15 Best Things To Do in Maine: Top-Rated Tourist Attractions In 2022

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Best Things To Do in Maine

15 Best Things To Do in Maine: Top-Rated Tourist Attractions In 2022

Few states can claim as many iconic images as Maine. Think about this northern New England state, and fully equipped Windjammers, waves crashing against a rocky shoreline, fishing ports full of colorful boats, lighthouses, and tall pines immediately spring to mind.

The miles and miles of secluded forests inhabited by elk have their mystique, conjuring up images of a lone canoe barely caressing the mirror-like surface of a lake surrounded by woods or rainbow trout leaping from crystal clear waters.

What’s remarkable about Maine is that it doesn’t disappoint tourists who arrive with these romantic images in mind. The lighthouses crown points from York to Quoddy Head, and between them are dozens of small fishing ports and mile after mile of rocky shoreline pounded by waves.

Windjammers move among the spruce-covered islands offshore, and brightly painted lobster buoys float in the water, with lobster boats jumping between them to hoist traps.

But not all of Maine’s attractions are in iconic images. Among its museums, stunning gardens, artistic heritage, historic attractions, outdoor activities, and natural wonders, you have plenty of options to do on a Maine vacation. Discover the best places to visit using our list of Maine’s top attractions as a guide.

15 Best Things To Do in Maine: Top-Rated Tourist Attractions:

Things To Do in Maine
Things To Do in Maine

1. Acadia National Park

Acadia National Park will delight nature lovers and outdoor enthusiasts with an abundance of breathtaking scenery and spectacular scenery. The only national park in New England was established in 1916 to protect and preserve its beautiful ocean coastline and myriad natural treasures.

Located just southwest of Bar Harbor, it includes part of the Schoodic Peninsula, around half of Mount Desert Island, and many other islands and islets. Its limits are majestic mountains and wonderful forests with many lakes, wetlands, and rugged coastal cliffs.

Due to its incredible scenery and nature, Acadia National Park is a pleasure to explore, with hiking, climbing, and kayaking being particularly popular. Additionally, the park is also home to a host of amazing wildlife, with elk, white-tailed deer, and black bears residing in its vast wilderness.

2. See The Fall Foliage

Things To Do in Maine

Thanks to its stunning fall colors, Maine is one of the most popular and scenic places to view fall foliage in the United States. Towards the end of the year, thousands upon thousands of people across the country and beyond descend on the state to watch its beautiful landscapes turn into a fascinating mix of different colors.

Its popularity is such that the state has even published foliage reports, so visitors know the perfect time to visit and the best places to go to ‘look at the leaves. While many people head to Bethel and Newry due to their proximity to beautiful mountains and lakes, others take scenic drives. Along Acadia Park Loop Road or the Rangeley Lakes National Scenic Byway.

With so many dazzling hues of yellows, reds, and oranges covering its hills, forests, and mountains, Maine truly is one of the most magical and memorable places to view fabulous fall foliage.

3. Baxter State Park

Things To Do in Maine

Spanning everything from mountains and forests to lakes, rivers, and waterfalls, Baxter State Park is home to a wealth of unspoiled and unspoiled nature and landscapes. Named after politician and philanthropist Percival P. Baxter, who donated land for the park between 1931 and 1962, it is located in the north-central region of the state.

Highly mountainous in nature, the state park includes the highest peak in all of Maine in the form of 1,606-meter-high Mount Katahdin, with countless other mountains lying within its limits. Hidden amongst its verdant forests are breathtaking sights such as the Great Matagamon Lake and the Green Falls with elk, coyotes and black bears that can be seen from time to time.

Because of all the wonderful nature on display, Baxter State Park lends itself perfectly to all kinds of outdoor activities, with hiking, canoeing and camping being particularly popular.

4. Go Whale Watching

Things To Do in Maine
Things To Do in Maine

As many whales can be found in the waters of the state’s coast, taking a trip to see these majestic marine mammals is one of the most memorable things to do in Maine. Along its jagged coastline, you will find towns and villages where you can organize boat trips out to the open ocean.

The fertile feeding waters are just thirty kilometers offshore, where the world’s largest living creatures come to feast and nurse their young. Between mid-April and October, visitors have a good chance to spy on humpback, pilot, minke, and finback whales with sperm whales and killer whales to be seen from time to time.

While you can occasionally view from shore with binoculars, the best way to see them up close and personally is on a whale-watching cruise. Many companies offer these trips from the ports of Bar and Boothbay, with some tours even departing from Portland.

5. Portland Head Lighthouse

Things To Do in Maine
Things To Do in Maine

Portland Head Lighthouse, the oldest lighthouse in all of Maine, was notably built-in in 1791. Since then, it has guided sailors safely home from its prominent cliff-top location just south of the Port of Portland

Erected to protect and warn ships of Cape Elizabeth’s rough and rugged coastline, its gleaming white tower stands out magnificently against the spectacular landscape that surrounds it. Towering eighty feet tall, its intermittent Fresnel lens and booming foghorn are now automated and maintained by the United States Coast Guard.

In addition to admiring its delightfully desolate surroundings and the wild waters of the Atlantic, visitors to the historic lighthouse can learn all about its fascinating past at its marvelous maritime museum. As well as housing a collection of artifacts, photos, and models of the lighthouse, it also tells the story of its guardians and the ships that sank along its shores.

6. Maine Lobster Festival

Things To Do in Maine
Things To Do in Maine

Renowned the world over for its shellfish, each year the state hosts the Maine Lobster Festival in the coastal city of Rockland. In addition to paying tribute to the lanky sea creature, parades, music concerts, and an art show are held alongside the fun and festive party.

Throughout Its five days, thousands and thousands of people visit the festival not only to try delicious lobster dishes, but also great musical shows and performances. In addition, there is also the “Great International Lobster” Box Race’ to watch or participate. Here, contestants bravely run across the top of the crates swinging over the bay, risking falling into the cold Maine waters as they do so.

With several ongoing contests and a packed program of cooking, arts and crafts, and entertainment, the Maine Lobster Festival is a unique, unusual and unforgettable event to attend.

7. Ogunquit Beach

Things To Do in Maine

Located on the outskirts of the charming little town of the same name, Ogunquit Beach boasts a sublime stretch of spectacular sand and coastline. It’s very popular in the summer months, and it’s just under an hour’s drive from Portland on a barrier peninsula between Ogunquit Bay, the river, and the Atlantic Ocean.

Ogunquit Beach, which appropriately means ‘beautiful place by the sea’ in the indigenous Abenaki language, certainly seems like a delight. In addition to lazily lounging on its golden sands and gazing out at the ocean, visitors can also plunge into its waters or swim and surf along its shore.

Many ice cream parlors, romantic restaurants, and art galleries are within a stone’s throw from the beach, with Ogunquit being particularly popular with the LGBT community. Ideal for a relaxing weekend getaway or a sunny summer vacation, Ogunquit Beach is a very peaceful and picturesque place to spend time.

8. Skiing at the Sugarloaf Mountain

Things To Do in Maine
Things To Do in Maine

Home to an astonishing array of great ski slopes and snow-capped landscapes, Sugarloaf is one of the best places to ski in all of New England. The second-largest ski resort east of the Mississippi is located at Sugarloaf Mountain in western Maine.

In addition to housing more than 150 trails and marked clearings, the resort has thirteen chair lifts and a continuous vertical drop ski area that drops notably 860 meters down the mountain. While most people are skiing and snowboarding, Sugarloaf also offers great golfing, hiking, and mountain biking options during the summer months with phenomenal views over the enjoy from above.

In addition, the resort also has countless cabins and cozy restaurants for visitors to choose from, with great amenities and a snow sports school.

9. Old Orchard Beach

Things To Do in Maine
Things To Do in Maine

Situated on the shores of Saco Bay, Old Orchard Beach has long been a popular summer destination due to its golden sands and proximity to Portland. Additionally, the sun-drenched coastal town has a lively yet laid-back atmosphere and offers countless entertainment and family activities.

Perfect for sunbathing, swimming, and water sports, its wide beach stretches for a total of ten kilometers with a wonderful old wooden pier that juts out into the waters of the Atlantic. Right next door is the Palace Playland amusement park, which has many exciting rides for visitors, as well as a fun Ferris wheel and a fun-filled arcade.

There is a wild and wet Funtown Splashtown water park on the outskirts of town. Many souvenir shops, restaurants, and hotels can be found along its chaotic and colorful beach.

10. Victoria Mansion in Portland

Things To Do in Maine
Things To Do in Maine

Built-in 1860, the stately Italian-style Victoria Mansion is one of the finest and most attractive examples of residential architecture in the entire United States. Located in the heart of downtown Portland, the National Historic Landmark is very popular to visit due to its astonishing architecture and sumptuously decorated interior.

Proudly displaying an asymmetrical design, the gleaming brownstone building features a four-story tower and hanging eaves and open terraces. Once the summer home of Ruggles hotelier Sylvester Morse, it was converted into a museum in 1941 to protect and preserve all its unique features and furnishings.

The interior is visually stimulating, as fantastic frescoes and furnishings are found alongside elaborate paintings, artwork, and decorative pieces. Covered in rich rugs, exotic woods, and striking stone, the luxurious Victoria Mansion is certainly worth a visit when in Portland.

11. Maine Coastal Botanical Gardens

Things To Do in Maine

One of Maine’s top tourist attractions, the enchanting Maine Coastal Botanical Gardens, is located not far from the small town of Boothbay. The beautiful gardens, spread over a huge area, are home to many nice plants and fantastic flowers and stunning scenery, landscapes, and nature.

Opened in 2007, New England’s largest botanical garden covers everything from lush meadows and verdant forests to beautifully landscaped lawns and spectacular coastlines. Walking along its paths and trails is a very pleasant and peaceful experience while immersing yourself in the beautiful nature that surrounds it.

While most people visit them when the gardens are open from mid-April to October, the six weeks available over the Christmas period are a truly special time to visit. This is when Gardens Aglow takes place, and much of the site is magically lit with flickering fairy lights.

12. Camden

Things To Do in Maine
Things To Do in Maine

Widely considered one of the most beautiful places in all of New England, the pretty town of Camden and its picture-perfect harbor has long been popular tourist destination. Located along the Mid-Coast region of Maine, it is an hour’s drive north of Portland.

Home to many glitzy boutiques and exquisite restaurants, the upscale seaside community, has long drawn wealthy residents and wealthy outsiders to its picturesque shores. As such, many magnificent mansions and extravagant properties dot the hills and forests that make their way to the ocean, while some excellent art galleries can be found in the city center.

Floating around the bay are many boats and yachts for visitors to rent, with very popular sailing along the coast. Also, hiking Mount Battie and Mount Megunticook is another favorite pastime for the beautiful views and nature on display. Fall is one of the best times of the year to visit Camden due to its fabulous foliage.

13. Pemaquid Lighthouse

Things To Do in Maine

Located right at the tip of the Pemaquid Neck, the historic lighthouse of the same name is in a picturesque and secluded location. Perched dramatically on some rocks overlooking the wild waters of the Atlantic Ocean, it can be found in Bristol’s fishing and resort area.

Commissioned by President John Quincy Adams, the lighthouse was built in 1827 with a more powerful Fresnel lens added decades later. Surprisingly, the lighthouse is still used to this day, guiding ships and boats home and warning them of Maine’s rugged and jagged coastline.

In addition to gazing at the wonderful white lighthouse that stands out in its surroundings, visitors can also learn about its history in the adjoining museum. In addition to this, some excellent works of art from the Pemaquid lighthouse and the local area can be seen at the nearby Pemaquid Art Gallery.

14. Sail or paddle the Maine Island Trail

Things To Do in Maine
Things To Do in Maine

Stretching along the entire state coast is the wonderful Maine Island Trail, connecting more than two hundred islands and mainland sites. Visitors can explore its scenic shores and wonderful waterways, stopping to camp, hike, and explore as they go.

Since there is no set route, people can take their time with the recreational water trail from the New Hampshire state line to the Canadian border. The best way to visit all of its pristine and unspoiled islands is to sail between them or paddle and kayak in smaller sections.

The first trial in the US, the Maine Island Trail, is ideal for nature lovers and outdoor enthusiasts with a wealth of great scenery and recreational opportunities.

15. Town of Acadia

Things To Do in Maine

Located right in the northeast of the state, Acadian Village sits on the banks of the Saint John River facing Canada. Founded in 1976, the small museum protects, preserves, and promotes Acadia’s history and heritage and is worth a visit if you get the chance.

Now a National Historic Landmark, the site’s collection of 19th-century structures is fascinating to examine, as they show how Franco-Americans used to live and work. Originally located elsewhere, the historic houses, schools, and blacksmiths were disassembled before being transported and reassembled in their current location.

Open between June and September, the small town and its surrounding grounds are very pleasant and picturesque to visit, with many interesting artifacts and antique furniture on display.

Frequently Asked Questions: 15 Best Things To Do in Maine

What is the best month to visit Maine?

The best time to visit Maine for good weather is between June and August. If you’re hoping to avoid the crowds and enjoy a more laid-back holiday, the best time to visit Maine is during the spring or fall.

What is the coolest thing about Maine?

Maine is most famous for… Lobster and harvests the majority of the lobster in the United States. Maine has 3,478 miles of coastline – more than California (3,427), and over 5,000 miles of coast if you include all of the islands as well.

What attracts Maine people?

  • Forest, Mountain or Sea: Pick Your Retreat. Maine has been an outdoor mecca for 200 years and has more forests now than in the 1800s: roughly 90% of the state is covered in trees
  • Summer Island Hopping. Islands are some of the most beautiful and serene getaways Maine has to offer
  • Allagash Wilderness Waterway

Is Maine expensive to visit?

A vacation to Maine for one week usually costs around $1,161 for one person. So, a trip to Maine for two people costs around $2,322 for one week. A trip for two weeks for two people costs $4,644 in Maine.

How many days should you stay in Maine?

You need between one and two weeks in Maine to visit the most attractive coastal towns. It’s also possible to only spend a few days if you pick one or two preferred towns and make day trips from there.

What is Maine known for?

Maine’s long rocky Atlantic Coast is known for its frigid waters and an ample fishery – most famed for the Maine lobster. The state also is known for more than 40,000 acres of wild blueberries. 7. There are about 43 people per square mile in Maine.

Is moving to Maine a good idea?

Maine has affordable housing and a lower low cost of living than neighboring states. In addition, it has some of the lowest crime rates in the nation. United States News & World Report ranked Maine as the 1st overall safest state to live, (also 1st in the list of low violent crime and 4th in low property crime).

Is Augusta Maine worth visiting?

Augusta, the capital city of Maine is a perfect destination for summer vacations. With it moderate and bearable weather, the place has beautiful grey skies that never runs out of water drops. The city has been existing since the 18th century and was originally a trading post.

Who is the most famous person from Maine?

  • Hannibal Hamlin.
  • William King.
  • George Mitchell.
  • Edmund Muskie.
  • Nelson A. Rockefeller.
  • Margaret Chase Smith.
  • Samantha Smith.
  • Gerald E. Talbot.

Is Bath Maine worth visiting?

Home to one of the top museums in the world, excellent shopping, a world-class performance center, two incredible beaches, and more, Bath is a must-visit on your next New England vacation. Downtown Bath, Maine, is just one of many fabulous places worth a visit in the area.

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