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What To Do On A Day Trip To Maine


by Annabella Shelton



Welcome to the beautiful state of Maine! With its stunning coastlines, charming coastal towns, and rich history, Maine offers a diverse range of experiences for visitors. Whether you’re a nature enthusiast, a history buff, a seafood lover, or an adventure seeker, Maine has something for everyone.


Maine is known as the “Pine Tree State” due to its vast forests, which cover more than 90% of the land area. This abundance of nature provides the perfect backdrop for outdoor activities such as hiking, kayaking, fishing, and wildlife spotting.


One of the main attractions of Maine is its picturesque coastal towns. From the famous Acadia National Park in Bar Harbor to the charming streets of Portland, each town has its own unique character and offers a glimpse into Maine’s maritime heritage. With their quaint shops, art galleries, and delicious seafood restaurants, these towns are a delight to explore.


No trip to Maine would be complete without visiting its iconic lighthouses. Standing tall along the rugged coastline, these beacons have guided ships for centuries and are a significant part of Maine’s maritime history. The head-turning beauty of Portland Head Light or the remote charm of Bass Harbor Light are just a couple of the many lighthouses that beckon visitors to admire their architectural marvels.


When it comes to cuisine, Maine is renowned for its fresh seafood. From lobster and clams to scallops and haddock, you’ll find a wide array of delectable options to satisfy your taste buds. Whether you choose to indulge in a traditional lobster bake or savor a bowl of creamy clam chowder, Maine’s seafood will leave you wanting more.


Aside from its natural beauty and culinary delights, Maine also boasts a rich history and vibrant culture. Discover the intriguing stories of Maine’s seafaring past at maritime museums, explore historical sites like Fort Knox, or immerse yourself in the state’s thriving arts scene. From traditional folk art to contemporary galleries, Maine’s art and culture scene has something to captivate every visitor.


Don’t forget to take some time to shop for local crafts and souvenirs. From handmade furniture and pottery to locally sourced honey and maple syrup, Maine offers a treasure trove of unique items that make for perfect mementos of your trip.


So, whether you’re planning a day trip or a longer getaway, Maine promises a memorable experience filled with natural beauty, coastal charm, delicious cuisine, and fascinating history. Get ready to immerse yourself in the magic of Maine and create unforgettable memories.


The Beauty of Maine

Maine, with its breathtaking landscapes and natural wonders, truly lives up to its reputation as a scenic paradise. From its majestic mountains to its picturesque coastline, the beauty of this state is awe-inspiring.


One of the highlights of Maine is its stunning coastline, stretching for over 3,400 miles along the Atlantic Ocean. The rugged cliffs, sandy beaches, and rocky shores create a dramatic and ever-changing landscape that will leave you in awe. Take a leisurely stroll along the beach, feel the cool ocean breeze on your face, and watch as waves crash against the shore. Whether you’re exploring the popular beaches of Old Orchard Beach or the hidden gems of Acadia National Park, you’ll be spellbound by the natural beauty that surrounds you.


Inland, Maine offers a different kind of beauty with its vast forests, sparkling lakes, and towering mountains. Mount Katahdin, located in Baxter State Park, is the highest peak in Maine and a popular destination for hikers and outdoor enthusiasts. As you ascend to the summit, you’ll be rewarded with panoramic views of the surrounding wilderness, showcasing the true grandeur of Maine’s natural landscape.


The fall season in Maine is particularly breathtaking, as the leaves transform into vibrant shades of red, orange, and gold. Take a scenic drive along the famous Acadia Byway or hike through the foliage-covered trails of Grafton Notch State Park to witness nature’s stunning display of colors.


Wildlife lovers will also find plenty to admire in Maine. The state is home to a diverse range of animals, including moose, bald eagles, puffins, and seals. Take a boat tour to spot whales off the coast or visit one of the many wildlife refuges and sanctuaries to observe these magnificent creatures in their natural habitat.


For those seeking adventure, Maine offers thrilling outdoor activities throughout the year. In the winter, you can hit the slopes for skiing or snowboarding at popular resorts like Sunday River or Sugarloaf. In the warmer months, you can hike the Appalachian Trail, go whitewater rafting on the Kennebec River, or embark on a kayaking adventure along the picturesque coastal islands.


Wherever you go in Maine, the beauty of the state will leave a lasting impression. Whether you find yourself mesmerized by the stunning sunsets over the ocean, immersed in the tranquility of a forest hike, or captivated by the abundant wildlife, you’ll quickly realize why Maine is often referred to as “Vacationland.” So, pack your camera, lace up your hiking boots, and get ready to embrace the unmatched beauty of Maine.


Exploring Coastal Towns

Maine is renowned for its charming coastal towns that exude a unique blend of maritime heritage, coastal beauty, and New England charm. Exploring these towns is like stepping back in time, with their quaint streets, historic buildings, and picturesque harbor views.


One of the most popular coastal towns in Maine is Bar Harbor, located on Mount Desert Island. This vibrant town is the gateway to Acadia National Park, and offers a multitude of attractions for visitors. Stroll along the bustling streets lined with boutique shops, art galleries, and restaurants, or relax at Shore Path and enjoy breathtaking views of the harbor and Porcupine Islands. Bar Harbor is also known for its delectable seafood, so be sure to indulge in a lobster roll or fresh oysters.


Another iconic coastal town is Portland, the largest city in Maine. With its thriving arts scene, award-winning restaurants, and vibrant waterfront, Portland offers a unique blend of urban sophistication and coastal charm. Explore the historic Old Port district, home to cobblestone streets, boutique shops, and a variety of dining options. Don’t miss a visit to the Portland Head Light, one of the most photographed lighthouses in the world, located just a short drive from downtown.


For a quieter and more laid-back experience, visit the town of Camden. Nestled between the mountains and the bay, Camden offers stunning views, charming architecture, and a relaxed coastal atmosphere. Take a leisurely stroll along the harbor, browse the local art galleries, and enjoy a meal at one of the waterfront restaurants. If you’re feeling adventurous, hike up to the top of Mount Battie in Camden Hills State Park for panoramic views of the surrounding area.


Kennebunkport is another coastal gem that shouldn’t be missed. This quaint town is famous for its beautiful beaches, historic homes, and vibrant downtown area. Take a scenic stroll along Dock Square, browse the unique shops and boutiques, and indulge in some delicious seafood at one of the local lobster shacks. Don’t forget to visit the Bush family’s summer estate, the Walker’s Point, which is open to the public during certain times of the year.


In addition to these well-known towns, there are countless other coastal gems waiting to be discovered in Maine. From the colorful fishing village of Boothbay Harbor to the charming island town of Stonington, each town offers its own distinct character and attractions.


Exploring coastal towns in Maine is not just about the sights, but also about immersing yourself in the local culture and experiencing the warm hospitality of the residents. So, take your time, wander off the beaten path, and discover the hidden treasures that await you in Maine’s coastal towns.


Visiting Lighthouses

Maine is synonymous with lighthouses, and no visit to the state would be complete without exploring these iconic beacons that dot the rugged coastline. Beyond their practical purpose of guiding ships, lighthouses hold a special allure, evoking a sense of nostalgia and maritime history.


One of the most famous lighthouses in Maine is the Portland Head Light. Located in Cape Elizabeth just outside of Portland, this historic lighthouse dates back to 1791 and is an impressive sight to behold. Explore the surrounding Fort Williams Park, which offers breathtaking views of the lighthouse against the backdrop of crashing waves. Don’t forget to bring your camera to capture the stunning beauty of this iconic landmark.


If you’re looking for a more remote lighthouse experience, head to Bass Harbor Light on Mount Desert Island. This picturesque lighthouse sits atop rugged cliffs and is the perfect spot to witness a breathtaking sunset. The views of the ocean and the nearby harbor are absolutely magnificent, and you’ll feel a sense of tranquility as you take in the natural beauty of this secluded location.


Another lighthouse that should be on your list is the Pemaquid Point Light in Bristol. This charming lighthouse, with its distinctive red and white tower, is set against a backdrop of rocky shores and crashing waves. Take a leisurely stroll along the grounds and explore the Pemaquid Point Park, where you can enjoy a picnic or simply soak in the serenity of the surroundings.


If you’re in the southern part of the state, make sure to visit the Nubble Light in York. This historic lighthouse, perched on a small rocky island just off the coast, is a true sight to behold. There are various viewpoints along the mainland where you can admire the lighthouse, including Sohier Park, which offers panoramic views of the ocean and the iconic Nubble Light.


While these are just a few examples, there are over 60 lighthouses scattered along the coast of Maine, each with its own unique story and charm. From the rugged allure of the West Quoddy Head Light in Lubec to the remote beauty of the Isle au Haut Light, there’s an abundance of lighthouses waiting to be discovered.


Visiting lighthouses in Maine not only provides a glimpse into the state’s maritime history but also offers an opportunity to appreciate the stunning coastal landscapes. Be sure to check the opening hours and accessibility of each lighthouse before you visit, as some may have limited access. So, embark on a lighthouse adventure and let the captivating charm of these historic beacons leave you with lasting memories.


Enjoying Outdoor Activities

Maine is an outdoor enthusiast’s dream, offering a wide range of activities that allow visitors to immerse themselves in the state’s stunning natural beauty. From hiking through majestic mountains to exploring tranquil lakes and rivers, there’s something for everyone to enjoy in the great outdoors of Maine.


One of the most popular outdoor activities in Maine is hiking. The state boasts several scenic trails, the most notable being a portion of the iconic Appalachian Trail. Lace up your hiking boots and hit the trails in places like Baxter State Park, Acadia National Park, or the Western Maine Mountains. Along the way, you’ll be treated to breathtaking vistas, lush forests, cascading waterfalls, and the opportunity to spot wildlife such as moose, deer, and elusive birds.


For those seeking water-based adventures, Maine’s vast network of lakes, rivers, and coastal waters provide ample opportunities for kayaking, canoeing, fishing, and boating. Explore the pristine waters of Moosehead Lake or take a leisurely paddle along the calm waters of the Allagash Wilderness Waterway. Cast your line into one of the many trout-filled rivers or head out to sea for a deep-sea fishing excursion. Whether you’re an experienced angler or a novice, the waters of Maine offer a bounty of opportunities to connect with nature.


In the winter months, Maine transforms into a winter wonderland, offering activities such as skiing, snowboarding, snowshoeing, and snowmobiling. Visit popular ski resorts like Sunday River, Sugarloaf, or Saddleback Mountain for thrilling downhill adventures. Strap on a pair of snowshoes and explore the tranquil beauty of Acadia National Park covered in a blanket of snow. For the adrenaline junkies, hop on a snowmobile and navigate the expansive network of trails that crisscross the state.


If you’re looking for a unique outdoor experience, consider camping in one of Maine’s picturesque state parks or campgrounds. Spend a night under the starry sky, surrounded by nature’s tranquility. Whether you prefer pitching a tent, parking an RV, or staying in a cozy cabin, camping in Maine allows you to disconnect from the hustle and bustle of everyday life and reconnect with the natural world.


Last but not least, wildlife enthusiasts will be delighted by the abundant opportunities for wildlife spotting in Maine. The state is home to unique and diverse wildlife, including the majestic moose, elusive black bears, playful seals, and a variety of bird species. Take a guided wildlife tour or venture out on your own to catch a glimpse of these incredible creatures in their natural habitats.


From hiking and water activities to winter adventures and wildlife encounters, Maine offers endless opportunities for outdoor enthusiasts to explore and appreciate the state’s natural wonders. So, pack your gear, embrace the spirit of adventure, and get ready to create lifelong memories in the stunning outdoor playground of Maine.


Indulging in Fresh Seafood

When it comes to fresh and delicious seafood, Maine is an absolute paradise. With its extensive coastline and rich fishing heritage, the state offers an abundance of mouthwatering options that will satisfy any seafood lover’s cravings.


Lobster is the ultimate star of the show in Maine’s seafood scene. Known for its sweet and tender meat, Maine lobster is a must-try delicacy. Whether you prefer a whole steamed lobster, a buttery lobster roll, or a hearty lobster bisque, you’ll find numerous restaurants and lobster shacks along the coast that serve up this iconic delicacy. Take a seat at a waterfront eatery, crack open some fresh lobster claws, and savor the flavors of the sea.


But lobster isn’t the only seafood delight in Maine. The state is also famous for its succulent clams, whether enjoyed as classic steamers or in creamy clam chowder. Dig into a plate of steamers, dipped in hot broth and melted butter, or warm up with a bowl of rich and creamy clam chowder, filled with tender clams and hearty potatoes.


Scallops, with their delicate texture and sweet flavor, are another highlight of Maine’s seafood offerings. Pan-seared or grilled, these gems from the sea are a true indulgence. Pair them with a refreshing citrus vinaigrette or enjoy them as the star ingredient in a seafood pasta dish.


For those who prefer white, flaky fish, Maine doesn’t disappoint. Haddock, cod, and halibut are all freshly caught and readily available. Sink your teeth into a perfectly battered fish and chips, or enjoy a grilled fillet topped with a flavorful sauce. The possibilities are endless when it comes to enjoying Maine’s fresh and delectable fish.


While lobster, clams, scallops, and fish may steal the spotlight, Maine’s seafood repertoire extends beyond these favorites. From shrimp and mussels to oysters and crab, the state offers a wide variety of seafood options to suit every palate.


Whether you opt for a fine-dining experience in one of the renowned seafood restaurants or choose a casual seafood shack with picnic tables by the water, you’re guaranteed to have a memorable seafood feast in Maine. Many establishments source their seafood locally, ensuring that you’re getting the freshest catch straight from the ocean to your plate.


No matter where you indulge in Maine’s seafood bounty, be prepared for a culinary adventure that will tantalize your taste buds and leave you craving for more. So, take advantage of the state’s coastal location and dive into the world of fresh and flavorful seafood that Maine has to offer.


Discovering Maine’s History and Culture

Maine’s rich history and vibrant culture are integral parts of its identity. From its Native American heritage to its colonial past and thriving arts scene, the state offers a captivating glimpse into the stories and traditions that have shaped its unique character.


One of the best ways to delve into Maine’s history is by visiting its museums and historical sites. The Maine State Museum in Augusta provides a comprehensive overview of the state’s past, from its Native American roots to its colonial and industrial eras. Explore exhibits showcasing Native American artifacts, learn about Maine’s logging and maritime industries, and uncover the stories of famous Mainers.


Step back in time by visiting historic sites such as Fort Knox in Prospect or the Wadsworth-Longfellow House in Portland. Fort Knox, built in the 19th century, offers a glimpse into Maine’s military history, with its well-preserved granite fortifications. The Wadsworth-Longfellow House, the childhood home of poet Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, allows visitors to immerse themselves in the literary and cultural legacy of the state.


Maine’s maritime history is also deeply intertwined with its culture. The Maine Maritime Museum in Bath celebrates the state’s seafaring heritage, showcasing exhibits on shipbuilding, fishing, and navigation. Explore the museum’s collections and step aboard historic vessels to gain a firsthand experience of Maine’s maritime past.


Art and culture thrive in Maine, with a vibrant arts scene that is deeply rooted in the state’s history. The Portland Museum of Art is a must-visit for art enthusiasts, housing a diverse collection of American and European artworks. From contemporary pieces to classical masterpieces, the museum offers a journey through different artistic periods and styles.


Music festivals, theater performances, and art festivals are held throughout the state year-round, showcasing the talents of local artists and performers. Whether you attend a classical symphony concert, a folk music festival, or a theater production, you’ll be immersed in the artistic spirit that permeates Maine’s culture.


Immerse yourself in Maine’s local traditions and festivals to truly appreciate the state’s cultural heritage. From lobster festivals and agricultural fairs to Native American powwows and maritime celebrations, there are countless opportunities to experience the traditions and customs that have been passed down through generations.


As you explore Maine’s history and culture, you’ll also discover the warm and welcoming nature of its residents. Engage in conversations, listen to local stories, and participate in community events to gain a deeper understanding of the people who call Maine home.


Maine’s history and culture are woven into every aspect of the state, from its charming coastal towns to its vibrant arts scene. By immersing yourself in the stories, traditions, and artistic expressions that define Maine, you’ll gain a greater appreciation for this remarkable state and its people.


Shopping for Local Crafts and Souvenirs

When visiting Maine, don’t forget to set aside some time to explore the local shops and markets, where you’ll find a treasure trove of unique crafts, gifts, and souvenirs. From handcrafted items to locally sourced products, shopping in Maine offers the chance to bring a piece of the state’s charm and creativity home with you.


One of the most popular items to look for in Maine is the beautiful and intricate craftsmanship of the state’s artisans. From handmade furniture and pottery to intricately woven textiles and hand-blown glass, you’ll find an array of exquisite creations that showcase the skills and talents of Maine’s craftsmen and women. Take the opportunity to browse through the local art galleries and studios, where you can witness the artists in action and purchase one-of-a-kind masterpieces.


For those with a sweet tooth, Maine offers a delectable selection of locally made treats. Indulge in the rich and creamy maple syrup, harvested from the state’s maple trees. Sample the mouthwatering chocolates, made with the finest ingredients and craftsmanship. And don’t miss out on the delicious honey products, sourced from local apiaries and produced with care and attention.


Maine’s coastal location makes it the ideal place to shop for seafood-related souvenirs. Look for items such as decorative lobster buoys, seashell crafts, nautical-themed jewelry, or hand-painted vintage lobster crates. These unique and charming pieces serve as reminders of Maine’s maritime heritage and make for memorable keepsakes.


Exploring Maine’s local farmers’ markets is another great way to discover fresh produce, locally made goods, and unique artisanal products. From freshly picked fruits and vegetables to handmade soaps, candles, and natural skincare products, you’ll find a wide variety of items that reflect the state’s commitment to sustainability and supporting local businesses.


Maine’s rich history and connection to nature also inspire a range of unique souvenirs. Look for items like hand-carved wooden ornaments depicting iconic lighthouses, jewelry made from sea glass collected along the shoreline, or vintage-inspired postcards and prints featuring Maine’s scenic landscapes. These mementos capture the essence of the state and make for meaningful reminders of your visit.


Shopping for local crafts and souvenirs in Maine not only allows you to acquire unique and beautiful items but also supports the local artisans and small businesses that contribute to the state’s vibrant culture and economy. So, take your time to explore the markets, boutiques, and galleries, and immerse yourself in the creativity and craftsmanship that make Maine’s shopping experience truly special.



Maine is a state that mesmerizes with its natural beauty, coastal charm, rich history, and vibrant culture. From the stunning coastline to the majestic mountains, this state offers a diverse range of experiences for visitors of all interests. Whether you’re exploring the charming coastal towns, marveling at the iconic lighthouses, indulging in fresh and delectable seafood, or immersing yourself in the state’s history and culture, Maine provides a captivating and enriching journey.


The beauty of Maine is nourishing to the soul, with its picturesque landscapes, rugged cliffs, and tranquil lakes. The outdoor activities available are boundless, from hiking through the forests to kayaking along the coastline or skiing down the pristine slopes in winter. Each season brings its own unique charm, whether it be the vibrant fall foliage, the delicate blossoms of spring, the sun-kissed beaches of summer, or the enchanting winter wonderland.


Maine’s seafood is a culinary delight, with the iconic lobster stealing the spotlight. From lobster rolls to clam chowder, Maine’s seafood options cater to every palate and offer a feast of flavors. And let’s not forget about the state’s rich history and culture, which can be experienced through its museums, historical sites, art galleries, festivals, and local traditions that have been lovingly preserved over time.


When it comes to shopping for souvenirs, Maine offers a delightful array of locally made crafts and unique products. From handcrafted works of art to delicious preserves and wholesome honey, there’s a wide range of items to choose from that embody the spirit and creativity of the state.


With its welcoming communities and warm hospitality, Maine invites visitors to embrace its natural wonders, immerse themselves in its fascinating history, and celebrate its vibrant culture. Whether you’re seeking adventure, relaxation, or cultural enrichment, Maine promises to exceed your expectations and create lasting memories.


So, pack your bags, explore the coastal towns, climb to the top of lighthouses, savor the flavors of fresh seafood, discover the stories of the past, and bring a piece of Maine home with you. Experience the magic of the Pine Tree State and create your own unforgettable journey amidst its incredible beauty and allure.