Maine is made for summer. Everyone knows how lovely our beaches are, but we have so much more than that to keep your summer full. Want to laze at the shore of a serene lake? We’ve got that! How about some mini-golf with the family? We’ve got that too! Just about anything you need to make your summer a hit, you’ll find here in Vacationland. If you’re not entirely sure where to start, check out this list of 20 destinations to add to you summer list. From soaring above the sky in a vintage plane to taking an easy hike to a hidden swimming hole, Maine’s got you covered!
1. Acadia Air Tours, Trenton
If the summit of Cadillac Mountain isn't quite high enough for you, skip the climbing and take to the skies. Acadia Air Tours will take you up above Mount Desert Island and Bar Harbor in a historic biplane for the best view of the area you can possibly get!
2. Western Maine Mineral Adventures, Bryant Pond
The sad truth is that we have yet to visit this summer. So, you'll have to do it for us for now. Maine Mineral Adventures has been in operation since 2007. Their tenure has helped them hone relationships with local mine owners which allows for special access to gem-rich areas. They stay open as long as the weather permits. If you're lucky, you'll unearth some tourmaline or aquamarine. Call to reserve a spot or check hours: (207) 674-3440.
3. 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, you'll find something to do with friends and family of any age.
4. The Red Barn, Augusta
The Red Barn has just about everything, but they excel at seafood - fresh and fried. Try the Crustacean Elation. If one regular-sized lobster roll bores you, this foot-long creation may satiate you. With 28 ounces of lobster meat, it is certainly something to behold. Visit them to check it out at 455 Riverside Drive in Augusta / 207-623-9485.
5. The Maine Audubon Sanctuary at Gilsland Farm, Falmouth
Maine Audubon offers programs at a variety of places across Maine. We love Gilsland for its many trails and the serene beauty that comes with a trip. This summer, check out the many camps and events available to both kids and adults. For more information visit them online
6. 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. We recently wrote about Gulf Hagas in more detail in an article found
7. 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. You could drive your car up to the top and then ski yourself down!
8. Machias Wild Blueberry Festival, Machias
This year's 41st annual festival (August 19th to 21st, 2016) will feature the always-anticipated Blueberry Festival Musical which runs for five nights beginning on August 16th. In addition, more than 250 local vendors will pack the area offering you many opportunities to go home with something special. You'll also enjoy cooking contests, raffles and live music. And, of course, there will be a blueberry pie eating contest.
9. Sunday River Bridge / Artist’s Bridge, Newry
Built in 1872, the Sunday River Bridge is also known as "Artist's Bridge," due to its common use in photographs and art. It's easy to see why! In 1958 it was closed to traffic when another bridge was built nearby, but it's still worth a sightseeing visit.
10. Maine Lobster Festival, Rockland
This celebration of lobster has grown so large that it's known far beyond the state line. Visitors will dig into the best lobster in the country. In addition to the glorious food options, the weekend includes live music, craft vendors, a road race and cooking contests. The best part? The Maine Lobster Festival is a non-profit organization that donates all proceeds to local Midcoast communities.
11. Rattlesnake 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. For more detailed instructions about how to get to Blueberry Mountain and how to make the easy hike to the pool, read the article we devoted to it by clicking
12. Bagaduce Lunch, Penobscot
Grab a lobster roll at Bagaduce Lunch for the perfect Maine meal. The rolls here are priced right and with a location right at the mouth of the Bagaduce River, you'll enjoy a priceless view as well. Visit them at 145 Franks Flat in Penobscot / 207-326-4197.
13. Bubble Rock, Acadia National Park
Bubble Rock is one of the most unbelievable natural wonders we have in Maine. This isn't your run-of-the-mill rock. It's actually a "glacial erratic" left by ice age activity a very, very long time ago. By analyzing the type of granite within the rock, geologists have been able to discern that glaciers carried Bubble Rock to its precarious perch all the way from Lucerne, Maine - 30 miles (48 km) away!
14. Pirate's Cove Adventure Golf, Bar Harbor
This amusement park-esque mini golf course will make kids AND adults happy. A trip to this course is like entering a world of 18th century pirates. Play a round, go get some ice cream and then call it the perfect Maine summer day!
Vinalhaven is a town on the Fox Islands accessible by ferry from Rockland. Oftentimes used to refer to the entire island, Vinalhaven is one of the smallest towns on this list and offers visitors a handful of locally owned bars and restaurants, many of which shutter for the winter. Come for lovely walks in the Lane's Island Preserve, a look at the Robert Indiana pieces scattered throughout, and for at least one night at the beautiful Tidewater Motel.
16. Open Farm Day, Across Maine
Farms throughout the state will swing their gates open for visitors to come in and learn about agriculture and farming. There are a variety of events for kids and adults. This year's event will take place on Sunday, July 24th. Click
for more information.
17. Reid State Park, Georgetown
Reid State Park bears the distinct honor of being Maine's first State-owned Saltwater Beach. In 1946, prosperous businessman and Georgetown resident Walter E. Reid donated land to the State of Maine to be preserved forever, and a few years later Reid State Park became a reality. Today, thousands of visitors enjoy the park's long, wide sand beaches like Mile and Half Mile, which are rare in Maine.
18. Aroostook State Park, Presque Isle
Aroostook State Park is the ideal starting point to discover the North Woods and bears the distinct honor of being Maine's first state park. In 1938, interested citizens of Presque Isle donated 100 acres of land to the State of Maine, and following that gesture, the park became reality in 1939. Today the park totals nearly 800 acres thanks to subsequent donations and purchases.
19. Fair Season, Across Maine
Zipping through the air on swings, seeing the world from above in a ferris wheel and digging into some fried dough, nothing beats a fair in Maine. Hit fair season with gusto this year!
20. The Moxie Museum at The Matthews Museum of Maine Heritage, Union
It's actually the Matthews Museum of Maine Heritage, but there is a great section dedicated to the official soft drink of Maine. Come here for any Moxie souvenirs you need. From shirts to hats, this place has it all. They're only open for the summer, so be sure to add this near the top of your list! The museum is located in the Union Fairgrounds on Common Road in Union.
If you’ve already got a packed summer and can only spend one day exploring, check out
this article for 21 ways to have the most Maine day ever!