Discover Blue Waters And Small-Town Homes: 13 Maine Vacation Spots

Maine is a northeast state with incredible beaches, mountains, historical sites, and numerous natural attractions. You can spend a few days or a few weeks in the Pine Tree State. 

So, these local foods are plentiful on many local menus. The seafood in Maine is second to none, and the state is the largest producer of blueberries and lobsters in the United States. 

Whether you want to experience the thrill of skiing in the Appalachian mountains or bask in the sun on a secluded beach, you can in Maine. 

However, the weather varies significantly in Maine, so it helps to know when it is best to visit each of the incredible Maine vacation spots. 

Portland

Portland

Portland is a coastal town where pristine lighthouses guide boats away from the shores. Here you can visit the Portland Observatory, where you can visit a maritime signal tower and museum. 

You can also tour the Morse-Libby House, also known as the Victorian Mansion, a designated landmark. 

When you visit Portland, be sure to go to the Southworth Planetarium. It is a one of a kind spot to stargaze where you will see stars light up the night sky. 

There are always special events going on at the planetarium. So, be sure to check them out before you plan your trip.

When you are ready for a bite to eat, visit Old Port, where you will find exceptional seafood restaurants, shops, and bars. While you are there, check out the Old Port Sea Grill and Raw Bar for a romantic upscale seafood dinner or The Thirsty Pig for a late snack and drinks. 

Bar Harbor

Bar Harbour

If you want to experience the beauty of a national park, mountains, lakes, and a bay, you have to visit Bar Harbor. The inns are beautiful and offer reasonable coastal accommodations that are perfect for a romantic getaway. 

During the day, you can visit Acadia National Park to see Cadillac Mountain and wildlife that includes whales, seabirds, bears, and moose. 

Just be sure to plan your wardrobe carefully, depending on when you visit. Winters here are harsh. The area only sees warmer weather during the summer months. 

After a long day of exploring the park, Bar Harbor is a great place to grab a bite to eat. If you prefer to relax by the water, you can also enjoy daytime cocktails at several waterfront spots.  

Baxter State Park 

Baxter State Park

Baxter State Park is a fantastic camping location in Maine. Percival P. Baxter started the park by purchasing land and donating it to the state beginning in 1930. 

Baxter started the park with 6,000 acres and since it has grown to more than 209,644 acres. Of the total park, nearly 75 percent is a wildlife sanctuary. 

However, there is nearly 25 percent of the park where you can hunt and trap everything but moose. You can also camp at Baxter State Park, and it is a great place for adventurous couples to getaway or for families to bring kids to learn about the outdoors and native animals. 

The park is home to numerous mountain peaks, including Katahdin, which is the highest in the state. 

People visit the park year-round, however, it is most popular during the summer, and many people stay for a week or more. 

There are eight campgrounds you can choose from along the road. However, if you are visiting during the winter months, you might want to stay at the local Katahdin Inn, where you can enjoy a controlled climate and an indoor pool. 

Mount Desert Island

Mount Desert Island

Mount Desert Island is the largest island off the coastline of Maine. So, there are a lot of attractions you can visit there. 

The Azalea Garden in Northeast Harbor is an amazingly tranquil place with a lush landscape, gorgeous ponds, and lovely flowers. The picturesque ponds are open to the public during daylight from May 1st through October 1st. 

Many couples rent the gardens for weddings and it is a perfect place for a romantic ceremony. 

At night you can make your way to nearby Bar Harbor for dinner, or you can visit Southwest Harbor’s non-profit Common Good Soup Kitchen for a unique dining experience. You can even spend some time volunteering in the food pantry. 

Great Cranberry Island

Great Cranberry Island

If you want to experience a remote island vacation spot, Great Cranberry Island is a beautiful option. There are only around 30 year-round residents, but there are nearly ten times that many residents during the summer. 

To get there, you have to take a ferry, but the ride is enjoyable. 

On the island, you can rent a beach house and relax on the beach with your family or friends. The island is relatively small, even though it is the largest of the Cranberry Islands. 

So, food and entertainment options are limited. However, there are lots of things to do in nearby Northeast and Southeast Harbors. 

Kennebunkport

Kennebunkport

Kennebunkport, ME, is a quaint shorefront town. You can buy unique gifts at Dock Square or explore the area nature preserves. 

The Seashore Trolley Museum is a fun place with more than 250 vehicles to explore with children. Kennebunkport is also home to St. Ann’s Episcopal Church by the Sea and a Franciscan Monastery. 

Kids will love to see the horses at Rockin Horse Stables, where they have events that are family-friendly and carriage, sleigh, and wagon rides. Lodging in Kennebunkport is affordable, and there are several beachfront options with restaurants available. 

Try the Boathouse Waterfront Hotel and Restaurant if you want to stay at a convenient location where you can eat on-site and even rent beach cruiser bikes. 

Rockland

Rockland

Rockland is a family-friendly Maine vacation spot with a population of around 7,700 year-round residents. Despite the town’s small size, there are several museums in the city. 

The museums in Rockland include the Maine Lighthouse Museum, the Farnsworth Art Museum, the Sail, Power, and Steam Museum, the Center for Maine Contemporary Art, and the Coastal Children’s Museum

You can stay at a local hotel or camp at Georges River Land Trust. Rockland is one of the more kid-friendly places in Maine and a great place to spend a few days on the coast. 

Bethel

Bethel

An inland Maine vacation spot with a few ski resorts in Bethel. You can ski there and experience museums, as well as beautiful natural scenery and wildlife. 

Depending on when you visit, the climate can be cold, and however, the snow is beautiful during winter, and during fall, you are in for a treat because the leaves change colors. 

You can ski and golf at Sunday River Resort. Local Mt. Abram Resort is a smaller ski spot, but it is a laid back place to hit the slopes. 

Carter’s Cross-Country Ski Shop and Ski Center is a larger place with experienced instructors where you can practice cross-country skiing and take lessons.

If you prefer to explore museums, you will enjoy the Maine Mineral and Gem Museum, where kids are free as long as they are under 12 years old. The museum houses a rare meteorite exhibit that is world-class. 

Other museums in the area include the Dr. Moses Mason House that dates back to 1813 and the 1821 O’Neil Robinson House. 

When you visit during the summer, you can take a dip in Bryant Pond, a popular swimming spot for families. The Bethel Pathway is also lovely for hiking during the warmer months. 

Ogunquit

Ogunquit

Ogunquit, ME, is a perfect vacation spot for travelers who love the arts. You can watch a play at the Ogunquit Playhouse or the Leavitt Fine Arts Theater, learn about local history at the Ogunquit Heritage Museum, or appreciate American art at the Ogunquit Museum of American Art. 

There are also several galleries in the area where you can purchase artwork to bring home, including The Green Heron Fine Arts Gallery, Don Gorvett Piscataqua Fine Arts Studio and Gallery, and Sea Bell Gallery.

White Mountain National Forest

White Mountain National Forest

Outdoor enthusiasts will love to visit White Mountain National Forest. The sprawling 800,000 acres offer nature experiences for everyone. 

Families can stay at one of many campgrounds available or rent a cabin. If a more secluded getaway interests you, you can stay backcountry or secluded site. 

Beware, though, there are bears and other wild animals throughout the forest. So, this is not a place for inexperienced campers. 

However, it is an exceptional place to view wildlife, bicycle, hike, climb, fish, hunt, picnic, and learn about the great outdoors. There are also watersports, winter sports, and scenic drives. 

The national forest is in both Maine and neighboring New Hampshire, and it includes several historic sites, including Brickett Place, a brick farmhouse that dates back to the 19th century in Stow, Maine, the Russell-Colbath House, and the Smith House. 

With so much to do in the White Mountain National Forest, it is a prime Maine vacation spot you have to visit to appreciate. 

Camden

Camden

Camden is a coastal front town in Maine, and it is also home to the Camden Hills State Park. Visiting Camden allows you to explore nature or camp at the park where you can fish, hunt, and gather berries along the shore. 

The Camden Hills State Park is much smaller than the other parks in the state, but there are plenty of recreational activities available. You can book campsites there for families or even larger groups if you are planning a family reunion or a club trip. 

If you prefer to stay in a hotel, Camden offers that too. The Norumbega Inn is a historical site dating back to 1886 that offers 4-star accommodations perfect for couples. 

The suites each have a unique name and theme. The inn also offers exquisite dining that features local seafood and ingredients. It is also an excellent place for a wedding or marriage proposal. 

When you are in Camden, you will also want to visit the nearby Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens in Boothbay. It is a site you will not want to miss, especially if you visit in spring or summer.

Augusta 

Augusta

Capital of Maine, Augusta, is a wonderful destination for exploring the rich history of the state. There are plenty of monuments to visit in the city, and you can bring children to the capitol building for a tour. 

You can also wander the Maine State Museum, Viles Arboretum, the Governor Hill Mansion, Fort Western, the Colburn House State Historic Site, and the Holocaust Human Rights Center of Maine. 

The dining options in Augusta are diverse. You can try Thai food at Sweet Chilli Lime Thai, barbecue at Riverfront Barbeque and Grille, and seafood delights at Sandy Point Seafood

There are several fine inns in the area, but the Maple Hill Farm Inn and Conference Center is a bed and breakfast option that has comfortable rooms, as well as an onsite bar. It is charming no matter what time of year you visit, but the sauna and hot tub make it a great place to stay during the winter. 

Old Orchard Beach

Old Orchard

Old Orchard Beach is a family-friendly beachfront town that is a favorite Maine vacation spot for parents and children. 

One of the main attractions in the city is the Palace Playland. It is a waterfront amusement park with thrilling roller coasters and arcade games. 

There are rides in the park that are suitable for all ages, and you can indulge in carnival foods. 

The town also offers visitors an opportunity to golf at the premier area course, Dunegrass Golf Club. You can book tee times online, and there is a clubhouse where you can eat a delicious meal or indulge in a few cocktails. 

Final Thoughts

Maine is one of the smallest states in the country. However, what the state lacks in size, it makes up for in rich history, natural wonders, and experiences that are perfect for love birds and families. 

If you have never been to Maine, you will be pleasantly surprised when you arrive. No matter what time of year you plan your trip, the scenery is hard to beat. 

Blankets of snow cover the area during winter. During spring and summer, the gardens bloom with vibrant flowers, and fall is a real treat in Maine as the trees turn vibrant colors. 

These Maine vacation spots are excellent places to build lasting memories and get away for a break from a fast-paced life. 

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