I am a born and bred Maine-ah. I have lived here my whole life, I went to school here, I work here, I vacation here; It’s safe to say I love it here. When I go to other places I hear a broad range of responses when I tell people I am from Maine, it ranges from “Oh my God I love Maine, it’s so beautiful!” to “Maine? Isn’t that a part of Canada?”
Regardless, if you haven’t been to this wonderful state, you should come visit. We do have a love/hate relationship with our tourists due to the fact that our city streets and beaches get bombarded every single summer, but we promise we will be wicked nice to ya. If you have been already, come back. Because the following ten places are mine and my family’s top 10 recommendations for the best Maine experience:
- Catbird Creamery-Westbrook, ME: this place is my most prized secret and home to the most delicious and uniquely flavored homemade ice cream you will ever taste.
- Casco Bay Lines to Peaks Island Inn-Portland, ME: this is what my family calls a twofer (two for one). Take the Casco Bay Lines ferry across the bay to Peaks Island and have dinner at the Inn. You cannot have a true Maine experience without seeing the gorgeous Casco Bay, and the food at the Inn is amazing. I suggest the baked stuffed haddock if the chef is making it!
SEBAGO LAKE AREA
- Rattlesnake Mountain-Raymond, ME: this is a short and relatively easy hike with the absolute best view of Sebago Lake.
- The Fisherman’s Catch-Raymond, ME: head here for lobster rolls after your hike up Rattlesnake.
- The Songo River Queen-Naples, ME: this is a privately built replica of the famed Mississippi River Paddle Wheelers. It takes 1 to 2-hour cruises down the beautiful Long Lake. They serve food and drinks on board as well! I recommend going during July or August so you can take part in the sunset cruise from 7-9 pm. They have music, and it is a really fun boat party!
- Blueberry picking at Libby & Son U-Pick-Limerick, ME: I’m telling you, it really doesn’t get any more “Mainer” than picking your own blueberries. This pick-your-own farm is one of my absolute favorites, it has a beautiful view, huge and sweet blueberries, AND they have the best homemade blueberry donuts I have ever tasted. They literally melt in your mouth.
MIDCOAST MAINE AREA
- Camden, ME: The in between of Rockport and Boothbay that no one really sees, this is one the cutest small towns. If you are looking for a true small-town coastal Maine experience, complete with locally-owned shops, art galleries, hotels, inns, bed and breakfasts, and true New England delicacies, then this is where you want to be.
- Acadia National Park: Have you ever hiked a mountain with a view of the Maine coastline at the top? This is where the mountains meet the sea. Acadia has it all, beaches, trail walking, hiking, and mountain climbing. If there are any thrill seekers out there, I suggest trying the Beehive Trail . . . I did it with a friend two summers ago and I tell ya, it is not for the faint of heart.
CENTRAL-ISH MAINE AREA
- Mt. Katahdin-Millinocket, ME: For the serious hikers I suggest taking on this mountain. It is the highest mountain in Maine and takes about 8 hours to go up and back.
- Sunday River-Newry, ME: This is one of the most popular ski resorts in our state so if you are coming to Maine in the winter then this is your place to be. Head to the Foggy Goggle in between runs for a Bloody Mary or Mimosa.
I hope you will try out a few of these places on your next trip to the vacation state! It truly is “the way life should be.”