Maine doesn’t have the nickname, “Vacationland,” for nothing. Every year an increasing number of tourists find their way to the great white north. We can hardly blame them – with our relaxing beaches, interesting history and outdoor activities aplenty – there’s absolutely no shortage of things to do. But, for some of us, this can be a little overwhelming. With so many people sharing our love of Maine, it can be tough to find a quiet respite from the maddening crowd. If you find yourself in need of that as much as we do, check out this list of spots that are perfect for people who just can’t handle all the crowds. While you might find others there, the vibe will be quiet and relaxed.
1. The Abby Aldrich Rockefeller Garden, Seal Harbor
This private garden is typically open one day a week from July to September, but it's worth the advance planning to see the green of the moss. Abby Aldrich Rockefeller and her husband, John D. Rockefeller, Jr. in the 1920s. The garden was designed by Beatrix Farrand and combines Eastern and Western landscape traditions in a summer season display.
2. The water on a foggy, early morning.
We have our favorite spots for an early morning moment in Maine, but if we told you they might not be as crowd-less. That being said, get out there and find your own secret place. There's a good chance any place you pick will be serene and wonderful as long as it's early.
3. Battery Steele, Peaks Island
Riddled with graffiti rather than bulletholes, Battery Steele on Peaks Island is more avante garde art space than WWII artillery installment. But that doesn’t make it any less creepy. Take the ferry over to explore its dark and cavernous rooms and wildly overgrown roof. While it's one of the most interesting places to explore, it's often completely empty.
4. The Precipice Trail, Bar Harbor, Acadia National Park
Okay, so there will definitely be crowds in the park. But, if you head to this particular trail you'll find that things thin out a bit. Why? Because you have to have a certain daredevil spirit to give this hike a try. And, if you do run into too many people, give them a small shove. It's precarious enough that they might take a tumble, leaving you alone again. Just kidding. Love thy neighbor. Mostly.
5. One of the many touristy areas...during the off-season.
While it's true many of the larger businesses might be closed, you'll certainly have the rest of the area to yourself. Many of the best spots stay open for the year-rounders, which means that any crowds you do encounter will be genuine.
6. The tippy edge of Table Rock, Newry
On a beautiful day for hiking, you might pass people on the way up, but looking over the edge will make you feel like the only person in Maine. This granite ledge allows you to see for miles over Grafton Notch State Park and it won't take terribly long find. Bear in mind that the hike is pretty challenging so make sure you're up to the trip. The way the ledge juts out from the mountain feels like a bit of a mystery, but by the time you get there you'll be too sweaty to worry much about it.
7. Roque Bluffs, Washington County
With a population of about 300, you could come here on its busiest day and still feel relatively at ease and comfortable. This tiny town is home to the 274-acre Roque Bluffs State Park overlooking Englishman Bay from Schoppee Point. A visit to Roque Bluffs should include Simpson Pond and the six miles of walking trails found within the park.
8. Small and charming, Lubec
While Lubec does have year-round residents and a community of people who love it, it's one of the most charming small towns in the area. This easternmost municipality in the US is the closest place to Africa in the contiguous US. You'll also find the beautiful West Quoddy Head Lighthouse here, which sits next to the Quoddy Narrows separating the US from Canada.
9. Lane's Island Preserve, Vinalhaven
One of Maine's most beautiful coastal walks is often deserted. Head out of the main area of town and walk among the winding trail that leads along the rocky shore.
10. Rattlesnake Flume and Pool, Evans Notch
The fact that we love this place is no secret, considering it's often mentioned in our articles. This wonderfully clear blue natural swimming hole is located just off Stone House Trail near the end of a hike down Blueberry Mountain. You'll see a marker showing you the way via a small detour, but you won't see very many people.
11. The Golden Road Scenic Byway, Millinocket
Take a crowd-less drive through what many call, "The Real Maine." The 96-mile Golden Road was built by the Great Northern Paper Company and stretches from the St. Zacharie Quebec border crossing to the company's former mill in Millinocket. Seems like a lot of work until you think about how they used to FLOAT the logs on the river to get them to the mill. Much of this road is unpaved so make sure your car is in good shape before heading out. Look forward to some awesome views of Katahdin on the way.