Are you considering a day trip or weekend away in Maine but are unsure what to do? Maybe you are looking to take a road trip to Maine and want some inspiration? We have the answers for you!
We know how stressful planning a trip can be, especially if you have never been to the area before. You don’t know what to expect, what you can do, and the fear of planning a terrible trip creeps in. The last thing you want to do is plan a trip for your friends or family and have it suck. Before you know it, that fear is ruling your life with no visible way out.
Well, no more! Today we are here with ideas for the 15 best Maine road trips! We have a range of day trips and weekend getaways to help you plan your perfect trip. To help you navigate them, we have divided them into day trips and weekend getaways; simply scroll down and find your next trip now!
Day Trips in Maine
Maine’s beautiful landscape is a fantastic place to take a road trip. There are lots you can do in this small area, such as the following day trips:
Acadia National Park
Acadia National Park is spread over 47,000 acres on Mount Desert Island. It’s covered in forest and rocky beaches making it a beautiful sight for a day trip. It’s a popular destination, drawing in over 3.5 million visitors! There are over 200 miles of trails that you can explore either by foot or by bike!
There’s also lots of beautiful wildlife for you to spot too, and even whale watching tours you can take part in! To learn more about this beautiful park, you can contact them on 207-288-3338. You can find them easily too by searching for the national park or Bar harbor. Be mindful that it can be quite busy with cars, so it’s worth setting off early to guarantee a space to park!
If you are looking to shop, then head to Freeport! There are hundreds of name-brand outlet stores for you to choose from and locally owned boutiques and unique retailers. It’s picturesque too, thanks to the 18th-century brick buildings. It’s a fantastic place to shop until you drop!
And if shopping doesn’t appeal to you, Freeport has plenty more to offer! There are historic farms, state parks, and sanctuaries that you can explore! There is plenty of beautiful scenery to explore in this coastal town, making it well worth a day trip!
If you have time, take a boat trip along the coast with one of the touring companies in Maine to see the sites. These are usually offered all year round, so you can head over to Freeport whenever you get the chance!
Height of the Land
For the best views and stunning photo opportunities, head over to Height of the Land. Situated just beside Route 17, you can overlook Rangeley Lakes and enjoy the glorious views!
These lakes have been listed as some of the best in Maine and well worth the trip! To make the most of the day, there are conservation lands across from the viewing point that are perfect for a short hike or walks. Trust us; this is a view you will want to enjoy with a picnic.
There’s plenty of parking available too, so you won’t need to worry. Why not get there for sunrise or sunset and appreciate outstanding views?
If exploring small towns is something you enjoy, then Damariscotta should be on your day trip list! It’s only twelve square miles, but it is packed full of sights for you to take in. It’s home to the first automated lighthouse in Maine and has several historical attractions to enjoy, such as:
- Thompson Icehouse
- Fort Edgecomb Historic High
- Fort William Henry
- Fort Frederick
- Colonial Pemaquid State Historic Site
There are also festivals you can enjoy if you time it right! Their festival of lights, oyster festival, ice harvest, and pumpkin festival are some of the best! Keep an eye out online for dates of these and take a day trip to enjoy them.
For those after beautiful scenery and outdoor activities, head over to Camden. You can enjoy pristine ocean views in an idyllic location, nestled between the hills on Penobscot Bay. It’s the ideal location for those that want a relaxing day away from the bustling city life.
Camden Hills State Park is worth visiting and has plenty of oceanside parks, hiking trails, and camping space if you wish to extend your day trip! You can spend your time fishing, sailing, and boating in the harbor with its clear blue water.
If you want to enjoy some local history, the Fort Knox Historic Site is located nearby Prospect. Go and enjoy your picture-perfect views and clear waters today; you won’t be sorry!
If you want a place you can visit all year round, then Bethel is the one for you! Whether you want to go skiing and snowshoeing in the winter or enjoy beaches and boats in the summer, Bethel has it all!
Its downtown area is within walking distance and is packed with locally-owned shops and restaurants. There is also a historic district which features two museums and walking tours of the village.
You can also mine for gems at outdoor businesses and learn about Bethel’s gems and minerals at their museum, which is fun for all the family! If you want to relax, there are two golf courses in Bethel, along with a casino and lots of events that happen throughout the year. The small town has a lot going on!
If you want to experience a city, head to Portland! The city is known for its many festivals throughout the year, allowing you to enjoy food, fashion, and fun in a vibrant city! You can expect to see a range of cultures and creativity on your day trip to Portland.
There’s also plenty of historical sites to visit, such as a range of museums and art galleries. If that doesn’t appeal to you, there is also plenty of performing arts, live music, shopping, and outdoor activities you can enjoy. We recommend looking to see when the next festival is before making the trip to Portland.
Weekend Getaways in Maine
If you want to make more of your time in Maine, then stay for a weekend getaway! There are plenty of fantastic places to stay all year round, but some of our favorites are listed below! Remember to check out hotels, B&Bs, and make use of comparison sites to ensure that you get the best price for your stay!
This valley is home to just 500 people, but during the winter months, the tourists pour in! If you are a fan of skiing or other winter sports, you will love Sugarloaf mountain as a weekend break. There’s plenty of childcare on offer, along with shows and ski activities to take part in! It’s an excellent place to spend a weekend as a family if you enjoy winter sports.
Be sure to check out Sugarloaf Mountain hotel or other hotels and B&Bs located near the mountain if you prefer. Most visitors rent summer houses if that appeals to you too, there is something to suit everyone’s tastes! There are also many fantastic restaurants in the area, such as Bag & Kettle, Gepetto’s, and Widowmaker Lounge.
If skiing isn’t for you, there is access to the Appalachian Trail nearby and other hiking or snowshoeing trails nearby. For an action-packed weekend, Carrabassett Valley is worth a visit.
Boothbay Harbor is a popular vacation destination and with good reason! There are plenty of shops, restaurants, and waterfront art galleries for you to explore during your stay! The harbor is known for excellent fishing and shipbuilding, having built naval vessels for the Second World War and the Korean war.
You can enjoy boating, tidal pools, caves, hiking, and botanical gardens during your stay, offering plenty of fun and entertainment for everyone! There’s a selection of hotels and B&Bs for you to choose from too.
We recommend paying a visit to the Boothbay Railway Village while you stay and board an authentic steam engine for an unforgettable experience!
It’s the gateway to Acadia National Park and Mount Desert Island and a fantastic place to stay! Bar Harbor is surrounded by ocean cliffs, lakes, valleys, and beaches made by glaciers thousands of years ago! It’s been painted by famous artists like Edwin Church and Thomas Cole and is well worth visiting!
Enjoy coastal walks and visits to Acadia National Park, or take part in hiking, cycling, water sports, rock climbing, and other outdoor activities. If that doesn’t appeal to you, you can enjoy shopping, fine restaurants, or vibrant nightlife! It’s busiest between June and August, with lots of summer homes rented out during this time.
With so much to offer, Bar Harbor is definitely worth the weekend trip.
Deer Isle and Stonington
John Steinbeck’s Travels with Charley put Deer Isle on the map, and it has stayed as a tourist hotspot ever since! The 1,000-foot Eggemoggin Reach suspension bridge is the only way to reach the island via car and is a fantastic experience. You will love driving over it!
There’s plenty of beaches and historic farmsteads for you to visit and enjoy. You can also make the most of hiking and wildlife viewing. Take advantage of a low tide and visit the Barred Island Preserve, too; you won’t be sorry! And when you are hungry, there are lots of fantastic locally-owned restaurants that will fill you up with tasty and fresh seafood.
This small coastal town offers beautiful beaches and quaint villages for you to explore during your weekend stay. The region is famous for being the generational summer home of President George Bush and his family! You can drive through town and see the mansions and countryside of Arundel, full of antique homesteads and farmhouses that have been family-owned for centuries; the whole place oozes history.
Make the most of sailing, whale watching, hiking, camping, and the beaches on your trip. Kennebunkport is a fantastic place to visit all year round. The foliage is stunning in the Autumn, or enjoy the Christmas prelude holiday celebration event that attracts visitors from all across the state.
Just seventeen minutes from Portland, Peaks Island is a fantastic place for a relaxing weekend away. It’s popular in the summer, with many people flocking to beach homes and waterfront properties. You can access the island by a ferry that frequently runs between Portland and Peak Island, so you can come and go as you please.
There are lots to do if you like cycling, walking, or kayaking. There’s also the Fifth Marine Museum which is worth visiting if you are interested in the Civil War and the island’s past. Think of this as more of a relaxing weekend break than an action-packed one.
This tourist town is busy in the summer months and is home to the second-largest lake in the world and the deepest in New England! Enjoy the crystal clear water in Sebago Lake that doesn’t need to be filtered before drinking!
Enjoy the range of beaches, golf courses, country clubs, and spas on offer here. Whether you want to relax, go fishing, boating, or play a full 18, there is plenty for you to do here! It’s worth taking a cruise on the Songo River Queen if possible; it’s a fantastic replica of the Mississippi River Paddle Wheelers.
Completing our list is the small fishing village of Cutler on Maine’s east coast. Here you can enjoy thousands of acres of peace and quiet! There’s plenty of public land for recreation and wildlife, which keeps the land and water in wonderful condition. Explore Cutler’s three nature preserves or venture to Machias Seal Island to enjoy the lighthouse and puffins!
You can even stay in the lighthouse if you wish on selected days! Boat and kayak tours are also available to enjoy the Cross Island National Wildlife Refuge. While it’s a beautiful place to enjoy a weekend away, it’s worth noting that the only stores are in the Cutler Naval base nearby. It might be worth doing your food shop before hitting the road!
And just like that, we have come to the end of our journey today! As you can see, there are plenty of fantastic options for day trips and weekend getaways in Maine! Whether you are after a small excursion or an action-packed weekend away, there is something to suit everyone!