A trip to Maine has been high on my bucket list for years now. I’ve been dreaming of picturesque lighthouses, seaside coastal views, and quaint harbor towns. Oh, and of course diving into as much fresh seafood as I can get my hands on. During my stay in Maine, it was everything I imagined it would be, and more! If you’re wondering where to go in Maine, then look no further. Let’s dive into everything you need to know for a visit to Maine.
P.S. Maine is extremely dog friendly, so if you are considering bringing your fur-baby along for the trip, I’d recommend it. 🙂
The Ultimate on Where to Go in Maine
When to Visit Maine
Maine is a seasonal travel destination. Peak season is the summer months (May – August), while the fall is also extremely popular for the fall foliage. If you plan on traveling for the fall foliage, be sure to check out Maine’s official fall foliage website for updates. For the most part, the foliage is prime during the month of October, and dies off around the last week of October to the first week of November.
If planning a trip in the off-season, the benefit is prices are lower, however often times restaurants, shops, and hotels tend to close.
Getting to Maine
The Portland International Jetport is Maine’s primary airport. There is a second airport in Bangor, however it’s likely you’ll be flying into Portland.
Whether flying into Maine or driving, having a car is crucial. Public transport is limited, and you’ll really want a car to drive along those gorgeous Maine coasts.
Where to Go in Maine
Even if you’re only in Maine for the beaches or Acadia National Park, I would highly recommend spending at least half a day in Portland. For such a small town, this city is super impressive. I wasn’t sure what to expect, but I was definitely surprised by how much Portland has to offer.
I’m not going too in-depth, only because I wrote two other blog post on things to do in Portland, Maine.
Read more: The Ultimate Guide to Portland, Maine
Read more: 18 Things to Do in Portland, Maine
The Southern Coast Towns
South of Portland you’ll find the southern coast towns. Maine’s state slogan is “Vacationland”, and that reads most accurate along the southern coast. Here you’ll find picturesque coastal villages, resort towns, seaside cliffs, and sandy beaches. When you think of the southern coast, think quaint harbors towns with sandy beaches and fresh lobster. Yum!
The Main Towns to Stop at Are:
- Kittery – A long commercial strip mall. Come here for shopping!
- Yorks – York Village, York Harbor, York Beach, and Cape Neddick make up the Yorks
- Ogunquit – Known for its sandy beach and as Maine’s gay area
- Wells – Easy to miss, but Wells has a beach as well
- Kennebunkport – My personal favorite! Super charming, and also super touristy.
Kennebunkport was the only town I was able to explore. I had planned on hopping from town to town along the southern coast, but after seeing Kennebunkport, I decided to stay put. I spent one day here, and found it was plenty of time for me take in the sights.
Things to Do in Kennebunkport:
- The town: Wander around the main drag, Dock Square.
- Lighthouses: Maine is famous for it’s lighthouses, be sure to check out Goat Island Lighthouse.
- Shopping: There are so many shops! It’s best to just browse and explore. But I particularly loved Flaming Gourmet and Minka. There’s even an adorable little paper shop, Village Paperie, but it was closed during my visit.
- Food: Check out the Clam Shack or Pilot House for a good seaside meal.
- Coastal views: Drive along Ocean Avenue for coastal views (and jaw dropping mansions!) Fun fact: George Bush Sr. actually has a home along this road.
- Coffee: Great finds were Dock Square Coffee House and for a French flare, Mornings in Paris is super charming.
North of Portland you’ll find the mid-coast towns. Enjoy a scenic drive along Route 1 as you stumble upon these quaint villages. Each town is lovely and unique in their own right. My personal favorite was the small, yet extremely charming, Wiscasset. Freeport is by far the most popular, mostly due to the L.L. Bean flagship shop being located here.
The Main Towns to Stop at Are:
- Camden – Beautiful port and perfect for sailing
- Rockland – Quaint coastal town
- Wiscasset – Postcard-perfect seaside village (my favorite!)
- Bath – It was Halloween weekend during my visit and the streets were closed for trick or treaters. So precious!
- Brunswick – Bowdoin College is located here
- Freeport – Basically a shopping town with a cozy local feel
Freeport is the most built up (and touristy) of all the mid-coast towns. This is notably due to the fact that the popular outdoors company, L.L. Bean has their flagship store located here. I wanted to make a quick stop just to snap a photo of the store, but ended up staying a few hours. There’s a lot of local charm, as well as shopping here. If you want to shop, Freeport Village Station has popular outlet stores such as The North Face, J. Crew Factory, and Polo Ralph Lauren Factory Store.
Freeport Local Favorites:
- Wicked Whoopies – Come here for every flavor of whoopie pie you can think of! I personally got the maple, but I could have easily been swayed for the red velvet, peanut butter, pumpkin.
- Coastal Maine Popcorn Co. – Introducing all flavors of popcorn including pumpkin patch, orange cranberry, and apple pie a la mode!
- Rustic Arrow – I could have purchased everything in this shop! Lacking in boho fashion? This is where you need to be. Loved this adorable shop. 🙂
Acadia National Park
Acadia National Park is special because it just so happens to be the only national park in New England. Acadia has a little bit of everything. Whether you want to go on scenic drives, long hikes, romantic carriage rides, or you just want to stay in a charming Bar Harbor bed & breakfast, here you can do it all.
Coming next week: The Ultimate Guide to Acadia National Park
Going to Maine? Check out these popular posts:
- The Ultimate Guide to Portland, Maine
- 18 Things to Do in Portland, Maine
- Everything You Need to Know About Acadia National Park
Like this post? Pin it for later!
Where would you go in Maine? Love to know in the comments below!