80 great fun things to do in Maine, indoors and outdoors attractions
Looking for great things to do in Maine? Look below for our suggestions for scenic drives, antique shopping, cruises, children's museums, horse racing, history trails, woods walks, and more great things to do on your vacation adventure. Please call ahead before visiting an attraction listed here to check on current dates and times of operation and other important information.
92 Bourne Lane
Ogunquit, ME, 03907
Make your Maine trip special with dinner at Jonathan's Ogunquit
Make your next trip to Maine's seacoast special with lunch or dinner at Jonathan's Ogunquit. Our menu offers both innovative dishes and long-time local specialties. Love seafood? We have boiled Maine lobster with drawn butter, seafood stuffed haddock, or seafood chowder with fresh scallops, shrimp, and lobster. Looking for something else? How about wild mushroom pappardelle, eggplant napoleon, or a hand-cut Black Angus steak? We strive to serve sustainable, local foods whenever reasonably possible. Check our website for the schedule, and plan for a show in our Listening Room. We've brought top regional and national acts to the area, including comedy great Paula Poundstone, jazz legends Tuck & Patti, and folk favorites Jonathan Edwards and Aztec Two-Step.
67 Atlantic Highway
Northport, ME, 04849
Stay and explore Mid-coast Maine
Mid-coast Maine is chock full of great things to do and places to explore. Settle in at Point Lookout for a quick escape or a vacation getaway. This 387 acre retreat, overlooking Penobscot Bay has plenty of activities including hiking trails, a private beach, a pond perfect for kayaking, an expansive fitness center plus well appointed, fully outfitted one, two or three-bedroom cabins. Cabins have living rooms, kitchens/kitchenettes, screened in porches with Adirondack Chairs and complimentary WIFI. Visit the organic farm, seasonally enjoy tennis, biking, snowshoeing, the indoor bowling center, have breakfast or lunch at the Copper Pine Café and visit all of the attractions nearby in Camden, Lincolnville and Belfast.
611 York Street
York Harbor, ME, 03911
Lots to see and do with this inn as your launchpad
Although you may never want to leave the cozy, elegant 1880s Inn at Tanglewood Hall, there is plenty to do once you leave your four-poster bed or your rocking chair on the wraparound veranda. Walk along the York Harbor Cliff Walk, watch lobster boats and sloops come in and out of the harbor. Catch a sunset over Nubble Lighthouse. Stroll along the streets of York Harbor village to York Harbor Beach. Or, enjoy the surf at Long Sands or Short Sands beaches. Need more ideas? Go whale watching, kayaking, hiking or biking. Or head farther afield (but not too far) to the Kittery Outlets; dine in foodie-centric Portsmouth, N.H.; visit Stonewall Kitchen; check out the lovely Maine coast towns of Ogunquit and Kennebunkport.
Saco, ME, 04072
Lots of fun for all the family, from rides to waterslides
Thrills galore are in store at Funtown Splashtown USA, the largest water and amusement park in Northern New England. Getting soaked has never been more fun for a kid than swooshing down the Amphitrite Challenge or Poseidon Plunge, while families can clamber about in the giant Splash Tube Slide or play together in the Pirates Paradise Aquaplay section. It’s an amusement park as well, with thrills as exciting as the Excalibur roller coaster or the 220-foot free-fall from way up on the Dragon’s Descent tower. Of course, things are safe for the little ones, whether strapped into their seats on the Frog Hopper. Fun for everyone is the name of the game here.
Sailing from Ports in Rockland and
Camden, ME, 04843
Windjammer cruises feature fun at sea for all ages, interests
The private owners and operators of the Maine Windjammer Association’s historic schooners want to provide cruise guests with a full slate of things to do, whether that means helping the crew ready the sails or sitting out on deck with a good book. So you can leap off the deck to go for a bay swim, help the cook with that night’s gourmet appetizers, row a small boat into a fishing village to explore, hike during a visit to Acadia National Park – or just sit by the wood stove and play backgammon with the kids or listen to stories told by lantern-light in the evening. Special cruises for photography buffs, lighthouse enthusiasts, yoga fans, kayakers, wine-lovers – and grandparents and grandkids! – are available.
On Birch Island in Attean Lake
Jackman, ME, 04945
An Island Retreat Offering Water Sports, Hikes, Shopping & Golf
Your stay at Attean Lake Lodge may be complicated by one difficult task: deciding among the entertaining activities beckoning to you. Since you’re on an island, playing on and in the water will come naturally at the many sandy beaches around the lake. Pick your choice of canoeing, kayaking or sailing – or how about a little of each? In June and September especially, bring your fishing license and match wits with the native brook trout, landlocked salmon and lake trout. Hikers enjoy the nearly 20 miles of trails we maintain, leading to ponds and mountaintops, with berry picking along the way. Other off-island adventures could include a white-water rafting trip, golfing, shopping or even a ride to Quebec City, just an hour away.
407 Main Street
Rockland, ME, 04841
A great way to explore coastal Maine, and beyond, while upgrading your photography skills
What a fun way to see spectacular sites at Maine’s coast & mountains – and improve your photography skills at the same time. With Coastal Maine Photo Tours, participants of all ages and all skill levels (and all types of cameras) are welcome. Trips include half-day photo walks, passing through quaint fishing villages, to one-day photo tours of Maine Gardens; Lighthouses and Lobsters; Vinalhaven Island (including a scenic ferry ride and exploration of the island’s rocky coastline and working harbor); Pemaquid Point Lighthouse at sunset; and a Great Schooner Race Photo Adventure where you can take pictures of the largest annual gathering of traditional schooners in America. There’s also a week-long foliage excursion in October in the mountains of western Maine. Tours are led by longtime local fine-art photographer Dee Peppe.
Driving You to Drink in Portland
Some observers of American life declare that the existence of a lot of craft breweries is a sign of a city’s soulfulness. In any case, the Maine Brew Bus
based at 111 Commercial Street in Portland
scheduled and private tours of breweries in Portland and southern Maine. The tours give you a behind-the-scenes look at Maine's craft breweries, distilleries, wineries, and more. Tours are led by knowledgeable guides and a non-drinking driver. All tours include a snack or meal and trivia games. New tour is Birds on Tap: a guided tour of bird watching and beer-sipping. 207-200-9111.
Art On the Seacoast
The Ogunquit Museum of American Art
on Shore Road in Ogunquit
has been called “The Most Beautiful Small Museum in the World,” and is home to an extensive collection of American art. The natural setting of the museum by itself is divine: The glass wall of the main gallery overlooks the coast and the ocean. The museum is surrounded by landscaped grounds, a reflecting pool, and sculpture gardens. Hours: Daily, May 1 to October 31. 207-646-4909.
Insider View of a Historic Lighthouse
Friends of the Wood Island Lighthouse
Offers tours to the lighthouse in July and August (weather permitting). This historic lighthouse, built in 1808, is a picturesque keeper's house connected to the stone tower. Wood Island is an uninhabited island at the mouth of the Saco River off the coast of Biddeford. Tours are Wednesdays, Fridays, and Saturdays, July 2-August 22, 2016. Reserve your tour on the lighthouse website and reserve your trip aboard the Lightrunner to traverse the mile from Biddeford Pool to the island. 207-200-4552.
Acadia Beauty Along a Loopy Drive
travels through Acadia National Park and the historic villages of Bar Harbor and Northeast Harbor on Mount Desert Island. Along this route, the rugged Maine coast and old-growth forests remain much as they were when the island was described by Samuel de Champlain in 1604. Connected to the mainland by a bridge, Mount Desert Island and Acadia National Park are among the most beautiful places in New England. Travelers can bike on miles of interconnected carriage roads. This byway follows Route 3 into Bar Harbor, then follows the park loop road thereafter. Visitors looking to avoid summer traffic can enjoy the Acadia Byway aboard the free Island Explorer buses
Starry Nights at Acadia
Spend a night under the stars at Acadia National Park
on Mount Desert Island
, and everything will come into perspective. The night sky is an endless source of entertainment and beauty, and the clear, dark Maine sky allows stargazers a breathtaking view of constellations. The Seawall Campground picnic area near Manset is an almost magically scenic stargazing spot: See the Milky Way and ocean meet. Discover the brightest stars in the sky, the "hidden" location of hundreds of black holes, and Messier 13, the famous faraway destination of a human attempt at intergalactic contact. Bring your best telescope, or get a rotating star map from the Acadia gift shop.
Go Wild in the Mountains
With a name that includes Seacoast Fun Park, Crazy Apes Adventure Trails and Zip Park
, and Snow Park, you know that this attraction, at 932 Roosevelt Trail in Windham, is for people who like vigorous play. Seacoast Fun Park offers lots of activities April through October, including the adrenaline-pumping Sky Swing and more. The Crazy Apes section has tree top trails where you can zip, climb, and trek through the trees. The zip lines tour is an exhilarating ride down some major zips. Snow tubing happens in winter. 207-892-5829
Meet a Wolf! Meet a Bear!!
is a home for wild animals. A basic visit involves a tour of about one hour with a knowledgeable guide. The preserve also offer special opportunities for personal animal encounters, private behind the scenes tours, group visits, photography, camping and more. You may be about to meet a wolf during daily socializing or exercising routines. (Reservations required.) Or, come and meet a black bear and make his or her day by bringing a favorite treat. 207-667-3244
Theater in the Trees
In 1936 a marvelous opera house was built on the site of an old deer run above the village of Harrison
. Constructed in the Adirondack style with near-perfect acoustics, the 300-seat theater was considered as fine as any on Broadway. The Deertrees Theatre & Cultural Center
at 156 Deertrees Road is a unique opera house that offers live music, comedy, professional theater, and special events from June to September. 207-583-6747
Paddle Wheeler Cruises Among the Mountains
The Songo River Queen II
is a replica of a Mississippi River stern paddle wheeler offering daily cruises from Long Lake in Naples. The Long Lake Cruise, departing from 841 Roosevelt Trail in Naples,
delights visitors with vast views of the Causeway, Mount Washington, Birch Point, Long Island, Arrowhead Point, Camp Takajo, Pine Island, and Pleasant Mountain, as well as beautiful waterfront properties. Public cruises run from Memorial Day through early October.
Plants Transformed into Artwork
Snug Harbor Farm,
open year-round at 87 Western Avenue in Kennebunk,
is a beauty of a place for sophisticated gardeners, with a special emphasis on topiaries and beautifully potted arrangements. The farm offers unique garden accessories and arrangements with a flavor of old European courtyards. There is always something unusual to find in the greenhouses or The Shop. The farm's topiaries are grown in handmade terra cotta vases and bowls and stone planters. Instruction is offered, along with special seasonal events, like the Haunted Barn at Halloween and classes at Christmas in wreath making and boxwood topiaries. Phone: 207-967-2414.
A cruise to visit the whales’ flapping grounds is almost de rigueur on a vacation in Bar Harbor and Acadia. The Bar Harbor Whale Watch Company
can get you on the water and into the whales’ neighborhood in a jiffy. It’s a fantastic view for people of all ages. the company also offers trips that focus on puffin and seal sightings, lobster fishing and lighthouses. All Maine, from the water. Phone: 207-288-9800.
Off, Off, Off the Beaten Path
If you love the outdoors, quiet, and little to no commerce, plan a day trip to Swan’s Island
, a half-hour ferry ride from Bass Harbor on Mount Desert Island. The island has three tiny villages, a very small population, and no amenities. Day visitors can enjoy walking or bicycling, swimming in a quarry, and exploring the rocky shore. Remote and restful.
Kennebunk Rail Trail Invites You to Use Your Legs
Get out and put those legs to use! The 6.5-mile Kennebec River Rail Trail
is one of Maine’s great outdoor attractions. The trail welcomes locals and visitors alike for walking, running, cycling, skateboarding, rollerblading, and dog walking. The trail parallels the existing rail bed along the Kennebec River, and stretches from Augusta Maine's Waterfront Park, through the towns of Hallowell and Farmingdale, to its conclusion in the city of Gardiner. Bring the entire family and explore the wonderful activities that Maine has to offer along the Kennebec River Rail Trail.
Heroes in Brick and Stone: Maine Lighthouses
The Maine Lighthouse Museum
at 1 Park Drive in Rockland
is a first-rate place to indulge your love with and fascination for lighthouses. If you are a shopper, and want to acquire lighthouse gifts and memorabilia (models and miniatures, replicas, clothing, gifts, art, toys, posters) this is your gold mine. The museum, which also includes the collection of the former Museum of Lighthouse History of Wells, has the largest collection of Fresnel lighthouse lenses and the most important landmark collection of lighthouse artifacts and Coast Guard memorabilia in the United States. Open year-round but hours vary by season. Call ahead for hours Phone: 207-594-3301.
River Rafting Can Be Wild and Wonderful
The Forks is best known as Maine’s mecca for whitewater rafting. Located where the Dead and Kennebec Rivers meet, it is the starting point for experiencing the heart stopping rolls and punches dealt by the state’s mightiest rivers. Numerous guiding companies are located in The Forks, and many have expanded their services to include guided ATV tours, mountain biking treks, rock climbing, and snowshoeing trips. The Forks is a year-round destination for hunters and anglers, but come winter, the snowmobilers arrive. With more than 100 miles of interconnected trails in the region, sledding becomes the preferred method of transportation once the snow begins to fall. The Forks Area Chamber of Commerce
can help you find all the resources you need. 207-663-2121.
Beacon for Mariners
Spring Point Ledge Lighthouse
off Fort Hill Road in South Portland has the distinction of being the only caisson-style lighthouse in America accessible by land and open for public tours. Constructed in the late 1800s on a dangerous ledge that is now covered by a breakwater, Spring Point Ledge Lighthouse marks the entrance to Portland Harbor. In 2015, the lighthouse will be open to the public 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Saturdays in June, weekends in July and August, all of Labor Day weekend, Saturdays in September, and Columbus Day weekend. Visitors must be at least 51 inches tall. Phone: 866-570-5703.
Track the Great Blue Heron to Scarborough Marsh
The Scarborough Marsh Audubon Center
at 92 Pine Point Road in Scarborough
is an endlessly interesting place to explore an ever-changing salt marsh and estuary. Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife manages the estuary, and provides all the information you need to explore the marsh on walking trails or by canoe (you can rent them). The center offers guided walks, canoe tours, exhibits, a nature trail, and a Maine Audubon Nature Store. Come see eye-to-eye with egrets, herons, glossy ibis and many stunning shorebirds. Open May to September. 207-883-5100
Explore the Island, Then Explore the Park
There is much beauty to see at Acadia Nation Park. A good way to start is to get an overview of the whole landscape by jumping aboard the Island Explorer
bus. This is not a tour – it is public transportation for the park and neighboring villages that runs from late May to Columbus Day. Take a bit of time to ride the bus with others going about their daily lives or on vacation. You’ll get a glimpse of what you may want to see more deeply, and know exactly how to get back there later. "A wonderful service. Best way to get around. Fun to ride," said a visitor from Texas. 207-667-5796
Dreamy Days on Arrowsic and Georgetown
Catch Route 127 off Route 1 just east of Bath for a delightful day excursion to the islands of Arrowsic and Georgetown. Arrowsic Island is tucked between the Sasanoa, Back, and Kennebec rivers; four lighthouses guard this jagged land mass along the toothy Midcoast coastline. The pretty island of Georgetown, just a bit further down Route 127, is a place to walk and watch wildlife in the Josephine Newman Wildlife Sanctuary
or to jump into the waves at Reid State Park
. The park includes Griffith Head, a rocky headland, where visitor can gaze out over Seguin Island, The Cuckolds, and Hendricks Head and their lighthouses. Pack a lunch or dinner for a day of unspoiled Maine outdoor beauty.
Comedy, Music, Gravity Defiance: 15-Year-Old Johnson Hall's Got It
Johnson Hall Performing Arts Center
presents a wide range of artist programs -- live music series, children’s events, outdoor performances in the park and more -- in the historic Johnson Hall Performing Arts building (1864) at 280 Water Street in downtown Gardiner
. The Hall – Maine’s oldest opera hall -- celebrated its 150th anniversary in 2016, a sign that it knows and serves its audience. 207-582-7144.
Boothbay Welcomes Fans of the Railroads
Boothbay Railway Village
on Wiscasset Road in Boothbay
has several exhibits, including a coal-fired steam train, antique fire trucks, and an antique automobile exhibit that includes Model T Fords, Stanley Steamers, and a Rolls Royce. The Village includes a restored 1847 Town Hall, the Spruce Point Chapel, and a historic fire house. The Village Green hosts many special events, like Antique Auto Days, Antique Tractor Pull, a craft fair, and holiday rides. Children love the 20-minute ride on Boothbay Central, a coal-fired narrow-gauge train. Open Memorial Day through mid-October. 207-633-4727.
Cozy Cabins Welcome You After a Day Outdoors
If you want to get outdoors and also want a nearby, warm, and cozy retreat, get in touch with Cochran Camps
on Cochran Lake in New Limerick
, 10 miles east of Houlton
. A rental cabin on the lake sleeps six people. Cochran is a quiet, secluded, lake with easy access to bird watching, hiking, swimming, canoeing, golfing, skiing, mountain climbing, biking, snowmobiling, ATV riding, hunting, fishing and other great outdoor activities. For evenings, it is just a short drive to a movie theater or shopping in Houlton. Cabins operate year-round. Phone: 207-532-7336
Flutter on Over to This Butterfly Garden
The Charlotte Rhoades Park & Butterfly Garden
at 191 Main Street in Southwest Harbor
on Mount Desert Island welcomes people to come and enjoy the butterflies and bring a picnic. It has been named Best Pocket Garden by the editors of Yankee Magazine, so you know you are in for a treat. A box at the entrance has brochures and other helpful material. From April to October, volunteers are on site Thursday mornings to describe the garden and butterfly activity. The path through the garden is four feet wide and the surface is compacted crushed rock, which is reasonably easy to navigate for a wheelchair user. No restrooms or drinking water at the garden. Open mid-Ma to mid-October, sunrise to sunset.
Antiques of Maine Life in an Antique Building
Steam Mill Antiques
at 155 West Bethel Road (US Route 2) in Bethel
is a country antique shop located in a large, 1820 farmhouse and barn. Come and find a wide range of antiques, collectibles, books, pictures, signs, toys, and other stuff. Anything that you could find in an antique shop you may find here! Our stock is always changing so it's always worth the time to browse the shop. DownEast Magazine has declared that Steam Mill Antiques is one of the 5 reasons to love Bethel. An honor! Open 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on weekends, year-round, and by chance or appointment on all other days and seasons. Send email to SteamMillAntiques@gmail.com to make an appointment or if you are traveling from a distance and want to check the hours of operation.
Short Trip to an Island Retreat
An island-based but not-too-remote day trip out of Portland is a trip to lovely Peaks Island
in Casco Bay, easily accessible via several daily trips (30-minutes long) on the Casco Bay Lines ferries
, based in Portland. The island is small, beautiful, and restful. You can rent bicycles cheaply for nearly-flat rides around the island; visit the GEM Island Artists
and the Umbrella Cover Museum (yes, that is: covers of umbrellas); visit the Eighth Maine Regiment Memorial
; go kayaking; dine on seafood; and simply enjoy the day.
A Maine Gift, With Staying Power
Do you want a gift for yourself or a friend that hollers “Maine!”? A&E Stoneworks
, a member of the “Maine Made" quality assurance program, is a wife-and-husband team that makes cool housewares from ROCK: black Maine slate, freshwater pearl granite & Maine beach stones. Items include cutting boards, ornaments, clocks, some other kitchen wares. The artworks are real Maine stuff: tough, natural, understated, beautiful. Find A&E Stoneworks at The Rock and Art Shop in Bangor, Bar Harbor and Ellsworth; Maine Gathering in Camden; Monkitree in Gardiner; Minka in Kennebunkport; and Lisa Marie's Made in Maine in Bath and Portland.
From Wines to Watches, All the Prices Are Fine
Stop, shop, and save before visiting Canada. At Duty Free Americas
at 4 Airport Road at I-95 in Houlton
, you can buy gifts for yourself and friends wide selection of fragrances, watches, gifts, jewelry and travel-related merchandise from the highest quality brand names, as well as items that typically incur significant duties and taxes, such as liquor and tobacco.
Botanical Garden of Many Surprises -- Open All Year!
People who love botanical gardens: we challenge you to a rival anywhere
to the Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens
in Boothbay Harbor
for its beauty, variety, and many cunning surprises. Open year round (!!), the gardens are awash with exceptional natural beauty, waterfalls, and incomparable stonework and sculpture. Miles of trails pass through woodlands and down to the waterfront. The Lerner Garden of the Five Senses features plants that appeal to the senses of taste, touch and smell as well as sight. A special children’s garden features themes derived from beloved children’s literature by Maine authors. Open daily, 9 a.m.-5 p.m., year-round. Phone: 207-633-4333.
Mount Apatite Park
is a free collecting site where children can search through rock piles scattered through the woods; Lord Hill Quarry within the White Mountain National Forest in Stoneham, another popular collecting site where visitors might find topaz, quartz and aquamarine crystals. Mount Apatite Park is owned and administered by the City of Auburn. It is open to the public, and no special permission to visit is required. The park does not fall short on things to do, offering areas to explore, walking trails and numerous rock formations. Further information, including a detailed map of the park and its trail system, is available from the Auburn Parks & Recreation Department 207-784-0191.
Compliments In Your Future
, at Dock Square and Ocean Avenue in Kennebunkport
, is located in a beautiful region that inspires artists of all persuasions. The store sells home decorating pieces, furniture, blow glass, jewelry, and lighting that are original, unique, often hand-made, and destined to become family heirloom pieces. A wonderful place to secure a memento from your Maine seacoast vacation. Open daily, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Phone: 207-967-2269.
Katahdin Woods and Waters National Monument
In August 2016, on the eve of the 100th anniversary of the national park system, President Obama created a new park, Katahdin Woods and Waters National Monument
, in northern Maine, near Millinocket
. The park is in the shadow of Mount Katahdin, and it occupies a wild landscape with spectacular views the mountain. Back-country adventurers can explore the rivers, woods, plant and animal life, and dark night skies. This is a monument with limited services; services will be added in coming years. The park has no welcome center at present. Find visitor information at the park’s website or by phone: 207-456-6001.
Old Orchard Beach = Classic Summer Fun
Old Orchard Beach
on Maine’s south coast could be a stage set for old-fashioned, on-the-loud-side summer beach fun. The social epicenter of the 7-mile long stretch of wide, sandy beach is the Palace Playland amusement park, an oceanfront playground since 1898. The streets of the town have a carnival atmosphere, with arcades, amusement rides, food, motels, gift shops, clubs and The Pier. Street dances and fireworks happen regularly. The beach itself has lifeguards in season and it is handicap-accessible. Surfing is allowed.
Boating to Dreamy Monhegan Island
sits on the tip of a St. George peninsula, jutting into Muscongus Bay, and it is the home of the Monhegan Boat Line
, making daily trips to enchanting, natural (and vehicle-free) Monhegan Island. The boat steams out of Port Clyde harbor, past Marshall Point lighthouse, porpoises, seabirds, and lobstermen at work and Seal Rock. The company also offers puffin and nature cruises
, a lighthouse cruise
, and sunset cruises
. Boats operate year-round, but schedules are seasonal. 207-372-8848.
Hop On. Eat Well. Drink Local.
Yes, we love the brilliant “Hop On” slogan. And it’s so true! Best Brew Tours
welcomes you to hop on to its flagship bus, BEER-1, from locations in York
, and Ogunquit
for a safe and carefree tasting tour of the establishments making and serving the best beer, spirits, and cider in southern Maine. Visit award winning establishments from Portsmouth to Portland. Tours include transportation, beer tasting, behind-the-scenes tours, tour guide and much more. Private tours available, too! 877-BREWSKI
Bring Your Best Game Here
Revive some old-fashioned entertainment that doesn’t rely on a power source, and has the benefit of bringing people together. Next time you are looking for indoor entertainment -- for people of any age – in South Portland
, Diversions Puzzles & Games
at 415 Philbrook Avenue. The store stocks new and classic games and high-quality puzzles for every age and interest. And,
it has lots and lots of open game days and nights, like family game times on Sundays, weekly board games on Thursdays, and more. Learn games like Wits & Wagers, Dixit or Qwirkle. Try Rush Hour or Scrambled States of America. Or stick with the classics, like chess, backgammon, checkers and cribbage. Staff members can teach you how to play one of our many demo games. Open daily. 207-773-0300
Love Vintage? Scratch That Itch
The Portland Flea-for-All
at 585 Congress Street in the Bayside neighborhood of Portland
is a marketplace offering vintage, antique and artisan goods ranging from classic jewelry to old records and much more in between. Whether or not you have a special item in mind, chances are you’ll find something at the Flea. The Flea has reaped lots of admiring chatter in collection and decorating circles for its broad scope and welcoming attitude. Got something to sell? Drop in! Open Fridays through Sundays. 207-370-7570.
Comfort & Adventure By Maine Huts & Trails
Maine Huts & Trails
, headquartered at 496 Main Street in Kingfield
, offers back country hut-to-hut adventures coupled with comfortable accommodations. All huts at Maine Huts & Trails offer shelter, meals, and activities like hiking, mountain biking, canoeing and kayaking, fishing, skiing, and snowshoeing. Each hut features shuttles to take gear from hut to hut. Maine Huts & Trails opened Stratton Brook Hut, its newest, in December 2012. Stratton Brook is the fourth of 12 planned back country huts and eco-lodges in Maine’s Western Mountains. This planned 180-mile connected hut-to-hut trail will be the longest groomed ski trail in America. Phone: 877-634-8824.
Carson Name Still Defends the Earth
The author whose seminal work, “Silent Spring,” launched the American environmental movement is the namesake for the Rachel Carson National Wildlife Refuge
, consisting of a patchwork of properties along 50 miles of coastline from Kittery
to Cape Elizabeth
, with a headquarters on Route 9 in Wells
. The refuge serves as protected region of valuable salt marshes and estuaries for migratory birds. Visitors are welcome to hike on the developed trails of the Refuge. is permitted in several rivers and creeks in the Refuge. Phone: 207-646-9226.
Eyes Above Portland
This is a place to bring a camera and a love of maritime history. Built in 1807 as a communications tower for Portland’s harbor, the Portland Observatory
is the last maritime signal tower in the United States. A National Historic Landmark, the Portland Observatory is the only remaining maritime signal station in the United States, and thus a unique architectural icon of maritime shipping and the Golden Age of Sail. Now, the Observatory operated as a museum and historic site, offering educational programs and guided tours. Open late May through early October, daily. 207-774-5561.
Coastal Images Though Winslow Homer's Eyes
The former home of Winslow Homer, the painter who created magnificent images of the Maine coast in the late 19th century, is open for guided tours as the Winslow Homer Studio
at Prouts Neck in Scarborough
. The studio is owned and managed by the Portland Museum of Art. Before or after your tour, be sure to stroll along the nearby cliff walk, as a way to enter the world and imagery that Homer so famously turned into painted art. Tours in the warm seasons, May 31 through mid-October. 207-775-6148
Charms of the Old Port
Portland’s Colonial maritime heritage and authentic 19th-century architecture make this vibrant downtown truly unique. Join guides of the Maine Historical Society for a comprehensive 90-minute tour
of the highlights of Portland’s history during a leisurely walk to the waterfront. The perfect way to orient visitors. Recommended for guests age 12 and older. Tours are offered on Thursdays, Fridays, and Saturdays at 10:30 a.m. and 1 p.m. Phone: 207-774-1822.
Take a Wide-Angle Lens
To provide an eagle’s-eye view of Maine’s Down East beauty, the state has provided a sky-high nest for visitors at the Penobscot Narrows Bridge and Observatory
. The 420-foot-high observation tower on this long-span suspension bridge offers breathtaking 360-degree views of Penobscot Bay and the Penobscot River, the Camden Hills, Mount Desert Island, and Mount Katahdin. The Observatory is open late May through late November, from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. For information call 207-469-7719.
No Fresher Oyster Anywhere
Do you enjoy a fresh oyster? We mean “fresh” as in – just pulled from the sea into the very boat in which you are sitting and eating it? Nonesuch Oysters
welcomes visitors aboard its workboat, Oys-Tour for a tasting tour of its underwater oyster farm, departing from 94King Street in Scarborough
. The boat tour starts at the oyster nursery in the Nonesuch River, where you can see the baby oysters feeding. At the next stop, you can help harvest the shuck the oysters, and then – eat! Bring your favorite pairing beverage. Enjoy the activities of bald eagles and harbor seals. Tours offered July through September.
Children’s Fun and Learning Zone
With seven interactive exhibit areas on three floors, Maine Discovery Museum
at 74 Main Street in downtown Bangor
is the largest children's museum north of Boston. Seven permanent exhibits invite children to explore nature, geography, children's literature, music, art, science and anatomy. Among the exhibits are: Nature Trails, to explore Maine's ecosystem along a 20-foot waterway; TradeWinds, a new exhibit about Maine's global connections to Brazil, Japan, and Italy; Booktown, a village where every doorway leads into the pages of a Maine children's literary classic; Sounds Abound, exploring the world of music in a sound studio; Artscape; Mission: Discovery; and Body Journey. Open year-round; closed on Mondays. Phone: 207-262-7200.
Bath Builds Big Ships
Would you like to see a warship taking shape before your eyes? From May to October, the Maine Maritime Museum
, at 243 Washington Street in Bath offers a trolley tour of the Bath Iron Works. This one-hour trolley tour takes you behind the gates of Bath Iron Works to see how modern U.S. Navy destroyers are built. The Navy's most modern warship - DDG 1000 Zumwalt-class guided missile destroyer - is taking shape and visitors in 2012 were among the first to see it being built. Advance reservations are strongly recommended. Tours in 2018 are June to early October. Check museum website for tour hours.
Hug a Goat; Eat Some Cheese
Midcoast Maine – that magical region of farms and fields and views – has a number cheese makers tucked among the towns of Appleton, Waldoboro, Whitefield, Union,
and Owls Head.
. The Midcoast Maine Cheese Trail
(with some wineries and vineyards added) guides you from one cheese producer to the next. Taste the handmade cheeses; enjoy the farming spirit. Check with farms on your itinerary for open days and hours. Makers include Appleton Creamery, East Forty Farm, Fuzzy Udder Creamery, ME Water Buffalo Co., Copper Tail Farm, Sweetgrass Vineyard and Farm, Breakwater Vineyards and Farm, and Savage Oakes Vineyard and Winery.