Every state has its quirks and a weirder side that only locals know about. Even folks who were born and raised in Maine might be surprised by a few of these little-known attractions. How many of these have you heard of?
1. L.C. Bates Museum, Hinckley
This eclectic museum of culture and natural history was created as part of the Good Will Home, founded by George Walter Hinckley. The fascinating concept here is a "Museum of a Museum,"giving us a glimpse of what museum exhibits in the early 20th century looked like.
2. Eagle Lake Tramway, Greenville
This historic tramway was used to transport wood from 1902 to 1907. Now the pieces sit rusting in a state park in northern Maine, the Allagash Wilderness Waterway.
3. International Cryptozoology Museum, Portland
This museum in Portland is guaranteed to get your attention (or at least a chuckle). Exhibits covering everything from mermaids to Bigfoot is a treat for the curious and (very) open-minded.
4. Desert of Maine, Freeport
40 acres of glacial silt cover this faux desert surrounded by pine forest in Freeport. Though it was caused by a farming failure, it was converted into an offbeat tourist attraction.
5. Seashore Trolley Museum, Kennebunkport
Did you know that the world's biggest and oldest mass transit museum is right here in Kennebunkport? Though they've been replaced by more modern vehicles, the unique charm of trolleys still stirs up nostalgia in a lot of folks.
6. Boon Island Light
One of the most dangerous and isolated lighthouse stations off the coast of Maine, the Boon Island Light is also Maine's tallest. Before the lighthouse was built, a British ship hit the island, and the surviving sailors resorted to cannibalism to survive on the isolated island, six miles offshore form York. Other lore claims that a keeper's wife went mad after his death left her alone on the island. Though it is not open to the public, it can be viewed from the safe distance of York's beaches.
7. Perry's Nut House, Belfast
This long-standing roadside attraction features large animal sculptures beckoning weary travelers inside for some fudge, candy and souvenirs.
8. York Witch Grave, York
The graves in the Old Burying Yard in York date all the way back to the 1600s, but one in particular has garnered a lot of attention. As with many local legends, the origins of the story are unclear, but the rumors persist. In this case, the grave of one female resident is supposedly that of a real witch.
9. Maine Coast Sardine Museum, Jonesport
Since its founding in 1875, this museum has worked diligently to keep the history of the sardine industry alive in Maine. All kinds of interesting artifacts can be found here, including this wall of scissors used by sardine packers.
10. Nervous Nellie's Jams and Jellies, Deer Isle
It's somewhat hard to explain Nervous Nellie's, because there's just so much going on here. That's also what makes it unforgettable and a ton of fun. The sculpture garden, Old West style buildings and, yes, homemade jam have drawn curious visitors for over two decades.
Have you visited any of these unusual Maine attractions? What are your favorite funky places that show off Maine’s weirder side?