Some of the best places to visit in Maine are historic, scenic, and rugged. Commonly known as vacation land, you are bound to have the best time here. Maine is a beautiful state where the rocky coastline is adorned with ancient lighthouses and wilderness that has been conserved for several years, and the vacation destinations here are endless.
Table of Contents
- What’s worth visiting in Maine?
- Best Places to Visit in Maine
What’s worth visiting in Maine?
Maine has loads to offer, from charming little towns, national parks, and endless wildlife to ski resorts, unmatched landscapes, and delicious seafood. The cities are packed with culture, and the coastal towns are always swimming with tourists looking to have a great time.
Maine, inarguably, has all the makings that any traveler will fall in love with. Regardless of whether you want to hike the best trails, go whale-watching with your friends, visit beautiful art museums that make you want to pick up a paintbrush the minute you get home, or arrange a romantic getaway, Maine is the most romantic and happening places to visit at least once in your life.
We have put together a list of the best places to visit in Maine for your next vacation after reading countless reviews, magazine articles, and famous features and researching what every area is known for. Believe us; this list will not disappoint!
Best Places to Visit in Maine
Below, we have curated a special list of all the best places to visit in Maine the next time you plan a vacation:
If you are someone who loves the outdoors, you will have the time of your life in the mountains of Rangeley. Even though it is a small town, it is a wonderful destination, especially if you want to explore the wilderness Maine offers.
You can enjoy lots of activities solo or with your friends during the warm weather, from swimming, boating, and hiking or paddleboarding, canoeing, and kayaking.
If you happen to visit Rangeley in the winter, the town’s lake trail center is famous for cross-country skiing, snowshoeing, and fat biking. After five long years, Saddleback Mountain has also opened up; it provides excellent opportunities for alpine skiing. Of course, you cannot visit Saddleback Mountain without visiting Sugarloaf- it is the most famous ski resort that will leave you mesmerized and unwilling to make your way home.
There are some souvenirs you can take home from Rangeley’s famous stores as well always to remember the fun times you shared here. A famous general store, Ecopelagicon, is known for its candy and maple syrups- two of Maine’s staple items. Moreover, if you are looking for a meal to enjoy, nothing beats the dining options at The Loon Lodge Inn.
The largest city in Maine, Portland is the perfect innovative, artsy, creative, and cool destination that all travelers instantly fall in love with. You could run out of time but never have things to do in Portland.
Whether you want to shop in South Portland and Old Port, visit the Portland Museum of Art, or explore gorgeous Casco Bay, we assure you that you will never want to leave Portland. After all, it is one of the best places to visit in Maine.
Another thing about Portland that will make foodies very happy is that it is absolute food heaven, so you should expect to fall into a food coma here- come with a full appetite! This city will redefine your love for food, from trying Portland’s wonderful collection of fresh seafood to experimenting with its fusion cuisine. The best part is that Portland is known to be one of the most fantastic craft beer destinations, so you get the best of both worlds!
Bethel is a cute town located on the outskirts of the White Mountain National Forest and is hard to miss, especially since everyone passing by this route is likely to get off their cars and explore the beauty around the area.
Whether you are in the mood for a relaxing mountain escape or an energetic outdoor experience, this beautiful village has lots to offer to everyone. You can fish, hike, or go kayaking regardless of the season or time of year you visit.
In the winter, you can play around in the snow and pay a quick visit to the Sunday River Ski Resort.
The aesthetic in Bethel is more relaxed and is perfect for couples who want to take some time off work and unload their responsibilities. The Elements Art Gallery is a great date idea where you and your significant other can admire the art together and take some home for your apartment, after which you can stop at the Sunday River Brewing Company for some wood-fired pizza and the softest donuts you have ever had.
Regarding the area’s aesthetics, Bethel definitely gives you a bang for your buck since it is located at the base of the White Mountain National Forest. It doesn’t matter what you do here- every single place you visit will be the perfect background for your Instagram pictures.
Acadia National Park
A visit to Mount Desert Island to view the Acadia National Park is a must when you visit Maine. You will feel like you have been transported to the best adventure this earth offers.
There are a range of outdoor activities to choose from here, including sightseeing, hiking, camping, biking, and fishing.
The park offers some spectacular views as well, like Thunder Hole. The most dramatic sight is when the water pours in at high tide and reaches a mesmerizing height of 40 feet. Even though you can visit Acadia all through the year and fall in love at any point, autumn is the best time to visit as the beautiful scenery becomes even more vibrant as the colors of fall settle in.
One of the best places to stay during your visit is Bar Harbor Inn, where you will wake up to views of the ocean every single day. You will also have access to locally-inspired food, waterfront dining, and a gorgeous park in all of the United States.
Old Orchard Beach
If you love nature and could fall asleep to the sound of the waves crashing against the shore after a day picking apples in Maine, Old Orchard Beach will not disappoint. This is a seaside town that is one of the cutest towns in Maine with its tiny coastal community is always happy to welcome tourists and show them around.
The locals pride themselves on living on the last amusement park at the beachfront in England- a true landmark. You will also find the Palace Playland here- an excellent place for kids. It offers hundreds of attractions and rides, along with a 20,000-square feet arcade with ancient and modern games aching to be played!
Old Orchard Beach is known to be one of the best beaches with its soft, sandy beach that one can lie in all day. The best part is that all the arrangements that a beach-lover needs are present, from lifeguards to accessible restrooms to close-by dining options.
Moreover, the Old Orchard Beach Pier provides a 500-foot wooden pier with a fair share of souvenir shops, world-renowned restaurants, and a nightclub from where one can view the beautiful and endless Atlantic Ocean. Whether you are looking for a luxury or comfortable economy suite, the resorts here will pamper you as if you have never been pampered before.
Boothbay Harbor is the best place to visit if you want to understand the hype behind Midcoast Maine. Here, you can tour the Burnt Island Light House using a boat and be dazzled by the beauty of the tiny island and the magnificent coastline. If you decide to visit during summer, you must take a day out for the Cabbage Island Clambake. This provides a quick vacation and is perfect for someone who is visiting Maine for the first time.
This place has everything to love, from the clambake culture to the fresh seafood, blueberry cakes, and chowder. Of course, the clams cannot be forgotten!
If you happen to visit between May and October, you might also be lucky enough to find some of Maine’s famous wildlife on the coast. Book a puffin cruise and whale watch with your loved ones to appreciate what nature offers. If you are a wildlife enthusiast, you will also be pleased to know that there is no other country apart from Maine where wild puffins rest, so make sure to record them in their natural habitat!
If you enjoy the serenity of the water, you can stay at the Harbour Towne Inn located on the Waterfront. The lands here have been restored and have Victoria-era feels, allowing you to explore the downtown restaurants, art galleries, and Waterfront that lie within walking distance.
If you are in Portland, Peaks Island is a quick ferry ride away, so you must definitely pay a visit here. This island is the perfect summertime getaway that will pull you away from worries and responsibilities and ensure you go home refreshed and ready to tackle the world.
You don’t need any cars to experience the beauty here- you can use a golf cart, bike, or tour the island on foot to get your daily steps in! Brad’s Bike Rental is a great stop for bikes that will allow you to cycle your way through this magnificent island, taking in the ocean views of Maine.
Did you know that you will find the most haunted place in all of New England here? Brace yourselves as you make your way to the Battery Steele Military Reserve, located on the southeastern side of Peaks Island. A quick tip we would like to offer is to bring a friend along who will keep your spirits up as you explore the tunnels where crazy paranormal activities have been recorded!
Of course, if you are someone who gets scared easily, you can plan an easy, fun experience at the Down Front and enjoy some hand-dipped ice cream and other delicious sweets as you walk past the area on a gorgeous summer afternoon. You can also explore the booming restaurant scene while you’re here and gain some holiday weight!
Known for Paul Bunyan’s 31-foot-tall statue, which is a significant part of the town’s history, Bangor was also known as the lumber capital of the world at some point in time. Today, this town is known for being the home of the absolute legend Stephen King- the horror writer who had everyone clutching onto their bedsheets in the middle of the night.
Apart from Stephen King and Paul Bunyan, there is a lot that Bangor offers.
The city forest stretches to 680 acres of land that houses hundreds of different wildlife, along with beautiful hiking trails that lead you to the magnificent wetlands that are a view to marvel at. Hiking can definitely build up your appetite, and instead of trying to control your hunger, you can make your way to the hotels, inns, and restaurants in the heart of the city.
Perfect for a romantic trip with the love of your life, Rockland is the perfect place to get to know your partner all over again! If romance isn’t on the list, you can plan a few days to visit the coastal town and free your mind of all worries as you sail through the water on a cruise, creating memories that will last you your entire life.
Of course, there are lots of activities that you can do on land as well. We suggest you make your way to the Berry Manor Inn, where you will find a fireplace in every room of the B&B so that you and your friends can stay warm and cozy all night.
We must warn you, though, that the evening treats here are to die for, and we are not responsible if you put on some holiday weight! In fact, this inn has been advertised on Mike Rowe’s Dirty Jobs, making it the perfect place for you to stay when you are not outdoors exploring Rockland.
Kennebunkport is famous as the Bush family has lived here during the summers for many years. In fact, it became officially known as the Summer White House when Bush was in office. Even today, it is common for the family to vacation here, and we know why- Kennebunkport makes the best vacation spot.
There is so much to do here, from swimming and surfing at the beach to watching whales, sailing, and taking some lobster tours! The downtown area is popular for its cute shops and huge art galleries where you can purchase some keepsakes for your friends and family back home.
There are also many renowned restaurants in the area that are known for their fantastic seafood; for example, The Clam Shack serves the best lobster roll.
In fact, it was featured in Food & Wine Magazine, where its lobster rolls were labeled as “America’s Best.” There are also many places you can choose to stay while visiting Kennebunkport- Sandy Pines Campground provides the best tents and cabins, along with a saltwater pool that stays heated and serves as a wonderful alternative to the freezing waters of the Atlantic, where even the bravest cannot dip in for a swim!
Of course, this does not mean that you should not visit Kennebunkport in the winter- in fact, this town transforms into a scene from a Christmas movie during this time of the year. If you are someone who loves celebrating Christmas, the Christmas Prelude here will not disappoint!
If you are looking for a less-crowded spot to visit in Midcoast, Maine, Damariscotta is the perfect tourist spot to book a ride. It is commonly known as the Damariscotta Region and is connected to Newcastle via a bridge over the rider, which means that you can make your way to two of Maine’s famous places on one trip! Damariscotta is known for its booming oyster industry.
It holds oyster festivals consistently every year, where hundreds of seafood lovers visit the area and interact with each other as they enjoy the freshest oysters they will ever find.
The best way to enjoy the coastal vibe of this downtown area is by making your way to the Maine Coast Book Shop and Café or the Sheepscot River Pottery. There are loads of cute restaurants and lovely B&Bs that are a delight to stay in.
Red’s Eats is another must-visit restaurant only 10 minutes away in a small village in Wiscasset. Here, you will get to experience the deliciousness of the world’s best lobster. Of course, you might have to wait in line, but we promise you, it will all be worth it in the end!
Maine is the perfect holiday getaway as it encompasses all the cultural beauty of New England and provides a range of outdoor activities that will allow tourists to explore the area’s beauty.
Every year, people from different parts of the world make their way to the stunning places we have listed in this article and appreciate the rocky coasts and beautiful vistas located here. The Sun, surf, shopping, and sand make Maine the best place to visit, especially when going with family or loved ones! Book a visit to Maine soon to destress and make the best memories of your life!