Last week I asked: Where should you go on a summer vacation?
Think Maine! People who visit Maine for the first time leave planning their next visit.
The choice of places to stay is many from backwoods camping to cozy inns to all-inclusive resorts.
Reserve accommodations early during high season.
1. Driving: There are a variety of designated by-ways. The Schoodic National Byway follows the shoreline marked with lighthouses, osprey and eagle nests, views of Cadillac Mountain, and winds it way through scenic seaside villages with quaint 18- and 19-century New England Architecture. There are also two other national byways, an All-American drive, and Maine Scenic Byways.
2. Acadia National Park: There are several parks but Acadia National Park is the most visited. The park protects the natural beauty of the highest rocky headlands along the Atlantic coastline of the United States. The area has several diverse habitats and offers a variety of activities.
3. Lighthouses: Lighthouse aficionados will think they found lighthouse paradise. There are 57 active ones in the state and nine inactive ones. The oldest one in Maine and one of the oldest in the United States is the Portland Head Lighthouse commissioned by George Washington. Owl’s head is listed as the number one haunted lighthouse in America. Each year the state hosts Maine Open Lighthouse Day, usually in September.
4. Sailing: Sailing in Maine is a must-do be it for a day or a week. There are a variety of sailing excursions, plus classes for all levels of expertize, and rentals but for the sail of a lifetime spend a week on an historic windjammer. Maine windjammers were once cargo schooners and are now National Landmarks that provide affordable, all-inclusive vacations.
5. Hiking: There is a plethora of hiking and backpacking trails but for bragging rights. “I hiked the Appalachian Trail” hike some of Maine’s 288 miles of the Appalachian Trail with sections that range from easy to difficult. The trail ends at Mount Katahdin. Maine’s portion is considered the Trail’s most challenging, rugged and wildest.
6. Historic: There are many historic landmarks in Maine besides the several sailing ships including quaint fishing towns, several forts, and the Norridgework Abenaki (Maine’s native inhabitants) archeological site. Visit Campobello where F.D. Roosevelt and family summered. It is now an International Park.
7. Art: The scenery of Maine has inspired generations of artists including Frederic Edwin Church, Thomas Cole, Georgia O’Keefe, and three generations of the Wyeth family. Travel Maine’s Art Museum trail that includes stops at nine art museums all within a day’s drive of one another. Visit Winslow Homer’s studio in Scarborough.
8. Shopping: Shop ‘til you drop at the many unique shops located in quaint villages offering everything from homemade Maine crafts to antiques. There are many discount stores including the famed LL Bean factory store in Freeport – The “Beaner” is open 24/7/365.
9. Food: Maine is best known for its lobster. Learn all about the “cockroach of the sea” on a lobster tour and then dine at one of the many local seaside restaurants ending the meal with a dessert made from wild Maine blueberries. Satisfy your sweet tooth with some salt water taffy.
10. Unique: Raft one of Maine’s roaring rivers; go on a moose safari; visit St. Anthony’s Greek Orthodox monastery. Check out the world’s only International Cryptozoology Museum displaying animals scientist deem made up such as Big Foot and Maine’s desert. Don’t miss the world’s only life-size chocolate moose at Len Libby’s Candies.
Travel Trivia Tease™: Where did Memorial Day start?
Look for the answer next week.
Sandra and her husband, John, have been exploring the world for decades, always on the lookout for something new and unique to experience. We have sailed down the Nile for a week on a felucca, stayed with the Pesch Indians in La Mosquitia, visited schools in a variety of countries, and — to add balance to our life — stayed at some of the most luxurious hotels in the world. Let the fun continue!