Visting Maine- The short guide to "Vacationland"
Springpoint Harber features a small but beautiful lighthouse
The worlds best lobster comes from Maine
Lobster cooking must haves!
Maine has the best lobster in the world, yessuh!
- Lobster from Maine
A site dedicated to educating YOU about lobster. All about lobster and the lobster industry in Maine. Also gives a great list of seafood places you should check out during your stay!
Need something to do in Maine on a rainy day?
- Visit the Portland Art Museum
The Portland Art Museum is a large space full of the best exhibits, which are always constantly changing, so be sure to check out the site! Its right downtown near the Old Port, so its convenient as well!
Don't look like a nerd in New England's hippest city!
There's a good reason why Maine is called Vacationland
Born and raised in the good old state of Maine, I can tell you that it's a wonderful place to VISIT (but boy was I glad to move to the city!).
If you are planning on taking a vacation in Maine, I would recommend staying in the Southern part of Maine. There are still a lot of scenic attractions to see, and if you do have something particular you'd like to see in Northern Maine, you could always take a day and drive up. I feel that those staying in Maine will get the most bang for your buck in Southern Maine as there is more within reach.
I also suggest that rather than renting a hotel/motel room, you search the web for cottages, bed and breakfasts, or homes you can rent. These places tend to have more charm, are equal (or lesser) in expense, and will make your stay all the more unique. For example, you could rent out a space like this for you and your family/traveling companions. This space is ideal for larger groups of people. It also happens to be the house I lived in during highschool which my father rents out. Staying in a space like this saves a ton of money when traveling with a family as the costs of hotel rooms can rack up quickly when its beyond one person staying there.
Here are my personal recommendations for things to do while visiting Maine:
In Southern Maine:
Visit Old Orchard Beach. This is a hot spot during the summer time as this area features a ton of great places to eat, arcades, Palace Playland (4 arcades plus many "fair"-like rides, and "The Pier"--which is hands down one of the hottest places to go out and enjoy the night life. Take a stroll on the beach as well and enjoy the expansive views.
Funtown/Splashtown and Aquaboggan:
Two great amusement parks in Saco within a close distance of each other. Funtown and Aquaboggan have more than meets the time in terms of diversity of rides and attractions. I can guarantee that people of all ages will have fun at both parks. However, I recommend that in order to avoid long lines, you visit both of these during the week. These parks are so great, not only are they packed with tourists on the weekends, but the locals never get tired of the great rides at fun town and the big waves at Aquaboggin. The one ride I recommend waiting in line for however long you have to is the Excaliber at Funtown, its the only wooden rollercoaster in Maine and it is the longest and steepest log flume ride in all of New England.
Antique stores/ flea-markets:
Taking a Sunday to scour some of the many antique stores and flamages in Southern Maine is well-worth it. You will find unbeatable bargains, and some of the most eclectic collections of interesting junk and fine collect than anywhere else on the new England map. To locate antique stores and flea-markets in the area, check the local newspapers, or take a drive and keep your eyes peeled!
Things to do in the Portland Area and beyond:
Take a trip to Scarborough downs and take in a spirited day of watching ( and bidding) on the oh-so popular horse harness racing.
Visit the Old port in Portland. The old port is the "inner city" part of Portland that stretches down to the coast line. Here you will find some of the more trendy and expensive places to eat, the best seafood markets, and a variety of small shops to check out. The old port also has one of the best bar scenes in New England.
Check out the Victoria Mansion for your dose of educational history. The mansion stands out in the middle of Portland and will immediately catch your eye once you are in the vicinity. The Mansion is enormous, well-preserved, and is highly noted for being one of the best home museums of the Victorian era.
Visit Springpoint harbor in South Portland ( one of the smaller, but still beautiful light houses in Maine) and Portland headlight ( the most famous of all the light houses) in Cape Elizabeth. Portland headlight is also a part of Fort Williams, another historical source of education as it is the only historic army base still standing in all of Maine.
Take a walk around Baxter Boulevard in Portland. Baxter Boulevard is a 4 mile path that wraps around the back cove. It's best to go on a day where there is a slight breeze, as it can get humid during the summer, or anything above a slight breeze can be very windy and chilly. You'll notice there are trees planted along the entire path... this isn't just for aesthetics, each tree is a tribute to World War I victims.
Drive a few miles North to experience shopping like you never have before. Freeport is the outlet Capital of New England, and also the home of L.L.Bean, which is quite the experience to visit, make sure you let the kids check out the trout pond on the first floor of L.L. Bean.
Other notable shopping areas include: The Kittery outlets, The old port, and the Maine Mall.
A trip to Maine is worth your while. You can have an active vacation and enjoy lots of attractions, while taking in your dose of education and supple scenery.
And last, but not least, my favorite, the Old Port Festival- The Old Port Festival occurs every year, usually rain or shine. This year the Old Port Festival is being held on June 1, 2008. The festival runs from 11am- 5pm. The Parade down Exchange Street starts at 11 am. The festival features 8 areas of different types of music, Maine foods, arts and crafts, art shows, and international foods. I HIGHLY recommend planning your vacation around this festival, it is hands down the biggest event of the year...and its FREE.
And remembah, don't forget to eat yah lobstah, its wicked good!
Old Port: is a tour mark you must hit!
Take a four mile walk around back cove--you'll love the view
Links to attractions
- Victoria Mansion, Portland Maine
Visit the historic Victoria Mansion in Portland, one of Maine's most famous sites to see.
- Funtown Splashtown USA
Find out more info on this great amusement park located in Saco, ME, get driving directions, buy passes online, and so on.
- Aquaboggin Water Park
Need to cool off? You'll be impressed with the amount of fun this highly equipped water park will provide. Check the site out for more info. You can also get directions and buy passes online.
- LL Bean
Here is L.L. Bean's website for those of you who don't get to visit the store, you can order online! Kidding, you should really visit, it's pretty cool.
- Portland Maine's website
For a more detailed guide on attractions in Portland, check this site out.
- Wiki: Portland, ME
You'll appreciate Portland more if you brush up on your history first!
Maine Office of Tourism
- More information to help plan your trip to maine
Best site for planning your trip to Maine. Great ideas on where to stay, what to eat, sites to see, and has up to date information on special events in Maine.