So, you think you’ve seen it all in Maine? Think again! You may have traveled from Aroostook to York, but we think there still might be something new you have yet to experience. Been to a store that has a chocolate giant moose inside? How about a restaurant that serves up a gigantic sundae for hikers? Did you know there’s a place in Maine where the waterfall actually runs backward?! If not, read on to find some new places to add to your Maine “must-do” list!
We’re aware that these uncertain times are limiting many aspects of life as we all practice social and physical distancing. While we’re continuing to feature destinations that make our state wonderful, we don’t expect or encourage you to go check them out immediately. We believe that supporting local attractions is important now more than ever and we hope our articles inspire your future adventures! And on that note, please nominate your favorite local business that could use some love right now:
1. The Rooftop Elephant, Belfast
Remember the "at-large elephant" in #5? Surprise! He's actually just on the roof of the Colonial Theater in town. He was sold in 1997 and subsequent attempts to buy him back to return him to his former home at Perry's Nut House have failed. So, you'll have to visit him here. On this roof. For now.
2. Len Libby Chocolatier, Scarborough
If you prefer your life-sized things to be edible, head to Len Libby Chocolatier to see the 1,700 pound milk chocolate creation. Lenny the moose has been delighting visitors since 1997 with his hand-sculpted body and white chocolate lake. Visit him in the store at 419 US 1, Scarborough / (207) 883-4897
3. 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.
4. The Lost Kitchen, Freedom
Erin French is completely self-taught. Using recipes passed down from her family, she's improved upon them to make them uniquely her own. The kitchen is manned with those she considers friends, who share her love of locally sourced ingredients and beautifully prepared foods. Everything you'll find here is as uncomplicated as possible, while still providing an experience worth the 1.5-hour drive from Portland. You can find The Lost Kitchen about 17 miles inland from Belfast, in the mid-coast region of Maine. Call them for reservations: (207) 382-3333.
5. 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.
6. The Bar Island Trail, Bar Harbor
Hugh Derr / Flickr
In Maine, we’re surrounded by hiking options. In the mountains, around the lakes, through for forests – just about everywhere, you’ll find unexpected trails and the opportunity for exploration. You have to get off the beaten path for many of them, but we recently came across one that is actually completely hidden for part of the day. The Bar Island Trail in Acadia is only accessible during low tide. If you can time your visit right, it’s one of the most lovely in the area and it will give you a certain sense of pride to have done something nature hides successfully.
7. Lane's Island Preserve, Vinalhaven
Vinalhaven itself is a bit hidden, but the wonderful preserve area is even more out in the middle of nowhere. It's no wonder that one of Maine's most beautiful coastal walks is often deserted. Head out of the main area of town and walk along the winding trail that leads along the rocky shore.
8. Appalachian Trail Cafe, Millinocket
The Appalachian Trail Cafe is a must try after you've tackled the AT or Katahdin. Replenish your calories by digging into the epic Trail Burger, complete with a quarter pound of beef and topped with onion rings, BBQ sauce and cheddar cheese. For the actual challenge, check out the Summit Sundae challenge. Finish it and you'll get to add your name to the list of champs and go home with a t-shirt, bumper sticker and the bowl! If you've done this, let us know! Visit them at: 210 Penobscot Ave, Millinocket / (207) 723-6720
9. The Reversing Falls, Mahar's Point, West Pembroke
In West Pembroke, a tidal flow alternately fills and drains both Whiting Bay and Dennys Bay. The salt water flows incredibly fast into the bays over rocks causing the appearance of "falls."
10. Eaton Mountain Ski Resort, Skowhegan
We couldn't resist throwing this one into the list! Tubing is the main attraction here at Eaton! In fact, this winter's main focus is tubing rather than skiing, so you know they're serious! The chutes here are 500 feet and they also have a tow to bring you to the top. Passes are $14 and they're open Saturday & Sunday from 12 - 9pm. Individual sessions run 12:15-3pm, 3:15-6pm, and 6:15-9pm. Visit them at: 89 Lambert Rd, Skowhegan / 207-474-2666
11. 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.
12. Screw Auger Falls, Oxford County
These Bear River-sourced falls are comprised of two impressive drops. The first is a 30' drop over a granite ledge into a gorge. The second is just below the first and features another 30' drop.
13. Sweetgrass Farm Winery & Distillery, Union
Sweetgrass Winery allows visitors to taste a variety of wines and spirits. Spend your time learning about wine production from award-winning winemaker and owner on this beautiful farm, which works to preserve Union's rich farming tradition. In addition to the winery and distillery, visitors can enjoy trails, have a picnic, and enjoy views of the Medomak river valley. The best part? They donate 10% of profits to organizations supporting families, children, and rural life. Visit them at: 347 Carroll Road, Union / 207 - 785-3024