Get Out There

America’s Vacationland Offers the Silly and the Sublime

Europeans settled Maine in the early 1600s, and it became the 23rd state to join the union. With deep history, four beautiful seasons and such variation in natural vistas, it’s easy to see how the state gained the nickname of "Vacationland." You can visit sandy beaches, beautifully cultivated gardens and the Appalachian Mountains and so much more. You can eat amazing seafood — including Maine’s famous lobster rolls — all year round while sunbathing in the summer or skiing in the winter!

There are wonderfully fun roadside attractions across the state! You can take a photo outside of Stephen King’s house, but he and his family live there, so stop at the fabulously gothic gate. You might want to hit the 45th Parallel gift shop, with its giant globe celebrating the site’s position halfway between the North Pole and the equator. You could stop and see the world’s largest blueberry, play a round of blueberry-themed mini-golf and buy a freshly baked pie at Wild Blueberry Land. If you’re a fan of L.L.Bean, you can stop in at their giant flagship store with a 16-foot tall statue of their iconic boot outside. If you love weird natural spots, you can stop by the Desert of Maine — an arid 40-acre plot of land with a sand museum. Finally, if you want to embrace weirdness with all its facets, stop by the International Cryptozoology Museum to see more than 10,000 artifacts related to Big Foot, the Loch Ness Monster, the Jersey Devil and so much more!

If you are looking for more serious spots, we think you might be interested in these three points of interest. Maine features hundreds of gorgeous places, these are just three we thought you might like!

Portland’s Old Port

Image: Emile D., TripAdvisor

If you are an urban explorer, head to Portland’s Old Port Historic District. The area features cobblestones, fishing piers and 19th-century architecture that make you feel like you’re in another time. But, the boutique shops, restaurants and art galleries will keep you grounded in this great location! You won’t run out of sites to see as there are plenty of outdoor art exhibits and a piece of the Berlin Wall. Reviewers suggest avoiding the area when cruise ships are in Port. Check out some of the best places to eat here. To read more about the history of the port, click here.

Pemaquid Point Lighthouse

Image: Brian S., Yelp

For history lovers, Pemaquid Point Lighthouse is a can’t miss experience. The lighthouse was commissioned by John Quincy Adams in 1827 and is located at the entrance to the Muscongus and John’s Bays in the town of Bristol. Maine has more than 60 historic lighthouses, but none are as popular as the Pemaquid Point Lighthouse. With a climbable-tower, an art gallery and a Fisherman’s museum, it’s easy to see why it pulls ahead of the crowd. The U.S. Coast Guard owns and runs the tower’s light, but visitors are allowed to go to the top to see the light and the view. Be sure to take a coat, the wind off the water can be cold! Get more information here.

Acadia National Park

Image: A sunset view of Acadia National Park looking across Frenchman Bay from Hancock Point, Maine. Image: Ivy Main, Wikimedia

New England’s only national park is relatively small. Acadia National Park features 158 miles of trails and contains mountains, marshes and coastline sites. You might see animals from moose to whales! Depending on the time of year, some trails are closed to prevent visitors from upsetting nesting peregrine falcons. There are boat and bicycle tours as well as guided tours on foot. Visitors can camp to enjoying climbing, fishing, birdwatching and more in the beautiful setting. Drones are not permitted in the park. For hikes, Cadillac Mountain is a dream. At 1,530 feet, it’s the first place in the U.S. to see the sunrise each day. Learn where to stay and more to explore here.

So, what are you waiting for? Come to Maine and see some of these sites — both the bizarre and beautiful.

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