Maine road trip destinations are entrancing. It is known as the ‘Pine Trees State’ because of the abundance of Pine trees covering the state. The state has adopted the White Pine tree on its flag and its seal too.
Maine is said to be named after the Province of Maine in France as it was discovered by early French explorers, but the true history is unknown. It is situated in New England and is at the tip of the northeast of the US, bordered by New Hampshire, Canadian Provinces, and the Atlantic Ocean.
So let us explore the beauty of Maine!
- 1 1. Bar Harbor: Best Town to Start Maine Road Trip
- 2 2. Rockland: The Lobster Festival Town & More!
- 3 3. Portland: Enjoy the Victorian Era & Nearby Spots
1. Bar Harbor: Best Town to Start Maine Road Trip
Bar Harbor is where we start with the Maine road trip destinations. It is the nearest town to the Acadia National park for enjoying a little bit of city life or enjoying and relaxing with family.The place is a heaven for foodies with its blueberry pancakes, seafood, and the best ice cream you can ask for. The blueberries are sourced locally from the wild blueberry fields.
Sunset Cruises and sailing are the most romantic attractions of this place which you can enjoy with cocktails. Or you may go for lobster catching and then enjoying this delicacy. You may even enjoy a relaxing massage at the spa or rejuvenate to some yoga. Shop at the Main Street, that has several upscale boutiques and galleries for travelers.
Acadia National Park: Enjoy Nature’s Beauty
Acadia National Park The park is spread across 47,000 acres and includes varied beauties of nature such as the Cadillac Mountain, Sand Beach, Jordan Pond, Park Loop Road, Bar Island & the Bass Harbor Head Lighthouse. The place is a nature’s haven to see the sunrise from Cadillac Mountain which is the tallest in this region.
The park houses more than 37 species of mammals including the black bear and the white-tailed deer and several reptiles and amphibian species too. The most attractive fauna here are the 331 types of birds including waterfowls, songbirds, and even the peregrine falcons. People can enjoy the beauty of the park by taking car and bus tours here along the Park Loop Road or take a buggy-tour at the Carriage Road from mid-April to the start of December.
Kayaking, canoeing, and boating are popular in the lakes and ponds. In winter, hiking and cross country skiing is also very popular. There are two camping sites too. White and red Pines and Maple trees cover is spread across the region which presents resplendent beauty and a blend of reds, yellows, greens, and many others in the autumn season and the scenic views are breath-taking.
Bar Harbor and Acadia National Park together offer a highly relaxing 7-day vacation blending nature with city life and is a perfect family vacation! If you have time, take a Lighthouse and National park tour to Duck Island and check out the bird sanctuary there. Some travelers enjoy this island so much that they spend a whole week here.
Moving in the southern direction along the Atlantic Ocean, the next stop in Maine is Rockland…
2. Rockland: The Lobster Festival Town & More!
The coastal town of Rockland is situated along the Penobscot Bay and is known for the lobster catching and the Lobster Festival. Captain Jack’s Lobster Adventure Boat is one of the famous ways of exploring marine life in this area. Apart from Lobsters, there are crabs, oysters seals, and whales also in the bay. The Maine Lobster Festival is a 5-day long affair full of carnival rides, music, fireworks, entertainment, and the Lobster feasts. Rockland is awesome for festival-hopping. There are Summer Solstice festivals, North Atlantic Blue Festival, Festival of lights, and Pies on Parade featuring 50 types of pies and pie-eating contests.
Maine’s Museums Including the Lighthouse Museum
It’s not just Lobsters and Fests, Rockland is also a stop of history and culture. The Farnsworth Art Museum showcases the arts and works of the local artists and tells the folk-tales of the state. Maine Lighthouse Museum is another historical site exhibiting lighthouse lenses and several life-saving pieces of equipment used by the lighthouse keepers over centuries. The place has tours that narrate tales of lighthouses throughout the history of Maine.
Sugarloaf mountains: Maine’s Top Ski Destination
Another attraction of Maine is the Sugarloaf Ski Resort, situated in the heart of Maine in the Sugarloaf Mountains and offers skiing and snowboarding along 119 kilometers of the snow-covered slope. These ski terrains are for various difficulty levels and there is also a ski school for beginners. Further, there are other activities too such as the snowshoeing, ice skating, and anti gravity complex. But don’t think you can visit the place only in the winter. The resort offers many activities in the summers as well such as the Scenic Summer Lift Ride, mountain-biking, ziplining, and even golfing.
Baxter State Park: Nature & Adventure Destination
Baxter State Park is yet another isolated attraction for a short trip. Mount Katahdin is the most famous mountain in Maine for the hikers. It is not an easy trail so make sure you are at the best of your fitness level and also have sufficient food packed with you. Canoeing at the Kidney pond is another fun activity here. Swimming at the Ledgefalls can be relaxing and it is safe even for kids. The freshwater is invigorating. But if you love adventure, you can literally jump off a cliff at the South Branch Pond. You can stay in the wooden cabins amidst the forest and enjoy nature at its best or even go camping if you like.
Enjoying a long weekend in Rockland Sugarloaf Ski Resort or Baxter State Park can be a lot of fun for festival buffs, history buffs, wilderness lovers, adventurists, and obviously, the seafood buffs. Further there are a few beautiful islands in this regions, the most famous one being the Deer Island or Isles. Full of trails and natural attractions.
Moving further south along the Atlantic Ocean, the next stop could be a bunch of stops around the City of Portland…
3. Portland: Enjoy the Victorian Era & Nearby Spots
Portland is the largest city in Maine and is situated along the Gulf of Maine. The best way to sight see here is to take the antique fire truck tour. It takes you around the city and tells you the history of the multiple places it stops at. It has many historic and literary attractions and was rebuilt in Victorian style after the fire in the 1800s. One of the biggest attractions is the childhood home of the notable poet, H.W. Longfellow, and is known as the Wadsworth-Longfellow house. Portland takes you back to the Victorian age when you visit the Victoria Mansion, a museum made to commemorate Queen Victoria of England. Another important aspect of the city is its food and brewery tours that make you indulge in the local cuisine brought straight from the farms and the oceans.
There are several attractions that can be reached by taking a 1 hour drive from Portland.
Desert of Maine: A Unique Natural Spot
A 20 minute drive in the northern direction from Portland can take you to the Desert of Maine. Don’t get carried away by the name, it is not truly a desert. This is an attractive amalgamation of nature, wherein, the desert land has erupted in the midst of pine forest due to the glacial silt accumulated over ten thousand years ago. It is intriguing to see this oddity in the heart of Maine.
Enjoy Amusement & Water parks of Maine
Towards the south of Portland, a 30-minute drive will take you to Palace Playland and Funtown Splashtown USA, two very adventurous amusement and water parks to enjoy with the children and family. Palace Playland is a beachfront amusement park with more than 13 rides for children and 7 rides for adults and families. Apart from this, there are 6-7 coaster and thrill rides too. So It is a thrilling and fun experience.
Kennebunkport: A Must-Visit Road Trip Stop
Road trippers can take a one-hour drive from Portland to Kennebunkport and on their way, they can visit the Seashore Trolley Museum. At the Dock square in Kennebunkport, there is an array of patio cafes offering a lot to the foodies including Maine’s specialty, Lobster Rolls. There are upscale boutiques, and art galleries too. Sandy beaches and Boat sailing are available for family vacations. Coming to the Seashore trolley museum, the train buffs can see more than 250 trolleys busses, railway coaches displayed here. There are guided tours of the evolution of these trolleys and also the visitors can take a few rides in some of these old school trains.
Ogunquit: A Small Fishing Town
Another one-hour drive from Portland via Spring street route can take you to a small fishing village of Ogunquit which now has 3 miles of sandy beach, and innumerable bed and breakfast places. You can fish, shop, eat, enjoy and have fun. This is the end of our list of Maine road trip destinations.
Portland again could be a 7-Day vacation if you really want to enjoy the sites and relax with friends and family.
Maine can be enjoyed in pockets or small vacations from time to time. In case you want to plan a short road-trip, Rockland is ideal in summers and Sugarloaf in the winters, but the true Maine cannot be enjoyed in such a short span of time. It requires at least 15- day trip to explore the state thoroughly.
Maine has something for everyone. It is rich in national parks, beaches, adventure spots, flora and fauna. Coniferous forests lined with Pine trees present a bounty of beauty in the autumn season. Festivals and carnivals take place all year round and are the whole entertainment package for children and adults alike. Skiing, Island tours, Lobster catching, lighthouse tours and everything else make Maine a popular holiday destination in the United States. Any of these three Road trips to Maine guarantees a rejuvenating vacation and a good mix of tranquility and entertainment.
Even a walk along the river or a long drive on the roads along the shores or a solitary evening at an island can fill you with hope and happiness. So, Lobsters are waiting for you to eat them and islands are calling you. Come to Maine, have a pinecone, and enjoy the serene beauty and jaw-dropping views here!
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