20 BEST THINGS TO DO IN MAINE THAT YOU CAN’T MISS

Maine is full of outdoor adventure ready to be conquered and traveled by you! Discover rocky coastlines, peaceful environments and enjoy endless biking and hiking in this wild state. From picturesque small towns like Bar Harbor and Kennebunkport, to the lively city of Portland, Maine really has it all!

Try delicious lobster, sit by beaches, or relax by quiet lakes and find the true meaning of being a local Mainer! Whether you choose to visit in the summer, winter or any month in between, you’ll find a treat ready for a quest.

Here are 20 things to do in Maine that you just can’t miss! 

20 BEST THINGS TO DO IN MAINE THAT YOU CAN'T MISS

EXPLORE ACADIA NATIONAL PARK

Whether you’re interested in visiting a rocky shoreline, lush forests or granite mountain tops, Acadia National Park offers breathtaking views and stunning scenery in every direction. Explore Mount Desert Island and understand the rugged yet beautiful landscape that makes up Acadia and its lovely community. 

Tie up your hiking boots and discover the most popular hiking trails, such as Beehive Loop, Jordan Pond Full Loop, Cadillac Mountain North, and South Ridge. Leisurely stroll the coastline or take to the hiking paths for an epic adventure that will be remembered for years. 

Kayak around the island, bike on paved paths, and finish your day enjoying Jordan Pond House popovers, overlooking Jordan Pond. Explore one of the most beautiful National Parks in the United States and embrace the natural beauty that is Acadia! 

Read More: ACADIA NATIONAL PARK ITINERARY [PLUS WHERE TO STAY]

Planning a National Parks road trip? The America the Beautiful Pass covers entrance for an entire year to all the US National Parks and over 2,000 federal recreation fee sites. Fees are covered for everyone in the car for per-vehicle sites and for up to 4 adults for per-person sites. This is a no-brainer, friends. While fees vary, you’ll likely break-even after two visits. Plus, REI will donate 10% of pass sale proceeds to the NPS Foundation.

GREET THE GIANT TROLLS AT COASTAL MAINE BOTANICAL GARDENS

Come face to face with giant trolls and tour the impressive oriental gardens in Maine’s natural glory. See as recycled wood can be made into immense creatures while you stray into the magical woods in search of the trolls and the garden of seeds. 

Unmask the deeper meaning of the marvelous troll woodworks and see why sustainability is precious. Learn to fall in love with the forests and lose yourself in the great state of Maine. You’ll find plenty to do while wandering through the Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens. 

Details: 105 Botanical Gardens Dr., Boothbay, ME 04537 | Website

BAXTER STATE PARK

Stop, stare, and appreciate the largest mountain in Maine, Mount Katahdin, where you’ll be surrounded by dense forest, gorgeous lakes and immerse yourself in true wilderness. Keep your eyes peeled for the occasional moose sighting, but please keep your distance. These magnificent animals are absolutely amazing to see in real life! 

With over 220 miles of trails and different hike levels to conquer, it’s important to choose a trail that best suits your capabilities. Katahdin Trail may be one the most popular hikes within Baxter State Park for its wild environment, but the hike is long and fierce with an elevation of 4,000 feet and travel time up to 12 hours. 

If you still want to see the park, there are less strenuous hikes available, and you can always drive and stop off at points throughout your journey. You can also visit the park from the end of the Appalachian Trail! 

Details: Millinocket, ME 04462 | Website

TAKE A WHALE WATCHING TOUR

Feel the wind in your hair and smell the salty ocean air when you go whale watching off the coast of Maine. From humpback whales, pilot whales, minke whales and many more glorious creatures head into Boothbay Harbor or Casco Bay for a once in lifetime experience!

Decipher between the whales, learn about conservation efforts, and watch as whales launch themselves in the air, or feed within their families. With plenty of whale watching tours available I highly recommend Bar Harbor Whale Watch Co. 

The crew are highly knowledgeable throughout the boat tour and elevate your experience onto a whole other level. From seeing an abundance of wildlife and gazing for miles into the clear clean ocean, remember to look back at Maine with pure curiosity.

Read More: 16 OUTSTANDING THINGS TO DO IN BAR HARBOR MAINE

SNEAK UP ON A MOOSE VIA A CANOE TOUR

From gently skimming down rivers to experiencing high impact white water rafting, keep a look out for moose from every angle! From taking quick dips to relaxing by the water’s edge let the Moose Safari commence. Get up close to these fantastic animals and learn about their life in Maine.

Northeast Whitewater Tours offers a great package of thrilling water activities to calming tours when catering to all individuals and families. These safe and engaging tours allow you to be at one with nature and understand the importance of conservation and moose protection. 

Details: Website

GO EAST AT QUODDY HEAD LIGHT

Head over to the Easternmost point of the U.S. and go to Quoddy Head Lighthouse! This picturesque lighthouse may not be the main attraction in Maine, but you’ll find glorious views and endless colors. 

Come early, set up your camera and watch as nature does its job to provide spectacular scenery with dramatic shorelines and untouched beauty. Walk the historic lighthouse and see why people come from far to visit this impressive area. 

Tip: Get to Quoddy Head light early to be the first person to watch the sunrise in the USA!

Details: West Quoddy Head Light, 973 S Lubec Rd, Lubec, ME 04652 | Website

TAKE ON PORTLAND

From its hip and vibey breweries, bars, and restaurants to its impressive arts and cultural scene, Portland is a happening city. With excellent museums like the Portland Museum of Art, discover why locals love this city and tourists keep coming back. 

If you didn’t already pack your bean boots, don’t fret, as you can visit the flagship L.L Bean store! Fit in with the local community while touring and wandering through restored redbrick buildings. At the end of a busy day sightseeing the abundance of green spaces, boutique shops and eating yummy foods have a nice cold beer at Allagash brewery.

Read More: 20 OUTSTANDING THINGS TO DO IN PORTLAND MAINE

PHOTOGRAPH PORTLAND HEAD LIGHT

Watch as your photography skills come to life in the charming town of Cape Elizabeth! With ocean waves crashing against the rocky cliff edges and Portland Head Light sitting in an ideal location, the time is now to put your skills to the test. 

Stroll Fort Williams Park and take in the rugged Casco Bay. With its lush green space and diverse environment, take time to relish in the tremendous views of Maine.

Details: 12 Captain Strout Cir, Cape Elizabeth, ME 04107 | Website

RIDE THE SCHOONER AT MAINE MARITIME MUSEUM

Come aboard the historical Schooner and get to know her amazing history and existence. Originally made in 1906, the Schooner Mary E has had quite a life for a vessel. Today, through the Maine Maritime Museum, you can sail her and experience life away from land. 

Sail past Doubling Point Light, the Kennebec Range Lights, the shipyard where she built and much more on this intimate and enriching cruise.

Details: 243 Washington St, Bath, ME 04530 | Website

STROLL MARGINAL WAY IN OGUNQUIT

Roam the 1.25-mile cliff margin between land and sea to soak up the crashing waves, soft sand and divine views. Sit and gaze on one of the many benches and reflect on life be that present, past or future. From the midst of summer to chilled winter brisk, take on the paved path for tranquil peace. 

This walk is easy for all ages and is a great family activity. You’ll find beach lovers, surfers, and avid walks along your journey off the coast of Maine.

Read More: 11 REALLY AMAZING THINGS TO DO IN OGUNQUIT MAINE

ENJOY CAPE PORPOISE IN KENNEBUNKPORT

Kennebunkport is described by many as a charismatic beach village with delightful shopping, delicious restaurants, and welcoming locals. However, if you are looking for an even quieter and idyllic town, head 2 miles east to Cape Porpoise. 

With antique shops, secluded beaches, and unusual treats — like lobster ice cream — explore the dramatic, yet peaceful village of Cape Porpoise. I highly recommend renting bikes and touring Kennebunkport and Cape Porpoise for an afternoon of fun in the bike seat.

Details: Website

SEEK THE THRILLS AT OLD ORCHARD BEACH

Soar the skies and play classic arcade games at New England’s only beachfront amusement park! Whether you’re an adventure enthusiast seeking adrenaline on big rides or looking for gorgeous views atop the Ferris wheel, Palace Playland Amusement Park is made for you.

Cash in those tickets for kiddie rides, family rides or thrill rides, and have a day at the park living life on the edge! Win prizes in the arcade and eat scrumptious treats at Old Orchard Beach. With a sandy beach and active community this resort town is perfect for families, especially with young children! 

Details: 1 Old Orchard St, Old Orchard Beach, ME 04064 | Website

SNAP A SELFIE AT STEPHEN KING’S HOUSE

Known by many as the “King of Horror”, Stephen King is not only an acclaimed author, but is also a Maine resident! Over the years having your picture taken outside the home has become a popular thing to do. 

With massive bats on the  gates, this big red home stands out among the rest, but is a fitting home for King. Take a quick selfie or drive by and understand the essence of home and who lives inside it.

Details: 47 W Broadway, Bangor, ME 04401

BOAT TO MONHEGAN ISLAND

Get your sea legs ready and hop on a boat to Monhegan Island! This striking and rocky little island is 10 miles off the coast of Maine, and offers a quiet look into the lives of its residents and its natural environment. This island is predominantly walked by tourists and offers 360º views of beauty in every direction. 

Meander past lobster traps, stop in gift shops and relax with a drink overlooking the water on the island’s charming village. Known for its creative edge and love for art, people near and far flock to Monhegan for its artistic flare, studios and pop ups. If you’re looking for more adventure, hike one of the island’s paths and climb to the highest ocean cliff in all of Maine. 

Details: 880 Port Clyde Rd, Port Clyde, ME 04855 | Website

SKI OR SNOWBOARD AT SUGARLOAF MOUNTAIN

Trade in your sunglasses for ski goggles and get yourself to the top of the ski lift! Mount Sugarloaf is Maine’s second highest peak and offers endless fun for families, skiers and snowboarders alike. With over 160 trails, four terrain parks and fresh snowfall, I highly recommend coming for a weekend getaway to Sugarloaf. 

With fresh powder at your feet and delicious restaurants surrounding you, enjoy a little après ski action after a busy day on the mountain. From the most experienced skiers or snowboarders to beginners, learn the curves of the slopes and get shredding at Sugarloaf.

Details: 5012 Access Rd, Carrabassett Valley, ME 04947 | Website

TAKE A CLASS AT FARNSWORTH ART MUSEUM

Celebrate Maine’s values and inspiration into the wonderful and creative role of American art. Featuring world class exhibits and significantly impressive collections, you will gain appreciation for Maine’s artistic voice at the Farnsworth Art Museum in Rockland. 

With educational programs and classes available throughout the year, come and partake in workshops to broaden your understanding and perspective at Farnworth. Deepen your connection between art, community and America through participation and learning.  

Details: 16 Museum St, Rockland, ME 04841 | Website

Where to stay: 250 Main Hotel (a review)

HIKE TO MOXIE FALLS

Bring out your water shoes and begin your trek to the tallest waterfall in New England. This short but sweet hike takes you through lavish green forests and winds you up to the top of the falls with a gorgeous lookout point. 

In nice weather, swim in the falls and enjoy the wilderness that surrounds you. This hike is low impact and can be walked by children for an outdoor activity with family. This is also a highly-trafficked route, so plan accordingly to avoid big crowds.

Details: Parking lot, 503 Lake Moxie Rd, West Forks, ME 04985 | Website

SAIL WITH MAINE WINDJAMMER CRUISES

Sail off the coast of Maine and enjoy the ease of windjammer living at its finest. From being up close to wildlife to having memorable meals and dining experiences on handcrafted boats, get ready for a cruise of a lifetime! 

Sail through the islands and cruise in the bay, meandering your way through waterways on this enchanting and active voyage. Learn how to sail, fall in love with the water and take in dazzling scenery throughout your windjamming excursion. So grab yourself a lobster and throw on that sailing hat!

Details: 6 Public Landing, Camden, ME 04843 | Website

SEE PUFFINS AT EASTERN EGG ROCK

Visit the “Sea Parrots” at Eastern Egg Rock and learn interesting facts about their life on this little island. Learn about their eating patterns, nesting tendencies and other fun conservation efforts that contribute to the existence of this puffin colony. 

Look upon the world’s first resorted seabird colony and see how their efforts have helped endangered and threatened birds around the world. These adorable birds will be sure to put a smile on your face! 

Details: St George, ME 04860 | Website

INDULGE IN A LOBSTER BAKE

It would be sin not to partake in a lobster bake while vacationing in Maine. From the rich, decadent flavor of lobster, down to the tasty sides of potato salad, the culture and lifestyle of a lobster bake needs to be experienced and lived. 

Sit outside and enjoy the company of friends and family in this traditional Maine custom. From the warm, buttery lobster to an evening filled with laughter and joy, share stories, and relax with loved ones. 

Details: Website

MORE INFORMATION FOR YOUR TRIP TO MAINE

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