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Top Ten Destination Spots in Maine

Updated on August 12, 2015

Rockport Harbor in Rockport, ME.

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Maiden's Cliff

10. Camden

Settled around 1769 by James Richards, Camden Maine is where you will find the first home built built there. The Conway house was built in 1770 and is still standing today. Due to a fire in 1892, downtown Camden was rebuilt mostly with brick.

The surrounding beauty and the harbor became an attraction for tourist which led it to be a popular vacation spot. Camden Harbor is the perfect spot for avid boater but anyone can have a great time here whether it is soaking in the sun or taking a sightseeing cruise which will give you a closer look at Camden Lighthouse, Curtis Island Light and other lighthouses in the area.

Camden State Park is a great place to visit and offers great views of the area. There are more than thirty miles of hiking trails along with campgrounds and picnic areas as well.

Also located in Camden State Park is Mt Battie Tower which overlooks the lakes, hillsides, the harbor and Penobscot Bay which has been said to be the one of best cruising bays in the world.

Another attraction at this gorgeous park is Maidens Cliff. Maidens Cliff is 800 feet tall and overlooks Megunticook Owls Headlight which was built in 1826.

Downtown Camden is lined with boutiques, eateries and more. This historic section of Camden is full of 19th century architecture which gives it the quaint feel it is known for. Rockport is nearby and also offers a variety of attractions for everyone to enjoy.

A view of Camden from Mt Battie Tower

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Old Orchard Beach

9. Old Orchard Beach

Settled in 1657 by Thomas Rogers, Old Orchard Beach has been a tourist destination since 1631. The wooden pier located at Old Orchard Beach is a popular landmark and the Palace Playland is another great attraction visited by many.

Palace Playland is the only waterfront amusement park in Maine and offers fun for both children as well as adults. This 1902 amusement park has over 25 rides and attractions as well as food, shops and old time photos.

The wooden pier offers a variety of shops which are lined along the pier itself. There is a nightclub at the end of the pier.

Old Orchard Beach is full of its own shops, eateries and even golf courses. Canoeing and Kayaking is a popular recreation in this area and boats are available to rent if desired. Fishing trips with an experienced Captain are also available along with cruises on Portland Harbor to see the lighthouses at Two Lights State Park.

Old Orchard Beach Wooden Pier

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Jameston Tavern

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8. Freeport

Located in Maine, Freeport is a quaint town and was settled around 1700. It is close to or surrounded by several state parks which include; Wolf Neck Woods State Park, Bradbury Mountains State Park and Eagle Island State Park.

Between these parks there are many camping and hiking opportunities as well as the beautiful views of the flora and fauna in the area.

The Desert of Maine is an interesting place to visit. The desert is made of deposits that were left from a glacier that passed over it about 11,000 years ago. While visiting the desert you will have the opportunity to take tours, watch sand artists or make sand art yourself While visit the desert you can stop by and visit the historic William Tuttle Farm built in 1797.

The Butterfly Room is another attraction and there are campgrounds and a disc golf course as well.

A great place to dine while visiting Freeport is the 1779 Jameston Tavern. This historic cavern will give you the opportunity to dive into some Maine lobster among other New England cuisine.

The Desert of Maine

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7. Ogunquit

Ogunquit is a town in Maine and established in 1641. Located near the Ogunquit River and the Ogunquit Beach, Ogunquit is home to Perkins Cove which a popular tourist attraction due to its wooden drawbridge.

Marginal Way, A scenic cliff walk, ends at Perkins Cove.

Ogunquit gives you the opportunity to experience recreational activities such as deep sea fishing and whale watching along with golf courses and hiking trails.

There are also shops and great food to indulge in. Don’t forget to eat at the Lobster Shack.

Not far sits Nubble Light which is a lighthouse that was built in 1879 and still in use today.

If you are an art lover and are looking for great prices, Abacus is a great place to go. You will find paintings, jewelry, pottery and much more and the great thing about it is, its affordable.

The final thing to see is the Ogunquit Memorial Library. The gorgeous structure houses many old books including old dictionaries and more.

Nubble Lighthouse

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Wooden Draw Bridge at Perkins Cove

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6. Portland Headlight

Located on Cape Elizabeth, Portland Headlight was built in 1791 and the oldest lighthouse in Maine.This lighthouses construction was arranged by George Washington and built of rubble stone.

Portland Headlight was raised twenty feet during the Civil War and later was lowered twenty feet. Today it stands at eighty feet tall and is on the National Register of Historic Places.

Located on the shores of Fort William Park, Located on Cape Elizabeth, Fort William Park consists of Fort William along with other historical structures. One of these structures is Goddard Mansion which was housed by Colonel John Goddard and his family in the 1800's.

The Portland Headlight offers a museum which was the former keeper’s quarters.

There is a gift shop and areas for picnicking, hiking plus sports and recreation.

The historical structures combined with the Oceanside make this a popular tourist attraction.

Portland Headlight

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The Victoria House

5. Portland

Portland is the largest city in Maine and was settled in 1633. A great historical area to visit is the Old Portland District along with the Artist District.

Casco Bay is another great place to visit while in Portland Maine along with Portland Observatory.

The Portland Observatory, now used as a museum, was used in the 1800's to monitor the ships at sea to see what routes they are on. While visiting this museum you will be overwhelmed with the beauty below as you look from the observatory.

One of the historical homes in Portland is the Victoria Mansion which is also known as; the Morse-Libby House. This mansion was built around 1858-60 and 90% of the furniture in the home is original. Guided tours are available including the Wicked Walking Tour which would be fun around Halloween time.

Another historical structure is the Tate House Museum which was built in 1755 by the British Navy. The focus on this museum is preservation and education and there are tours on the hour.

Between the historical homes, gorgeous light houses and sandy beaches, Portland Maine will always keep you entertained while visiting.

Casco Bay

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Bar Harbor

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4. Bar Harbor

Located on Mt Desert Island, Bar Harbor is a popular town in Maine and was settled in 1763.

Cadillac Mountain is a popular hot spot in the area and is located in the Acadia National Park. Because of this, there are many hiking trails and camp areas to explore. While Visiting Acadia National Forest, make sure you bring your camera to capture all the beauty that will be around you.

If you want to witness The Nation’s First Sun Rise, the Israel Hopkins National Forest is the place to go. Bar Harbor also houses the 8th oldest golf course in the United States.

Other recreational or sporting activities are; whale watching, biking, kayaking and ice climbing.

Take the lighthouse and National Park Tour which includes five lighthouses. Learn about the history on this tour and get great views of the mansions.

Don't forget to take advantage of the recreational activities that Bar Harbor has to offer such as water sports and nature walks.

Cadillac Mountain

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The Blaine House

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3. Augusta

Settled in 1629 and the Capital of Maine, Augusta was first settled as a trading post on the Kennebec River.

A National Historic Landmark to see while visiting Maine is the Blaine House which was built in 1833 and has been used as the Governors House since 1919.

Another historic attraction is Fort Western which was an outpost use to promote settlement of the area. It is the oldest log fort in the United States and is on the National Register of Historic Places. Fort Western is now used as a museum and is open to the public.

The Maine State House is another landmark worth visiting. Built in 1832, this state house also house historical structures on the same grounds. These structures include; The Maine State Library, the Maine State Museum and The Maine State Archives.

If you want to see beauty while visiting Maine, there is no better place than Viles Arboretum and Botanical Gardens. Here you will not only see the flora and fauna but there are trails available to explore the trees, shrubs and many of Maine’s native trees.

The Maine State House

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What do you think of the Burnt Island Living Lighthouse?

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2. Burnt Island Living Lighthouse

The Burnt Island Living Lighthouse is located in Boothbay Harbor and the grounds house many restored buildings as well as the lighthouse.

The lighthouse, museum and historical structures all have interpreters who portray roles of people from the period of 1821, when the lighthouse was built. Some of the people portrayed are a family who once lived there.

There is a three hour tour which takes you on a trail teaching the history of the grounds and offers views of the flora and fauna as well. At the end of the tour you will have the opportunity to climb the winding stairs to the lantern room.

There are also picnic areas, places to fish or just soak in the sun on the beach.

The lighthouse is the second oldest standing lighthouse in Maine.

There are great cruise tours which will take you to the lighthouse and while on the cruise you will get the chance to see dolphins and other marine life.

Burnt Island Lighthouse

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Chimney Pond Campground at Baxter State Park

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1. Baxter State Park

Located in Millinocket Maine, Baxter State Park offers landscapes and nature to die for. This is definitely a place you want to bring your camera to. Capture the wildflowers and wildlife or even a pond or a lake.

Many lakes and ponds offer fishing opportunities and there are also swimming locations such as Ledge Falls. Ledge Falls is probably the most popular swimming spot in Baxter State Park.

Baxter State park also houses ten campgrounds, picnic areas with tall BBQ grates, hiking areas and places to boat on.

Bird watching is a popular pastime in Baxter State Park and is home to a variety of different native birds. There are black bear in the area however; they are seldom seen but it is important to keep trash cleaned up and food packed away.

Views of two of the tallest peaks in the area are Katahdin which is 5,268 feet tall and Cluster of Peaks. These are great rock climbing areas.

Katahdin Summit

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A road map to help you get around Maine

show route and directions
A markerCamden -
Camden, ME, USA
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B markerOld Orchard Beach -
Old Orchard Beach, ME, USA
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C markerFreeport -
Freeport, ME, USA
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D markerOgunquit -
Ogunquit, ME, USA
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E markerPortland Headlight -
Portland Head Light, 1000 Shore Road, Cape Elizabeth, ME 04107, USA
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F markerPortland -
Portland, ME, USA
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G markerBar Harbor -
Bar Harbor, ME, USA
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H markerAugusta -
Augusta, ME, USA
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I markerBoothbay Harbor/ Burnt Island Living Lighthouse -
Boothbay Harbor, ME, USA
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J markerBaxter State Park -
Baxter State Park, Maine, United States
get directions

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    • April Dawn Meyer profile image
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      April Dawn Meyer 4 years ago from Belle Fourche, South Dakota

      Thank for reading!! Maine is so beautiful :)

    • habeeb rehman profile image

      Habib ur Rehman 4 years ago from Karachi, Pakistan

      As I look through your hub, what actually captured my attention first is the multitude of things to see and do in the Maine that for sure will provide me with memories to last a lifetime. The Pic of Wooden Draw Bridge at Perkins Cove is really amazing. Look a small Travel Guide Booklet for tourist intend to travel Maine attractions.

    • April Dawn Meyer profile image
      Author

      April Dawn Meyer 4 years ago from Belle Fourche, South Dakota

      Thanks for the nice comment. I am glad that you like the hubs I write. Maine is so pretty :)

    • epbooks profile image

      Elizabeth Parker 4 years ago from Las Vegas, NV

      I love these informative hubs, especially for places I have never been, such as Maine. All of the places you've listed look great, but I'd love to see Katahdin Summit. Looks really nice. Thank you sharing this!