Freeport + Mid-Coast

Freeport + Mid-Coast Travel Guide

You could happily lose yourself in these exceptionally cared for botanical gardens (the largest in New England) hidden off Barters Island Road, 10 miles from Route 1.

Look for the giant signature boot out front to locate this monolithic bargain bin amid the raft of high-end outlet stores on Freeport's Main Street. L.L. Bean's practical, hunter-chic (albeit not high fashion) clothing is up to 60 percent off at its factory store.

Rockland, Maine, may not be thought of as the art capital of the world, but this nationally recognized museum is certainly no slouch. The collection features more than 10,000 works, most by American artists with ties to the state of Maine.

Near Wiscasset on coastal Route 1, this homey ceramics studio/shop is a great choice for one-of-a-kind Maine souvenirs: plates, bowls, pitchers, vases, even sinks painted with lighthouses, blueberries, and sea life.

The Skidompha Public Library houses a collection of more than 30,000 books, as well as impressive selections of movies, audio books, and CD’s.

Who cares if you don’t know what the difference between port and starboard is, or what to do on a sailboat when someone yells “come about!” After an overnight cruise on a windjammer, you’ll be fluent in sail speak.

Complete with an 1856 Fresnel lens, this lighthouse is available for weekly rentals for up to four people.

A pastoral 14-mile drive south of Bath, this 529-acre park beach is an aberration for one reason: it has sand, and lots of it.

Antique planes, trains, and automobiles are showcased at this family-friendly museum, located near the Knox County Airport. All of the 100-plus vehicles on permanent display are in working condition—even though some date back as far as the 1800s.

Hosted by the Maine Organic Farmers and Gardeners Association since 1977, this annual three-day fair celebrates rural living with hundreds of eco-friendly events and performances that attract roughly 15,000 visitors each year.

One of the most enjoyable—and traffic-free—ways of taking in Maine’s mid-coast is by train.

For those who can bypass the buildings themselves and are interested only in lens lore and technology, the Maine Lighthouse Museum in Rockland has a diverse permanent collection of Fresnel lenses—the largest in the world.

Opened in 2007 on Rockland’s rapidly developing Main Street, this stylish women’s clothing boutique sticks out—in a good way—in the land of jeans and Crocs.

Camden Hills State Park is open year-round, with a variety of activities available across its 5,500 acres, from relatively low-exertion (bird-watching, picnicking) to downright athletic (cross-country skiing, off-road biking).