Though Maine lives up to its “Vacationland” motto, there are rainy days. Although kids might rejoice by jumping in puddles, most of us would rather wait for a sunny day to get on the beach or a surfboard or a cruise along the coast aboard a windjammer tour.
Until those clouds move along, there are plenty of rainy day things to do in Maine. Below, we have some rainy day activities and things that you can do year-round in Maine.
Discover attractions that you might not experience during long stretches of sunny weather. After a few days of sunbathing at the beach, exploring the coast along the bike trails, or taking a deep-sea fishing trip, you may be grateful for a change in the weather.
Maine has many indoor attractions that go on the back burner on beach days. Take time to discover the other activities Maine has to offer.
Visit Historic Landmarks & Museums
As a state rich with history and culture, Maine invites visitors and history buffs alike to learn about its past at landmarks, museums, and historical settings. Here are some of our favorites.
Old York Maine
You will find great museums that trace the heritage of Maine’s first settlers in Old York, where you can see the state’s first jail, schoolhouse, and tavern. The Old York Historical Society maintains six other historical buildings and the 17-acre Steedman Woods at Point Bolleyne nature preserve.
Ogunquit offers art lovers one of the best art galleries in the nation — the Ogunquit Museum of American Art. The city is also famous for its Ogunquit Playhouse where off-Broadway plays are performed, including rainy day matinees. And, the Ogunquit Heritage Museum is in a historic building.
Searsport has the Penobscot Marine Museum where visitors can view Maine’s extensive maritime history and seafaring photography. Open year-round, the museum has great geological exhibits as well. The museum campus has several beautiful historic buildings.
Kennebunk & Kennebunkport Maine
Early shipbuilding is revered in the town of Kennebunkport. You will find beautifully restored mansions of wealthy sea captains and summer residents.
White Columns in Kennebunkport is a gracious example and also home to The Bush Family Legacy Museum (formerly the Nott House) where the Bush family’s time in the White House and at Walker’s Point is chronicled.
In nearby Kennebunk, the Brick Store Museum honors the human experience in the Kennebunks and surrounding communities through arts, history, and culture. Historical artifacts are thoughtfully displayed in permanent and rotating exhibits. Plus, the museum offers architectural tours of the town.
The Maine Maritime Museum is a treat for history buffs. You can visit a historical shipyard site, the only surviving historic wooden shipyard in the country with a working boat shop and restored 1906 schooner. Also on the 20-acre waterfront campus are art galleries with permanent and rotating exhibits.
As an inspiration to artists, you can expect to see many art galleries and studios throughout the State of Maine, especially along coastal towns.
The most notable is the Museum of Art in Portland Maine, titled Maine’s oldest and largest art museum exhibiting fine art, as well as edgy and modern collections. The Museum is amazing architecturally — founded in 1892 with a more modern design by I. M. Pei.
Another fantastic gallery is the Farnsworth Museum in Rockland Maine, which offers an extensive collection of the Wyeth family’s three generations of Maine artists.
For children, the Maine Children’s Museum in Portland is great fun for the whole family. Also, the Boothbay Railway Village in Boothbay and the Seashore Trolley Museum in Kennebunkport bring trains and early transportation back to life.
Walking the Pier at Old Orchard Beach is fun come rain or shine. It has an amusement park, games of chance, and a carnival atmosphere by the sea. It is a real kid-pleaser.
Shop for Gifts, Souvenirs, & More
Shopping tops the list of rainy day things to do in Maine, so you can take memorabilia home from your Maine vacation. The state has some of the best antique and boutique shopping.
Wells Maine is considered the Antiques Capital, while seaside towns like Ogunquit and Kennebunkport are brimming with art and jewelry boutiques.
Touring up the coast of Maine, your best bet for picking up souvenirs is along US Route 1, contouring the shoreline with heaps of antique stores, chic boutiques, and small, quaint shops dotting the main road.
Among other shopping hubs in Maine are the renowned Kittery Premium Outlets in Kittery Maine and Freeport Outlets in Freeport Maine are where you will find designer and name-brand clothes and home goods at outlet bargains.
Plus, Maine outdoor stores like L.L. Bean and Kittery Trading Post offer a unique, interactive shopping experience and specialize in made-in-Maine hunting, fishing, and sports gear.
Dock Square in Kennebunkport and the Old Port on the waterfront in Portland make shopping a full day endeavor. We recommend that you include a stop for lunch at one of Maine’s best restaurants for a cup of chowder or a lobster roll.
Play at a Casino
Maine casinos allow you to make it rain at the roulette table (with cash) if you’re lucky, that is. Casinos are always a fun place to spend some time, especially if you’re simply looking to let your hair down.
As long as you know when to quit, you could leave your Maine vacation with more than you came with. Maine has its fair share of casinos, and all are fun spots for spending your free time.
Oxford Casino Hotel
Oxford Casino is one of Maine’s newest attractions with 24/7 gaming, slots, and table games. There are almost 1,000 slot machines from various manufacturers, nearly 100 video poker games, and a variety of table games — blackjack, Spanish 21, mini-baccarat, jackpot hold’em, craps, roulette, and more.
Hollywood Casino Bangor
In Bangor Maine, you can get a Vegas-style casino experience at the Hollywood Casino Bangor. It has more than 700 of the newest slot machines and video poker games, giving you plenty of ways to take home some extra cash. Plus, there are exciting table games for all skill levels — beginner to seasoned.
Enjoy a Wine Tasting or Food Tour
If you’re on an adult vacation, wine tasting at Cellardoor in Lincolnville or Thompson Point in Portland or taking a brewery tour at Bissell Brothers or Rising Tide is a good bet. Portland Maine has the highest concentration of breweries in the entire United States.
Maine foodie tours are another great way to get a taste of Maine, offered in Portland and Kennebunkport. These are a great value and are often a cheaper activity than dining out or going to a bar because many tours have admission fees that include your tastings.
Your tour guides will typically guide you through the facility where the magic happens and finish up with some samples. Be careful though, some tours can be very generous.
If you’re in the Portland Maine area with a spare day, you can look into Maine brewery tours and the Maine Brews Cruise tour for a fun day. Surely, brew tours are entertaining enough to steal you away from a sunny day.
The Lincolnville Maine location of Cellardoor Winery is the home of its vineyard, winery, and tasting room. The 5.5-acre estate vineyard and state-of-the-art winery produce cold-hardy hybrid vintages.
You can tour the facilities on weekends, and enjoy a flight or glass of wine afterward with premade cheese plates. Additionally, Cellardoor Winery has a tasting room in Portland Maine’s Old Port.
Maine Brews Cruise
From Portland Maine, Maine Brews Cruise offers craft beverage tours and experiences. The all-inclusive tours give you behind-the-scenes looks at breweries, wineries, distilleries, and more. This way, you get a learning and tasting experience without having to worry about driving.
Maine Day Ventures
Maine Day Ventures offers foodie tours in Portland, Kennebunkport, Boothbay Harbor, Bar Harbor, Biddeford, and Brunswick. Some of the food tour locations are available seasonally, while others operate all year.
Formerly named Maine Foodie Tours, the company has expanded its offerings to history and health-day tours as well. The company treats every tour like an authentic, highly interactive adventure.
Plan Your Rainy Day Things to Do in Maine
Rain or shine, Maine is the place to go for a getaway whether it’s with your significant other, friends, or the entire family. You can find all kinds of fun and exciting things to do in Maine. Vacationland awaits you!