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.
Fare: $13 adults, $6.50 kids
Wess Connally opened his bookstore on the ground floor of a white Victorian building on Ridgeley’s Main Street in 1996, keeping in mind “great lines of literature and that it takes thinkers to make them.” He designed the selection at his grassroots bookstore to appeal to readers with general inte
Internationally acclaimed master woodworker Thomas Moser—known for his exquisite Shaker, Colonial, and Arts and Crafts–style furniture made from American hardwoods—could open a store anywhere, but the longtime Maine resident chose Freeport’s main street for his flagship showroom.
Harkening back to the early 1970’s, this old-fashioned arcade sits directly on Short Sands Beach in a white, corrugated metal building with big red letters spelling out its name.
A new design-forward boutique where you can buy supplies for a picnic at the beach—Sigg water bottles; plates, cups, and silverware cast by Scandinavian designer Joachim Nordwall; and a tote bag made of recycled boat sails to carry it all.
The whole family can enjoy the challenging runs at this ski mountain.
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.
Near Bath, this Mid-Coast Maine farm stand and gourmet market specializes in artisanal cheese and seasonal local produce.
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.
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.
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.