I pronounce r’s, don’t wear flannel, have all my teeth and eat things besides lobster and blueberries. So most people can’t tell I’m from Maine right off the bat. Here’s a typical conversation I have with people once they find out:
Them: “Wow, you’re from Maine? I’ve never been but would love to go; I hear it’s beautiful there.”
Me: “You should go! There are tons of great things to do there.”
Them: “Yeah, maybe I will. Wait, isn’t Maine a part of Canada?!”
There ARE tons of great things to do and see in my home state (and no, it isn’t a part of Canada. Brush up on your geography people!) These are some of my favorites; maybe they’ll inspire you to venture up north and experience it for yourself 🙂
Outdoors: Maine is great for people who like being outdoors year-round. In the winter, Sunday River and Sugarloaf are the two biggest ski resorts in the state and are for beginners and experienced skiers. Cross-country skiing is one of my favorite winter activities; it’s like running on skis – super awkward at first, but a great workout! In the summer, it’s all about going to the beach (ocean or lake), outdoor festivals and concerts, lobster bakes … and contrary to popular belief, it gets really hot in the summers! For one week every summer, my family rented a cabin in Rangeley, a small lake town in the middle of the state, which is a popular travel destination for Mainers (aka a lot of tourists don’t know about it).
Shopping: Freeport and Kittery are great for outlet shopping. Plus, the original L.L. Bean store is in Freeport, and going there is an activity in itself! You can take a picture with the massive boot sculpture, climb the rock wall, watch the trout swim in their indoor pond … it’s an adventurer’s paradise, and it’s open 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. The Old Port area in Portland is great for more upscale shopping. The cobblestone streets are lined with art galleries, clothing boutiques, book stores and coffee shops, including my new favorite one, Arabica Coffee House.
Adventure: L.L. Bean also has an Outdoor Discovery School that provides the guides and supplies for adventures including kayaking, skiing, snowshoeing, weekend trips … I haven’t done one yet but believe me, it’s on my to-do list 🙂 Acadia National Park and Baxter State Park are great spots for hiking, camping and enjoying natural sights. Baxter is also where I had my death-defying hiking trip this summer, and is a great spot for adventure seekers!
Dining and drinking: Portland is the best place to check out for good eats and fun nightlife; here are a few of my favorites:
- Una Wine Bar & Lounge. One of their drinks comes with an edible flower!
- Bull Feeny’s and Grittys , 2 pubs where I have mini high school reunions every time I go
- Foreplay for their cheap jello shots. Enough said.
- Fore Street. Swanky restaurant with delicious eats.
- The Grill Room, The Front Room and The Corner Room. This trio of restaurants are run by the same owner. I’ve been to The Grill & Front Rooms and highly recommend them.
- Grace. Want a little religion with your dinner? Located in what used to be the Chestnut Street Church, this is the new hot restaurant in Portland.
- O’Naturals. This is a natural and organic fast food restaurant – amazing! I used to work at the Falmouth location, and every time I’m home I MUST make a trip to this place. Seriously, the food is delicious, and there’s always a looong line.
Odds n ends: The Big Freeport Indian (or Big F***ing Indian 😉 ) is definitely a random site. It’s a massive statue of a native American that’s at least 3 stories high. It used to be a landmark for a store called Levinsky’s, which has changed into a wine bistro – good decision in my opinion 🙂 Right next door in Yarmouth is the World’s Largest Rotating Globe, which takes 18 min to rotate one time around. And apparently there’s a Paul Bunyan status somewhere in Bangor, which I’ve yet to discover!
So hopefully, you’ve seen something in this post that will inspire you to venture north and experience Maine for yourself. There are many adventures to be had in Vacationland!