Variety, they say, is the spice of life.
Maine, one of the northernmost and easternmost parts of the U.S., and the 23rd state to join the union, delivers variety equal to any of the other 49 states. Eye-catching scenery and excellent seafood are just two of the attractions. When you visit this region, you’ll find cities with culture to rival many others, as well as some of the finest lighthouses to be found anywhere.
The list of attractions, museums, and activities offered here is almost endless, but you’ll get a good introduction to what’s available when you read this list of “must see” stops in the Pine Tree State. By the way, Maine is sometimes referred to informally as “Vacationland,” which should give you some idea of the opportunities available.
1. When you travel to this state, include the community of Bar Harbor, also called the “gateway” to the well-known Acadia National Park. Plan to walk about in the village atmosphere, set comfortably beside the Atlantic Ocean. Leave some time for seafood and a leisurely visit to art galleries and shops.
2. Continuing the seaside theme, plan to visit Portland Head Light and Fort Williams Park. The light has been gradually improved from the original lamps filled with whale oil, and now uses an aero beacon. The keeper’s living area is now a fascinating museum where you can view the different lenses used and learn more about the remarkable history of this structure.
3. Take your camera along to photograph the harbor at Stonington. You’ll feel as if you stepped back in time to this quaint town where lobsters and fishing were essential activities. Spend some time in the historical opera house to get a taste of culture from the past.
If you’re fortunate enough to live in Maine, or somewhere close to its borders, you can enjoy the landscape and reach almost all the attractions in your own car. Cruise the coastline to view the many lighthouses, but be sure to have adequate auto insurance in Maine if you rent a vehicle. It’s the best way to see this remarkable state, and to reach another of the iconic destinations, Pemaquid lighthouse.
4. Pemaquid, near Bristol, overlooks cliffs and crashing waves, making it an ideal location for a wedding or another outdoor event. Spend some quality time in the first-floor museum, and consider renting the apartment on the upper floor. Be sure to start your planning well ahead of time, however.
5. Those who enjoy the arts and culture of the area they visit won’t be disappointed when in Maine. Stroll through the Farnsworth Art Museum, part of the massive complex that includes the Julia Gallery for Young Artists, Farnsworth Library, the Farnsworth Homestead, and much more.
6. If you’re interested in the quaint and unusual, you should plan to visit the Seashore Trolley Museum, considered the oldest, mass-transit vehicle display on the planet. You’ll see hundreds of exhibits, including motor buses, trains, and trolley buses, as well as some of the old trams and trolley cars.
7. Mountains. Yes, there are mountains in Maine, with Katahdin as the tallest peak in the state. Located in Baxter State Park, you can stand atop this rise and get a view of the area. But, you must be prepared for a long trek along the gorgeous stream. You’ll arrive at the glacial lake, and encounter fallen rock that must be traversed to get to the summit.
Admittedly, this is a very brief list of the attractions and activities in the state. The variety is almost endless. The scenery is worthy of the time and attention of skilled painters. You won’t be disappointed when you put Maine on your must-see list.