There’s a reason why Maine’s called “Vacationland” and we’ve got plenty to show for it. Whether you’re in town for a few hours or a weekend trip, here’s a list of our Favorite Maine Summer Getaways:
1. Marshall Point Lighthouse
The iconic lighthouse that Forrest Gump ran to has become a frequented path from my house as well. Easily accessible by car the Marshall Point lighthouse grounds include grassy picnic areas and a beach that’s great for seaglass hunting.
2. Monhegan Island
Just 10 miles from Port Clyde this very small, rocky island is the most famous of Maine’s island communities. Even though it’s a year-round island for many, no vehicles and 17 miles of walking trails cross Monhegan Island and make for a peaceful yet active day or weekend trip. The towering cliffs we’ve heard are the tallest on the U.S. East Coast. For artists, birdwatchers or outdoor lovers, Monhegan is a great summer adventure. Don’t forget to check out the fairy houses in the forests!
3. Rockland’s Art Scene
Main Street is full of art galleries, shops, and award-winning restaurants. Every first Friday of every month is Rockland’s Artwalk where participating galleries in Rockland host receptions, great for downtown strolling! The Farnsworth Art Museum is also located in downtown Rockland, which offers some of the best collections of American Artists, as well as The Wyeth Center.
4. Midcoast Maine’s Farmer’s Markets
Between Rockland, Camden, and Belfast you’ll find some of Maine’s best foods and agricultural products harvested fresh and sold directly to you by local farmers. Check out meliving.com
Rockland: Harbor Park, Thursdays 9am – 12:30pm
Camden: Behind Knox Mill, Saturdays 9am – 12pm, Wednesdays 3:30 – 6pm
Belfast: Waterfall Arts, 256 High St., Fridays 9am – 1pm
5. Acadia National Park
The first National Park east of the Mississippi! Enjoy breathtaking views of Maine’s coastline by car, foot, bike or boat throughout Acadia. Explore the park’s scenic carriage road system on bike or hike through forests and mountains on 125 miles of historic hiking trails. There is also Sand Beach nestled between the shores of Mount Desert Island for those who just want to sit and relax. Our favorites: Door Mountain Trail for the rigorous route up Cadillac, Gorham Mountain Trail for its quick views of Sand Beach, Beech Hill (easy and fast view), Park Loop Drive, picnic on the rocks by Thunder Hole.
6. Camden Hills State Park – Camden, Maine
Enjoy beautiful views of Penobscot Bay and surrounding islands by either hiking or driving up Mt. Battie’s auto road. Connect to the Georges River Island Trails too for miles of hiking. We love the Ragged Mountain hike!
7. Hiking Mt. Katahdin – Piscataquis County
Located in Baxter State Park, Mt. Katahdin is not only Maine’s highest Mountain, but the very end of the Northbound Appalachian Trail. While it’s certainly a rigorous day that your body will remind of for days, during the trek up you will certainly feel transported to another continent. The views and landscape are breathtaking and the accomplishment so worth the aching knees. We like the Abol Trail up for its quick rewards.
8. Kokadjo Camps – Moosehead Lake Region
Located 17 miles east of Moosehead Lake, Roach Pond offers an even more secluded lake retreat with fantastic trout and salmon fishing. Marie and Fred Candelero own Kokadjo Camps where the pavement ends and Maine’s logging roads begin. Leave your cell phone behind and spend some time with nature.
9. Beauchamp Point
Drive or walk down the dirt road off Mechanic street in Rockport and enjoy beautiful harbor views and sit out on the big rocks listening to the peaceful noise of sailboat riggings.
10. Quarry Swimming – Vinalhaven Island
From these quarries, Granite rock was taken out to provide for major buildings on the east coast such as the base of the Brooklyn Bridge. There are two public quarries to swim in, Lawson’s Quarry and Booth Quarry – both providing a great summer cool down. Take your bike by ferry to the island for another kind of adventure too.