Celebrated as “the way life should be”, MAINE more than lives up to its unofficial motto. Filled with lobster shacks, dense forests, scenic lakes and seaside enclaves, the state offers ample opportunities for exploring, or for just lounging in Adirondack chairs and watching the leaves change colour – there’s a little something for everyone here. As large as the other five New England states combined, Maine has barely the year-round population of Rhode Island. In theory, therefore, there’s plenty of room for all the visitors who flood the state in summer; in practice, though, most people head straight for the extravagantly corrugated coast.

At the southern end of the coastline, the beach towns of Ogunquit and Old Orchard Beach quickly lead up to Maine’s most cosmopolitan city, Portland. The Mid-Coast, between Brunswick and Bucksport, is characterized by its craggy shores, windswept peninsulas and sheltered inlets, though the towns of Boothbay Harbor and Camden are certainly busy enough. Beyond the idyllic Blue Hill Peninsula, Down East Maine is home to Acadia National Park, the state’s most popular outdoor escape, in addition to the bustling summer retreat of Bar Harbor. Farther north, you’ll find foggy weather and exhilarating scenery, capped by the candy-striped lighthouse at Quoddy Head, the easternmost point in the United States.

Inland, you’ll really begin to appreciate the size and space of the state, where vast tracts of mountainous forest are dotted with lakes and barely pierced by roads. This region is ideal territory for hiking and canoeing, particularly in Baxter State Park, site of the northern terminus of the Appalachian Trail.

Maine’s climate is famously harsh. In winter, the state is covered in snow, and often ice, while even in what is officially summer temperatures don’t really start to rise until June or even July. This is Maine’s most popular season, its start heralded by sweet corn and the re-opening of lobster shacks, and its end marked by the wild blueberry harvest. Brilliant autumn colours begin to spread from the north in late September, when, unlike elsewhere in New England, off-season prices apply, and the cool weather is great for apple-picking, leaf gaping or simply curling up with a blanket and a book.

Book through Rough Guides’ trusted travel partners

USA features

The latest articles, galleries, quizzes and videos.

The many faces of changing Detroit: America's comeback city

The many faces of changing Detroit: America's comeback city

In 2013 Detroit became the largest city in American history to file for bankruptcy. But now the city is on the rebound: cool start-ups are filling once-neglec…

23 May 2018 • Jacqui Agate local_activity Special feature
A city in motion: why Detroit should be on your radar

A city in motion: why Detroit should be on your radar

Perhaps no city in history has fallen from such heady heights as Detroit. Through the earlier half of the twentieth century, the city bubbled with industry. Det…

22 May 2018 • Jacqui Agate insert_drive_file Article
King of the road: on the Civil Rights Trail through America’s south

King of the road: on the Civil Rights Trail through America’s south

This year marks 50 years since the assassination of Martin Luther King Jr, and also the launch of a new Civil Rights Trail through the USA's south – a r…

04 Apr 2018 • Ella Buchan local_activity Special feature
View more featureschevron_right

Privacy Preference Center

Necessary

Mandatory - can not be deselected. Necessary cookies help make a website usable by enabling basic functions like page navigation and access to secure areas of the website. The website cannot function properly without these cookies.

PHPSESSID,aelia_cs_selected_currency,cookie_notice_accepted,RS,bp-message,bp-message-type,id,UIDR,w3tc_logged_out,__cfduid
__cfduid

Statistics

Statistic cookies help website owners to understand how visitors interact with websites by collecting and reporting information anonymously.

__utma,__utmb,__utmc,__utmz,_ga,_gid,__atssc,__atuvc,__atuvs,di,dt,ssc,ssh,sshs,uid,uit,xt
__utma,__utmb,__utmc,__utmz,_ga,_gid
__atssc,__atuvc,__atuvs,di,dt,ssc,ssh,sshs,uid,uit,xtc

Marketing

Marketing cookies are used to track visitors across websites. The intention is to display ads that are relevant and engaging for the individual user and thereby more valuable for publishers and third party advertisers.

__gads,PISID, BEAT, CheckConnection TempCookie703, GALX, GAPS, GoogleAccountsLocale_session, HSID, LSID, LSOSID, NID, PREF, RMME, S, SAPISID, SID, SSID,__utmv, _twitter_sess, auth_token, auth_token_session, external_referer, guest_id, k, lang, original_referer, remember_checked, secure_session, twid, twll,c_user, datr, fr, highContrast, locale, lu, reg_ext_ref, reg_fb_gate, reg_fb_ref, s, wd, xs
__gads,PISID, BEAT, CheckConnection TempCookie703, GALX, GAPS, GoogleAccountsLocale_session, HSID, LSID, LSOSID, NID, PREF, RMME, S, SAPISID, SID, SSID
__utmv, _twitter_sess, auth_token, auth_token_session, external_referer, guest_id, k, lang, original_referer, remember_checked, secure_session, twid, twll
c_user, datr, fr, highContrast, locale, lu, reg_ext_ref, reg_fb_gate, reg_fb_ref, s, wd, xs