Best of Maine
Collected by Hilary Nangle , AFAR Local Expert
With its rugged coastline, charming New England fishing villages, and pristine forests, it's no wonder Maine has long been America's summer playground—though the state's charm extend to all four seasons of the year. Here are our picks of top sights.
10 Main St, Ogunquit, ME 03907, USA
The stars shine every night at the Ogunquit Playhouse, a theater with a rich history and an enviable reputation. Broadway professionals bring this 750-seat summer-stock theater to life from mid-May through October. Born in 1933 out of the Little...
543 Shore Rd, Ogunquit, ME 03907, USA
Explore Maine through the works of the many artists who have been inspired by its crashing surf, craggy peaks, snow-covered landscapes, and spruce-fringed islands. The Maine Art Museum Trail comprises seven museums with stellar collections ranging...
56 Commercial St, Portland, ME 04101, USA
There certainly are other ways to while away a summer day in Greater Portland, but you’d be hard-pressed to find a better experience than island-hopping aboard a Casco Bay Lines ferry. Sure, you can simply ride out to an island for a look-about...
243 Washington St, Bath, ME 04530, USA
Maine’s impressive seafaring and shipbuilding heritage is celebrated at the Maine Maritime Museum’s 25-acre campus edging the Kennebec River. The site encompasses five original structures on the former Percy and Small Shipyard...
Since opening in 2007 with 128 acres and 3,600 feet of tidal shorefront, the Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens has grown to a whopping 295 acres. Equal parts masterful and magical, the gardens comprise formal plantings and themed gardens, woodland...
Monhegan Island, Monhegan, ME 04852, USA
Rugged Monhegan, aka the Artists’ Island, lies about a dozen miles out to sea, and is reachable only by passenger ferries. About 60 hardy souls live here year-round, most making a living from the sea. If you get a sense of déjà...
Rockland, ME, USA
Weave through the islands of Penobscot Bay, visit remote fishing towns, watch lobstermen haul traps, and experience the Maine Coast as the early explorers did by sailing aboard a Maine windjammer. The natural soundtrack accompanying your journey...
740 Ft Knox Rd, Prospect, ME 04981, USA
On crisp, clear days, the eagle’s-eye views from the trilevel, glass-curtained Penobscot Narrows Observatory range from Mount Desert Island, home to Acadia National Park, to Mount Katahdin, Maine’s tallest peak. The observatory caps a...
12 Little Island Way, Bass Harbor, ME 04653, USA
Captain Kim Strauss, whose family has made a living off these waters for generations, built the 49-passenger R.L. Gott a decade ago. He and his son, Captain Eli Strauss, offer daily cruises on East Blue Hill Bay from Bass Harbor. The scenery...
459 NB-774, Welshpool, NB E5E 1A4, Canada
While Campobello Island is located in the Canadian province of New Brunswick, the only access to it by car is by crossing the International Bridge from Lubec, Maine. The 2,800-acre park honoring President Franklin D. Roosevelt covers most of the...
The Forks, ME, USA
When the logging era ended on the Kennebec River in 1976, Wayne Hockmeyer saw opportunity and launched Northern Outdoors, Maine’s first white-water rafting company. In the decades since, Northern has grown, and other companies have joined it. The...
ME-4 & Rt 17, Oquossoc, ME 04964, USA
Even if you’re not an angler, paddler, or nature enthusiast, the Rangeley Outdoor Sporting Heritage Museum is a keeper. The museum brings to life the Rangeley Lakes region’s rich history, especially its sporting luminaries: Fly-Rod Crosby, a...
When Flagstaff Lake was created by the damming of the Dead River in 1949, two villages were submerged. Gone but not forgotten, their history lives on in the houses and cemetery relocated to high ground, through artifacts and photos in the Dead...
Fire Road 23A, Millinocket, ME 04462, USA
The paper mills have closed, the towboats are gone, and the river drivers who used to ride and guide logs down Maine’s white-water rivers to lakes and on to mills are only a memory, but the Ambajejus Boom House survives. Constructed in 1906...
95 Main St, Freeport, ME 04032, USA
If you want to shop till you drop, L.L. Bean, which never closes, is the place to do so; but that’s not the only reason to visit. Inside the flagship store, pop your head into a fish-tank bubble, try shooting in the archery range, and check...
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