Maine is known as the Vacationland State; that's the state motto and moniker on Maine license plates. Truly Maine is a vacationland throughout the year, with every season providing things to do and the unique splendor of nature's constant climate change. The way life shoud be, every day, every season. Read on to learn more about vacationing in Maine and click through our Maine Vacation Guide or Regional Campground Directory to discover popular vacation towns and activities that most appeal to you.
Coastal Maine Vacations
The Maine Coast is often a popular destination during the summer where many take a vacation along the seaside towns and villages, enjoying Maine's best beaches, and touring the Maine coastline. Others choose to take a weeklong vacation in one resort town to soak in everything to do in the area. Exploring the coast visiting several towns is a wonderful way to taste the diversity of Maine towns while crossing popular tourist attractions off your bucket list. Many of Maine's best vacation towns rest along the coast where you can boat charters, kayaks and tours offer a variety of coastal recreation.
Coastal towns in Maine are often quite unique from inland towns. Most towns on the coast of Maine are rather small with a friendly, slow-paced atmosphere, yet despite this fact, there are an astonishing amount of quiant boutique shops, bars and restaurants. When you're not taken by the outdoor recreation, you're likely spending your Maine vacation in the variety of dining options, browsing antique shops, chic boutique stores, chillin' at beachside bars, or enjoying fried clams and lobster rolls at food shacks. Don't think you'll be leaving your Maine vacation without a few funny Maine shirts, crafts or sea shell souvenirs.
When vacationing on the Maine coast, of course, the first thing that comes to mind is visiting the beach. Who wouldn't want to feel the sand in thier toes, the sun, play some leisurely games like bocce ball or Frisbee, take a walk to visit beachside shops and restaurants, and take a dip in the refreshing Atlantic waters? You can't go wrong at the beach for a family vacation. Of course, the beach especially draws in summer tourism, but throughout the year, you will find locals and vacationers walking the beach. Some even claim the wintertime is the best time to explore the beach when the ocean helps temper the cold and the summer vacation crowds are gone.
When vacationing in Maine, we recommend taking a boating excursion along the coast. If you do not often get a chance to get out on the ocean, then boating is surely an activity to entertain. Taking a boat tour of the Maine coast is not only a great way to relax and find pause, but you also to see the boundless beauty of the ocean greeting the land. Depending on where you spend your time on vacation in Maine, your coastal exploration can vary as the coastline hosts long stretches of sandy beaches often interrupted by rivers emptying fresh water into the ocean, lighthouses atop granite cliffs, islands outlying the coast, and bustling harbors. Take a kayak tour for a more intimate view of the coast paddling through hidden coves and inlets. Enjoy canoeing through beautiful salt marshes while the ocean tide is high. Take a weeklong trip on a windjammer vacation where you can awake every morning to the sun peeking over the sparkling Atlantic Ocean. A Maine vacation won't do without also taking a scenic tour like whale watching or fishing off the coast. The kids will also love to watch lobstermen haul in their catch on a lobster boat tour. There are plenty of marinas along the coast, where transients are also welcome for those spending vacation aboard their own boat.
Many prefer to venture inland, away from the coast, into Maine's numerous fresh water lakes and mountains regions. Maine's Western Lakes and Mountains region hosts vacationers year-round. In the winter, this region is well known as skiing and snowboarding destinations. Stretching north from Portland to Canada, the Kennebec and Moose River Valley offers much for a Maine vacation. Regions like Kennebec Moose River Valley, Maine's Highlands and The County are perfect for those seeking more simple pleasures for their Maine vacation. Within the vast forests, shimmering lakes and ponds, these regions offer much for a Maine vacation including camping and outdoor activities.
During the summertime, families and groups with young children seek lakefront campgrounds for a fun family vacation. Lake vacations offer much to do between swimming in the fresh waters, canoeing or kayaking to exploring the waters, waterskiing/wakeboarding or fishing. Both spring and fall draw vacationers to find peace and solitude, plus beautiful foliage, at lakeside vistas perfect for nature walks and hikes. The Belgrade Lakes, Sebago Lake Region and Moosehead Lake are among the many popular choices for a lakeside vacation destinations.
Western Maine is the place to be for a snowboard and ski vacation. New England is a well-known destination for skiers and snowboarders - many think of Vermont's Green Mouuntains and and NH"s White mountains for skiing, but Maine hosts the two of the biggest ski areas in the region: Sugarloaf and Sunday River. With the Appalachian Mountains passing through the entire length of the state, ending the AT Trail, Maine offers quite the diversity for skiing with big mountains challenging professionals as well as accommodating families with children. Smaller ski hills in Maine offer affordable ski days for young families just learning to ski, places like Camden Snow Bowl and Shawnee Peak for example. For avid skiers and snowboarders, an annual Maine vacation is a great choice with so many mountains to experience - you could do a ski week visiting Sunday River and Sugarloaf.
White Water Rafting Vacation
The Kennebec Moose River Valley region is THE place for white water rafting vacations. This region hosts a few of the best rivers for rafting including the Dead River and Kennebec River. There's also the Penobscot River in the Maine Highlands Region where you can gaze over at Mt Katahdin in the distance while floating along smooth waters of the river. In Maine, vacationers can find rivers with classes I-V rapids. Maine is ideal for a rafting vacation due to the fact that it is the only place in the Northeast capable of controlling the intensity of the rapids with dam releases, assuring rafters of a great rafting experience all season long. Rafting vacations can include lodging in riverside cabins and camping right by the water.
Thanks to snowmobile clubs efforts developing thousands of interconnected trail systems throughout Maine, this is the perfect place for an ATV or snowmobile vacation. Winter sledding can start as early as November in northern Maine and continue as late as April in a big snow year, so there's little excuse to miss out on snowmobiling for your Maine vacation. Once the snow melts, these same trails are open for ATVs. Both snowmobiling and ATVing are great ways to explore Maine's wilderness, and even those without their own vehicles can rent four wheelers or snowmobiles at their place of lodging. Snowmobile and ATV trails are most prevalent in the Maine's Highlands - Moosehead, Western Lakes and Mountains, Kennebec and Moose River Valley and Aroostook County that tend to draw more vacationers for their extensive trail networks.
Maine has among the highest populations of big game including black bear, whitetail deer and moose, which is why many will travel great distances for a Maine hunting vacation. While there are restrictions on certain game during particular months, required hunting licenses and a Maine moose lottery, hunting is open throughout the year, making hunting a good excuse to vacation in Maine any time.
We invite you to a true Maine vacation and to learn first hand why we say... Maine, the way life should be.