A trip to Maine, America’s most northern state of the lower 48, is like winning the vacation lottery. This beautiful state has magnificent scenery, delicious food, quaint and welcoming towns, and plenty of attractions to fill an itinerary.
Maine is most well-known for its rugged coastline and countless islands, but it also has a lush forested interior with lakes, mountains, and abundant wildlife. Visitors to Maine can try a wide variety of outdoor activities or just spend some time enjoying the state’s dramatic beauty. Some of the most popular attractions in Maine include national and state parks, small coastal towns like Bar Harbor and Old Orchard Beach.
Acadia National Park
This national park covers much of Mount Desert Island off the coast of Maine and is known as the oldest National Park east of the Mississippi River. The 47,000 acres that make up Acadia National Park include mountain, shoreline, woodlands, lakes, and parts of several islands and the Schoodic Peninsula. Visitors to the park can enjoy hiking and bicycling or a range of other activities. The park is also home to 40 mammal species and historically important excavation sites of Native American grounds.
Old Orchard Beach
The small town of Old Orchard Beach is a tourist hot spot during the summer months. The downtown part of the small town is oriented towards tourists with shops and clam shacks lining the streets. A popular stop in Old Orchard Beach is the seven mile stretch of beach bordered by vacation homes and resort properties. Visitors who are looking for entertainment should spend time at The Pier, a 500 foot wooden pier, dotted with shops, food stands, and a night club.
Old Sow Whirlpool
One of Maine’s most unique sights is Old Sow, the largest tidal whirlpool in the Western Hemisphere. The whirlpool is just off the shores of Deer Island in New Brunswick, Canada, and Moose Island, in Eastport, Maine. The whirlpool is caused by the water exchange between two bays and the unusual sea floor caused by the two currents. The whirlpools that form at Old Sow are approximately 250 feet in diameter. Old Sow and other whirlpools can be toured by boat charters and excursions, and is considered safe when accompanied by a qualified boat captain.
Eartha & Delorme Headquarters
The world’s largest rotating and revolving globe is named Eartha and is located at the Delorme mapping corporation in Yarmouth, Maine. While the map company might not offer an interesting sightseeing stop, the public is welcome to come by just to visit Eartha in the glass-walled atrium. Eartha measures 42 feet in diameter and holds the Guinness Book of World Record for the largest rotating globe. Visitors can view the globe from the ground or on two upper balconies.
Maine Wildlife Park
The Maine Wildlife Park offers a fun and educational outing during which visitors can explore nature trails, tour wildlife exhibits, visit a fish hatchery, and much more. The park is home to more than 30 species of Maine wildlife and has a visitor center, hatchery, store, picnic area, multiple trail routes, wetland trail, museum, gardens, and special events just for children. The park also allows visitors the exciting opportunity to feed some of the animals.
Top Things to Do in Maine
Desert of Maine
The northeastern United States is hardly where you’d expect to find a desert, which is why the Desert of Maine is such an interesting and popular tourist destination. The desert encompasses 40 acres of glacial silt, which appears like sand, although it is not. The desert is surrounded by a pine forest and actually receives abundant precipitation so it is not technically a desert, despite looking like one. Visitors to the Desert of Maine can explore the desert and informative exhibits at the on-site museum, or the nearby farm museum.
On Mount Desert Island is the small community of Bar Harbor, a popular summer tourist destination near Acadia National Park. Bar Harbor is the perfect destination for outdoor enthusiasts due to its location near hiking trails and the mountains of Acadia National Park. Visitors to Bar Harbor can also go on marina tours to see lighthouses and marine life, or spend time sightseeing or digging for shells on the exposed sand bar.
Baxter State Park
Baxter State Park is a 200,000 acre park in north central Maine that is made up of diverse terrain and habitats for a variety of animal life. The park has several mountainous peaks, one of which is the terminus of the Appalachian Trail. There are also several bodies of water within the park including three large lakes, ponds, and waterfalls, all of which attract visitors for fishing and sightseeing. The most common wildlife seen in the park is moose, black bear, and the white-tailed deer.
Maine’s largest lake is Moosehead Lake which covers over 1,200 square miles. Moosehead Lake is also the largest mountain lake in the eastern United States. The lake has several towns near its borders, vacation cabins and resorts, as well as more than 80 islands ranging in size and shape. Visitors to Moosehead Lake can enjoy a wide variety of outdoor recreation activities.
The small town of Rockland is one of Maine’s top tourist destinations primarily for its annual Maine Lobster Festival, a celebration held every August. Rockland’s primary export is lobster and visitors come from all around to sample Rockland’s lobster and enjoy the small town. Visitors should also spend some time walking down Rockland’s main street to visit small shops, cafes, art galleries, and other shops of touristic interest.
Things to Do in Maine
Maine is often called “Vacationland” and with countless options to fill a vacation it certainly lives up to its reputation. Thanks to its spectacular natural setting, visitors to Maine can enjoy any number of outdoor activities. The state is also well known for its quaint coastal towns. Whether you’re interested in hiking and getting lost in the great outdoors, or slipping on your walking shoes to stroll past shops and along boardwalks,