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MAINE TRAVEL GUIDE

Nuble Light, York, Maine Whitewater Rafting the Penobscot River Precipice Trail, Acadia National Park, Maine

Welcome to the bigroads.com travel guide to Maine! Hopefully this page helps provide some inspiration and tips to help you plan your next trip to Maine.

Take note that I build and maintain this website as both a hobby and public service. I take joy in performing travel research and sharing my experiences and adventures. I do not make any profit from this website, and you will see no ads on it. Your constructive feedback about this site and its content is encouraged. Please email me if you have any suggestions or ideas for improvement.

Author/Contributor: Greg Parsons


OVERVIEW



Maine bills itself as "Vacationland" and people generally don't disagree with that. There's a ton to attract travelers to the state, from beaches to remote lakes to alpine mountains. Overall, it's a very wild state with lots of dirt roads and quiet forests. The coastline is much more lively, with quaint towns, great cities, and many nice beaches. The city of Portland is one of the best mid-sized cities in the U.S., on par with cities like Asheville (NC), Madison (WI), Bozeman (MT) and Bend (OR). And then there's Acadia National Park, a wonderful rocky coastal park that abuts one of the finest small towns in the country, Bar Harbor.

5-STAR ATTRACTIONS IN MAINE



Here is my opinionated list of 5-star attractions in Maine. I believe each of these attractions should be on your Maine bucket list since they are all noteworthy from a national perspective:

Northern Maine (including Millinocket and Baxter State Park)
100-Mile Wilderness - wildest section of the 2,100+ mile Appalachian Trail; no paved roads or towns for over 100-miles
Allagash Wilderness Waterway - arguably the finest canoeing journey you can take in New England
Appalachian Mountain Club lodges
Baxter State Park, near Millinocket - amazing alpine scenery & wildlife watching opportunities; hard hiking up Katahdin, Maine's highpoint
Debsconeag Lakes Wilderness Area
Gulf Hagas, near Millinocket - excellent hiking trails, swimming holes, and waterfalls
Katahdin Woods & Waters National Monument - scenic drive with several trailheads; make sure to hike Barnard Mountain while in the park
Nahmakanta Public Reserved Land
Nesowadnehunk Falls off the Golden Road
Pockwockamus Rock, Millinocket - famous mural on a boulder found en route to the southern entrance of Baxter State Park
Penobscot River Trails, Stacyville - some of the finest cross-country skiing and cycling (hybrid or mountain) in Maine
Start of US-1 / America's First Mile, Fort Kent
Whitewater rafting on the Penobscot River, near Millinocket - daily rafting trips in season; NEOC offers the most lodging facilities

Northwestern Maine (including Greenville, Jackman, Monson, and West Forks)
100-Mile Wilderness - wildest section of the 2,200-mile Appalachian Trail; there are no paved roads or towns for over 100-miles
Appalachian Mountain Club lodges
B-52 Crash Site near Greenville
Borestone Mountain Audubon Sanctuary
Lily Bay State Park
Moosehead Lake
Mount Kineo State Park
Moxie Falls, near The Forks - the most impressive waterfall in Maine; an easy, nearly flat hike
Snowmobiling in and around The Forks
Whitewater rafting on the Dead River, near The Forks - wild and scenic rafting trip that is only run on select dates per year
Whitewater rafting on the Kennebec River, near The Forks - daily rafting trips in season; Northern Outdoors offers the most lodging facilities

Western Maine Mountains (including Bethel, Carrabassett Valley, Newry, and Rangeley)
Bigelow Preserve - excellent hiking trails
Grafton Notch State Park, near Newry - excellent hiking trails (e.g. Table Rock) and waterfalls (e.g. Screw Auger); Appalachian trail crossing
Smalls Falls, near Rangeley - excellent swimming holes and waterfalls
Sugarloaf Mountain, Carrabassett Valley - the largest (and my favorite) ski/snowboard resort in Maine
Sunday River Ski Resort, Newry - famous ski/snowboard resort with seven mountains; many would say this is the best ski resort in Maine
White Mountain National Forest - excellent hiking trails and waterfalls within the Evans Notch region within the national forest
World Traveler Signpost, Lynchville - roadside attraction showing distances to Maine places that have international names (e.g. Mexico)

Central Maine (including Bangor)
Paul Bunyan statue, Bangor
Cole Land Transportation Museum, Bangor - one of several excellent transportation museums in Maine
Maine Forest and Logging Museum, Bradley

Downeast Maine (including Bar Harbor and Lubec)
Acadia National Park - beautiful coastal park with excellent hiking & biking; connects with Bar Harbor (Maine's best small town)
Bass Harbor Head Lighthouse, Bass Harbor - famous lighthouse set on one of Maine's most rugged sections of coastline
Carriage roads of Acadia National Park
Cutler Coast Public Reserved Land, Machias - remote hiking & backpacking along rugged coastline
Downtown Bar Harbor - Maine's best small town; base for exploring Acadia National Park; tourist district with many shops & restaurants
Puffin bird-watching boat tours - make reservations well in advance to take a boat tour to visit colonies of one of nature's cutest birds
Sailing the Maine coastline
West Quoddy Head Light, Lubec - beautiful lighthouse near the border of Canada and the US

Mid-Coast (including Bath, Boothbay Harbor, Brunswick, Camden, Freeport, and Rockland)
Camden Hills State Park, near Camden - gorgeous coastal views and good hiking trails; drive up to the summit of Mt. Battie
Cellardoor Vineyard, Lincolnville - Napa-level quality vineyard & winery
Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens, Boothbay Harbor - most impressive botanic gardens in Maine
Downtown Boothbay Harbor - charming coastal town with several seafood restaurants and boutique shops; boat tours
Downtown Camden - historic town on Penobscot Bay; gateway to Camden Hills State Park (one of Maine's best state parks);
Downtown Freeport - tons of shopping and restaurants; L.L. Bean flagship store; the famous Maine Beer Company is also nearby
Farnsworth Art Museum, Rockland - Maine's best art museum
Fawcett's Antique Toy and Art Museum, Waldoboro
L.L. Bean Flagship Store, Freeport - huge retail store focused on outdoor activities (camping, hunting, fishing, hiking) and clothing
Maine Maritime Museum, Bath - the finest maritime museum in northern New England
Monhegan Island - small rocky island with several shops/attractions and 12-miles of hiking trails; boat trip required; an "artists destination"
Owls Head Transportation Museum, Owls Head - 50+ vehicles & aircraft, antique bicycles, carriages, & motorcycles
Pemaquid Point Lighthouse, Bristol - one of Maine's most famous lighthouses
Popham Beach State Park - one of Maine's best beaches, although generally considered too cold for swimming
Sailing the Maine coastline
Seal Cove Auto Museum, Seal Cove - over 100 antique autos and 30 motorcycles

Southern Maine (including Ogunquit, Portland, and York)
Downtown Kennebunkport - attractive tourist area with shops and restaurants
Downtown Ogunquit - attractive tourist area with shops and restaurants; nearby access to Ogunquit Beach and Marginal Way
Downtown Portland ("Old Port") - culinary/dining capital of Maine, plus tons of boutique shops; one of the best small cities in the USA
Hadlock Field, Portland - fantastic minor league baseball park
Long Sands Beach, York - one of Maine's best beaches (but make sure you visit at low tide since most of the beach disappears at high tide)
Marginal Way, Ogunquit - family-friendly scenic coastal walk between Ogunquit & Perkins Cove
Nubble Lighthouse (Cape Neddick Light), York - one of the most scenic lighthouses in the U.S.
Ogunquit Beach / Main Beach, Ogunquit - Maine's best beach
Ogunquit Playhouse, Ogunquit - Maine's finest theater/playhouse
Old Orchard Beach - one of Maine's best beaches; has an old-fashioned seaside amusement park with rides and arcades
Portland Head Light, Cape Elizabeth - one of the most scenic lighthouses in the U.S.
Portland Museum of Art, Portland - one of the best art museums in Maine
Rachel Carson National Wildlife Refuge, Wells - beautiful trails and excellent bird-watching opportunities
Sailing the Maine coastline
Seashore Trolley Museum, Kennebunkport - billed as the "world's first and largest museum of mass transit vehicles"

Are you aware of any other 5-star attractions in Maine? If so, please email me at gparsons66@hotmail.com.

TOP 10 ATTRACTIONS IN MAINE



Are you short on time and struggling to choose something to do or see in Maine? Here are my selections for the top 10 attractions or experiences in Maine, in no particular order:

Explore the great city of Portland, especially the Old Port district
Head to Bar Harbor and explore the rocky coastline of Acadia National Park
Go hiking in Baxter State Park
Explore the southern coastline and its many fine beaches (e.g. Long Sands Beach, Ogunquit Beach, Old Orchard Beach)
Go whitewater rafting on the Kennebec River with Northern Outdoors or another local guide service
Visit some of Maine's 65 lighthouses
Hit the slopes at Sunday River Ski Resort in Newry or Sugarloaf Mountain in Carrabassett Valley
Hike to Moxie Falls, one of the best waterfalls in New England
Ride a snowmobile on some of Maine's 14,000 miles of trails
Sail some of the Maine coastline

BEST TOWNS & CITIES TO VISIT IN MAINE



These towns and cities in Maine are generally regarded as the most interesting to travelers:

Bar Harbor - many boutique shops; boat tours; family-friendly attractions; gateway to Acadia National Park
Boothbay Harbor - boutique shops and art galleries; coastal gardens; harbor views; boat tours; "classic seaside Maine"
Camden - historic downtown; coastal town with great ocean views; outdoor activities (e.g. hiking Mount Battie)
Farmington - historic downtown; boutique shops
Freeport - L.L. Bean flagship store; many outlet stores; "best weekend of shopping in New England"
Kennebunkport - charming coastal town with many boutique shops; excellent fried clams; beaches
Lubec - outdoor activities; nature preserves; coastal hikes; West Quoddy Head Lighthouse; Quoddy Head State Park
Monhegan Island - a "car-free and care-free" island; hiking trails; ocean views; high cliffs; historical museum
Ogunquit - beaches; boutique shops; playhouse; gay-friendly; artist colony; coastal walks (e.g. Marginal Way to Perkins Cove)
Old Orchard Beach - beaches; seaside amusements; family-fun attractions; beach pier; close to Funtown Splashtown
Portland - historic buildings; innovative restaurants; many boutique shops; maritime history; TONS of breweries; scenic biking paths
Rangeley - skiing/snowboarding (Saddleback); hiking trails; nearby waterfalls and swimming holes (e.g. Smalls Falls)
York - beaches; seaside amusements; start of scenic coastal drives; not far from Ogunquit

My favorite city in Maine is Portland - I recommend that first-time visitors spend at least 1-2 days here
My favorite small town in Maine is Bar Harbor - I recommend that first-time visitors spend at least 3-4 days here
My favorite beach town in Maine is Ogunquit - I recommend that first-time visitors spend at least 1-2 days here
My favorite town for shopping in Maine is Freeport (although Kittery is also good) - I recommend that first-time visitors spend at least 1 day here
My favorite ski town in Maine is Bethel/Newry (although Rangeley is also good) - I recommend that first-time visitors spend at least 1-2 days here

Portland, Maine has an amazing assortment of breweries, and is a renown dining/culinary destination. It's a wonderful city to walk around (especially in the Old Port area).

Bath, Bethel, Greenville, Hallowell, and Kittery are also noteworthy places to visit.

If you like hiking, visit Bethel, Bar Harbor, Camden, Millinocket, or Rangeley from July through mid-October.
If you like skiing, visit Bethel or Rangeley from December through April.
If you like beaches, visit Ogunguit, Old Orchard Beach, or York in July or August.
If you like shopping, visit Freeport or Kittery.
If you like upscale dining, visit Portland.
If you like whitewater rafting, visit The Forks or Millinocket.

If you want to visit Acadia National Park, stay in or near Bar Harbor.
If you want to visit Baxter State Park, stay in or near Millinocket.

Click here if you'd like to see a complete list of towns and cities that I find interesting across the entire USA.

WHAT IS MAINE FAMOUS FOR?



Here are some things that Maine is famous or well-known for:

beaches
black bears
black flies / mosquitos - the "bug season" is generally mid-May to late June
blueberries / low-bush blueberries
boat-building
fishing / fishing harbors / ice-fishing
lakes - e.g. Flagstaff Lake, Moosehead Lake, Rangeley Lake, Sebago Lake
lighthouses - there are more than 60 in Maine!
lobsters / lobster rolls
logging roads / timberlands
lumberjacks
L.L. Bean - the flagship store is in Freeport, ME
loons
moose
potatoes
puffins / puffin tours
rocky / rugged coastlines
sailing
schooners
sea-kayaking
ski/snowboard resorts - Sunday River, Sugarloaf, and Saddleback are the three best ski/snowboard resorts
snowmobiling
sporting camps / hunting
tidal falls / reversing falls
whitewater rafting - there are 3 major rivers to raft - the Kennebec, Dead, and Penobscot
windjammers
woods / forest

Click here if you'd like to learn what other U.S. states are famous for.

NATIONAL PARKS IN MAINE



There are several national parks/properties in Maine. These national parks/properties include:

National Parks
Acadia National Park - hiking, biking, scenic drives, ocean views, beaches

National Monuments
Katahdin Woods and Waters National Monument - hiking, biking, scenic drives

National Forests
White Mountain National Forest

National Wildlife Refuges
Aroostook National Wildlife Refuge
Cross Island National Wildlife Refuge
Franklin Island National Wildlife Refuge
Maine Coastal Islands National Wildlife Refuge
Moosehorn National Wildlife Refuge
Petit Manan National Wildlife Refuge
Pond Island National Wildlife Refuge
Rachel Carson National Wildlife Refuge
Seal Island National Wildlife Refuge
Sunkhaze Meadows National Wildlife Refuge
Umbagog National Wildlife Refuge

Other National Parks
Saint Croix Island International Historic Site - historical site, coastal views, bronze sculptures, boating

My favorite national park in Maine is Acadia National Park. It's an absolute gem. It has some of the finest hiking and biking trails of any of the U.S. national parks. Acadia National Park has the first sunrise in the United States for much of the year. And the core part of the national park is located next to one of America's best small towns (Bar Harbor). I would plan a trip to stay in Bar Harbor for 5-7 days if you've never been.

Although most of the White Mountain National Forest is in New Hampshire, the Maine portion is also very nice. Start exploring by hiking some trails in Evans Notch (e.g. Rattlesnake Pool, Baldface Loop, Blueberry Mountain, etc.)

For more information on Maine's national parks, visit the Maine page of the National Park Service. For an overview of all U.S. national parks, click here.

STATE PARKS IN MAINE



Maine has more than 30 state parks. Many would agree that these represent Maine's finest state parks:

Flagship / Premier State Parks:
Baxter State Park - hiking, backpacking, mountain climbing/scrambling, camping, canoeing, wildlife viewing
Camden Hills State Park - hiking, camping, scenic drive, scenic views
Grafton Notch State Park - hiking, backpacking, waterfalls, scenic drive, scenic views

Other Notable State Parks:
Mount Blue State Park - hiking, camping, boating, swimming, mountain biking, ATV/ORV-ing, snowmobiling
Quoddy Head State Park - historic lighthouse, hiking, wildlife watching, birdwatching, coastal plateau bog
Wolfe's Neck Woods State Park - hiking, birdwatching, rocky shorelines, salt marsh estuary

My favorite state park in Maine is Baxter State Park. The hiking, backpacking, and scenery is simply world-class. The cabins, lean-tos, and campsites in the park are amazing. Take note that Baxter State Park has strict entrance requirements (including a permit system for popular trailheads and a vehicle height limit).

To see my list of the top 100 state parks in the country, click here.

BEST WATERFALLS IN MAINE



Maine contains more than 400 natural waterfalls. Here are some of the best waterfalls in the state:

Angel Falls
Dunn Falls
Grand Falls
Gulf Hagas
Little Wilson Falls-Upper Falls
Moxie Falls
Smalls Falls

My personal favorite waterfall in Maine is Moxie Falls. It looks like something you'd expect to see in the western United States. If you go whitewater rafting on the Kennebec River, make sure to also hike to this waterfall while you are in that area (e.g. West Forks).

For a listing of all known waterfalls in Montana, visit the World Waterfall Database or the Maine waterfalls page of the New England Waterfalls website.

BEST OCEAN BEACHES IN MAINE



Maine has about 3,500 miles of coastline, and there are dozens of ocean beaches. Here are some of the best ocean beaches in Maine:

Long Sands Beach, York
Ogunquit Beach, Ogunquit
Old Orchard Beach, Old Orchard Beach
Popham Beach, Phippsburg
Sand Beach, Acadia National Park

Old Orchard Beach has the most seaside amusements. It's a smaller version of some of the family-friendly beach towns you'd find in say New Jersey or Delaware.

Maine's beaches never get all that warm, but many are quite attractive. Long Sands Beach in York seems to warm up the best, usually by early to mid August.

BEST SCENIC DRIVES IN MAINE



Maine has several scenic drives that are highly worthwhile, including:

Bold Coast Scenic Byway - 147 miles from Milbridge to Eastport via Cherryfield, Jonesport, Machias, Culter, Lubec, and Whiting
Grafton Notch Byway - 21 miles from Newry to Upton using ME 26
Katahdin Woods and Waters Scenic Byway - 89 miles from the southern to northern entrances of Baxter State Park via Millinocket and Patten
Moosehead Lake Scenic Byway - 49 miles from Jackman to Greenville using ME 6 and ME 15
Old Canada Road National Scenic Byway - 78 miles from Solon to the Canadian border using US 201
Park Loop Road, Acadia National Park - 27 miles within Acadia National Park on Mt. Desert Island near Bar Harbor; clockwise loop
Rangeley Lakes National Scenic Byway - 35 miles from Rumford to Madrid via Rangeley using ME 17, ME 16, and ME 4
Schoodic National Scenic Byway - 27 miles in the mainland section of Acadia National Park
US-1A / Shore Road - 10 miles from York Harbor to Ogunquit via York Beach

BEST RAIL TRAILS IN MAINE



Here is a list of some of the best rail trails (or similar cycling paths) in Maine:

Eastern Promenade Trail
Eastern Trail
Kennebec River Rail Trail

For detailed information on all known rail trails in Maine, visit the Rails-to-Trails Conservancy website.

BEST AMUSEMENT PARKS IN MAINE



There are only a few amusement parks in Maine, and they are relatively small in size.

Aquaboggan Water Park, Saco - medium-sized water park
Funtown Splashtown USA, Saco - largest amusement park in Maine; includes both an amusement park and a sizable water park
Palace Playground, Old Orchard Beach - largest beach-front amusement park in New England; several small roller coasters and rides, plus arcades

I think most people would agree that Funtown is the biggest and best amusement park in Maine.

BEST MUSEUMS IN MAINE



Maine has many excellent museums, although they are generally small or medium-sized in stature. The best museums in Maine include:

Bowdoin College Museum of Art, Brunswick - art museum
Colby College Museum of Art, Waterville - art museum
Cole Land Transportation Museum, Bangor - transportation museum
Farnsworth Art Museum, Rockland - art museum
Fort Knox Historic Site - historic fort
Maine Lighthouse Museum, Rockland - lighthouse museum
Maine Maritime Museum, Bath - maritime museum
Ogunquit Museum of American Art, Ogunquit - art museum
Owls Head Transportation Museum, Owls Head
Portland Museum of Art, Portland - art museum
Seashore Trolley Museum, Kennebunkport - transportation museum
Victoria Mansion, Portland - historic home

BEST DAY HIKES IN MAINE



Maine has hundreds of miles of hiking trails, and there is good hiking to be found all over the state. Here are some of the best day hikes in Maine:

Northern Maine (including Millinocket and Baxter State Park)
Big & Little Niagara Falls
Doubletop Mountain
Gulf Hagas
Haystack Mountain, Castle Hill
Katahdin - generally opens for the season in mid-June; parking permits/reservations are required and are difficult to obtain
North & South Brother
Owl, The - parking permits/reservations are required and are difficult to obtain
Sandy Stream Pond - parking permits/reservations are required and are difficult to obtain
South Turner - parking permits/reservations are required and are difficult to obtain
Traveler Mountain - just as hard as Katahdin, but no permits/reservations are required

Northwestern Maine (including Greenville, Jackman, Monson, and West Forks)
Borestone Mountain, Borestone Mountain Audubon Sanctuary, Northeast Piscataquis
Mount Kineo, Mount Kineo State Park, Greenville
Moxie Falls, Moxie Falls Scenic Area, Moxie Gore

Western Maine Mountains (including Bethel, Carrabassett Valley, Newry, and Rangeley)
Angel Falls
Baldplate Mountain, Grafton Notch State Park
Bigelow Mountain, Bigelow Preserve & Flagstaff Lake Public Lands
Dunn Falls, Appalachian National Scenic Trail
Mount Abraham, Mount Abraham Ecological Reserve
Mount Blue, Mount Blue State Park
Pleasant Mountain, Pleasant Mountain Preserve
Puzzle Mountain, Mahoosuc Public Reserved Land
Rumford Whitecap, Rumford Whitecap Mountain Preserve
Table Rock Loop, Grafton Notch State Park - do this counter-clockwise! very steep with some moderate rock scrambling
Tumbledown Mountain, Tumbledown Public Lands

Acadia National Park
Beehive Trail - very steep with some iron rungs and lots of exposure!
Cadillac Mountain
Dorr Mountain
Great Head Trail
Ocean Path
Precipice Trail Loop - generally opens for the season in mid-August; very steep with iron rungs and lots of exposure!
South Bubble Mountain / Jordan Pond Loop
Sargent and Penobscot Mountains

Downeast Maine (excluding Acadia National Park)
Bold Coast, Culter Coast Public Reserved Land, Cutler

Mid-coast Maine
Bald Mountain, Barnes-Pendleton Preserve, Camden
Bradbury Mountain State Park trails
Camden Hills State Park trails (e.g. Bald Rock Mountain, Mount Battie, etc.)

Southern Maine
Marginal Way, Ogunquit
Mount Agamenticus, Mount Agamenticus Conservation Region
Rachel Carson National Wildlife Refuge trails

The highpoint of Maine is Katahdin (5,269'). Reaching the summit requires careful planning (you need a parking permit) and a very challenging day hike. The warm-weather hiking season is typically late June through mid-October. You can climb Katahdin in the winter, but there are many rules and special permits are needed from the Baxter State Park Authority.

The Maine Trail Finder website has amazing information on hundreds of hiking trails in Maine

To find more hikes in Maine or to learn more about the hikes I've listed above, I recommend purchasing hiking guidebooks on Amazon (or from your local retailer). Another option is using alltrails.com, but you have to be very careful when using that website as its information is often wrong or incomplete. Published hiking guidebooks will likely always be significantly better than the information you find online.

BEST BACKPACKING TRIPS IN MAINE



Maine offers many outstanding backpacking opportunities. Some of the premier backpacking routes in Maine include:

100-Mile Wilderness (of the Appalachian Trail)
Appalachian Trail
Baxter State Park
Bigelow Mountain
Camden Hills State Park
Cutler Coast
Deboullie Public Reserved Land
Grafton Notch Loop
International Appalachian Trail
Maine Huts & Trails lodges
Maine Public Reserved Lands

For more information on backpacking in Maine, visit the New England Waterfalls website.

CLASSIC OUTDOOR ADVENTURES IN MAINE



Maine offers an endless selection of adventures, including these classics:

Appalachian Mountain Club remote lodges
Canoeing the Allagash Wilderness Waterway
Canoeing the Saco River
Canoeing the St. Croix River
Backpacking in Baxter State Park - stay in one of dozens of remote lean-tos
Backpacking the 100-Mile Wilderness - takes most backpackers 8-10 days to complete this famous section of the Appalachian Trail
Backpacking the Appalachian Trail
Backpacking the Grafton Notch Loop
Backpacking on Maine Public Reserved Lands
Day hiking Bigelow Mountain
Day hiking Katahdin in Baxter State Park
Day hiking the Beehive in Acadia National Park
Day hiking the Precipice Trail in Acadia National Park - generally opens for the season in mid-August
Day hiking Traveler Mountain in Baxter State Park
Day hiking Tumbledown Mountain
Float plane into a remote sporting camp
Ice fishing on any one of Maine's hundreds of lakes
Mountain biking the carriage roads of Acadia National Park
Mountain biking the trails around Sugarloaf / Carrabassett Valley
Mountaineering Katahdin in winter
Rock climbing Camden Hills State Park
Rock climbing the Clifton Crags
Rock climbing on Mt. Desert Island
Sea-kayaking the Maine coastline
Sailing the Maine coastline
Skiing at Sunday River Resort
Skiing at Sugarloaf
Skydiving in Lebanon
Snowmobiling on 14,000+ miles of trails
Stay at one or several of the AMC Maine Wilderness Lodges
Stay at one or several of the Maine Huts & Trails Lodges - closed as of 2022 due to COVID and organizational financial challenges
Whitewater rafting the Dead River
Whitewater rafting the Kennebec River
Whitewater rafting the Penobscot River

BEST SKI RESORTS IN MAINE



Maine has more than a dozen ski resorts. Here are some ski resorts that are generally considered the best:

Premier Ski/Snowboard Resorts:
Saddleback Mountain - 68 trails; 2,000ft vertical drop; 4,120ft summit
Sugarloaf - 162 trails; 2,820ft vertical drop; 4,234ft summit
Sunday River Resort - 135 trails; 2,340ft vertical drop; 3,140ft summit

Other Notable Ski/Snowboard Resorts:
Camden Snow Bowl
Mt. Abram
Shawnee Peak

My favorite ski resort in Maine (or New England for that matter) is Sugarloaf. However, lots of people prefer Sunday River over Sugarloaf. Both are excellent. I like Sugarloaf because it feels way out there, and all trails ultimately lead back to one central base area.

The prime NH ski season is generally December through March. Some NH resorts may also be open in Oct/Nov and some stay open until April/May.

MAINE TRAVEL TIPS



For offbeat and unique Maine attractions, visit one or both of these amazing websites: Atlas Obscura and Roadside America

I would encourage you to avoid the woodsy/mountain areas of Maine from mid-May through the end of June; that's black fly season, and they can be intolerable. Mosquitoes can also be bad, but tend to mostly die down by 7/1 or 7/15.

In general, the further north you go in Maine, the more likely it is that you will see a moose. The North Maine Woods is very wild and offers outstanding camping and off-the-beaten-path adventures....plus lots of moose!

Peak fall foliage in Maine is typically between 9/25 and 10/25, depending upon where you are in the state The earliest snowfall in the mountainous areas of Maine is typically around 10/15-10/30.

Driving US-1 the entire way up the coastline is very slow but offers tons of great scenery, restaurants, and shops

There are many remote islands in Maine that you can explore (you just need to boat or kayak to them)

Here is an awesome list of 101 things to do in Maine: roamingtheamericas.com

UNIQUE / SPECIALTY FOODS TO TRY IN MAINE



Here are some unique / specialty foods to try while you are in Maine:

blueberry pies
fiddleheads
fried clams
lobster
lobster rolls
Moxie (soda)
needhams
ployes
popovers - e.g. Jordan Pond House in Acadia National Park
potatoes
red snapper hot dogs
whoopie pies

For a list of unique foods and mom-and-pop type eateries and restaurants in Maine (or any other U.S. state), visit the Roadfood.com website.
For a list of unique foods to try in each of the 50 U.S. states, click here.
For a list of the top-rated beers to try in Maine (or any other U.S. state), visit the Beer Advocate website.

OTHER KEY MAINE INFORMATION



Capital = Augusta
Major airports = Portland and to a far lesser extent, Bangor and Presque Isle
Largest cities = Portland (66,706), Lewiston (36,158), Bangor (32,029)
Primary U.S. interstates = I-95, I-295
State highpoint = Katahdin (5,269'); a parking permit (which is tough to get) and an extremely difficult day hike is required to reach the summit
Professional sports teams = none

Take note that in general this travel guide intentionally excluded restaurants, lodging/hotels, breweries, wineries/vineyards, and certain other types of attractions (like arcades, ax-throwing, bowling alleys, and escape rooms). These types of places tend to come and go, and keeping up with that would be too challenging. I encourage you to use Google Maps, Tripadvisor, Yelp, and other travel sites that have reader reviews to find the latest and greatest places that I haven't covered here.


Screw Auger Falls, Gulf Hagas, Maine
Screw Auger Falls, Gulf Hagas, Maine

view from Mt. Battie in Camden Hills State Park, Maine
view from Mt. Battie in Camden Hills State Park, Maine

Sand Beach in Acadia National Park, Maine
Sand Beach in Acadia National Park, Maine

hiking along the Knife Edge, Katahdin, Baxter State Park
hiking along the Knife Edge, Katahdin, Baxter State Park

Katahdin Woods & Waters National Monument
view of Katahdin from Barnard Mountain
(Katahdin Woods & Waters National Monument
)

Pockwockamus Rock in Millinocket, Maine
Pockwockamus Rock in Millinocket, Maine
(near the southern entrance of Baxter State Park)


Cellardoor Winery in Lincolnville, Maine
Cellardoor Winery in Lincolnville, Maine

Giant Loon in Lincoln, Maine
Giant Loon in Lincoln, Maine

West Quoddy Head Light, Quoddy Head State Park, Lubec, Maine
West Quoddy Head Light, Quoddy Head State Park, Lubec, Maine
(easternmost lighthouse in the USA)


International Sign in Lynchville, Maine
International Sign in Lynchville, Maine
(junction of ME 5 and ME 35)

Steven King's House in Bangor, Maine
Steven King's House in Bangor, Maine

Whitewater Rafting the Penobscot River (near Millinocket, Maine)
Whitewater Rafting the Penobscot River
(near Millinocket, Maine)


MORE U.S. STATE TRAVEL GUIDES



Did you enjoy this travel guide? If so, here are links to more U.S. state travel guides:

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