Destination New England
Vacations in Maine Are Like No Other!

New England Vacations Nubble Light

Maine - the best of all New England vacations! You know we have a saying about Maine - "the way life should be" - and it is that quality that keeps people flocking here each year.

The picturesque beauty of our coastline, ridiculous amounts of wide open spaces, top vacation destinations like the Southern Maine beaches, Greater Portland, the Casco Bay Islands, Acadia National Park and Bar Harbor make Maine a top pick when visiting New England.

Vacations here make an lasting imprint upon the hearts and souls of many - are you next?

New England vacations wells

New England vacations in Maine appeal to all sorts of travelers - out-doorsy types, beach bums, foodies, artists, families with children or couples looking for a romantic getaway.

What type are you?

There are as many unique vacation options as there are people visiting this great part of the U.S. - New England vacations offer an overwhelming number of choices. Getting clear on who you are and what you are looking for in a vacation will help you decide which direction to head in.

So, if you want to come to New England, vacations in Maine are a sure bet for fun and relaxation. Here are some things to consider as you plan your next vacation in Maine.

Getting to Maine

Portland Maine sign

The first thing to consider when planning New England vacations is how you are going to get there. If you already live in the northeast, most likely you will choose to drive. Maine is a fairly easy drive from all the New England states and even New York.

Here are some sample driving times to popular vacation destinations in Maine:

FROM Ogunquit Portland Camden Bar Harbor
Boston, MA 1.5 hr 2 hr 3.5 hr 5 hr
Providence, RI 2.25 hr 2.75 hr 4.5 hr 5.75 hr
Hartford, CT 3 hr 3.5 hr 5.25 hr 6.5 hr
Albany, NY 4.25 hr 4.75 hr 6.5 hr 8 hr
New York, NY 5.5 hr 6 hr 7.5 hr 9 hr
Burlington, VT 3.5 hr 4.25 hr 5.75 hr 7 hr
Concord, NH 1.5 hr 2 hr 3.5 hr 5 hr
Montreal Canada 5.5 hr 5.25 hr 6.5 hr 7.5 hr
Quebec Canada 5.75 hr 5.5 hr 5.5 hr 6.25 hr

The drive to Maine also allows you to stop along the way to explore some of the smaller towns that aren't likely your final destination but are worthy of checking out. Here are some tips about driving to Maine:

  • Weekends are the busiest times during the summer for getting into the state and out (especially at the Hampton New Hampshire toll booth). Allow for extra time Friday afternoons and Sundays.

  • Traffic is heavy in the coastal vacation areas all summer long. You'll find less crowds and traffic in the spring and fall.

  • While most wiLL hit I-95 at some point while traveling in Maine, it may be worth the extra time to venture off onto Rt. 1, which is closer to the coast. Rt. 1 will give you access to many coastal towns and allows for a slower pace, with lots of stops for sight seeing. If you've got the time, you may want to give this route a try.

  • Pedestrians have the right of way in Maine, and all drivers are expected to stop for people in crosswalks. You'll find many people in Maine will stop for those who are not in a crosswalk too. Just keep an eye out for cars in front of you that seem to be slowing down for no reason - they're probably letting a pedestrian go by!

Flying into the area instead of driving? You have a few different options. While there are airports in Maine, it might be cheaper to fly into Boston's Logan International Airport. The drive from Boston is rather quick, and if you'll be renting a car anyway, you might want to consider saving some money by flying into there.

Portland International Airport

If you want to be as close to your final destination as possible when you set foot off the plane (I don't blame you!), you might want to fly into Portland International Airport. There is also an airport in Bangor, as well as one near Bar Harbor but they are much smaller and are serviced by fewer airlines.

Maine Vacation Spots

One thing is for certain, Maine is a big state! Choosing where to spend your vacation may not be so easy. Let me help you figure it out.

First, let me ask you - are you a lake or ocean type of person? If you answered "lake", you'll want to stay inland around Western Maine. The Sebago and Rangeley lakes areas are beautiful and offer many recreational activities no matter what the season. Southern Maine (my neck of the woods!) offers some great lakes as well.

If the ocean is calling you, my top Maine vacation spots are the Southern Maine coast, the Greater Portland area, and Bar Harbor. Each of these areas would appeal to different types of people.

Kayaking Maine

If you are ready to tackle the great outdoors, I would suggest heading to the Bar Harbor and Acadia National Park area on Mt. Desert Island. This part of Maine offers unlimited opportunities to explore Maine's rugged coastline and majestic beauty. Certainly, this area draws countless visitors for New England vacations in Maine.

Hiking, biking, climbing, canoeing, kayaking, walking, sailing, deep sea fishing, whale watching, bird watching...are you getting the point? Perfect for active types who love communing with nature, Mt. Desert Island has it all.

Prefer to have a little more balance between city life and laid-back coastal town? Portland and it's surrounding communities might be just the right fit. The most populated city in Maine, Portland offers coastal charm, cultural activities, outstanding dining opportunities (my favorite!), exciting day trip possibilities to Maine's quaint island communities, shopping, nightlife and more.

Ogunquit Beach

Would the term "beach bum" more accurately describe you? If so, you just have to head for the white sand beaches of Maine's southern coast. Miles of sandy beaches, abundant local seafood, and shopping make for a relaxing vacation.

Kittery Maine outlets

Do you love to shop? If so, stay in southern part of the state - anywhere from Freeport, Maine down to Kittery. Freeport is home to the world famous L.L. Bean flagship store (that never closes, by the way), and tons of great outlet shops.

The Kittery Outlets boast 120 designer and brand name outlets for every age and interest. You can even hop over the border to shop in tax free Newington and Portsmouth, New Hampshire.

Aside from Maine's largest mall, The Maine Mall in South Portland, the Old Port Exchange near the Portland waterfront has interesting and unique shops to choose from. With over 200 independently owned store and boutiques, you could spend days discovering unique Maine treasures.

There are so many exciting and interesting things to see and do in Maine! New England vacations here are tough to beat. Are you excited yet? Let's keep going...

Maine Lodging Choices

So many possibilities...which is right for you? Vacation rentals in Maine could range from luxurious oceanfront homes and hotels to graciously appointed Bed and Breakfast Inns to rustic cottages or even a campsite at one of the many campgrounds in Maine.

Camping at the ocean in Maine

If you love the great outdoors, camping in Maine is the way to go. The fresh air, crackling camp fires, communing with nature, sleeping under the stars... Not only is camping economical, it is a whole lot of fun (if you enjoy "roughing it"!) If you have a big family like we do, you know it can be tough finding cheap family vacations. Camping with kids in Maine will be an experience your kids will be talking about to their kids years from now.

Maine Inn

If such rustic accommodations aren't your thing, maybe you'd rather check-in to one of the many hotels, Bed and Breakfast Inns, vacation home rentals, seaside cottages or resorts. Hotels in all price ranges can be found in all Maine vacation spots.

Ogunquit, Kennebunkport, Portland, Rockport, Camden and Bar Harbor have a myriad of well-loved B & B's to choose from if you are looking for the very personal character of this experience.

A Maine vacation resort with all the amenities you could ask for might be what you are seeking. The largest resorts can be found in Bar Harbor, Ogunquit, Rockland and some of the smaller communities surrounding Portland.

The Colony Kennebunkport

With so many New England vacations to choose from, why choose Maine? The stunning natural beauty, the laid back feel, the quaint coastal villages, the fine dining and more exciting activities than you could ask for.

New England vacations in Maine - the memories will last a lifetime...

Back to the Maine Vacation home page from New England Vacations - Maine

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