Unearthing Maine: 17 Surprising Adventures Waiting for You

1. Immerse Yourself in Portland’s Old Port

Located in Maine’s largest city, Portland’s Old Port district offers a taste of the historic, the eclectic, and the utterly charming.

Picture cobblestone streets meeting 19th-century brick buildings housing everything from artisan boutiques to craft breweries.

Wander, shop, sample the cuisine, and soak in the maritime charm.

Traveller’s Tip: Be sure to check out the Public Market House for a taste of local products and delectable foods.

2. Brave the Peaks of Mount Katahdin

As the state’s highest peak, Mount Katahdin is a must-do for the adventurous.

Located in Baxter State Park, this mountain provides an incredible challenge, but rewards those who scale it with views you won’t soon forget.

Traveller’s Tip: This is a serious hike, so be prepared with good hiking shoes, plenty of water, and start early in the day to avoid afternoon weather changes.

3. Be Dazzled at the Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens

Spread over nearly 300 acres, the Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens in Boothbay is a sensory feast.

This isn’t just a few flowers in a field. This is the entire range of Maine’s natural beauty packed into one place.

Traveller’s Tip: Take a picnic and enjoy a full day out, the grounds are huge and offer varied landscapes to explore.

4. Cruise Around Casco Bay

Casco Bay is a gem of the Maine coastline, with its islands, lighthouses, and abundant wildlife.

Whether you take a ferry tour or charter a private yacht, don’t miss this marine experience.

Traveller’s Tip: Make sure to pack sunscreen and a hat, the reflection off the water can intensify sunburn.

5. Savor the Best Lobster in Rockland

They don’t call Rockland the “lobster capital of the world” for nothing.

This is the real deal, fresh-from-the-ocean, melt-in-your-mouth lobster. Find a seaside spot and get ready to feast.

Traveller’s Tip: Visit during the Maine Lobster Festival in early August for lobster cooking competitions, parades, and more.

6. Experience the Portland Head Light

Maine and lighthouses are practically synonymous.

And among them, the Portland Head Light stands as a symbol of the state’s maritime heritage. This 18th-century lighthouse on Cape Elizabeth is an iconic sight.

Traveller’s Tip: Don’t miss the small museum in the former Keepers’ Quarters, it’s worth the extra time.

7. Explore the Wonders of Acadia National Park

Acadia National Park is the jewel in Maine’s crown.

Its rugged coastline, verdant woodlands, and majestic peaks make it a must-visit spot for outdoor enthusiasts.

Traveller’s Tip: Try to catch a sunrise at Cadillac Mountain – it’s the first place to see sunrise in the United States!

8. Admire Art at the Farnsworth Art Museum

Located in Rockland, the Farnsworth Art Museum offers an extensive collection of American art, with a particular focus on Maine’s role in American art history.

Traveller’s Tip: Don’t miss the museum’s Wyeth Center, dedicated to three generations of this remarkable artistic family.

9. Visit the Victoria Mansion

This stunning Italianate mansion in Portland offers a look back in time. The preserved 19th-century interiors will leave you in awe of the opulence of the era.

Traveller’s Tip: Make sure to book a guided tour – the guides are full of interesting historical tidbits.

10. Discover the Old Orchard Beach

With its seven-mile sandy beach, classic pier, and lively amusement park, Old Orchard Beach promises a fun and relaxed day out.

Traveller’s Tip: For a quieter experience, visit in the shoulder seasons (spring or fall) when there are fewer crowds.

11. Paddle on the Allagash Wilderness Waterway

This stunning 92-mile corridor of lakes and rivers offers canoeing and kayaking experiences like no other.

Immerse yourself in the tranquility of Maine’s wilderness.

Traveller’s Tip: If you’re a novice paddler, consider hiring a guide to safely navigate the waterway.

12. Shop at the L.L. Bean Flagship Store

When in Maine, a trip to the famous L.L. Bean Flagship Store in Freeport is a must.

It’s open 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, so you can shop for quality outdoor gear anytime!

Traveller’s Tip: Check out their schedule of free clinics and demonstrations, ranging from fly casting to outdoor cooking.

13. Marvel at the Penobscot Narrows Bridge and Observatory

As the tallest public bridge observatory in the world, the views from the top are nothing short of spectacular.

Traveller’s Tip: Visit on a clear day for the best views of the Penobscot River and beyond.

14. Step Back in Time at the Maine Maritime Museum

This fascinating museum in Bath offers a deep dive into Maine’s rich maritime history.

Traveller’s Tip: Don’t miss the museum’s historic shipyard and the life-size sculpture of the schooner Wyoming.

15. Visit Peaks Island

A quick ferry ride from Portland, Peaks Island offers beautiful ocean views, art galleries, and delicious seafood.

Traveller’s Tip: Rent a bike to explore the island – it’s small enough to cover in a day.

16. Attend the American Folk Festival

This annual festival in Bangor is a celebration of multi-cultural traditional arts. Enjoy music, dance, food, and crafts from various cultures.

Traveller’s Tip: The festival takes place in August, so plan your visit accordingly.

17. Explore the Desert of Maine

Yes, there’s a desert in Maine! It’s a natural phenomenon caused by poor farming practices in the 18th century, resulting in a 40-acre patch of desert in the middle of lush New England.

Traveller’s Tip: Make sure to bring your camera – the contrast between the sand dunes and surrounding greenery makes for some unique photos.


Maine, with its rugged charm, diverse landscapes, and cultural wealth, has a multitude of adventures to offer.

Whether you’re into history, nature, art, or food, this state has something for everyone.

So pack your bags, and prepare yourself for a Maine adventure that you won’t forget.

David Kingston

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