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Top 10 Places in Maine to Visit
For our family vacation this year, we decided to travel to Maine. We had read about Acadia National Park and thought it would be a fun trip. What we did not realize is that there were some many things to do in Maine. We ended up spending less time at Acadia and more time along the southeastern coast of Maine. We could have easily have spent another week there and would have had plenty to do. Maine is a beautiful place to travel to. Let us look at 10 of the top places to visit in Maine.
Parks in Maine to Visit
Acadia National Park
Acadia National Park was the first national park established east of the Mississippi River. It is also the only national park in Maine. Most of the park is located on Mount Desert Island, which is about two-thirds of the way up the coast of Maine. It offers stunning views of Maine’s rugged coast. It is a very relaxing to sit on the rocks and listen to the waves crash against them. Cadillac Mountain is the highest point on the entire Atlantic coast at over 1,500 feet. This is a great place to go to watch sunrises and sunsets. If you like to hike, Acadia is the place for you. It has many different trails to hike, from carriage roads to trails that require climbing on iron rungs. Thanks to the Park Loop Road, you can drive through much of the park and see the main sights in as little as half a day, depending on how many stops that you make. If you like to hike or bike, you could easily spend a week exploring the carriage roads. If you have a chance, schedule a whale watch cruise in Bar Harbor.
Great Blu-ray of Acadia National Park
Baxter State Park
Baxter State Park is much larger than Acadia National Park. It is located in northwestern Maine. The Appalachian Trail ends at the top of Mt. Katahdin (5,267 feet), which is the highest peak in Maine. Four different trails lead to the top of Mt. Katahdin with varying difficulties. If you plan to climb one of these trails, be ready to start very early in the morning if you are not camping in the park. The parking lots fill up fast. Hiking to the summit is only permitted during the months of June through October due to the altitude of the mountain. Baxter State Park has many other trails to hike also. The park is full of wildlife, such as moose, black bears, white-tailed deer, and many smaller land animals.
Camden Hills State Park
Camden Hills State Park is located in east central Maine, along the Atlantic coast. It is much quieter than Acadia National Park. It boasts a rocky shoreline, wooded areas, and hills. The best view in the park is found on top of Mt. Battie, which looks across Penobscot Bay to the east and on a clear day, Mt. Katahdin to the northwest. Camden Hills has five major trailheads in the park. The park also has 100 campsites with full-service bathrooms and showers.
Cities to Visit in Maine
Portland is the largest city in Maine, located on Casco Bay. There are many things to do around Portland. The waterfront offers lobster boat rides, scenic cruises, walking trails, and ferries to take you to the island communities. There are also many wonderful places to eat, from pubs to seafood restaurants along the waterfront. Portland also offers unique shopping opportunities with many different boutiques and galleries.
Freeport offers the best shopping in Maine. It has over 200 upscale outlet stores along with being the home to the L.L. Bean flagship store. There is always something happening in Freeport whether it is concerts in the summer or festivals in the winter. Freeport is also home to the Desert of Maine. Made up of 40 acres of glacial silt, which is a substance like sand, it is not a true desert. It does receive ample precipitation and all vegetation is removed.
Kennebunkport is famous for being the summer home of President George H. W. Bush, who owns an estate at Walker’s Point. It is easy to see from Ocean Avenue and well worth a few pictures. Kennebunkport also has nice sand beaches that are a great place to hang out on a hot, summer day. The downtown area is full of quaint shops and tasty restaurants. There is freshly caught lobster served near the dock. It is well worth spending at least half a day here if not a whole day.
Kittery is located just inside the Maine border, across from Portsmouth, New Hampshire. It is known for the Kittery Outlets, which boasts over 120 stores. The Kittery Trading Post is probably the most famous shop in Kittery; it has three floors of shopping for the outdoor lover. Kittery is also home to the Portsmouth Naval Shipyard.
Lighthouses in Maine to Visit
Portland Head Light
The Portland Head Light is the oldest lighthouse in Maine. It was put into service in 1791 at the directive of President George Washington. It is located in Fort Williams Park in Cape Elizabeth, ME. The lighthouse stands 80 feet tall. The park is free to visit. If you wish to climb to the top of the lighthouse, there is a small fee.
Cape Neddick (Nubble) Lighthouse
Cape Neddick, also called Nubble, Lighthouse is located in York, Maine. It was built in 1879 on an island about a football field off the cape. There is a small park located on the mainland across from the lighthouse that offers free parking and a great place to relax and enjoy the view.
Lakes to Visit in Maine
Maine has many different lakes and rivers. Moosehead Lake is the largest lake in Maine. It is in the Longfellow Mountains in western Maine. The Kennebec River flows out of Moosehead Lake to the Atlantic Ocean. The lake is at an elevation of greater than 1,000 feet, making it the highest lake in the eastern U.S. This area is an outdoor person’s dream. It offers something for everyone from fishing, to moose safaris, to whitewater rafting, to snowmobiling in the winter.
My family and I enjoyed every minute of our vacation in Maine. We only wish we had another week to explore other parts of Maine. It is an extremely beautiful state with many different things to see and do. Now all that is left is to plan your vacation to Maine.