Maine may best be known for its seafood, as well as its scenery, but there is so much more to the state. With nicknames such as Vacationland and The Pine Tree State, there is also a unique history to this New England state. At one point, Maine was part of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. It was not until 1820 when Maine chose to secede from the Commonwealth, that it was admitted into the Union in order to become the 23rd state. It is this interesting history that guarantees that there are a number of must see locations for travelers to visit. The following is a collection of 10 of the more interesting spots to visit in Maine.
One of the first places that needs to be mentioned as part of the list of places to explore is the Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens in Boothbay. The mission of this location is to not only preserve and protect the natural landscapes and botanical heritage of the Maine coast, but to also enhance it. This center is designed to offer opportunities to research and learn more about horticulture and botany. There are over 270 acres of shore-land that make up this interesting location.
Another location to visit for travelers is the Maine Heritage Village located in Wiscassett. This village is like taking a step back in time. There is a Country Store with over 3,000 square feet of shopping potential. Not only is there the store, but they also have a restaurant called the Lighthouse Diner. Visitors can also check out the brand new Classic Car Barn, historical exhibits and vintage furniture. There is even a visitors center that offers people the use of computers for free.
Of the 10 interesting spots to visit in Maine, one of the most fascinating may have to be the International Cryptozoology Museum in Portland. This is the only museum of its type in the world, which is dedicated the study of hidden animals. It is open six days per week (closed on Tuesday) from 11 to 3:30.
The Cranberry Isles in Maine is another stop on an excursion to the state. Five islands are approximately 30 minutes away from Mount Desert Island by ferry. Although only two of the islands are really available to the more casual of visitors, there is still enough on offer on both Great Cranberry and Little Cranberry to give people who make the trip something to look forward to. The islands offer a relaxing retreat for visitors. There is biking and hiking available, plus there are lighthouses, restaurants and more. On Great Cranberry, visitors have the Cranberry House with the historical museum, cafe and even a public trail. On Little Cranberry, there is pottery, artistry and another museum for exploration.
Eartha located in Yarmouth is the world’s largest rotating and revolving globe. The giant globe can be found at the DeLorme headquarters and is housed in a three-story glass atrium. This representation of the world has an attention to detail, that even offers the perfect tilt of the axis on the globe, to stay consistent with our planet.
The Desert of Maine is another must visit location for people traveling to the state. This natural phenomenon in the northeast, offers walking tours, sand designing, narrated coach tours, picnic areas, gift shops and even the 1783 Barn Museum. Children who visit can even go on a gemstone hunt.
For museum lovers, the Portland Museum of Art has over 17,000 works of art. These pieces come from some of the finest artists in both America and Europe. The museum offers a number of different events and exhibits throughout the year as well.
The Seashore Trolley Museum in Kennebunkport is another interesting spot to visit in the state. It was originally opened in 1939 and is considered to be the largest electric railway museum in the entire world. There are displays, exhibits and special events that occur on property. A visitor can even witness the restoration of a streetcar from the observation area of the restoration shop.
Another beautiful location to visit in Maine is the McLaughlin Garden & Homestead in South Paris. First planted in 1936, this garden has become one of the most beloved in the state. Visitors can witness the splendor of the gardens, plus the old barn and historic home on the property.
The final place to visit of the 10 is the Kittery Trading Post. In 1938, the trading post started as a one room spot for goods and gas. Now, there are over 90,000 square feet of shopping for travelers of U.S. Route 1. With three levels of goods, shoppers can find anything they may need for an outdoor excursion in the state and even some of the highest quality footwear and clothing.
Although these are only 10 of the interesting spots that can be found in Maine, these locations are some of the prime examples of what the state has to offer. There are also some unique experiences in the state such as blueberry festivals, a clam festival in Yarmouth, open farm day across the state and of course the Maine Lobster Fest.
By Kimberley Spinney
Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens – Our Story
Maine Heritage Village – Welcome Page
International Cryptozoology Museum – Museum Overview
Cranberry Isles – Home Page
Attractions of America – Maine Top 10 Attractions
Seashore Trolley Museum – About the Museum
McLaughlin Garden & Homestead – About Us
Great Maine Vacations – Kittery Trading Post Maine
Feature Photo Courtesy of Corey Templeton’s Flickr Page – Creative Commons License
Eartha Photo Courtesy of Paul VanDerWerf’s Flickr Page – Creative Commons License