Maine: A Travel Itinerary for Every Season by Maggie Coutts

Whatever you’re looking for in a travel destination, Maine has it. Each season in Maine presents a different opportunity; whether you like zipping down slopes or hiking up mountains, relaxing on a beach or cruising on a boat, Maine has a place for you. 

  1. 1. Summer

    With over 3,000 miles of coastline, there are plenty of coastal opportunities. The first place to visit is Scarborough. An ideal day would be spent at Old Orchard Beach. This beach spans seven miles and has plenty of shops for all tastes. If you go in the morning, make sure to eat lunch at Bill’s Pizza and snack on the famous crinkle cut Pier Fries. If you don’t like tourist filled areas, opt for Pine Point Beach or Scarborough Beach. At night, it is essential to get ice cream from the Dairy Corner in the middle of Scarborough. They serve over 75 Maine-made flavors.  

    On your way out of Scarborough, stop at Len Libby’s Chocolatier. Here you can visit Lenny, the world’s only life-size chocolate moose: he is made with 1,700 pounds of milk chocolate! Across the street is The Holy Donut, which houses homemade potato donuts in numerous flavors––the most popular is Maine Maple and Bacon. Your next stop should be the Freeport Outlets. It has over 80 stores, including the L.L.Bean Flagship store with the popular tourist attraction, a massive L.L.Bean boot. Inside, there are waterfalls and ponds filled with fish. The store also hosts delicious food from 1912 café. With the large expanse of stores, there is something for everyone. 

  2. 2. Fall

    If you choose to continue further up the coast, Bar Harbor is a crowd-pleaser. This drive skims along the coastline while boasting vivid colors. The most beautiful vantage points come around the beginning of October when the rolling hills turn red, yellow, and orange. The town of Bar Harbor itself embodies everything you could imagine in a small coastal town. The streets are packed with adorable stores and delicious restaurants. There are many parks within the town as well as trails alongside the water.

    If you’re in Bar Harbor, you might as well visit Acadia National Park, home to over 150 miles of trails! A favorite of the area is Precipice Trail––a thrilling trek where you climb up metal rungs and walk on sides of granite slabs. If you aren’t afraid of heights, the views are incredible. Finally, for those who are afraid of heights, the Ocean Path still offers beautiful views without the climb. This is an extremely popular area as it displays the famous Thunder Hole. If you continue past Thunder Hole, you can walk out on the rocks and view the beautiful coastline. 

  3. 3. Winter

    Maine Winters house some of the best snow in the country for skiers. The most iconic spot is Sugarloaf Mountain, dubbed the largest ski resort East of the Rockies. You can spend all day skiing the slopes, as long as you take a break at the peak to enjoy the views of Vermont, New Hampshire, Canada, and Mount Katahdin! Being just 4 hours from both Montreal and Boston, Sugarloaf is the perfect place for beginners and experts alike. If you are more advanced, the majority of trails are rated as black diamond or double black diamond. The most popular include Widowmaker and Flume. If you love to ski and have the Ikon pass, you can spend up to 5 days at Sugarloaf!

  4. 4. Spring

    April showers bring May flowers…so be certain to visit in May! The spring streets are filled with slush, but once the flowers bloom there’s nothing quite like it. When you visit, you have to take a trip to Orono, Maine, home of the University of Maine. Start your Saturday off with the Farmer’s Market on campus. This hosts plenty of locally grown foods, including blueberries and maple syrup! Once you finish, grab a coffee at Aroma Joe’s (I strongly suggest Perfect Pumpkin) and make your way to the garden on campus. This little spot offers short walking trails with beautifully budded flowers. For lunch, it is essential to go to the first ever Pat’s Pizza, which is a Maine staple. Finish your snacking off with a giant cookie from The Store Ampersand. This family-owned business boasts over 50 years of service. 

    A need-to-visit trail is the Orono Bog Walk. This destination is a 1-mile boardwalk loop where hikers can see fascinating plants and animals. The walk features a large array of environments on its way to the peat moss center of the Bog. The next town over is Bangor, where Bagel Central is the place to be. This long-time cafe in the middle of downtown creates delicious breakfast and lunch and is well known for its water bagels. For all of the horror fans, you can drive by the house of Stephen King, which usually hosts a wooden sculpture on the front lawn. 

Overall, Maine has plenty of draws, especially away from the typically tourist filled towns. Each season creates a new world to be seen––it is called Vacationland for a reason after all!