Discover Maine's Top 15 Must-See Destinations
Maine holds a special place in the hearts of all those who have been lucky enough to visit. Boasting stunning natural wonders, such as picturesque parks, craggy coastlines, and incredible cuisine (particularly seafood), it is no wonder why Maine is considered one of the premier travel destinations in the United States. This article serves as your definitive guide to the top places to visit in Maine.
Our comprehensive Maine destinations map includes an array of locations from Acadia National Park and Bangor to Portland, and beyond. Whether you are seeking to stay in one of the distinctive Airbnbs in New England or indulge in some of the country’s finest fare (with seafood that is arguably unmatched), Maine has something for everyone.
If there are any hidden gems in Maine that you would recommend, please feel free to share them in the comments section below! Our
Maine Destinations Mapcan be added to your Google Maps account with just a single click of the ‘Star’ icon next to its name. Once added to ‘Your Places,’ you can quickly and easily access it from your phone or computer by navigating to your account.
Let us now delve into the
best places to visit in Maine, starting with one of the crown jewels of the state.
Acadia National Park
For those looking to immerse themselves in the breathtaking scenery and rich history of America’s East Coast, Acadia National Park is an absolute must-visit. One of the most popular national parks in the country, it attracts 3.5 million visitors annually who come to explore its 45 miles of carriage roads and 158 miles of hiking trails.
Acadia National Park encompasses an area of 49,075 acres (76.7 sq mi; 198.6 km2), featuring mountains, woodlands, ponds, lakes, and the rugged coastline of Maine. The park offers a wide range of activities for visitors in both summer and winter (winter in Acadia is especially stunning). Don't forget to spend some time at the Bass Harbor Lighthouse, a highlight of the park.
Known as the “Queen City” of Maine, Bangor is a bustling town situated on the Penobscot River. It provides a wealth of attractions, including Grotto Cascade Park, the Bangor Museum & Center for History, and Fairmont Terrace Park. Additionally, shopping enthusiasts will have a blast exploring the Bangor Mall Shopping Center, Maine Square Mall Shopping Center, and the Broadway Shopping Center.
Experience the chilling history of Bangor by visiting the Bangor Museum & Center, perfect for horror enthusiasts and Stephen King fans. Embark on guided tours of the settings used in notable books and films by King that will get your heart racing.
For a hauntingly beautiful experience, visit the picturesque Mt. Hope cemetery, established in 1836, and is the second-largest garden cemetery in the US.
Portland, the largest city in Maine, is where Stephen King was born. Explore the city that harbors the largest American commercial and retail store, The Maine Mall, and relish in the live music, mini-concerts, and foodie festivals that are hosted in downtown Portland annually. Also, take advantage of the fantastic day trips offered from Portland, making it a worthwhile destination to visit.
Bar Harbor, a tourist hub located on Mount Desert Island, offers peace and serenity with serene walks along the shore, mouth-watering seafood, and unique small boutiques. Enjoy free coastal fishing, visit Acadia National Park, and tour the 1932 Criterion Theater, the iconic movie theater of Bar Harbor that still preserves its original seats and curtains.
Experience the island life at its best on the largest island off the coast of Maine, the serene Mount Desert Island. Home to the stunning Acadia National Park, consisting of a population of just over 10,000, the island's highest peak, Cadillac Mountain (1532 ft), is also where the sunrise and sunset are greeted first in the US.
Discover Sand Beach
A visit to Sand Beach is a must if you love picturesque beaches. The shoreline offers a stunning view that varies with the changing tides. Even during the peak season when the beach is bustling with visitors, you can always find a sunny spot to soak up the sun.
It's worth noting that the water can be chilly, and the temperature doesn't rise above 60 degrees Fahrenheit.
The Kennebunks: Kennebunk and Kennebunkport
Both the towns of Kennebunk and Kennebunkport offer a range of attractions such as art galleries, shops, beaches, and restaurants. While the latter town boasts some beautiful oceanfront properties, the former has more to offer when it comes to sightseeing.
Explore our guide to the best things to do in Kennebunkport to make the most of your visit to the Kennebunks.
If you're looking for a classic New England vacation, look no further than Camden. The charming little town is filled with local boutiques, cozy cafes, and restaurants that serve a unique menu. You can take leisurely strolls around the area and enjoy the fantastic views.
Visit the Camden Hills State Park for some day hiking and breathtaking views, or take a Schooner Simplicity boat tour to enjoy schooner rides with a picnic on the islands.
Rockland: A Gem in Midcoast Maine
Located in the Midcoast region of Maine, Rockland is a popular spot for lobster lovers. The town has a flourishing lobster-catching industry, and you can indulge in the delicious seafood offerings.
The Farnsworth Art Museum and Wyeth Center is home to some impressive Maine art, and the town boasts excellent architectural sights that are sure to impress any visitor.
Discover the Rockland Breakwater Lighthouse, one of the iconic Maine lighthouses, and dive deeper into the town's past at The Maine Lighthouse Museum. Explore the collection of captivating Fresnel lighthouse lenses and other significant lighthouse artifacts that are on display.
In Freeport, indulge in a shopping spree with a visit to the famous LL Bean outlet stores. For outdoor enthusiasts, Wolfe's Neck Woods State Park is an excellent destination to relish a scenic walk while enjoying the stunning views of Casco Bay and Harraseeket River. With level grounds, the park is ideal for visitors with mobility issues or young children.
Thrill-seekers, head to Desert of Maine, one of the most intriguing spots in Maine. Stroll along well-marked trails and explore the gift shops and other amenities.
Baxter State Park is renowned for its vast preserved natural landscape and its unique architectural structures. Enjoy the more than 215 miles of hiking trails and stay at any of the ten campgrounds. Percival P. Baxter, an influential politician and philanthropist from Maine, contributed 28 donations of land, making up much of the park. It is a perfect weekend getaway location and one of the top state parks in New England.
Moosehead Lake surrounded by the major towns of Greenville and Rockwood is the most extensive lake in Maine, making it a great spot for fishing. Catch landlocked salmon, brook trout, and togue and rent boats or seek the insights of a Registered Maine Guide for a better experience.
Discover the small island paradise nestled in Moosehead Lake, Maine. Spend the day sailing around the vast 117-square miles of lake and marvel at the beautiful forested landscapes surrounding you. With plenty of local businesses offering boats and jet skis, it's the perfect destination for water-loving outdoor enthusiasts.
The Bay of Fundy is a true natural wonder, situated between Canadian provinces New Brunswick and Nova Scotia, and even touching a small section of the US state Maine. Known as one of the seven wonders of North America, it boasts the highest tides on Earth and is home to the most distinct whales in the world. History buffs will also be amazed by the archaeological finds here, with dinosaur fossils aplenty in the region.
Monhegan Island is a quaint fishing village and historical artist's colony located in beautiful Lincoln County. Hike 17 miles along the shoreline, browse through small gift and souvenir shops, or visit one of the many art galleries dotted around the island. With stunning views and peaceful surroundings, it makes for an idyllic picnic location or extended getaway at one of the charming inns or guesthouses.
Ogunquit in York County echoes its Algonquin Indian name, "Beautiful Place by The Sea." Its 3.5-mile beach is ideal for those seeking a variety of seaside activities. Explore the Ogunquit River, flowing for 9 miles and a great kayaking spot for both beginners and experts. The region is also a center for nightlife and entertainment, with many local bars and restaurants to unwind in after a day of exploration.
There are countless wonderful places to visit in Maine, and we hope this guide has inspired you to book your next New England getaway. Share your favorite spots in the comments below and check out our additional Maine travel resources for more inspiration. And don't forget to pin this guide for later reference!
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