Things to do in Maine
You could hike, bike and paddle for miles and miles in Portland, but those aren’t the only things to do in Maine that let you appreciate its great outdoors. But even if you are not an intrepid outdoorsy type you’ll still find plenty of activities to do in Maine.
If any place typifies Maine’s great rugged outdoors, it’s Acadia, one of the top things to do in Maine. It has 120 miles of pine-fringed trails on which moose-spotting is practically guaranteed; miles of sea cliffs formed from granite; and 1,530-foot Cadillac Mountain, the highest peak on the Eastern Seaboard—and the place to see the sunrise of a lifetime. (Good news: you can drive to the top, too.)
The farm-to-table movement is strong in Maine, thanks to the state’s ever-growing number of farmers’ markets that fill fields, town greens, and empty parking lots from York to Presque Isle. They sell everything from freshly tapped maple syrup to fiddleheads, quarts of pea-size blueberries, home-smoked mussels, tangy goat’s cheese, and bunches of wild cosmos and lupines. Among the places to sample local products are Saco, Blue Hill, and Crystal Springs Farm in Brunswick.
Maine’s rugged coast inspired the state’s most famous artists, Winslow Homer and Andrew Wyeth. You can see their masterworks in person at the Portland Art Museum, the I. M. Pei–designed building in the heart of downtown Portland. In addition to work by Maine affiliated artists (also including Edward Hopper), the museums houses early-American furniture and international heavy-hitters such as Picasso, Matisse, and Monet.
Paddle or take a fly-fishing trip on the 178-mile-long Androscoggin River. Watch for hawks, which circle above in search of rainbow trout and bass.
Local captain Joel Rowland will take you on a half- or full-day sail aboard the Tammy Norie, a 42-foot wooden sloop that was originally built in 1964.
Famous for its iconic leather-and-rubber boots and canvas boat totes, and arguably the epicenter of Freeport shopping, the L. L. Bean flagship store, along with its ample parking lots, dominates a central stretch of Main Street—and customers buzz in and out by the thousands daily.
Broadway veteran Walter Hartwig and wife Maude debuted their repertory theatre in 1937, and “America’s foremost summer theatre” continues to endure in southeast Maine.
If any place typifies Maine’s great rugged outdoors, it’s Acadia, the state’s only national park (and the first crowned east of the Mississippi River).
Ideal for visitors who want to explore Bar Harbor without being confined to a car, this full-service bike shop has a wide variety of recreational and road bikes available for both rent and sale.
A great place for a stroll, this quarter-mile stretch of Atlantic coastline bordering downtown York Beach is one of New England's top summertime destinations. Popular with vacationing families, Short Sands Beach combines scenic coastline views with easy access to York's amusements.
About 45 minutes northwest of the swinging big city of Portland is a pastoral bastion of good, pious living—the last active Shaker community in the country, albeit with eight members.
Rod Browne Mitchell’s seafood store and smokehouse has occupied a brick building in downtown since 1991. His company specializes in luxury items like caviar, fresh fish and shellfish, and smoked seafood.
The Spread: The 30-odd growers and producers who gather on Saturdays in downtown Portland's Deering Oaks Park are carrying on a tradition that goes back more than two centuries (the city's first farmers' market opened in 1768).
This sprawling western Maine museum from the trust of Wilhelm Reich, a noted psychiatrist, psychoanalyst, and scientist, spans 175 acres.
On a quiet street just two blocks from L. L. Bean, in Freeport's old Masonic building, hides one of the finest jewelers in the state of Maine.
Come sunset, take a two-hour Atlantic excursion on the two-masted Pineapple Ketch, which sails daily from the Nonantum Resort.
The land of this 88-acre park was purchased by the federal government in 1872, eventually becoming a defense outpost for the Naval Shipyard in response to the Spanish-American War.