Located in the northeastern region of the United States, bordered by New Hampshire to the west, the Atlantic Ocean to the east and southeast, and the Canadian provinces of Quebec and New Brunswick, Maine is a spectacular coastal destination that should be on your travel list. Known for its stunning and rugged coastline, quaint coastal towns, and beautiful natural scenery, Maine is a popular tourist destination for visitors.
Famous also for its delicious seafood cuisine, including the world-renowned lobster rolls and its stunning natural beauty, unique culture, and friendly locals, Maine is a wonderful place to visit and explore. If you’re planning a trip to Maine, here’ is our Ultimate Travel Guide that will help you make the most of your visit.
Maine, located in the northeastern region of the United States, is in the Eastern Time Zone (ET) and observes Daylight Saving Time (DST).
When to Go
Our favorite time to visit Maine is either during summer or during the fall season, which typically runs from September to November. During this time, the foliage changes into vibrant hues of red, orange, and yellow, creating a breathtaking display of colors. The weather is also cooler and less humid, making it perfect for outdoor activities such as hiking, biking, and kayaking.
If you love the cooler weather Maine is also beautiful in winter but be prepared to rug up as the temperatures plummet and snow, high winds and ice storms can be common in some areas.
How to Get Around
Maine is a relatively large state, and depending on your itinerary you may need to travel long distances to reach some destinations. The best way to get around in Maine depends on the area you are visiting and the activities you plan to do. In urban areas such as Portland, Bangor, and Augusta, public transportation options include buses, trains, and taxis and Uber. However, in more rural areas, a car is often necessary to reach attractions and activities. We recommend renting a car from one of the major rental companies in the city.
Another option for getting around in the warmer months is by bike, as Maine has many scenic bike trails and paths. If you are looking for a unique experience, riding the Amtrak Downeaster train from Boston to Portland is a popular option. Additionally, ferries and boats offer transportation to Maine’s many islands and coastal destinations.
Where to Stay
Choosing where to stay in Maine largely depends on your personal interests and preferences. If you’re looking for a coastal getaway, towns such as Bar Harbor, Ogunquit, and Kennebunkport offer scenic ocean views, charming shops, and delicious seafood restaurants. Bar Harbor, in particular, is a great base for exploring Acadia National Park.
If you’re more interested in Maine’s cities, Portland (not to be confused with Portland in Oregon!) is a bustling coastal city with a vibrant food and arts scene, while Augusta is the state’s capital and a great starting point for exploring Maine’s inland areas. Additionally, the city of Bangor is a great option for outdoor enthusiasts, with easy access to hiking, fishing, and kayaking.
For a more relaxed, secluded vacation, consider staying in one of Maine’s many small towns or rural areas, such as Camden, Rockland, or Boothbay Harbor. These charming towns offer picturesque scenery, local charm, and outdoor activities such as hiking, biking, and boating.
There are plenty of accommodations to choose from in Maine, depending on your budget and preferences. Some of our ele Team preferred places to stay are:
- Coastal resorts: If you’re looking for a luxurious stay with stunning ocean views, consider one of the many coastal resorts in Maine, such as the Cliff House Resort & Spa in Cape Neddick or the Inn by the Sea in Cape Elizabeth.
- Bed and Breakfasts: Maine has many charming bed and breakfasts, such as the Captain Lord Mansion in Kennebunkport or the LimeRock Inn in Rockland.
- Cabins and Cottages: If you’re looking for a more rustic experience, Maine has many cabins and cottages available for rent. Consider staying in a cabin in the woods or a cozy cottage by the ocean.
What to Do
- Explore Acadia National Park: Acadia National Park is one of the most popular tourist destinations in Maine, offering hiking, biking, kayaking, and breathtaking views of the Atlantic Ocean.
- Visit Portland: Portland is a vibrant city with a thriving food and drink scene, historic landmarks, and waterfront attractions, including the Portland Head Light.
- Take a Lobster Boat Tour: Maine is known for its delicious lobster, and what better way to experience it than by taking a lobster boat tour? You’ll learn about lobster fishing and enjoy a freshly caught lobster dinner.
- Visit Bar Harbor: Bar Harbor is a picturesque coastal town located near Acadia National Park. Stroll along the harbor, visit local shops, and enjoy fresh seafood.
- Take a Whale Watching Tour: Maine is home to several whale species, and whale watching tours offer a chance to see these majestic creatures up close.
How Long Should You Spend in Maine?
How long you should stay in Maine depends on how much you want to see and do. If you’re interested in visiting Acadia National Park and exploring Portland, plan to stay for at least a week. If you want to see more of Maine’s coastline and visit other towns, plan to stay for 10 days to two weeks.
If you are planning your Maine trip these are some of the highlight’s not to be missed:
- Acadia National Park
- Portland’s food and drink scene
- Bar Harbor’s picturesque coastal town
- Whale watching tours
- Lobster boat tours
- Kennebunkport’s historic landmarks
- The Portland Head Light
- Maine’s fall foliage
- The Maine Lobster Festival in Rockland
- Coastal drives along Route 1.
What To Eat
Maine is renowned for its fresh seafood, and the state’s cuisine is a delicious blend of classic New England dishes and modern culinary innovations. Lobster, of course, is the most famous seafood delicacy in Maine, and visitors should definitely try a lobster roll or a whole lobster, steamed to perfection. However, there are other seafood dishes worth trying, such as clam chowder, fried clams, and oysters. In addition to seafood, blueberries are another specialty of Maine, and blueberry pancakes, muffins, and pies are a must-try.
For something hearty and comforting, try a traditional Maine baked bean supper, which typically includes slow-cooked beans, coleslaw, and brown bread. Another dish to look out for is the whoopie pie, which is a sweet treat made of two soft chocolate cake-like cookies with a creamy filling in between. Maine is also home to many artisanal cheese makers, and trying some of their cheeses is a great way to sample the state’s dairy products.
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