This post may contain affiliate links, which means I’ll receive a commission if you purchase through my links, at no extra cost to you. Please read full disclosure for more information.
Sprawling forests, endless seafood… everybody knows vacationing in Maine! But what you don’t know is some of the intricacies, like what really makes Maine such an oasis of good times and good vibes. However, it can be hard to decide what the best places to visit in Maine are when you’re visiting!
The truth is that no two cities are the same! No beach identical to another, no restaurant. And with so much to enjoy, you’re going to need the highlights! Luckily this post was put together for travelers like you, so you can have the best trip possible.
Here are the best places to visit in Maine!
Best Places to Visit in Maine
Acadia National Park & Bar Harbor
It’s just not a trip to Maine without a hike! Preferably one with a coastal view! Acadia National Park is 47,000 acres of granite rock formations, luscious green forests, and the gentle green-blue lapping of waves on a scenic shore. Hike, bike, stroll to the edge, and get some views seldom seen elsewhere.
Once you get here, you won’t want to leave, not even for the night! This is why Acadia also offers overnight camping! Don’t just vacation away; vacation unplugged, and let the soothing sounds of nature balance you!
And for those whose weekend breaks usually include a lot more bathing suits and sunscreen: Bar Harbor is the place to be! This is the sun, sand, and fun! Bar Harbor is famous for being an absolute boating haven in the North.
It’s resting pretty on Mount Desert Island, just alongside Maine’s Frenchman Bay. It’s here where Sand Beach, the crown jewel of Bar Harbor, can be found. This is a sandy paradise where the gentle slopes of mountains nestle you into the best beach day yet!
FREE TRAVEL QUIZ
Where should you travel next?
Nestled on the coast of Maine is one of the top vacation destinations: Portland! But the one on the East coast! Portland, Maine, is a vivid, lively, and eccentric town bustling with seaside activity. It’s one of the must-visit coastal places to visit in Maine.
There are little local shops to dish out all the best in souvenirs and restaurants lining the animated streets. It is also a prominent hotspot for any and all history buffs! The West End is known mostly for its length of Victorian-era homes, all of which come with charming personalities and plenty of backstories.
If you’re here for a little northeastern education and fun, be sure to check out the Victoria Mansion museum while you’re there! Give history a new breath of life!
Kennebunkport is a charming seaside village in the south of Maine that’s popularly known for being one of the best day trips from Boston. It’s got long, winding beaches where travelers can find their own little slice of paradise. While Kennebunkport is far from being ‘hidden,’ it is most definitely a gem!
This is one of the best places in Maine to find a peaceful kind of beach day. Try Goose Rocks Beach or Arundel Beach to go where the current takes you!
And to truly experience Kennebunkport, a stop at the 1833 Goat Island Lighthouse is a necessity! Sitting proudly atop the rocky shores of Maine, this lighthouse has literally been a beacon to travelers for hundreds of years!
White Mountain National Forest
800,000 acres and counting! That means your entire trip can be made with a new trail explored every day. Lace-up those hiking boots and embrace the call of the wild!
The White Mountain National Forest is home to numerous animals, so be sure to bring binoculars and arrive early! Here you can find deer, eagles, falcons, lynxes, otters, bobcats, foxes, and so many more!
And if you really want to see all that the White Mountain National Forest has to offer, check out the campsite! Stay for a night, stay for the whole weekend… whatever you do, you’ll have the time of your life! It truly is one of the best places to visit in Maine.
For a hometown vibe, check out Ogunquit! This is a great place just to sit back and relax with all the small-town love needed to unwind.
Go museum perusing, enjoying American Art with a stunning backdrop of the Maine coastline. Or take a more hands-on approach, and rent a boat or book a trip to Perkins Cove.
What is great about Ogunquit is it is the perfect place to stroll! Plenty of artisanal eateries and unique shops around every corner.
And, of course, the best place to stroll: is Ogunquit Beach. Throw down a towel or bring out the volleyball; this is fun for the whole family!
Bangor, Maine, is known for many things. Casinos, museums, and some of the top historical sites! For example, The Stephen King House!
Found only in this little slice of heaven, fans from all across the world flock to see the secrets in the walls. This best-selling author found inspiration in this charming small Maine town, and you can too!
There is a muse everywhere, especially in a place as inspirational as this. Check out some of the bookstores in the area, go for a steaming cup of coffee, or simply enjoy the scenery! Bangor is all that you make of it. This is one of the best places in Maine you won’t want to miss out on.
If you want to go where the reviews are, York is the place for you! This town is famous for the highest luxurious stays in the best parts of Maine. There are long stretches of summer resort homes to be found in York for the weekend or much longer!
Memorial Day weekend, Fourth of July… every holiday worth sitting under the sun for is done best in York! There are four primary beaches in the area where locals, renters, and everyone in between can gather. The grass is definitely greener in York: with three state-of-the-art golf courses.
But if you want a little thrill with your R&R, check out some of York’s premier attractions! Such as the Nubble Lighthouse, a popular fishing spot with an absolutely gorgeous backdrop. Be sure to come here around sunset for a truly jaw-dropping picture.
Or take the family to the zoo! There are amusement rides, scheduled shows, and all the cutest critters in the area! And last but certainly not least is the famed Long Sands Beach. Everybody loves York!
For a trip packed with nonstop fun, check out Cape Elizabeth! This is one of the most beautiful places in the USA to enjoy yourself while embracing all the charms of an authentic Maine town.
Cape Elizabeth is actually considered a part of the Portland metropolitan area, meaning it is well within a drive to Portland. This is the perfect town to experience if your idea of an ideal vacation is one day spent in the city and rests in the calm.
Here you can enjoy Crescent Beach State Park, Casco Bay, Fort Williams Park, and so much more! Cape Elizabeth is the perfect place to bring your partner, friends, family, and everyone in between! It’s a charming little seaside town with all the comforts of a small town and all the thrill of a big city right next door.
Don’t forget to also stop by Beckett’s Castle, one of the best castles in Maine!
And not to mention: that view! Looking over the rocks as the vivid blue waves crash on them, with a lighthouse beaming in the distance. Truly, there is nothing quite like Cape Elizabeth!
As the capital of Maine, Augusta is well worth the trip! Augusta is primarily known for its unique and flattering aesthetic. A mix of old-world America and modernity.
Augusta is settled by the Kennebec River, with Old Fort Western on the banks. This is an 18th-century fort, beautifully preserved by the city and kept beautiful and alive. And that’s just the beginning of Augusta’s history!
There is so much to explore that even the museum can’t hold it all! The Maine State Museum is a bountiful explosion of knowledge and fun, tracing all of Maine’s history. But there’s always more to tell. Augusta is history in the making itself! If you’re a fan of history, this is one of the best places in Maine for you to visit.
Take your beachside paradise with a splash of history! Camden is a thriving city with so much to do in the realm of exploration. Maine is an incredibly beautiful state and features a wide number of hiking trails.
Camden is no exception and includes some of the greats like the Camden Hills State Park or Camden Harbor. But if your interests lie more in those who have walked in the city before, check out some of the historical landmarks this city is known for!
No trip is complete without looking at the 1830s lighthouse that sits right on the stunning East Coast shoreline. There are also numerous 19th century home tours and activities to be found all around!
Final Thoughts: Best Places to Visit in Maine
Stretching from all along the coast, Maine is a state filled with choices! Go for the bustling city center, or the quiet, serene small town. There are so many things to explore here in Maine that you might just need another go-around. Making Maine is the perfect state for your next family vacation!