Maine, one of America’s smallest states, is home to attractions and destinations that can’t be found anywhere else in New England, The United States, or even the world. And the warm weather months are the best time to explore its beaches and mountains and everything in between. So before it gets too cold, why not get out there and see some of what this stunning state has to experience?
Did You Know These Things About Maine?
While you might thing of Maine as tiny, it’s actually the size of all other five New England states combined. It has 5,300 miles of coastline, 2000 islands off its coast, 542,629 acres of state and national parks, and a mile-high mountain.
History buffs will love to explore America’s oldest European settlements and North America’s oldest fleet of commercial sailing vessels, now National Historic Landmarks. There’s more things to do in Maine than you might have initially known.
One of the Best Things to do in Maine is Eat!
Already famous for its lobster, Maine has earned a well-deserved reputation as a food lovers destination. In addition to lobster and other fresh seafood, Maine is also a leading
producer of blueberries, potatoes, apples, and maple syrup. In fact, Maine has the largest wild blueberry crop in the nation, raising 99 percent of all wild blueberries in the U.S.
There is no shortage of opportunities to sample and enjoy the harvest of land and sea. From
visits to local farms, lobster boat tours, agricultural fairs and award- winning fine dining, Maine’s food industry offers culinary discoveries year-round.
And whether you love nostalgia, or have a Fallout video game fan, don’t forget to hunt down a can of Moxie. Made from the bitter gentian root, this soda is an acquired taste. It has a loyal following in New England, and more recently, with gamers. The company’s story is fictionalized and a part of the blockbuster game’s plot.
Maine is Heaven for Outdoor Enthusiasts, Especially in Summer
When it comes to outdoor activities it is hard to beat all the things to do in Maine with both a rugged coastline and mountain landscapes to please a variety of interests. There’s even 150 golf courses in a variety of nature settings, including one of America’s best public greens.
Explore some of their 32,000 miles of rivers and streams, which is more than the combined length of the Mississippi, Amazon, Yangtze and Nile rivers. Or trek through Maine’s
630,192 acres of state and national parks, including the 92-mile Allagash Wilderness
Waterway, Acadia National Park and Baxter State Park – location of Mt. Katahdin and the
northern end of the Appalachian Trail.
Here’s some of the best things to do in Maine during the summer.
Set Sail on a Crustacean Adventure with a Lobster Boat Tour
One thing is for sure. Maine is known for its lobster. No Summer trip to Maine is complete without taking a lobster boat tour in Kennebunkport, voted one of America’s most adorable towns. During your tour, watch as lobster traps are hauled up from the water, learn about the history and culture of Maine’s lobster industry. Don’t leave Kennebunkport without tasting a Maine lobster roll at one of the many seafood restaurants across Maine’s coast.
Explore the Maine Oyster Trail
Speaking of seafood, the Maine Oyster Trail is one of the must-do things to do in Maine. The state is a seafood lover’s paradise with so many oyster farms and restaurants serving up delicious local oysters.
But even if you’re not a huge fan of oysters, there’s something special about visiting the farms where they’re grown, meeting the farmers who harvest them, supporting Maine’s oyster industry and learning about the process from start to finish. The stunning coastal scenery and charming towns that make up the Maine Oyster Trail make it a perfect Summer vacation destination.
Discover the Charm of Portland, Maine’s Coastal Gem
After strolling through its historic Old Port, you’ll see that Portland is unique. In this charming seaport city, you’ll find an eclectic mix of shops, restaurants, and galleries. Sample some of the best fresh seafood and craft beer you’ve ever had.
Then, do something fun. Some of the most popular things to do in Portland is to take a leisurely bike ride through the Back Cove Trail or visit the Eastern Promenade for a picnic with a view of Casco Bay. Whether you’re interested in history, culture, or simply absorbing the laid-back vibe, Portland has something for everyone.
Light Up Your Day with a Visit to Iconic Lighthouses
Speaking of Portland, you can’t leave without seeing the iconic Maine lighthouses, which are some of the most photographed in the world. You don’t want to miss getting a glimpse of The Portland Head Light. Located in Cape Elizabeth, the lighthouse offers stunning views of the Atlantic Ocean and is the most photographed lighthouse in the world.
Visitors can also explore the adjacent Fort Williams Park, which features walking trails, picnic areas, and historical exhibits.
Experience the Great Outdoors in Style, Go Glamping in Maine
Camping is a classic Summer activity, but if you’re not into roughing it, glamping might be more your style. Maine is home to some beautiful glamping sites like Under Canvas Acadia, where you can sleep under the stars in a luxurious tent or cabin near Acadia.
There, you’ll be treated to full luxury while being immersed in the beautiful outdoors of Maine. Order a delicious seafood meal over the Summer al fresco and snuggle up to the campfire in the evening for some smores. You’ll get a real feel for what Maine is all about!
Beach Hop Like a Local on Maine’s Coast
With over 5,000 miles of coastline, no trip to Maine is complete without a visit to a beautiful beach! From the sandy beaches of Ogunquit and Old Orchard Beach to the rocky shores of Acadia National Park, Maine’s beaches offer visitors the perfect Summer beach day. Other popular beaches in Maine include Goose Rocks Beach, Popham Beach, and Reid State Park.
Spot Majestic Whales on a Whale Watching Tour
On a warm Summer’s day, Maine is a great place to go whale watching, with opportunities to see humpback, finback, and minke whales off the coast. Several tour operators offer whale-watching trips departing from locations such as Bar Harbor, Kennebunkport and Portland. Visitors can also learn about the whales and other marine life at the Maine State Aquarium in Boothbay Harbor.
Sail Away into the Sunset on a Scenic Cruise
Maine’s coastline is breathtaking, and there’s no better way to experience it than from the deck of a sailboat. Book a sunset sail and watch as the sky transforms into a canvas of oranges and pinks, and the sea turns to gold.
Damariscotta has one such sunset boat cruise with happy hour on board! In this great gem of a town, you can hop on a boat and take a tour of the river where 80% of the state’s oysters come from. You can even eat them too! Damariscotta River Cruises offers tours like oysters and wine or oysters and seals.
Conquer Maine’s Highest Peak and Hike Mount Katahdin
Located in Baxter State Park, Mount Katahdin is the highest mountain in Maine and offers a challenging but rewarding hike. The mountain features several trails of varying difficulty, and the views from the summit are breathtaking. Visitors can also explore the park’s lakes, rivers, and forests, which are home to moose, bears, and other wildlife.
Take a Scenic Drive on the Coastal Route 1
With its picturesque lighthouses, rocky shores, sandy beaches, and charming coastal towns, Maine’s Coastal Route 1 is a scenic drive offering stunning views of the state’s coastline. The drive takes visitors through charming coastal towns such as Camden, Rockland, and Boothbay Harbor, and past lighthouses, beaches, and rocky shores. Along the way, visitors can stop at roadside stands to sample fresh lobster and other seafood delights at one of Maine’s many seafood shacks, raw bars, or restaurants.
Experience the Best of Maine in Bar Harbor
As you reach the end of Maine’s coast in Downeast and Acadia, visit Bar Harbor, a popular Summer destination located on Mount Desert Island. The world famous town offers a variety of activities, including shopping, dining, and sightseeing. Visitors can take a cruise around Frenchman Bay, stroll along the town’s waterfront and enjoy the views or go hiking in Acadia National Park.
Check A National Park Off Your Bucket List
Acadia National Park is the crown jewel of national parks on the east coast and a must-visit destination in Maine. Located on Mount Desert Island, the park offers 47,000 acres of forests, mountains, lakes, and coastline and over 120 miles of hiking trails, including the famous Cadillac Mountain, which offers breathtaking sunrise and sunset views.
Hike to the top and watch the first sunrise in the country! If hiking isn’t your thing, you can also bike the carriage roads, take a scenic drive along the Park Loop Road, go fishing, or kayak in the park’s lakes and ponds.
Enjoy Brews and Views While Exploring Maine’s Beer Trail
Seafood isn’t all that Maine is known for. Exploring Maine’s beer trail is one of the best things you can do in the Summer and with more breweries per capita , one city in particular has got it goin’ on – Portland. The state’s beer scene is constantly evolving, with new breweries and taprooms popping up all the time. The great thing about the trail is that it takes you to some of the best and most unique breweries across Maine that you wouldn’t have otherwise known about.
Similar to the Maine Oyster Trail, the Maine Beer Trail is an interactive and fun way to motivate visitors to visit as many places along the trail as they can. Pick up a Maine Beer Trail passport at any of the participating breweries to collect stamps each brewery you visit and earn rewards! Not only will you get to sample some amazing beers, but you’ll also meet the passionate people who make the beer you love while learning about the brewing process.
Paddle Your Way Through Casco Bay
Speaking of kayaking…Casco Bay is one of the best places to do it. The bay offers calm waters and stunning views of the coastline, islands, and lighthouses. Visitors can rent kayaks from several operators in Portland and explore the bay on their own or take a guided tour. There are even oyster farm tours on kayaks where you can, yes, taste fresh, salty oysters straight from the sea.
Enjoy a Classic Maine Lobster Bake
No trip to Maine is complete without sampling some of the state’s famous lobster. Many restaurants and seafood shacks offer lobster bakes, which typically include steamed lobster, clams, corn on the cob, and other seafood delights. Visitors will love experiencing a laid-back lobster bake on the beach, at a picnic table, or in a restaurant.
Crack into Summer Fun at a Maine Lobster Festival
What better way to celebrate the delicious crustacean that made Maine famous in restaurants around the world than with a lobster festival? From the Maine Lobster Festival in Rockland to the Yarmouth Clam Festival, there are plenty of festivals to choose from throughout the Summer. You can indulge in fresh lobster rolls, lobster dinners, and other seafood delicacies, as well as enjoy live music, arts and crafts, and other fun activities.
But where to stay? Here’s a short list of charming places to consider.
Kennebunk’s hipster hideaway has 17 small and large cottages locally furnished by Maine Woodworks. Combining classic New England charm with the casual vibe of a surf lodge it also offers a lounge pool, fire pits, lawn games, and free cruiser bikes.
Sandy Pines Campground
Located between the twin towns of Kennebunk and Kennebunkport, this retro-cool campground offers hotel-level service and concierge recommendation. With a variety of rentals and accommodation types plus an onsite general store, a heated saltwater pool, state of the art bathhouses, and a swanky lodge even those not-so-campers will enjoy a stay here.
Sandy Pines’ accommodations have electricity and furnished by local designers, with styles ranging from Airstream trailers, Conestoga wagons, kids’ teepees, small cottages, and more.
How Many of These Things to Do in Maine Will You Try?
There are so many things to do in Maine for visitors to explore over the summer season. From hiking in Acadia National Park to exploring charming coastal towns, kayaking on Casco Bay, and enjoying a lobster bake, Maine has something to offer for everyone. So pack your bags and start planning your Summer trip to this beautiful state today! Just don’t forget the sunscreen!
17 of The Best Things To Do In Bar Harbor, Maine
Bar Harbor, Maine, is a beautiful seaside town in Hancock County on the Maine coast. Its picturesque scenery, historical presence, and vibrant culture give visitors many reasons to stay, explore and enjoy its various attractions. From outdoor activities to sightseeing to delicious seafood restaurants, Bar Harbor has something for everyone.
The 10 Best Golf Courses in New England Hand-Picked by a Top Player
Despite having a shorter golf season, New England is home to some of the most beautiful golf courses in the US. From links-style courses to beautiful tracks enclosed in the trees, here are 10 of the best golf courses in New England curated by a top player.
A Top Player’s Picks: The Best Public Golf Courses in the Mid-Atlantic
One of the best parts of golf is going out onto the course with friends and enjoying the game together, but the cost of playing a round can be sky-high, busting your budget or keeping you off the greens.
Public golf courses let you do just that without the exclusivity and high membership prices of private golf courses. If you live in the Northeast or are planning a vacation to the area, here’s a hand-picked list of the best public golf courses.
An Expert Picks The Best Public Golf Courses in Virginia’s Shenandoah Valley
Less than two hours outside of Washington, D.C., lies a close destination right off the interstate, a world away from the area’s urban centers and suburbia. With one of America’s favorite mountain towns, Virginia’s first national park, and the iconic Appalachian trail, The Shenandoah Valley is packed with epic adventures to love.
And that includes some epic golf courses for every player that don’t require pricey memberships to play.
Maui Communities Reopening After Devastating Wildfire: Here’s What Locals Want Visitors to Know
“Beginning October 8, travel restrictions will end, and West Maui will be open to visitors again, so people from Hawaiʻi and around the world can resume travel to this special place and help it begin to recover economically. This difficult decision is meant to bring hope for recovery to the families and businesses on Maui that have been so deeply affected in every way by the disaster,” said Hawaii Governor Josh Green, M.D.
For people with Maui vacation plans and those considering booking a trip, here’s what local businesses and residents want travelers to know.
This article produced by Planner at Heart.