It’s certainly not hard to find things to do in Maine. No matter the season, there are plenty of guidebooks to give you advice on where to go, what to see and how to eat. But, what if you were to ditch the tourist-ready travel book and try the less obvious options? Your trip would be just as fantastic, but a little more unique. We love the tourist attractions as much as the next person. In fact, they’re a big part of what makes Maine what it is. While we will always love the tried-and-true museums and trails, here are just a few options for trying something new.
1. Don't go to Cape Neddick in York...
...Go to the Museums of Old York in York Village instead.
This network of preserved historical buildilngs - including homes, a school, jail, wharf, art gallery, and even a burial grounds provide a fascinating glimpse into how the region operated when it first began.
2. While certainly beautiful, skip Marginal Way in Ogunquit...
...Check out the Ogunquit Museum of American Art, instead.
This museum, filled with Mid-Century Modern art is situated overlooking the ocean and is just a few miles away from downtown and the beaches. You'll find lots of pieces from artists that are (and were) part of the largest art colonies in the state.
3. Order from L.L. Bean online instead of spending a day at the store and then...
...head to Wolfe's Neck Farm for family fun, instead.
This lovely farm is fun for adults and children, alike! There's more to do here than will fit in this article, but trust us when we say that anyone who loves Maine and being outdoors and adore this place. There's weekend programming virtually every weekend - including concerts, workshops and lessons - and you can even camp right on the shores! October 1st is their Harvest Dance, featuring Maine favorite's The Mallett Brothers Band.
4. OR, head to El El Frijoles in Sargentville for some of the best Mexican food in Maine!
They not only have the most clever name in Maine, they also serve up some absolutely gourmet dishes. This place is NOT to be confused with a quick eats taco joint. If you want authentic and delicious Mexican with a fresh and local feel, this is for you. Visit them at 41 Caterpillar Hill Road, Sargentville / 207-359-2486.
5. While we love it, skip The Farnsworth Art Museum in Rockland and head to...
...The Olson House in Cushing, instead.
This farmhouse is the reason we have Andrew Wyeth's most-loved painting, Christina’s World. It's located about 20 minutes from Rockland and it's where Andrew Wyeth spent his summers. One day, he looked outside and saw Christina Olson, who had polio, pulling herself through the lawn. If you're an art lover, you'll love the tour despite its hefty $20 price tag.
6. Stay away from downtown Boothbay Harbor and...
...instead, check out the Boothbay Railway Village.
This unique spot was founded in 1965 by George McEvoy, who operated it as a private enterprise until 1981 when it became a non-profit. Today visitors are treated to rides in a coal-fired train that circles the area. Along the way, you'll be able to stop at any of the 24 historic buildings to discover some of the very unique oddities placed inside. We can't recommend this spot enough!
7. Skip the diners that everyone visits and instead enjoy some other local places, such as...
...Deb's Diner in Waldoboro.
While we can't put down the other local diners here, if you want a great home-cooked meal in a local atmosphere, Deb's is awesome. With unique specials and a perfectly baked break, you won't be disappointed here. Unless you can't get a seat. Then you should be pretty bummed because you're missing out.
8. We can't REALLY tell you to skip Acadia, but we can tell you where to go once you're done there...
...take a trip to the Cutler Bold Coast Preserve.
In Downeast Maine, Cutler Coast Public Lands is a gorgeous place to visit with very few tourists. This 12,334-acre area has a variety of ecosystems including 4.5 miles of headlands overlooking the Bay of Fundy.
9. Skip out on the well-loved Gooch's Beach in Kennebunk...
We recommend this spot based on its beauty and lack of obvious directions. The Inn at English Meadows says, "Bordered on the north-east end by the Mousam River, this small beach is open to the public but the access crosses land that is privately owned. The road to the beach, Parsons Beach Road, is directly off of Rt. 9/Western Avenue.
...and go to Parson's Beach, instead. If you can find it, that is.
10. Avoid that tourist traffic by staying away from the well-trodden highways and instead...
...take the road less traveled by. It will make all the difference. A good option is the Rangeley Lakes National Scenic Byway.
Robert Frost knows what he's talking about. This 52-mile route on State Routes 17, 16, and 4 surrounds Rangeley Lake and crosses the Appalachian Trail. The most memorable part is, perhaps, the view of Mooselookmeguntic Lake at the Height of Land. Depending which season you make the trip, add a detour to Angel Falls, Coos Canyon, Rangeley Lakes State Park, Rangeley Logging Museum or Saddleback Mountain for skiing. Check out a map of this route, along with some other incredible scenic byways by clicking