These Best things to do in Maine shares the best places the incredible state has to offer, from national and state parks to museums.
After traveling the world for 13 years and moving to the US last year, we always love sharing the very best places to visit in a state. This way, you don’t miss a thing whilst you are exploring!
Nestled in the northeastern corner of the United States lies the picturesque state of Maine, renowned for its rugged coastline, pristine wilderness, and charming coastal towns. This is where you can find some of the best things to do in Maine; along the gorgeous coastline!
Whether you’re a nature enthusiast, a foodie, or a history buff, Maine offers an array of experiences that will captivate your senses and leave you yearning for more.
Here are the 9 best places to visit in Maine, which showcase the best of the Pine Tree State. Add them to your itinerary and enjoy everything this state has to offer.
Best things to do in Maine
Acadia National Park
One of the best things to do in Maine, is the Acadia National Park.
Embark on an outdoor adventure in one of America’s most cherished national parks. With its granite peaks, lush forests, and breathtaking coastal vistas, Acadia offers endless opportunities for hiking, biking, and wildlife watching.
Don’t miss the chance to catch a sunrise from the summit of Cadillac Mountain, the highest point along the North Atlantic seaboard. There’s also Thunder Hole, a coastal rock formation known for its thunderous roars as the waves come in and slam against the rocky inlet.
Thunder Hole and Cadillac Mountain are just two of tens of different points of interest along the scenic route throughout the park and Mount Desert Island.
If you have a fishing license, you can even fish off the coast into Maine’s waters with daiwa fishing rods, hoping to catch one of the many species native to the area. Just double-check that you’re allowed to fish in those areas.
Fishing in National Parks is usually permissible, but there may be a few caveats depending on the park and area within the park. As always, remember to pick up any trash or cut line. Keeping these parks green and clean is the secret to maintaining their natural beauty.
Lobster Roll Indulgence
Treat your taste buds to the quintessential Maine delicacy – the lobster roll; one of the best things to do in Maine.
Whether you prefer it served warm with melted butter or chilled with a touch of mayo, you’ll find no shortage of restaurants and seafood shacks serving up this savory delight along the state’s coastline.
It’s a perfect blend of succulent chunks of freshly caught Maine lobster nestled within a buttery, toasted split-top bun, lightly kissed with mayonnaise and a hint of lemon juice for that perfect balance of richness and tang.
Each bite is a symphony of flavors, the sweetness of the lobster harmonizing with the creamy mayo and the slight crunch of the bun.
Enjoy it by the waterfront with a sea breeze in your hair, or savor it at a cozy seaside shack. Regardless, Maine lobster rolls are not just a meal; they’re a culinary experience that captures the essence of New England’s coastal charm.
Portland’s Old Port District
Immerse yourself in the vibrant culture of Maine’s largest city, Portland. Portland’s port district is a bustling hub of maritime activity nestled along the scenic Casco Bay and one of the best things to do in Maine.
Steeped in maritime history, this vibrant district serves as the economic heartbeat of the city, welcoming cargo ships, fishing vessels, and cruise liners alike. Stroll along the waterfront and witness the rhythmic dance of cranes unloading cargo while fishing boats return with the day’s fresh catch.
Quaint cobblestone streets lead to eclectic seafood eateries and charming boutiques, offering visitors a taste of authentic Maine culture.
The iconic Portland Observatory stands tall, offering panoramic views of the harbor and surrounding islands.
As the sun sets, the port district comes alive with the glow of waterfront restaurants and lively bars, where locals and travelers gather to savor fresh seafood and raise a toast to the maritime spirit that defines this enchanting corner of Portland.
Sample local craft beers at one of the city’s many breweries or savor fresh seafood at a waterfront restaurant; you can’t go wrong in the port district of Portland.
Lighthouse Tour in Maine
Explore Maine’s maritime heritage with a tour of its iconic lighthouses, making up some of the historic best things to do in Maine.
Begin your journey in Portland, where the iconic Portland Head Light welcomes you with its majestic presence and storied past.
From there, venture north along the scenic Route 1, stopping at picturesque lighthouses such as the Pemaquid Point Light, where crashing waves provide a dramatic backdrop for photo opportunities.
Continue your exploration to the charming village of Camden, home to the elegant Curtis Island Light, accessible only by boat. As you wind your way up the coast, don’t miss the Rockland Breakwater Light, perched at the end of a mile-long granite breakwater.
Further north, the West Quoddy Head Light beckons with its distinctive red and white stripes, marking the easternmost point of the United States.
Conclude your tour in Bar Harbor, where the Bass Harbor Head Light offers breathtaking views of Acadia National Park.
Along the way, immerse yourself in the maritime history and coastal beauty that define Maine’s lighthouse-dotted shores, leaving you with memories to last a lifetime.
Coastal Drive on Route 1
Hit the open road and embark on a scenic drive along Maine’s coastal Route 1. From the bustling waterfront of Portland to the rugged beauty of Acadia National Park, this iconic highway offers breathtaking views of rocky shores, charming lighthouses, and fresh seafood delights.
Explore quaint villages like Ogunquit and Camden, indulge in coastal cuisine, and admire the timeless beauty of Maine’s coastal scenery.
With each mile, discover the unique charm and natural wonders that make this road trip an unforgettable experience. This is one of the best things to do in Maine but also a freeing, fun activity for those looking to escape the city.
Set sail on an unforgettable adventure with a whale-watching excursion off the coast of Maine, where the vast Atlantic Ocean becomes your theater for witnessing majestic marine life in its natural habitat.
Setting sail from charming coastal towns like Bar Harbor or Boothbay Harbor, expert guides lead you to prime whale-watching areas where sightings are virtually guaranteed.
Keep your eyes peeled for the iconic humpback whales, known for their acrobatic breaches and hauntingly beautiful songs. Or perhaps you’ll spot a family of playful dolphins riding the waves alongside your boat.
As you cruise through the pristine waters of the Gulf of Maine, you’ll not only witness these magnificent creatures up close but also gain a deeper appreciation for the delicate marine ecosystems that sustain them.
Whether you’re an avid nature enthusiast or simply seeking a thrilling outdoor experience, a whale-watching excursion in Maine promises awe-inspiring moments and memories that will last a lifetime.
Maine Maritime Museum
Nestled along the banks of the Kennebec River in Bath, Maine, the Maine Maritime Museum offers a captivating journey through the state’s rich maritime heritage.
Housed within historic shipyard buildings, the museum invites visitors to explore exhibits that span centuries of seafaring history.
Discover the craftsmanship and ingenuity behind Maine’s shipbuilding legacy as you tour the Percy & Small Shipyard, where massive wooden vessels were constructed during the golden age of sail. Step aboard the Wyoming, the largest wooden sailing vessel ever built, and imagine life at sea aboard this majestic ship.
From lighthouses and lobstering to the role of women in maritime history, the museum’s diverse exhibits offer insight into the people, industries, and traditions that have shaped Maine’s maritime identity.
With hands-on activities, interactive displays, and scenic riverfront views, the Maine Maritime Museum is a must-visit destination for maritime enthusiasts and history buffs alike.
Found along Maine’s scenic coast, is the charming coastal town of Kennebunkport. This is often an overlooked destination but a great place to spend some time in New England.
Stroll along the picturesque pavements, visit the giant shops and try some of the tasty food along the bustling harbor.
Visit the stunning beaches here including the Goose rocks Beach then head to the historic town centre or relax along the waterfront.
Drive along Ocean avenue for incredible views and visit the nearby destinations mentioned in this list; Kennebunkport is a great place to base yourself as you explore the state.
Head to Dock Square for boutique stores and art galleries then visit Walker’s Point for gorgeous views of the coastline.
Camden Hills State Park
Camden Hills State Park can be found in the midcoast area of Maine. This is the perfect place to explore for outdoor adventure seekers; with various activities on offer.
From leisurely strolls to challenging hikes, there are various trails hikers can choose from. We recommend heading up the summit of Mount Battie, for breathtaking view s of the harbor and bay below.
Heading to Maine? Tell us your favorite places to explore in the state, in the comments below!