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 back out on the beach, a surf board or cruise the coast aboard a windjammer tour. Until those rain clouds move along, there are plenty of things to do in Maine on a rainy day. Here, we have some ideas – rainy day activities, and things 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 backburner on beach days. Take time to discover the other activities Maine has to offer.
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. You will find great museums tracing the heritage of Maine’s first settlers in Old York, where you can see Maine’s first jail, schoolhouse and tavern. Ogunquit offers art lovers one of the best art galleries in the nation, Ogunquit Museum of American Art. Ogunquit is also famous for its Ogunquit Playhouse where off Broadway plays are performed – including rainy day matinees.
Early shipbuilding is revered in the town of Kennebunkport. The Brick Store Museum displays historical artifacts in thoughtful exhibits, they also offer architectural tours of this famed town. Also in 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 at White Columns (formerly the Nott House) where the Bush family’s time in the White House and at Walker’s Point is chronicled. Searsport has The Penobscot Marine Museum, where visitors can view the extensive history of Maine’s maritime, seafaring photography and genealogical exhibits are open year-round.
Bath’s Maine Maritime Museum is also a treat for history buffs, where you can visit the historical shipyard site. These are just a few spectacles for visitors to enjoy on a rainy day in Maine. As an inspiration to artists, you can expect to see many art galleries and studios throughout the State of Maine, and especially along coastal towns.
The most notable is the Portland Museum of Art, 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 more modern design by I. M. Pei. The Farnsworth Museum, in Rockland, 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 and Seashore Trolley Museum in Kennebunkport bringing trains and early transportation back to life. Walking the Pier at Old Orchard Beach is fun come rain or shine, with an amusement park, games of chance and a carnival atmosphere by the sea.
It is a real kid pleaser. In Yarmouth near Freeport, a visit to DeLorme map manufacturer shows the kids the whole world – the largest rotating globe in the world at 42′.
Shopping tops the list of things to do in Maine, so you can bring back memorabilia from your Maine vacation. Maine has some of the best antique and boutique shopping, with Wells, Maine being 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 Maine coast where heaps of antique stores, chic boutiques, and small, quaint shops dot the main road.
Among other shopping hubs in Maine are the renowned Kittery Outlets and Freeport Outlets are where you will find designer and name brand clothes and home goods at outlet bargains, and Maine outdoor stores like LL Bean and Kittery Trading Post that offer a unique, interactive shopping experience and special 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, when you include a stop for lunch at one of Maine’s best restaurants for a cup of chowder or a lobster roll.
Maine casinos allow you to make it rain at the roulette table (you know, with cash money), 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 be leaving 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, is one of Maine’s newest attractions with 24/7 gaming, slots and table games.
If it’s an adult vacation, wine tasting at Cellardoor in Lincolnville or Thompson Point in Portland or a brewery tour at Bissell Brothers or Rising Tide is a good bet. Portland Maine has the highest concentration of breweries in the entire US.
Maine foodie tours are another great way to get a taste of Maine, offered in Portland and in season in Kennebunkport. These are a great value, often a cheaper activity than dining out or going to a bar as many tours have $10 admissions including your tastings/samples.
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 Brew Bus tour for a fun day. Surely, brew tours are entertaining enough to steal you away from a sunny day.
Rain or shine, Maine is the place to be. Vacationland awaits you!