The state of Maine is larger than all the other states in New England combined. Because of Maine’s size, there are so many unique regions. Touring the entire state could take a year, so it is smart to plan where you visit. Maine has so much to offer, from classic fishing villages like Boothbay Harbor and quaint seaside towns like Kennebunkport, to historic Castine or a vibrant New England city setting like Portland.
If you are looking for some of the best beaches, the Southern Maine Coast is your best bet. If you’re looking for an intimate getaway, try a B&B in one of the many charming historic towns further north like Camden. Why not experience both? Plan a journey along the coast and stop in some of our favorite places to visit in Maine.
Portland is the true definition of a classic New England city. Portland’s Old Port is a charming old harbor town with historic architecture, cobblestone sidewalks, many incredible restaurants, unique boutiques, shops, and art galleries. A visit to Portland is not complete without viewing Maine’s oldest lighthouse, Portland Headlight, commissioned by George Washington in 1791.
The Old Port is Portland’s waterfront, a revitalized warehouse district with chic shopping, new hotels, dining, entertainment, nightlife, and a working waterfront. Portland harbor provides easy access to ferry or charter boat tours, which take visitors to nearby scenic islands in Casco Bay.
Bar Harbor Maine
Bar Harbor derives its name from the famous sandbar that connects Bar Island to the mainland at low tide. Its spectacular setting can’t be topped, home to beautiful Acadia National Park, Mount Desert Island, and a quaint seaside town – it encompasses everything Maine has to offer from mountains to sea.
Bar Harbor offers something for every visitor, from hiking and biking trails through Acadia National Park to kayak and canoe tours along the Mount Desert Island coastline, to Downeast clambakes and lobster served on every corner.
Kennebunkport and Kennebunk Maine
Kennebunkport and Kennebunk are year-round vacation destinations and home to many famous summer residents. From the charming boutiques and delicious seafood served in Kennebunkport’s Dock Square to the scenic rocky shoreline near Walker’s Point, the beauty of Kennebunk and Kennebunkport never gets old!
Visitors to the annual Christmas Prelude celebration are in for a treat as the old-fashioned holiday spirit rings throughout town. In June, the Kennebunkport festival features fine art, music, and culinary events by top chefs. Visit the beautiful beaches, rent scooters or bikes, or take a boat ride on the Kennebunk River for a sunset sail, whale watching, and deep-sea fishing – you’ll find it all in the Kennebunks!
Ogunquit is one of the premier summer vacation towns in Maine. Appropriately named, meaning “Beautiful place by the sea” in the language of the Algonquin Indians, Ogunquit is home to 3.5 miles of beautiful sandy beach with oceanfront hotels and accommodations.
Visitors can walk the famous Marginal Way coastal walking path that connects the center of Ogunquit to Perkins Cove, a small charming fishing village with shopping, seafood, and a working drawbridge. It is also a summer hotspot for lively nightlife and entertainment, with nearby Ogunquit Playhouse and top Maine dining.
Camden is commonly referred to as the “Jewel of the Maine Coast,” and for good reason. Located in the Mid-Coast region, Camden is the gateway to Penobscot Bay – offering beautiful harbor views, shopping and excellent dining.
Because of its location, Camden is a great place for chartered boat or sailing trips, perhaps aboard one of the numerous schooners or tall ships that line the harbor. Camden is also full of rich history with many museums, stunning architecture, and charming brick sidewalks.
York is a quintessential Maine town, home to everything from Nubble Lighthouse and sandy beaches to great amusements, museums, and shopping – there is so much to do in York! Long Sands Beach offers great sand and surf, while Short Sands Beach has easy accessibility to entertainment in town. Visit Maine’s largest zoo, watch saltwater taffy made in front of you, or take a ride on the carousel. No vacation to York is complete without a stop in Cape Neddick to view Nubble Light, the most photographed lighthouse in Maine.
Old Orchard Beach Maine
Old Orchard Beach provides family fun for all seasons. The summertime is hopping on The Pier with arcades, amusement parks, rollercoasters, and lively nightlife. The seven-mile long stretch of uninterrupted beautiful sand is consistently voted “Maine’s Best Beach” by readers of Maine’s largest newspaper.
Fireworks and entertainment are offered every Thursday during the summer. If you’re a golfer, spring and fall in Old Orchard Beach offer fabulous golfing with over 10 courses within just a half hour of the beach.
Boothbay Harbor Maine
Boothbay Harbor is a classic Maine destination, with many historical sites, charming shops, and oceanfront dining. The quiet coves and rocky shores make this spot the perfect Maine getaway for anyone looking to relax and enjoy the fresh sea air.
Home to the Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens, dozens of nature trails, schooner, and boat tours – there is something for everyone to enjoy. And you’ll be in good company here, as the people of Boothbay Harbor pride themselves on turning strangers into friends.
Rockport is known for its limestone industry, supplying much of the stone used in the US Capital. It is also known as the hometown for the true story of Andre the Seal, a locally written book turned into a major motion picture.
The Farnsworth Museum in Rockport features famous Wyeth family art. But beyond that, Rockport is a scenic Maine fishing village, where visitors can sail out of the harbor or enjoy fresh local seafood at one of the many oceanfront restaurants. Rockport is located exactly halfway between Kennebunkport and Bar Harbor, making it a must-stop location on your journey up the Maine coast. Find lodges in the Rockport area.
Castine is one of Maine’s oldest towns, occupied since the early 1600s. Although a little farther to get to, Castine is definitely worth a visit for the rich history and sites to see. Castine is home to beautiful Dyce Headlight and several old forts such as Fort Madison, which offers sweeping views of Castine harbor.
Visitors enjoy watching the sunset from Wadsworth Cove Beach due to its ideal western exposure. The town itself is a quaint seaside village, perfect for walking the streets past historic homes and Inns. Castine is also home to Maine Maritime Academy.
Plan Your Maine Getaway Today
No matter which of these fabulous Maine towns you visit, your trip will be something special. Whether you want to soak up as much time by the ocean as possible, nosh on fresh seafood, learn about Maine history or spend time enjoying a slice of New England life, Maine has something for everyone to enjoy.
So start planning your Maine getaway right now! The vibes are great, the views are excellent, the food is delicious, the people are charming, and Maine is just waiting for you to come and visit.