11 can't-miss points of interest in Maine
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11 can't-miss points of interest in Maine

Sandy Stream Pond, Baxter State Park, Maine, New England
Alan Copson/Robert Harding

These are the places you need to see at least once. 

With a virtually unlimited number of hiking trails and outdoor recreational opportunities, picturesque lobster villages, and rocky coastline reminiscent of the Pacific Northwest, Maine is a great year-round destination for all types of travelers. Whether you're visiting the Pine Tree State for the first time or making an annual summer pilgrimage, be sure to cross all of these local attractions and points of interest off your to-do list.

Acadia National Park

The golden cliffs protruding from the Atlantic Ocean contribute to some of the most impressive scenery on the East Coast, and make Acadia a great destination for rock climbers, outdoor enthusiasts, and families seeking a bit of natural recreation. Set up camp at the Schoodic Woods Campground, or snag a lean-to-shelter on Isle au Haut.

Baxter State Park

Home to Mount Katahdin — one of the most challenging peaks on the Eastern Seaboard — Baxter State Park boasts more than 200,000 acres of wilderness area for those seeking a remote getaway in Maine's backcountry. For a real mountaineering adventure, you can attempt to summit Katahdin during the winter season.

Portland Head Light

Located only a few miles south of Portland and just two hours from Boston, this historic lighthouse is a great destination for photographers and history buffs. After all, George Washington called for this lighthouse to be constructed in 1787. Snap a shot of the waves crashing on the unique rock formations surrounding the lighthouse.

Fishing boats in the bay.
Getty Images

Georgetown Island

The island of Georgetown is home to a handful of charming New England fishing and lobstering villages, lobster pounds, and perfect coastal views. This island is one of Maine’s best-kept secrets, and the picturesque coastal drive just to get there is itself a worthwhile adventure.

Gulf Hagas

With sheer slate walls that plummet as deep as 400-feet in places, it's easy to see how this gorge earned the nickname the Grand Canyon of the East. This canyon, located in the mountains of central Maine, is a great destination for fishing, whitewater kayaking, and hiking.

Farnsworth Art Museum

The Farnsworth Art Museum, located in a historic saltwater farmhouse in Rockland, is a lesser-known museum that exhibits some 15,000 pieces from many of America’s most renowned artists. The Wyeth family collection is the primary draw.

Maine Island Trail

One of the best ways to see coastal Maine, this 375-mile water trail links islands off of the coast between the New Hampshire and Canadian border, and is great for small boaters of all types.

Saturn, part of the Maine Solar System Model.
Getty Images/Aurora Creative

Maine Solar System Model

Drive through a to-scale model of our solar system in Aroostook County, located in Northern Maine. All of the planets, moons, and the sun can be seen from the road, and offer pullouts for visitors to stop and explore the three-dimensional model.

L.L. Bean

For more than 100 years, the first and largest L.L. Bean flagship, located in Freeport, has been a popular shopping destination. Roam the brick walkways of the small town as you visit other small shops and outlets. Consider a very practical souvenir from this outdoorsy store, like lamb's wool moccasins or a Gore-Tex anorak.

Desert of Maine

Although not a true desert due to it’s level of annual precipitation, the Desert of Maine consists of incredible glacial-silt dunes, resulting from a serious misuse of the land. Also in Freeport, visitors do not need to travel far to visit the dunes.

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