Top Things to Do In Maine
Visit the Beaches – Maine has so many beautiful beaches from long soft stretches of sand, to rocky beaches with perfect smooth pebbles, tidal pools and quiet coves with horseshoe beaches, to broad open strands that surfers love for the big breaking waves. Maine beaches are unlike anywhere else in the world, given the 8-14 foot twice daily tide, Maine beaches are incredibly scenic and unique. See our guide to Maine’s best beaches.
Take in some historical Maine sites – Maine has a proud maritime history. Today there are museums, historic sites and bold lighthouses that tell the tale of earlier settlers, brave sea captains and fishermen. There is plenty of folklore to go along – like the legends from the country’s oldest jail in York and to the hauntings of sea captains mansions in Kennebunkport.
See the first light of day from atop Cadillac Mountain in Acadia National Park, on Mount Desert Island. This dramatic mountaintop, you can drive up, is incredibly scenic anytime, but amazing at sunrise. This vantage and many more on the Maine Coast are equally amazing at sunset as the last light of day glows on the ocean and the shore.
Sea Food – Eat Maine
Eat some local Maine seafood, lobster, fried clams, shrimp, scallops, oysters and the local fresh catch of the day. Whether you dine at a fancy four star restaurant on artfully prepared lobster out of the shell, or roll up your sleeves at a roadside clam shack and crack open your own lobster, or enjoy a lobster roll picnic at the beach, that’s up to you…just be sure to have a Down East feast while you are in Maine.
Maine is loaded with local crafts people, artists, chefs, and jewelers. Whether its lobster or lighthouse decor, starfish and sea glass jewelry, beautiful seascape inspired art, or Maine made blueberry jams and maple products, you will find many wonderful handmade Maine items in small boutiques. Score some bargains at Maine outlets in Kittery, Freeport and Bangor, and seek out unique Maine discount stores like Mardens and Reny’s.
Take the Presidential pass through Kennebunkport
Kennebunkport Maine is the summer home to President George H W and Barbara Bush. You can drive along Ocean Avenue and see their spectacular Walkers Point estate, then visit the First Families Kennebunkport Museum.
Go to the Beaner
LL Bean made his Maine clothier and outdoor gear, since 1913, famous with an amazing guaranteed return policy, and the most open hours anywhere. Visit the flagship LL Bean store in Freeport, open 24/7/365, just to see the Bear and Moose, the massive Bean Boot and by all means buy something- its guaranteed forever, no matter what!
Meet the Mainers
Accents aside, Mainers are incredibly proud, often funny, pragmatic people. They work hard, laugh often and have a strong sense of Yankee-ism. Mainers can also be sarcastic, so consider yourself warned. See our Maine slang page for clue.
See Maine’s natural assets
Beaches are beautiful to walk, explore and relax on, but Maine is also host to wonderful walking trails, bike paths and seaside walks like Marginal Way in Ogunquit, Wells Reserve at Laudholm Farm, Parson Way in Kennebunkport and Belfast’s waterfront walk. Acadia National Park offers a labyrinth of carriage roads and hiking trails to explore. In the lakes and mountains, hikes and bike paths lead to incredibly scenic spots. Enjoy the great outdoors in the Pine Tree State.
Take a swim in the Atlantic in the summer, Maine’s cool seashore offers a refreshing swim – you might even say its bone chilling cold. The Polar Plunge on New Year’s Day at Kennebunk, Old Orchard Beach and Portland is a real thrill and chill. In Maine’s fresh-water lakes and rivers, the water temperatures tend toward the chilly too. Jump into a good old fashioned swimming hole if you dare.
Stay another day
Maine vacations are either to short, or our state is too big. There is so much to see and do, so don’t try to squeeze it all in a week. Consider exploring a section of the Maine coast, or a few Maine lake towns at a time. It’s called Vacationland, so you can come back again and again.
Get on a boat
The best way to see Maine’s dramatic coastline is from the water. Maine boat tours range from lobster boat tours and sailboat rides that last an hour or two, to scenic lighthouse excursions, or all-day fishing charters and whale watch expeditions. You can even board a schooner or charter boat for a week exploring the Maine coasts many harbors and outlying islands. Rent a Kayak. Maine ports offering boat tours continue up the coast from Kittery, Ogunquit and Kennebunkport to Portland, Boothbay Harbor, Rockland, Camden, Bar Harbor and more.
Get off Grid
Don‘t just drive up and down Route 1, there is so much more of Maine to be seen. Be sure to get off the Turnpike, I-95, and the Route 1 corridor to really explore Maine.
Get your Maine lobster to go
Have that Lobster, Fried Clams, Clam Chowder, and get your Maine fix. Then stop at a local lobster pound on your way out of town to bring home a live lobster to cook at home… Maine fishermen know how to pack your lobster to go, so you will have the taste of Maine and the smell of salty air in your home.