Maine Vacation Guide

Maine is the ideal place to see America off the beaten path. Although much of the state remains as pristine as a primeval forest, its quaint towns and villages offer a glimpse of modern New England life still connected to the past. In fact, a trip to Maine might be considered a dual experience as you explore the vast outdoors while seeing the rustic yet sophisticated country life that is unique to New England.

Geographically, culturally and historically, Maine offers travelers a bit of everything: from its acclaimed rocky coast to tranquil lakes and mountains, from the picturesque fishing villages to bustling outlet malls. Maine appeals to outdoor sports enthusiasts, artists, craftspeople and everyone who longs to break away from the mechanized routines of city and suburban life. Best of all, Maine is an easy flight or drive from New York City and just a two-hour drive from Boston.

Spring in Maine

Spring comes late to Maine, but it is an ideal time to explore the coastal villages and sample some of Maine’s legendary seafood, including soft-shell lobsters and razor clams. For visitors hoping to experience America’s legendary wide open spaces, Maine presents a paradox of unspoiled landscape and cultural villages. For many visitors, Maine evokes vivid images of 19th-century whalers, sea captains and shipbuilding. And for good reason. By the mid-19th century, Maine was the shipbuilding and sailing capital of the United States, as well as an international port of call. Monuments dating from that time can be found along the coastline in the form of old lighthouses and stately sea captains’ mansions now turned into bed & breakfast accommodations.

Summer in Maine

Summer in Maine provides the ultimate weather combination of sunny days and cool nights. You can spend your days swimming, hiking, biking, canoeing, whitewater rafting and shopping. Enjoy puffin watching and deep-sea fishing, tennis, challenging golf courses, street festivals and musical theater. Hundreds of fairs, festivals and crafts shows take place during the summer, while special days are devoted to some of Maine’s best-known foods: lobster, clams, blueberries and potatoes. Above all, summer in Maine is an idyllic place to relax and get away from it all, while rediscovering what taking a vacation truly means.

Autumn in Maine

Summer turns to fall as a refreshing chill creeps into the once-sultry evenings and the leaves along the roadside take on their first blush of reds and golds. By late September, when the seasonal transformation is all but complete, summer visitors are replaced by those seeking a different, more bracing type of vacation that is unique to Maine. Tour buses, RVs and cars from everywhere take to the back roads of Maine, where visitors revel in the incomparable spectacle of autumn colors. More and more these days, the four-wheeled leaf-peepers share the roads with the two-wheeled breed who travel the country on motorcycles and mountain bikes. Fall in Maine is also a backpacker’s paradise, offering a variety of natural splendor to satisfy the lightest of walkers to the most serious hikers.

Maine, richly endowed with jewel-like lakes, has long enjoyed an unparalleled reputation among fishing enthusiasts throughout the country. While September 30 marks the end of the trout and salmon fishing season, many southern Maine lakes stay open for warm-water angling — specifically bass, pickerel and perch — until the end of October. During November, the white-tailed deer leaps through the imagination of every hunter who yearns for the thrill of encountering this most beautiful and elusive game animal. Tradition governs the Maine hunting season. And no tradition is more satisfying than enjoying a hearty hunters breakfast at dawn in the jovial warmth of a Grange hall or church basement. The first snowfall is usually not far behind. Soon, a welcome blanket of white covers the barren land, softening its rough edges and muffling the scraping winds.

Winter in Maine

Winter in Maine features plenty of outdoor adventure and excitement. There are as many as 10 superb ski areas offering more than 360 downhill trails for alpine ski enthusiasts, while cross-country skiers will find hundreds of miles of trails on which to glide silently through snowy forests in the crisp, clean air. If you’re looking for something different, rent a toboggan or mush your way across Maine’s winter wonderland behind a dog sled and team. For a change of pace, journey through Maine’s 3,000 miles of interconnected snowmobiling trails or try your hand at ice fishing, ice skating or ice sailing.

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