Known for its rugged coastlines and heavy forests, Maine offers a variety of outdoor activities, from fishing and boating to hiking and skiing.
Whether you want to explore the state’s rich maritime history or immerse yourself in its stunning natural beauty, there’s something for everyone. Here are 8 of the best places to visit in maine.
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Marginal Way is one of the most scenic and well-known paths in Maine. This 1.25 mile cliff walk wends its way from Perkins Cove to Ogunquit Beach, offering breathtaking coastal views.
The path winds through rocky beaches, maritime shrubs, and stately homes while providing visitors with expansive ocean views. Several benches are strategically placed along the shore so that you can sit and take in the stunning view.
This paved footpath was given to the town of Ogunquit in 1923 and has been enjoyed by residents and visitors ever since. It is also a popular spot for bird watching, especially in winter when the migratory flock thins out.
The walk traces Ogunquit’s “margin,” with cliffs, sandy coves, and weather-beaten trees, set against the rich blue of the Atlantic ocean. You can drop down into pocketsize tide pools or take a break on one of the 39 benches that line the path.
Cadillac Mountain, located in Acadia National Park, is the highest peak along the east coast of the United States. The granite summit offers sweeping 360-degree views of Frenchman Bay, Bar Harbor and the Porcupine Islands.
Millions of years ago, tectonic forces pushed the land upwards to form Cadillac Mountain. During ice ages, massive 1 to 2 mile high glaciers sheared off the top of the mountain and created the rounded appearance we see today.
On clear days, the summit is a popular destination to watch the sunrise. If you want to catch the best sunrise, arrive an hour before it happens, as the parking lot can be full when the sun rises.
If you prefer a less-crowded route to the summit, you can hike up the South Ridge Trail. It’s a moderate climb that gains 1,530 feet to the summit. Hikers stay away from the road for most of the trail, and a small glacial pond is a nice spot to stop for a drink or snack.
3.Portland Head Light.
The historic Portland Head Light, a major tourist attraction in Cape Elizabeth, Maine, has been lighting up the waters of Portland Harbor since 1791. Its tower is over 24-meters high and has an automated light system to guide ships into the port.
It’s located adjacent to a 90-acre park that also has picnic facilities, hiking opportunities, sports and recreation areas, historic fort structures, and unlimited ocean views. It’s also home to the Museum at Portland Head Light and a seasonal gift shop.
Visitors can visit the keeper’s house and learn more about the history of the lighthouse in the museum. It contains exhibits of a second-order Fresnel lens from the tower and other historical memorabilia.
The town of Cape Elizabeth and the Coast Guard spent $260,000 to restore Portland Head Light in the spring of 2005. Some repointing and painting was done to the 80-foot-tall tower, and some of the windows were replaced. The keeper’s house and gift shop were also repainted.
4.Acadia National Park.
The first national park established east of the Mississippi River, Acadia National Park is home to a beautiful coastal landscape. It’s primarily located on Mount Desert Island but also includes the Schoodic Peninsula, Isle au Haut and many smaller islands.
The 47,000-acre national park features woodland, rocky beaches, glacier-scoured granite peaks, and private islands. Its wildlife is diverse, including moose, bear and whales, as well as seabirds.
It is also a world-class leaf-peeping destination that attracts visitors from all over the globe to enjoy its autumn foliage. The best time to see the colors is in early October.
There are so many ways to experience Acadia, from challenging hikes through the forest to pristine beaches and historic sites. The park has over 120 miles of hiking trails and 45 miles of carriage roads.
5.Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens
Located in Boothbay, the Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens is one of the largest botanical gardens in New England. Its 300 acres of garden, woodlands and shorefront offer something new every season.
The gardens include 17 themed areas that showcase plants native to Maine, the Northeastern region of the United States and other themes. There are also a lot of scenic walking paths that allow you to get some beautiful views of the flora and coastline.
You can easily spend a whole day here without getting bored, and you can even take part in some educational programs if you wish to do so. There are also two great cafes that you can stop by at anytime if you want to get a bite to eat.
The Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens is one place you won’t want to miss when visiting the area, especially if you’re traveling with kids. It has a lot of different gardens that you can explore, and it’s also home to a number of educational programs. This is a great way to learn about different things and get more insight into the area’s culture and history.
Ogunquit Beach is a popular summer destination, with soft sand and the perfect backdrop to build sandcastles or just sit back and soak up the sun. The stretch of sand is a short walk from the town center and it also connects with Footbridge Beach.
There’s a famous mile-long walking path along the ocean called Marginal Way that connects Ogunquit Beach with Perkins Cove, a charming turn of the century fishing village. You’ll pass by a variety of shops, seafood restaurants and charming seaside architecture as you stroll along.
You can even take a scenic cruise out of Ogunquit and Perkins Cove to see lighthouses and the coastline. Many companies offer whale- and seal-watching tours, sunset cruises and fishing charters.
Ogunquit is a wonderful place to visit no matter the time of year. In the spring, enjoy Ogunquit’s festive Patriots Day weekend celebration, named by Down East Magazine as the Best Show of Patriotism! This event features concerts, local food and wine tastings, children’s games and crafts and historical re-enactments.
A drive or hike to the top of Mount Battie offers visitors the chance to witness breathtaking vistas over Camden Harbor and Penobscot Bay. It’s a favorite destination for hikers and photographers alike.
There are two ways to access the summit: from the front trail or by driving up the Mount Battie Auto Road. The former is usually plowed all winter and opened up for cars on occasion, while the latter is closed in the winter, but can be accessed by foot if snow conditions are favorable.
The summit is a popular spot to see fall foliage. During the summer, it’s also a great place to see bald eagles, moose and other wildlife.
Located a short distance north of Camden, the park is open year-round for hiking and camping. There are several trails to choose from, including the Tablelands Trail, which winds through woodlands. Alternatively, the hike to Ocean Lookout, with views of Cadillac Mountain at Acadia National Park, is a good option for more experienced hikers. For more information, visit the Maine Parks Information website.
8.Mount Desert Island.
Mount Desert Island is one of the most stunning areas in Maine. The island is a geological wonder and home to Acadia National Park as well as the charming tourist town of Bar Harbor.
While Bar Harbor is the most popular destination for visitors to Acadia National Park, there are plenty of other things to do on the island. In addition to a slew of quaint shops and restaurants, there are also outdoor festivals and a Natural History Museum.
The best way to get around the island is by boat. You can hire a kayak or canoe and explore the coast on your own, or you can book a tour with a registered Maine Guide to learn about wildlife, history and the park.
A two-hour Tall Ship Cruise from Bar Harbor offers a calm and enjoyable round-trip adventure to Acadia National Park. You’ll see everything from the beautiful Frenchman Bay to Cadillac Mountain and Door Mountain.
The Asticou Azalea Garden is a spectacular sight in spring and again in the summer. This Japanese-inspired garden boasts a variety of azalea and rhododendron blooms that change seasonally.