Some think Maine is a small state, and indeed it is when you compare it to California or Texas. But when it comes to attractions, restaurants, and things to do, we are huge. Don’t believe it? It might be because there are some hidden gems you haven’t found yet. In this article, we’ve compiled a list of 11 hidden gems in Maine. It is by no means complete. But, it’s a nice start if you’re trying to uncover some new things to experience here. And, if you’re a real Mainer, you may already know some (or even all) of these!
1. Cutler Bold Coast Preserve, Cutler
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.
2. Mount Agamenticus, York/Ogunquit Area
This is a fairly easy hike that ends with a phenomenal view. The trail is a 1.5-mile loop near Cape Neddick. The trail is primarily used for hiking & mountain biking and allows dogs. Before being turned into a trail area, this was an "Upside Down" ski mountain. Drive your car up to the top and then ski yourself down!
3. Cliff Trail, Harpswell
Just behind the Harpswell Town Hall lies the entrance for this hidden trail. Thank you to the Harpswell Heritage Land Trust for continuing to make areas like this possible.
4. Bagaduce Lunch, Brooksville
This small restaurant shack near the border of Brooksville and Penobscot has been serving up what some call the best lobster roll in Maine for about as long as most locals remember. Head here this summer and try it for yourself.
5. Damariscotta Fish Ladder, Damariscotta
This photo shows an Osprey grabbing an Alewife as it heads to fresh water to spawn. Maine’s oldest fish ladder and most productive alewife fishery is located in Damariscotta Mills. It was constructed by the Towns of Nobleboro and Newcastle in 1807 after mills had blocked access to the fresh water falls for nearly a century. Check it out in the spring!
6. Maine Mineral Adventures, Woodstock
If it's actual "hidden gems" you're after, you'll want to visit Maine Mineral Adventures. Open since 2007, they've honed relationships with local mine owners which allows for special access to gem-rich areas. They stay open as long as the weather permits and as of this weekend, the gemming is on! If you're lucky, you'll unearth some tourmaline or aquamarine. Call to reserve a spot or check hours: (207) 674-3440.
7. Siempre Mas, Portland
Siempre Mas is a shop in Portland's Old Port that is jam packed with silks, bali batiks, scarves, silver, and global handicrafts. But, that's not why they're on this list. Siempre Mas owner, Peter, and his wife have dedicated their lives to providing vital eye surgeries to people suffering from cataracts in rural Cambodia. In addition to running an organization called "Global Village Kids" to serve this purpose, 25% of store profits go towards all sorts of important services to Cambodians in need.
Global Village Kids
8. Parson's Beach, Kennebunk
Parson's Beach made this list 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.
9. Monica's Chocolates, Lubec
While not a hidden gem to those in the area, this incredible chocolate shop offers everything from blueberry wine truffles to jewelry. Many days you'll see Monica herself in the shop!
10. Rattlesnake Flume and Pool, Evans Notch
Plan for a hot day of hiking Blueberry Mountain in Evans Notch and make sure you stop off at Rattlesnake Flume and Pond near the end. The crystal clear pool is located just off Stone House Trail. You'll see a marker showing you the way via a small detour.
11. Your Own Hidden Gem, Your Own Private Island
So, none of these hidden gems are hidden or "gemmy" enough for you? Then create your own! Right now, there are a few islands off the coast of Maine that are for sale. Create your own hidden gem. When you do it, let us know. We'll feature you on our next list of hidden gems! (PS - The land in this photo is, unfortunately, not for sale. But, you might be able to make your own island as majestic as this. In the meantime, you can still visit Hendricks Head Light if you'd like!)
We know you may not want to reveal all of your favorite hidden gems, but in the spirit of sharing, let us know one or two. We’d love to compile another list of more hidden gems in Maine.