Maine Overview

If crisp ocean waves, blue skies, and unspoiled wilderness have another name, it’s Maine. What could be more exhilarating than flying across Atlantic waters on a windjammer, exploring coastal villages weathered to a silver gray by sea breezes?

The state of Maine, nicknamed Vacationland, is more than a destination – it’s an experience that will take your breath away. This northernmost New England state has an undeniably wild beauty. Craggy mountains rise abruptly from opaque forest beds; rugged, lighthouse-dotted coasts span the state’s eastern edge; a patchwork of lakes and marshes interrupt rolling fields.

The state’s rugged coastline provides thrilling views. Watch lobstermen pull in their fresh catches and eat the freshest possible seafood. When all the bays and coves along Maine’s oceanfront are included in measurement, its coastline stretches to 3,500 miles (6,500 kilometres). Drive, bike or hike along this craggy shore and find spectacular ocean vistas around every corner. Visit the red-and-white-striped West Quoddy Head Light in Lubec to watch the dawn from the easternmost point of the United States.

As big as all the other states put together, Maine is quintessential New England, chock full of pretty harbours, resort villages nestled in rolling hills, lighthouses atop craggy cliffs and quaint clapboard cafés dishing up freshly caught lobster. This is the perfect place to blow away the cobwebs, inhale the salty air and embrace the great outdoors, especially as Maine boasts New England’s only National Park, Acadia, an island oasis of soaring mountains and dramatic fjord-like estuaries.

Visit Portland, Maine, which occupies a scenic spot on a peninsula reaching into Casco Bay. Historically an energetic Port town, views of redbrick buildings and winding cobblestones streets combine with a lively youth culture to make this one a true example of small-city vibrancy. Visit the West End for a stroll down avenues of Victorian-era homes, discover the delights of the Old Port Waterfront or explore the verdant Western Promenade on a bright, autumn afternoon.

Maine embraces all that is authentic, unique and simple, and Mainers take pride in enjoying the wide-open spaces of the state’s deep woods and vibrant coastline. Come and join them and find your own inspiration.


Must See Places in Maine

Acadia National Park

The rugged and beautiful stretch of coastline that is set aside as Acadia National Park also surrounds a large inland region of lakes, streams, and forests. It provides a playground for locals and visitors who enjoy the outdoors. The 467-metre Cadillac Mountain is the centrepiece of the park on Mount Desert Island.

Fort Knox State Historic Site

Learn about troops stationed in the mid-1800s at the granite fort on the western bank of the Penobscot River in Prospect.

Old Orchard Beach Pier

Step onto the historic pier, established in 1898, and stroll to a lively destination featuring restaurants, bars and nightlife, including comedy shows. Relax, eat fresh Maine seafood or dance to live music.


The little coastal town of Kennebunkport, 12.5 miles south of Portland, is very popular in summer. Stately homes of former ship captains and owners, some of which have been carefully restored as bed-and-breakfasts, line its quiet streets, and you can learn about these on a self-guided walking tour, or at the Historical Society’s First Families Kennebunkport Museum, in an 1853 Greek Revival home. The small commercial area of restored dockside buildings around Dock Square is filled with galleries, boutiques, and restaurants.

Boothbay Harbor

Boothbay Harbor was once a shipping port, but today it is primarily a popular summer resort, especially with boat-owners. It has the largest boating harbor north of Boston, and along with private yachts, it is home port for working lobster boats and a variety of cruise vessels. From here, you can go deep-sea fishing, take river and ocean cruises, go whale watching or even join a local lobsterman hauling traps.

The downtown area is packed with waterfront seafood restaurants, antique shops, and a number of art galleries, reflecting the more than 200 artists and craftspeople who live and summer in the area

Cruising the Maine Coast

Don’t miss the chance to see the craggy, irregular Maine coast and its rock-bound islands from the water. Not only will you get a new perspective on the lighthouses and granite cliffs, but you’ll have a chance to be part of the busy harbor life of Maine’s seaport towns.

Nubble Lighthouse (Cape Neddick Light)

Perhaps New England’s most photographed lighthouse, and certainly one of the easiest to get to, Nubble Light poses on its own islet just off the rocky point of Cape Neddick. Especially on a rising tide, the surf usually obliges photographers with a few waves breaking into froth against the rocks. The point bounds one end of Long Sands, the largest of two popular beaches in York.


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Suggested Itineraries, Escorted Tours and Accommodation for Maine

View our suggestions for what is possible when you travel in Maine, and see itinerary routes and escorted tours we know work particularly well. Treat them as inspiration, because your trip will be created uniquely by one of our specialists.

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