Daily routine is overrated when you live in a place like Maine. Sure, it’s easy to wake up on a Saturday, eat breakfast and then go about your business, but why not shake things up for the next few weeks and add in these fun day trips to your weekend? They don’t require a huge budget, you won’t need to book a hotel and you’ll be back in time for a meal cooked in your own kitchen. Enjoy Maine like the tourists do – with a few more authentic touches!
1. Hike up one of Maine's forgotten mountains.
Sure, there might be taller and more scenic mountains to climb in Maine but we can't stay away from these sleepers. Our favorite is Blueberry Mountain in Evans Notch. It has something the others don't... lots and lots of blueberries! Bring a couple of containers to collect the juicy berries you don't immediately pop into your mouth.
2. Enjoy a day in Bath.
Maine is full of wonderful small towns to explore, but Bath is one of our favorites. Full of history and a lovely, walkable downtown you'll find yourself busy here for most of the day. Enjoy a walk along the historic waterfront and read the history cards placed along the path. Or, take in a class or performance at the Chocolate Church Arts Center. And, don't forget the cool maritime history as well!
3. Head to a waterfall.
If you've been a reader for a while, you know that we love the waterfalls found throughout the state. Our favorites are the lesser known ones - like Grand Falls in Somerset County, pictured here. Gulf Hagas, Coos Canyon and Angel Falls are also great options for a day of exploration. Many are even more beautiful in the winter, but if you prefer to keep your outdoors exploration comfortable, take a hike in the summertime.
4. Shop, shop, shop!
We like to try to buy as local as possible while spending the day shopping in Maine. Believe it or not, Freeport allows for that. Enjoy the larger outlets, but also make sure you pop into some of the local shops along the way.
5. Hit the slopes...or just enjoy a beverage.
You don't need to head west for a good day on the slopes. Maine has some of the best skiing in the northeast. Try Sugarloaf, Sunday River or any of the others that hide out in our state. And, if powder isn't your thing - just hide out in the lodge. For even MORE fun, go to Bullwinkle's which is pictured here.
6. Make your way to a Vacationland island.
If you're located in the Southern part of Maine, hop on the Casco Bay Lines and go to Peaks Island. Rent a golf cart to tour the perimeter. If you're in the mid-coast, take the just-under-two-hour ride to Vinalhaven to rent a bicycle to tour the island.
7. Take a dip in a swimming hole.
You'll find a few throughout the state, but if you like to build up a sweat before dunking head to Rattlesnake Flume and Pool in Evans Notch. This one can be done in tandem with Blueberry Mountain. For more of our favorite swimming holes in Maine
8. Take advantage of our awesome winters.
If you're not much of a downhill adrenaline seeker, strap on some cross-country skis and make your way to Aroostook National Wildlife Refuge in Limestone. You can explore miles of well-groomed trails and you're likely to spot some of Maine's winter wildlife along the way.
9. Explore Maine's coastal lighthouses.
Each of the lighthouses in Maine can be a day trip on their own, but if you string a few together you've got yourself a mini road trip. If this sounds appealing, we recommend checking out the southern Maine lights, which are all close enough that you can drive and see them all in a day. Or, make a day out of seeing our favorite - Bass Harbor Light!
for a list of 11 great options to explore.
10. Take a ride on a scenic byway.
Maine is full of off-the-beaten-path adventures. The old adage about the trip being about the journey not the destination works perfectly here. Hop on one of our scenic byways and enjoy the sites throughout the state. One of our favorites is the Rangeley Lakes National Scenic Byway. This 52-mile route on State Routes 17, 16, and 4 surrounds Rangeley Lake and crosses the Appalachian Trail. The most memorable part is the view of Mooselookmeguntic Lake at the Height of Land.
11. Learn as much as you can at a Maine historic home.
With a history as old as ours, there are lots of options for homes filled with stories. But, we think the Harriet Beecher Stowe House in Brunswick is an important one. This is the home where abolitionist writer Harriot Beecher Stowe wrote Uncle Tom's Cabin. The Stowe family only spent two years living here, but Harriet called them the "happiest and healthiest" of her life. In April 2016, it was added to the National Underground Railroad Network to Freedom by the National Park Service.
12. Enjoy a local state park.
Maine is lucky enough to be home to 36 state parks and 1 amazing state forest. Depending on where you call home, any of them make for a great day trip. For this view, you'll want to head to Quoddy Head State Park in Lubec. On its 532 acres, purchased by the state in 1962, the park features 4.5 miles of hiking trails, extensive forests, two bogs, diverse habitat for rare plants, and the striking, red-and-white striped lighthouse tower of West Quoddy Head Light.
13. Check out a classic Maine museum.
We recommend the Owls Head Transportation Museum in Owls Head. This museum provides a wealth of information on vehicles as varied as vintage Polaris snowmobiles and old factory engines. The best part? Everything is meticulously maintained to be in working condition. At any given time, these machines actually do what they were built to do. The museum is a bit hard to find, but check them out on
for more information on location and their events calendar.
14. Relax and enjoy a good book...
...but first take a day trip to find one at one of Maine's local book shops. We love Longfellow in Portland. They even have a cat! Visit them at: 1 Monument Way, Portland / (207) 772-4045.
If you’re already touring around Maine, might as well check out the newest scenic byway in Maine. Learn more about the trip by