By Carissa Hickok
The Maine Coast is an ideal vacation spot year round and is perfect for nature lovers. If you want to truly enjoy the coast, make sure you plan to spend a week or two here as there are over 3,000 miles of coastline and plenty of attractions to keep you occupied.
The Southern Maine Coast Region is comprised of the first 30 miles of the coastline, including a number of small towns and a heavy majority of Maine’s sandy beaches. Kittery is the first town after you cross over the Piscatiqua River from New Hampshire to Maine. Here you will find a shopping outlet with over 120 stores offering steep discounts.
Portland is Maine’s largest urban area and a seacoast city, though it is still a small town. The city is full of things to do and places to eat. You can watch sidewalk performances, shop for antiques and local arts & crafts, enjoy a cold drink at a pub or brewery, and dance the night away at a nightclub. Take a boat from the Portland Harbor to a number of islands nearby that offer scenic hiking trails, beaches, and dining with view.
Portland is known as a hotspot for arts and food. Browse through a variety of museums, galleries, and theaters in the Arts District of Portland and when you get hungry, stop in one of the many delicious restaurants, choose from Mexican, Asian, Irish, Italian, pizza, fresh seafood, raw oyster bars, or mouthwatering lobsters. You also have the choice to dine by the water, in older brick and mortar buildings, or in a more modern setting. Don’t leave Portland without a visit to its many lighthouses. Portland Headlight, one of the oldest in the country, is located in Fort Williams Park. Ram Island Ledge, a conical granite tower, is located a few miles from shore. Spring Point Ledge is conveniently located on the Portland Harbor, but it requires walking on breakwater rocks to reach and it is not as tall as Rams Island Ledge.
Further up north on the coast of Maine, you will find Acadia National Park, the oldest national park east of the Mississippi River, located on Mount Desert Island. There, you will find the Cadillac Mountains, the highest point on the East Coast of the United States. Acadia varies in landscapes and beauty from rocky beaches, woodlands, and glaciers. Seabirds, moose, and bears are just a few of the animals that inhabit the park. Off the coast, you can catch whales. Inside, you can find biking and hiking trails, boating, fishing, horseback riding, swimming, and skiing, snowmobile, and skijoring during the winter. If hiking or climbing is too strenuous for you, you can take scenic drives throughout the park. The nearby town of Bar Harbor is a popular stop point for those heading in and out of the park. Bar Harbor has restaurants, shops, and lodges that attract even the rich and famous.
Maine has a lot of beauty – it’s worth visiting for the nature, food and great people!
Carissa enjoys traveling so much that she left the corporate world to work as a freelancer, which allows her to up and go on a regular basis. She lives with her dachshund, Daphne in central Florida.