Ah, yes, vacation. The very word brings a smile and thoughts of happy times with friends and family. Why not try a Maine vacation the next time around? This state has so much to offer that its nickname is actually “vacationland.” Maine is the land of the moose, of humpback whales leaping offshore, of countless fish-filled lakes and endless miles of trails to explore. Winter brings a blanket of snow and the chance to ski on world class runs, ice-skate on a frozen pond or even enjoy a bark-filled dogsled ride. Spring brings the snowmelt and challenging white water rapids to conquer, along with that first taste of Maine maple syrup. Take a Maine family vacation in summer and camp alongside a lake in a heavily forested state park or rent a vacation home near a beach fronting the Atlantic. In fall the forests become a riot of reds and golds, begging you to pull out that camera and capture a memory. E Travel Maine – Your Maine Vacation Connection makes it easy for you to get the inside scoop on Maine vacations, plus some great deals on lodging. Grab your favorite beverage, get comfortable and get ready to find out what Maine travel is all about.
Maine Vacation Regions
The first step in planning your Maine vacation is to find out which of Maine’s eight regions appeals to you. A handy and free map of Maine gets you started. The Maine Beaches, sometimes called the Southern Maine Coast, is a haven for beach lovers. Stretches of white sand reach from Old Orchard Beach to Kittery. Ogunquit is home to one of the top beaches in the United States. To the north and still on the coast is the Greater Portland & Casco Bay region. Visit Portland, Maine’s largest city, brimming with New England Charm and culture, or smaller towns such as Freeport or Brunswick.
Midcoast Maine is next, filled with seaside villages and home to a vintage fleet of windjammers ready to take you on a memorable cruise. At the very north-eastern tip of Maine is Downeast & Acadia, blessed with countless offshore islands, lighthouses, coastal towns and Acadia National Park. This is where you find Cadillac Mountain, the first bit of United States soil to welcome the sun each morning. As we follow the lazy curve of Maine’s coast we come to Aroostook County that shares a border with Canada and is home to more moose than people, a suitable Maine vacation for those wanting to get away from it all.
The Maine Highlands takes up the center of the state and is home to Baxter State Park and the city of Bangor, birthplace of author Stephen King. To the west is the finger-shaped Kennebec & Moose River Valleys region, hosting both the state capitol Augusta on the southern edge and countless lakes and rivers throughout. On the western edge of Maine, bordering New Hampshire is Maine’s Lakes & Mountains region, home to a large portion of the Appalachian Trail, Sebago Lake and the Rangeley Lakes recreation area.
Maine vacations are perfect for exploring the state’s picture-perfect state parks, immersing yourself into local history and enjoying old fashioned celebrations. Maine’s arts and entertainment scene includes symphony and ballet performances in metropolitan Portland, blue grass festivals in quiet, lakeside towns and Fourth of July celebrations that have changed little over the years. Venture out on your own to museums, historic lighthouses and forts or to a wildlife park and rescue center. Explore Acadian culture in Maine’s Voici the Valley. Discover what Theodore Roosevelt found so captivating at Campobello Island. Spend some quality time at one of Maine’s zoos, amusement parks or water parks. Shopaholics, you have not been forgotten. Take your pick of Maine antiques, visit a local art and craft gallery or Maine market or find bargains at one of the states outlet stores or malls. You might even find a ghost or two on one of Maine’s haunted history tours.
Spending time in the great outdoors is one of the advantages of a Maine vacation. No matter where you are in the state, star gazing requires no more effort than just looking up at the night sky. The Northern Forest Canoe Trail and the Allagash Wilderness Waterway are perfect for canoeing and kayaking trips, combined with a bit of Maine wilderness camping. You might even find a hidden swimming hole filled with water cascading down from a mountain waterfall. Do a bit of gold panning or rock hunting, or maybe take an ATV on a remote trail into Maine’s wilderness. Join the geocaching craze and look for buried treasure. The more adventuresome among you might want to do a bit of hot air ballooning, skydiving, whitewater rafting, surfing or SCUBA diving. Snow lovers, take to the slopes for alpine skiing, ski jumping and snowboarding. Go rock climbing in summer and ice climbing in winter at Baxter State Park or Acadia National Park. Book hunting or fishing trips with a Registered Maine Guide. Hike a bit of the famed Appalachian Trail.
Maine picnic areas are found throughout the state including along the Interstates, in city parks and on the coastal beaches. If you are spending your Maine family vacation on the coast, try a windjammer cruise, a whale watching excursion or a lighthouse tour. Take a bird-watching cruise along the coast in search of red-beaked Puffins and other birds. Play a round of golf within sight of the ocean on a course studded with hardwood trees. Maine’s hiking and walking trails give you the chance to stretch those legs in the great outdoors. Rent a bicycle and take to Maine’s back-roads, especially during leaf-peeping season. No matter what you do, keep your eye out for Maine’s most famous resident, the moose.
Maine Lodging & Campgrounds
Maine travel is made easy by insider information gathered by E Travel Maine, and that includes finding the perfect place to stay. Choose from full service hotels, quaint Maine bed and breakfast inns or housekeeping cottages that provide quiet, cozy retreats. For long-term stays you might consider a Maine timeshare resort or vacation rental home. Maine ski and golf resorts offer outdoor activities winter and summer. Maine’s country inns and lodges sometimes offer the chance to spend the night in a historic building. While you are on the road Maine motels and travel lodges provide overnight accommodations along the states highways. Remote Maine sporting camps, some reachable by float plane or boat, offer the chance to truly get away from it all. Campgrounds and RV parks, some in State Parks, make the perfect Maine family vacations, offering creature comforts combined with the chance to truly commune with nature.
Dining while on your Maine vacation is an enlightening experience. Visit Portland, Maine to sample the talents of five-star chefs in eateries with a water-view. Sampling Maine lobster and fresh seafood is a must, as are blueberries, which are used for everything from flakey crust pies to blueberry beer at one of Maine’s microbreweries. Visit one of Maine’s wineries, perhaps in an age old farmhouse and sample the nectar of the grape, and yes, the blueberry as well. Seasonal fresh food markets offer the chance to pick-up locally grown produce, Maple syrup, gourmet & specialty foods. Learn about some of the tasty wild edible plants in Maine. Check out the Foodie’s Guide to Maine to find out where you’ll find the special treat that tickles your fancy.
Travel and Transportation
Two major airports, Bangor International and Portland International Jetport and over 145 smaller facilities welcome you to Maine. Limousines, shuttles and taxis are ready to take you to cosmopolitan Portland, the capital Augusta or even on a private sightseeing tour. Or you may opt to begin your Maine vacation on a cruise ship, sailing along the coast snapping photos of scenic lighthouses or dancing dolphins and whales that find you equally interesting. Ports of call may include Rockland, Freeport and Belfast as well as other New England and Canadian destinations. Maine’s ferry system is another way to get out on the water and explore some of the state’s off-shore islands. AMTRAK provides train service direct from Boston and the Maine Eastern Railroad is a scenic coastal ride from Rockland to Brunswick. Driving is also a pleasure. Maine’s interstates offer eye-popping scenery, especially when the trees are wearing their fall colors. Rent an RV and take your vacation home with you, stopping when and where you please.
You may decide after your memorable Maine family vacation that having your own piece of paradise in the state might be a great idea. Buying a home in Maine is quite painless and there are a number of choices. Maine college towns offer the perks of urban living, combined with the natural beauty of the area. Maine retirement communities encourage an active lifestyle, in a variety of settings. Maine timeshare resorts offer vacation homes in a hotel like setting; some even offering onsite golf courses. And if you you ever need to sell timeshareyou shouldn’t have a problem considering all that Maine has to offer. If you’ve always wanted your own cabin in the woods, Maine log home kits & dealers can make that dream come true. Need someone to look after your home while you are away? Caretakers and other related property services are available. Find your home through one of the many Maine real estate brokers. You might even see something you like in a Maine for sale by owner property.
Thinking of tying the knot in the great state of Maine? Why not? Maine destination weddings add natural beauty and regional charm to your big day. The shoreline of a quiet lake or an age old church are just two of the Maine wedding venues awaiting you. The adventure begins with the wedding invitations and stationary created with the help of a Maine wedding photographer. A wedding planner can help you find the best jewelers, sort out your wedding transportation and find wedding flowers that are unique to the state. Maine wedding officiants offer traditional church services or ceremonies in the great outdoors. Local Maine musicians and DJs add class to your ceremony and let you rock the night away at your reception. Your specially selected Maine wedding videographer captures your special day. Before you know it, it’s time to cut your wedding cake and offer your beloved a sweet taste. Other wedding services are available for your Maine vacation celebration. Take a look at what E Travel Maine has to offer and start planning your special day.