Want to find the best places to visit in Maine? Here’s an updated guide for 2020 with interesting and beautiful destinations to include on your Maine Itinerary.
This northern state is the biggest in the area of New England and covers nearly half of it. About four-fifths of Maine is covered by forests. Inland waters cover about 2,300 square miles of the state. Amongst the states east of the Mississippi River, Maine is the least populated state.
Thinking of Maine makes many exciting scenes and places of explorations immediately spring to mind, such as rivers and streams, waves breaking to the rocky coastlines, forests of tall pine trees, fishing harbors and many beautiful lighthouses.
Maine is also associated with lobsters and blueberries, as it happens to be the top lobster producing state in the US and the largest wild blueberry producer in the world!
Acadia National Park
Being amongst the most famous landmarks of Maine, Acadia National Park is an extensive inland region of the Atlantic coast, covered by forests, mountains, rivers, and lakes.
One of the highlights of the park and its highest point is Cadillac Mountain, which is 1530 feet high and from which opens the beautiful scenery of the coast and surrounding islands. Other highlights of the park are Bass Harbor Head Lighthouse and the impressive chasm of Thunder Hole.
Acadia’s scenic coastal views, rich marine life, hiking trails and opportunities for kayaking make it a great destination for outdoor adventurers. During the wintertime, Acadia National Park turns into a sparkly white and ocean blue masterpiece.
Bar Harbor is a historic and charming town in Maine, which is also a gateway to the popular Acadia National Park. Known to be a 19th-century resort for the wealthy, today Bar Harbor is a great destination that offers a bunch of experiences as a charming seaside town.
Activities such as watching sailboats and cruise ships going in and out the port or enjoying a perfectly cooked signature dish of the state – lobster make Bar Harbor a nice and relaxing place to visit in Maine.
Furthermore, taking a boat tour to see whales in the wild, exploring lighthouses and scenic coastal views are additional fun activities. This charming and walkable town is also full of old-styled boutiques and shops.
Located in Baxter State Park, Mount Katahdin is the highest mountain in Maine (5267 feet). Being formed by underground magma, the mountain has been standing strong for over 400 million years and is one of the great peaks of hiking in the New England region.
This gloomy mountain consists of several summits from which the highest one is Baxter Peak. The mountain’s name means “The Greatest Mountain”, which also tells a lot about the sights that it offers to see.
The 360-degree view from its summit at the seemingly tiny world below is a sight worth seeing. For nature lovers, the Baxter State Park and Mount Katahdin are some of the best places to visit in Maine.
Allagash Wilderness Waterway
One of the unique waterways that flow north, The Allagash is a treasure for Maine, and it has been conserved by Maine people. The Allagash Waterway was designated a wild river area in 1970.
The waterway stretches 148 kilometers and is full of lakes, ponds and the Allagash River. The river breezes through forests and between edges of hardwoods. There are only a few signs of civilization in this area. The isolated and calm aura of the waterway makes it a perfect destination to fall into a peaceful trance in nature.
Reid State Park
Open year-round, in the Reid State Park, visitors can enjoy wide and long sandy beaches, which are rare for Maine, as its coastline is mainly rocky and rugged.
The park is located in Georgetown and is a great place to relax on smooth and clean sandy beaches like Mile and Half Mile, swim in the cold waters of Atlantic. It is also a popular destination for birding, biking, saltwater fishing.
Reid State Park is the first State-owned Saltwater Beach. From the top of Griffith Head, you can also admire the beautiful seascapes and spot the lighthouses in the nearby islands.
Located near Portland, on the shore of Casco Bay, Cape Elizabeth is a small town in Maine with a population of nearly 9000 people. One of America’s most famous lighthouse paintings called “Lighthouse Hill” shows Cape Elizabeth’s Light at Two Lights.
From here it’s already clear that one of the town’s most known attractions are beautiful and historic lighthouses. Cape Elizabeth’s native people appeared here at the beginning of the 17th century.
Visiting Spurwink Meeting House or Maine’s oldest lighthouse Portland Head Light are great ways for a glimpse of that early days. Another famous lighthouse is the earlier mentioned Cape Elizabeth Light, which grounds are unfortunately private and closed, however, it’s still a historic site and a great subject for photos.
State Maine’s largest lake Moosehead is nestled in Maine Highlands region and provides a great atmosphere to enjoy solitude, unspoiled wilderness and beautiful nature.
Many large and small islands dot the surface of the lake and create great scenery to admire. The lake is large, so no matter where in the shoreline your stay is, you will see only part of it. It is also worth taking a boat trip to enjoy more of the stunning lake scenery.
During the winter this gigantic lake freezes so thick, that it’s possible to walk on it and even cars can sometimes traverse its surface.
Fort Knox State Historic Site
Fort Knox is Maine’s largest historic fort, which was built mid 19th century to protect the Penobscot River Valley. It stands as New England’s most remarkable example of 19th-century military architecture.
Although it has never been involved in battles, it is still rich in history and is one of the best-preserved sites of coastal defense fortifications. Fort Knox had a massive third-system defensive construction and during the Civil War, it was used as a fortress for Union troops.
Portland’s Old Port
The charm of Portland’s Old Port is the feeling of rural roots in the urban area. It’s a historic district with cobblestone streets, 19th-century buildings, fishing piers, all seasoned with salty ocean air.
Famous Portland Museum of Art is also located nearby and is a popular tourist attraction. The area is also a great place to relax and stroll through the shops and dozens of cozy restaurants.
Quoddy Head State Park
Located on continental US easternmost peninsula, Quoddy Head State Park is 541 acres of land featuring forests, 5 miles of hiking trails, two bogs, diverse wildlife, and rare plants, and the candy-striped lighthouse tower of West Quoddy Head Light.
The name Quoaddy Head means “fertile and beautiful place” which tells a lot about its atmosphere. The park is often covered by fog, which forms when moist and warm air from the mainland conflicts with masses of cold air above the surrounding waters.
The weather in the area is mostly chilly and sometimes also with low visibility. From the lighthouse, visitors can see Quoddy Channel which divides the US and Canada.
Old Orchard Beach
Old Orchard Beach is a town and a popular summer beach destination located on Saco Bay. A 7-mile long beach is a great place for swimming, sunbathing, bodysurfing, kayaking or just a scenic walk along the waterfront.
The popular Old Orchard Beach Pier is one of the best places to visit in Maine for a relaxing or fun day on the beach.
A part of Appalachian Trail Corridor, Gulf Hagas, is often nicknamed as the Grand Canyon of Maine. It’s a three-mile-long stretch of rock walls above the river nearly 500 feet below it.
Gulf Hagas features a series of impressive waterfalls, long trails, and beautiful rock formations. It is a popular hiking area providing scenic wild views and experiences full of adventure.
Height of Land
One of the most postcard-perfect views of Maine is offered by Height of Land. It’s an overpass to a scenic panoramic view of the Rangeley region. This 512-acre large land is located in the western part of Maine and it has been conserved to make sure its spectacular glimpse remains unspoiled.
The Portland Observatory
Being the only remaining standing maritime signal tower in America, The Portland Observatory was built in 1807 and served as a communication station for Portland Harbor. It’s located on Munjoy Hill and served as a clear viewpoint of vessels approaching the Harbor.
The Portland Observatory is a beloved symbol of Portland and the highlight of the city’s rich maritime heritage. It is the highest point of the city with the tower of unique construction and design.
Seashore Trolley Museum
Maine’s must-visit attractions list would not be complete without the world’s oldest and largest museum of mass transportation exemplars located in Kennebunkport.
Here you can find a collection of vehicles not only from almost all major cities in the US but also from around the globe. It reflects the moving habits of past generations, and the experience of riding an authentic trolley through Maine countryside makes you feel a part of that past.
Want more tips on places to visit in Maine? Leave a comment below!