This post is written in partnership with Expedia Canada. Writing, opinions, and an intense love for Maine, as always, are mine.
Maine. <3 Those of us who can’t get enough of Maine lovingly call it Vacationland. For most of us, Maine fills us with fond vacation memories of lobster, moose, always-chilly salt water, and adventure. Fortunately, I was able to spend 365 days exploring Maine and all the outdoor adventure it had to offer. I’m constantly dreaming of Maine and planning my escape back to Vacationland. In the meantime, please enjoy it for me.
Here are 5 reasons to put Maine at the top of your travel list.
1. HIKING – Maine offers every type of hiking. There’s something for everyone. I could go on and on (and on) with recommendations, but here’s 3 to get your planning started.
MODERATE: Acadia National Park – Cadillac Mountain (hike it, don’t drive it!), Gorham Mountain, and Beehive Trail (this one is incredibly exposed and super exciting!) – I’ve visited Acadia in the winter and the summer. While they’re certainly known for their summer hiking, I suggest you bundle up with some warm layers and check it out in the winter as well. The park was essentially empty and just as gorgeous.
DIFFICULT: Mount Katahdin in Baxter State Park – When I summited Katahdin, my friends and I hiked Abol to Hunt to Knife Edge and Back down to Abol campsite via Hunt and Park Tote Road. Saddle and Cathedral Trails via Chimney Pond Trail are, by far, the most popular trails.
2. CAMPING – From the ocean to the mountains, camping options in Maine are truly endless. And they’re all perfection. I camped quite a bit when I lived in Maine and never had a bad campsite, view, or neighbor. Here are a few camping areas I’d love to visit again.
Recompence Shore Campground on Wolfe’s Neck Farm – Freeport, ME – Not only did we have a perfect campsite with a beautiful view, but also we were in walking distance to the State Park for some hiking and kayaking adventures and could also hang with the farm animals on the premises. This wilderness surrounds Freeport, so it’s the perfect location for both adventure and small town charm. Quite the unique place!
Baxter State Park – Millinocket, ME – Baxter State Park has over 200,000 acres of wilderness and they do an incredible job to keep it that way. The park is quite strict with their rules but with that comes a nearly pristine wilderness area filled with hiking, camping, and wildlife viewing opportunities.
Cobscook Bay State Park – Edmunds, ME – Now here’s a Maine State Park that doesn’t get enough attention. Located in Edmunds, just outside of Lubec (the Easternmost part of the contiguous United States) it’s the perfect place for checking out the tides and enjoying the sunrises.
3. LOBSTER – Every type of lobster dish I encountered while in Maine was absolutely amazing. The state sure does pride itself on its excellent lobster, as it rightfully should, so definitely make sure to have a few lobster stops while you explore the state. You’ll know you’ve done lobster right because you will leave Maine at the end of your trip properly saying lobsta.
Red’s Eats – Wiscasset, ME – Perhaps the most well known shack to grab a lobster roll in Maine—it’s still worth the wait.
The Lobster Shack at Two Lights – Cape Elizabeth, ME – My favorite place to grab some seafood and a view, hands down.
Maine Lobster Festival – Rockland, ME – If you find yourself in Maine in late July/early August one year, grab yourself a ticket to the festival. You’ll feel like a true Mainer in no time.
4. SUNRISES – Not to say that Maine sunsets are blah, but man, the sunrises on the Maine coast are hands-down always worth the early wake up call. You sure have a lot of coast to choose from, so to narrow it down for, set your alarm for my 2 favorite places.
Lubec – As the easternmost part of the contiguous United States, you could watch the sunrise here over the Bay of Fundy and say you were the first to see it in the US.
Cadillac Mountain at Acadia National Park – While it’d be more awesome if you toss on a headlamp hike up Cadillac Mountain before viewing the sunrise, you can also simply hop in the car. Just get there early if you want a good spot to sit. You’ll, for sure, be up there with many other early birds!
5. WATER – Rivers, lakes, ponds, bays, and ocean. There sure is a lot of water in Maine. Salt water or fresh, bubbling or raging, there’s definitely a perfect fit for all to enjoy.
Sea Kayak – I highly suggest renting a sea kayak from one of the are hundreds of outfitters along the coast and exploring a calm bay, searching for puffins or seals, or heading out to one of Maine’s countless islands.
Sail – Find yourself a charter and head out into the ocean. You can even board an old schooner for a historical cruise. Head down to Old Port in Portland or Falmouth if you’re into sailing.
Whitewater Raft – For those who want a little more adrenaline, go north to Maine’s Kennebec, Penobscot and the Dead for some paddling and rapids. Choose the Kennebec for some calmer rapids or the Penobscot if you’re up for a challenge.
And now, more than ever, I’m missing Maine. The state should absolutely be on the top of every outdoorsy and adventure-loving traveler’s list. If I haven’t convinced you of this yet, check out My Maine (Bucket) List that I created when I moved to Maine for 65 more reasons. I’m sure that’ll help seal the deal.