There’s so much here in Maine to see, it’s hard to narrow it down! From rough rugged coastlines, soft sandy beaches, inland forests, lakes, and bogs to picturesque fishing towns and modern foodie paradises, it’s all here. Here are five top attractions in Maine to get your vacation started.
Botanical Garden Park
While you’re visiting picturesque Boothbay, plan a day to visit the Coastal Maine Botanical Garden. The gardens include exterior sculpture gardens with modern sculptures by local artists, walking trails meandering through forests and along the Back River, roses and native plants, greenhouses and pretty lakes. Be sure to visit the elegant, Japanese-inspired Asticou Azalea Garden while you’re there.
Baxter State Park and Mount Katahdin
For the ultimate wilderness experience, serious hikers and climbers head to Baxter State Park and Mount Katahdin, the state’s tallest mountain. With an elevation gain of over 4,000 feet, the long, strenuous hike to the top is well worth the effort, as the panoramic view of the surrounding countryside is amazing. This rustic state park has over 209,600 acres with hiking trails, lakes, ponds, and forest. This could be your best spot for catching sight of bears and elusive lynx and moose.
Popular year-round, Sugarloaf is the largest ski area east of the Rocky Mountains and one of the best attractions in Maine. Enjoy downhill skiing, cross-country skiing, snowshoeing, and ice skating in colder months and hiking, biking, golf, and kayaking when the weather turns warmer. In April, Sugarloaf’s Reggae Fest turns the whole area into one big ski and island music Spring Break party.
Acadia National Park
Acadia National Park has so much to offer, you’ll need several days to exploring it all. Cadillac Mountain, Otter Cliffs, Thunder Hole, and Bubble Rock are just a few hikes to enjoy, and the park is a popular destination for hikers, climbers, fishing, kayaking, wildlife viewing, and photography. Hike through wildflower meadows, forests with maple, beech, birch, and glorious fall colors, along rocky shorelines, swamps, marshes, and bogs. Book a whale watching tour or take a scenic bus ride through the park. After exploring all Acadia has to offer, stop in Bar Harbor for fresh seafood, lobster, and all things blueberry.
If you can only visit one city in Maine, make it Portland. This historic and still thriving port has tall ship and whale watching cruises, beaches and rocky coastlines, historic lighthouses, a picturesque waterfront park, historic Old Port with cobblestone streets lined with art galleries, shops and museums (including the Portland Museum of Art with Andy Warhol, Claude Monet, Frederic Remington, Richard Avalon, Winslow Homer, and NC Wyeth exhibits). Maine’s largest city is a destination for foodies and art lovers as well as outdoor enthusiasts. You can do it all here.