Maine has mountains, coastline to beat the band, and thick forests. Acadia National Park is downright majestic, Portland is a small but modern city, and the Midcoast has an assortment of artists, fishermen, and other eclectic residents. Around Wells and Ogunquit, the Rachel Carson Wildlife Refuge has about 9,000 acres where you can hike around looking at coastal marshes and migratory birds. Baxter State Park in the North is pretty wild, so watch out for moose, deer, and bears. The biggest attraction of this woodsy park is Mt. Katahdin, the northernmost point of the Appalachian Trail. Islesboro is a nice, short ferry ride over from the Camden area. Enjoy excellent views of Penobscot Bay, and watch seals and loons play.
Learn some history at the one active Shaker community in the country at Sabbathday Lake north of Portland. Tour their buildings or go into the Shaker Museum. In the mood for high culture? Visit the Portland Museum of Art, which has local glass; post-Impressionist works by Picasso, Monet, and Renoir; and classic Maine painters like Winslow Homer, Edward Hopper, and Andrew Wyeth. You can learn about titillating topics and view great scenery at the Wilhelm Reich Museum in Rangeley. Tour Reich’s mansion and learn about his work to document biological sexual energy in humans, which he called orgone energy, and take a nature walk around the premises topped by views from the top of the Orgone Energy Observatory.
Maine food isn’t just about lobster and chowdah. You can get epic Italian meals, selections from a James Beard award-winning chef trained in molecular gastronomy techniques, fries cooked in duck fat accompanied by truffle ketchup, and dishes with fresh heirloom tomatoes. Interesting combinations include yellowfin tuna with Maine clams, potato pierogi, and crispy prosciutto; or a meal of roasted vegetables on quinoa cakes, halibut with polenta, and chocolate souffl├®.
Have local seafood complemented by locally grown herbs, fruits, and vegetables in Kennebunkport, or Iberian-inspired seafood on Deer Isle, such as Portuguese codfish balls, pasta, or paella served with semi-sparkling vinho verde. Portland has simple yet delectable vegetarian food with Thai and pan-Asian influences: crispy spinach wontons, gingered mock ‘duck’ with shiitake mushrooms, and chocolate orange mousse pie. You can wake up to a veggie-tofu scramble in Bar Harbor. If you’re looking for nighttime fun there, have some great pizza and local beer while watching interesting movies. The more you drink, the better the films must seem.