To be honest, we recommend that you make it a point to see EVERY place in Maine. But, we know that not everybody has that kind of time. So, we’ve compiled a more reasonable list of 15 things in Maine that will make you feel like you saw it all!
1. The Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens, Boothbay
One of the most beautiful places in Maine is also known throughout the country as one of the best botanical gardens anywhere. With year-round events (including the recent Christmas lights display, Gardens Aglow) you'll find something to do with friends and family of any age. Check their events listing
2. Gulf Hagas, Rockwood Area
Known as the "Grand Canyon of the East," Gulf Hagas is created by the West Branch of the Pleasant River, which cuts through the earth for three miles creating a vertically walled slate gorge with numerous waterfalls. Part of the Gulf Hagas Rim Trail follows the Appalachian Trail in an area known as the "100-mile wilderness." Why? Because this last 100 miles of the AT is considered the hardest portion.
3. As many of our lighthouses as possible...
From Portland Head Light in Cape Elizabeth...
4. ...to Pemaquid Lighthouse in Pemaquid...
5.... to Spring Point Ledge Lighthouse in South Portland...
6. ...to Marshall Point in Port Clyde.
7. Table Rock, Newry Area
This granite ledge allows you to see for miles over Grafton Notch State Park. It won't take terribly long, but it's 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.
8. The Umbrella Cover Museum, Peaks Island
Nancy 3. Hoffman (yes, "3" is her middle name) created the Umbrella Cover Museum after realizing how many she had collected over the years. A bit quirky, a lot of fun, this place is a must-see if you want to say you've seen the nooks and crannies of what Maine has to offer.
9. Cadillac Mountain, Mount Desert Island
Or, more specifically, a Cadillac Mountain sunset. Head to Acadia National Park and make the dusky trek to the top for one of the most incredible views in all of Maine.
10. Vinalhaven, off the Rockland Coast
If it's the true feel of a fishing village that you're after, you need not go further than Vinalhaven. Virtually every home dotting the island had some lobster-related fishing equipment outside and the early morning bustle is all related to the island's key occupation.
11. The Desert of Maine, Freeport
The Desert of Maine isn't actually a desert - it gets the same amount of rain as the rest of the area. The sandy area was formed a long time ago by glaciers and can be seen in Freeport.
12. The Height of Land, Roxbury
The phrase "height of land" refers to the division between two watersheds. This one, off of Route 17 near Rangeley, is a picture taker's paradise that features an incredible view of Mooselookmeguntic Lake.
13. Bubble Rock, Acadia National Park
Left behind by a massive glacier, this 100-ton rock is perched precariously on the South Bubble of the Bubble Mountain and Jordan Pond Area.
14. A Maine Art Walk
From Portland to Rockland, Kingsfield to Presque Isle, you can walk the streets and galleries of a variety of Maine towns to see everything from performance to paintings. Check out
Art Walk Maine
for details on dates and all participating places.
15. The Golden Road Scenic Byway, Millinocket
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.