cathedral Pines, is another place you’ll pass through on Route 27 as you travel north.

10- Fort Knox and Penobscot Narrows Observatory

Fort Knox and Penobscot Narrows Observatory - Things To Do In Maine
Fort Knox and Penobscot Narrows Observatory

One of the most significant and well-preserved fortifications on the coast of New England is Fort Knox, which is situated in the Penobscot Narrows on the west bank of the Penobscot River in Prospect, Maine.

The fort is renowned for its numerous distinctive architectural elements, and its cannon batteries have seen a lot of action. In order to protect the Penobscot River valley from upcoming British naval assaults, Fort Knox was built in 1844. The fort was created by Joseph Totten and first troops were housed there in 1863. It was named after Major General Henry Knox, America’s first Secretary of War. Most of them were volunteers who were in training to take on active roles. Soldiers were stationed at Fort Knox in 1898 during the Spanish-American War.

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