8 Reasons to Fall in Love With Maine

I can’t stop thinking about Maine.

From the moment I stepped foot in the Pine Tree state, I was smitten, and I still can’t believe it took me so long to get there. I’d go so far as to say it’s my new favourite state — I loved it that much!

From hiking Acadia National Park to sunbathing beside Portland Head Lighthouse; eating every whoopie pie in sight to befriending bigfoot at the Cryptozoology Museum; cruising alongside hundreds of miles of spectacular coastline to snacking on blueberries: Maine ticked every single box for me when it comes to falling in love with a destination. I can’t wait to start writing about what a wonderful place it is.

Up first: a rundown of why, exactly, it captured my heart.

Acadia National Park Viewpoint

Acadia National Park is Everything

The highlight from my time in Maine was undoubtedly Acadia National Park.

Heading to a destination with sky-high expectations is usually a recipe for disappointment when it comes to me, but in Acadia, I was in awe of everything. The wealth of hiking trails, the beautiful beaches, the calm ocean, the towering mountains, the spectacular views from the summits of them. And to top it all off, we had a small amount of fall foliage reaching up through the sea of green.

Within minutes of arriving at our Airbnb, the owner was telling us that every guest who stays for just a couple of nights ends up wishing they’d booked for longer, to which Dave and I solemnly nodded, having already decided during the drive in that we should have given ourselves longer.

In fact, if the rest of our road trip hadn’t been booked solid, we would have thrown our plans to the wind and remained in Maine for the next two weeks.

As everyone could have predicted, our two days in the park were nowhere near enough, and we’re already talking about how we could spend several weeks just hiking the different trails upon our return. I have a huge post on Acadia National Park coming up next where I’ll be sharing all the juicy, beautiful details of our time in walking paradise.

Lobster roll in Maine

The Lobster, Obviously

I knew I wanted to live solely on two different dishes while road tripping through New England: lobster rolls and clam chowder.

And it’s time for a confession: I don’t think I’d ever actually tried lobster before arriving in New England! But luckily for me, I chose the best region of the world to tuck in to these tasty crustaceans, which is exactly what I did many, many times during our road trip.

Maine lobsters, in particular, are melt-in-your-mouth delicious, and inexpensive, too. They’re fresh, tender, buttery, and, if you eat seafood, something you need to add to your food bucket list. SO GOOD. My greatest regret from our time in Maine was not having some at least once a day.

Lauren in Bayley Island, Maine

You Could Island-Hop Forever

I allocated just one day of our Maine road trip to driving up the coast from Portland to Acadia, and that error is the primary reason why I’m already planning to return.

Maine has over 3,000 islands scattered along its coastline, and after visiting just two of them, I’m already certain it would be worth checking out a dozen more.

Bailey Island was one of our first stops on our coastal cruise northwards, and one that instantly revealed itself to be one of the most peaceful spots in the U.S. I spent an hour wandering around the trails, dipping my toes in the cold, calm ocean, and pondering whether I could live somewhere so isolated, because the pastel-coloured cottages there were beautiful.

By the time we were hitting the road again, we were already running out of time to explore much more of the coast, which resulted in me promising not to pass through so quickly next time. There’s simply too much to see to do that drive in a single day.

Bath Maine

There Are Some Seriously Cute Towns and Villages

I thought a trip to Maine would be all about getting up close to the water, but once I stepped away from the ocean, I found so many adorable towns that I wish I could have stopped at them all.

Bath (pictured above) was a major hit for me when we dropped in for a delicious sandwich and pumpkin soda to enjoy in the sunshine alongside the river.

Wiscasset was another highlight, one that claims to be “the prettiest little village in Maine”, and if I’d ignored the literal miles of backed-up traffic queueing for the Wiscasset Bridge, I’d have to agree. Regardless of the village’s strange and infuriating traffic issues, it was well worth parking the car to meander past the historic homes and mansions, snap photos of the fall foliage, and queue for an hour for a lobster roll from Red’s Eats. Just kidding — time was short and surely the rolls couldn’t be that good?

Whoopie Pies, Guys, and Blueberry Everything

I’d never even heard of a whoopie pie before I arrived in Maine, but once I tasted my first — a pumpkin flavoured one — I was sold for life and couldn’t stop ordering them. A whoopie pie, as I understand it, is essentially a giant Oreo, except the biscuits are more like mini cakes and the filling is softer and creamier.

I later discovered Maine is the only state in the US to have a national treat — most states have a national dessert, but Maine is the only one to have both a national dessert (blueberry pie) and a national treat (the whoopie pie), and after discovering this fact, I stood and applauded.

Oh, and speaking of blueberry, Maine also has some of the best blueberries I’ve ever tasted, and they were for sale everywhere. A couple of the highlights included the local blueberry-flavoured ale that came with actual blueberries in the bottle and the blueberry mojito at Beal’s, close to Acadia National Park. Okay, so we mostly drank our blueberries, but they were fabulous nonetheless.

And yes, I was obsessed with the food in Maine.

Street in Portland Maine

Portland’s a Cool City

I really enjoyed my time in Portland, and ate exceptionally well while I was in town.

I’d always expected that just one visit to this city would be all it took to declare it my favourite in the US, but I didn’t have quite enough time there to fall that hard for it on this trip. It was one of those situations where I felt as though had I had several weeks to spend in town, I’d have come away enthralled, but as I only had a couple of days and there aren’t too many touristy things to do in the city, I couldn’t get as much of a feel for it as I would have liked.

But it’s a cool city! It’s got the right amount of unusual — hi, Cryptozoology Museum — blended with green spaces, fantastic food, and weird hipster things. It was in Portland that I discovered a restaurant that has a map of Maine on the wall, showing exactly where they source every single item on their menu, from the salt to the lettuce. You can’t get more hipster than that.

Portland lighthouse Maine

I Love Lighthouses

Who knew I had an obsession with lighthouses?

I didn’t until I arrived in Maine and found myself going out of my way to visit as many as possible as we drove alongside the coast.

One of my favourites was the most visited one in the state; the famous Portland Head Lighthouse, where I spent a peaceful afternoon hiking nature trails, reading a book beside the ocean, and yacht-spotting from the water’s edge.

If this is what it’s like to live in Portland, I’m ready to pack my bags and buy a one-way ticket.

Winding road in Acadia National Park

Maine is Perfect for Road Trips

I visited all six states of New England on this road trip, and my two favourites to drive through were Maine and New Hampshire.

There’s so many cute towns to wander around — seriously, I begged Dave to stop every ten minutes — the roads are reasonably quiet, especially once you get off highway 1, and the passing scenery is breathtaking. And if you love being beside the water, you’ll be convinced to visit when you learn Maine has more coastline that California!

I couldn’t believe how many beautiful viewpoints there were to stop off at, how every twenty seconds I spotted a house I wanted to live in, and how there were so few tourists outside of the main destination hotspots.

I’ve road tripped in 12 states now, and I have to say that Maine easily ranks first in my books. It has that winning combination of natural beauty, lots of things to see, pretty houses, fresh air, an outdoorsy vibe, and stress-free driving.

 I Can See Myself Spending a Lot of Time in Maine

Can you tell I’m all about that Maine life now?

Already, I’ve talked my parents into taking a road trip there in 2019, informed Dave we’ll be returning for a longer trip next year, and looked into how to score American residency.

Maine: I love you and I can’t wait to return.

Which is your favourite state in the US?

About the author

Lauren Juliff

Lauren Juliff is a published author and travel expert who founded Never Ending Footsteps in 2011. She has spent over 12 years travelling the world, sharing in-depth advice from more than 100 countries across six continents.

Lauren's travel advice has been featured in publications like the BBC, Wall Street Journal, USA Today, and Cosmopolitan, and her work is read by 200,000 readers each month. Her travel memoir can be found in bookstores across the planet.


  1. November 2, 2017

    Maine is so high on my bucket list and this only adds to the fire. You really should come out Minnesota and the North/South Shore of Lake Superior. By the looks of it it has a very similar vibe and feel to Maine. I think you’d be pleasantly surprised!

    • November 7, 2017

      I’ll add it to the list! :-)

    • Blair Alicia
      April 5, 2022

      Next time may I suggest Machias and Peaks island it’s a beauty and where I grew up. 🙂

  2. November 2, 2017

    Maine looks SO beautiful! I keep wanting to make it up there but have yet to do so. It seems like there’s is so much to do there and road trips are my jam. Need to make this happen ASAP!

    • November 7, 2017

      If you love road trips, you’ll love Maine! It’s such a pretty state :-)

  3. November 2, 2017

    I used to road trip to Maine for weekends quite often growing up. I grew up in New Brunswick, Canada just 90min north of the border. However, most of our trips were for shopping and more about getting cheap shoes, alcohol, and turkeys than sightseeing. :P I really should make a return visit someday and see what else it has in store.

    • November 7, 2017

      Oh, that’s so interesting! We used to do the same with France — my parents would drag us across the channel, fill their car with alcohol, and then drive back again!

  4. November 2, 2017

    I loved Maine too and also didn’t spent nearly enough time there. Colorado is my favorite state, especially for road tripping, but Maine, and Oregon round out the top 3 (of the lower 48). I’m hoping to get back there in next couple of years. Planning a Deep South road trip next year in our little van

    • November 7, 2017

      Ooooh, Colorado is definitely my biggest US travel oversight now! I can’t wait to get there :-)

  5. November 3, 2017

    I lived in Portland for nearly 7 years, and it’s true that the beauty of Maine is best felt over long periods of consistent visits. The winters are brutal (like that one where we got 12-18 inches of snow each week for months…), but the summers and early fall are magical. Portland remains forever and always one of my favorite places to be (though I’ve since moved to NYC, London and China). I go back once a year. During my visits, I visit the best yoga studio ever (the only one I’ve really ever gone to consistently), eat my way through town, and wander around the Old Port, ducking into the ever-changing array of cute shops and galleries. (side note, you’re welcome to find really specific food recos on my blog that I’ll link, but you can always just wander around town for food…these days, you almost can’t go wrong!)

    • January 2, 2018

      I was so impressed with the food in Portland! I’ll definitely check out your site when I’m next back in town :-)

      • John Tyson
        March 26, 2022

        My wife and I love Maine, having discovered it three years ago. We have a little place near Caribou we visit (and DIY a half dozen times a year). We live on Long Island, very oppressive though generally clean with beauty. As soon as we reach the Maine border we have been let out of prison. The interior has four distinct seasons with, as you say, “brutal” winters but there is much to be said for relaxing by the fireplace watching the cleansing snow fall. I have lived in Idaho, Washington and Oregon, beautiful states. I like Maine the best though the drier summers west of the divide are more comfortable to me.

  6. November 3, 2017

    I haven’t been to Maine in probably 30 years. What an oversight!! I did a New England road trip in the fall of 2000 that was magical, though. I remembered having the best homemade blueberry pie in New Hampshire.

    And now, I think my life won’t be complete without tasting a blueberry mojito!

    • November 7, 2017

      It was so delicious that I dragged Dave back to the same restaurant the following day so that I could have another one! :-D

  7. Anna
    November 7, 2017

    I’m convinced! Time to start planning a trip to Maine! It looks like it has everything I love in a place.

    • November 11, 2017

      Yay! You won’t be disappointed, Anna!

  8. Jennette
    November 17, 2017

    There is an island (or two?) that you can walk to at low tide in Maine. That’s how magical that state is!

    • November 17, 2017

      Perfect! I can’t wait to return :-)

  9. Allyson
    February 11, 2018

    You would also love driving along the coast of Michigan and visiting all of the cute towns on the Great Lakes!! Mackinac Island, Mackinaw City, South Haven, Grand Haven, and Holland, are all MUSTS, especially, Mackinac Island!!

    • February 20, 2018

      Ooooh, yes! That’s definitely on my list for a future trip :-)

  10. June
    February 15, 2018

    Going to drive Maine the first 2 weeks of October 2018. Thanks for the insight. Can’t wait to hit the road!

    • February 18, 2018

      Oh, sweet! Maine was easily the highlight of my trip, and I’d love to spend 2 weeks driving along its coastline. Have an amazing time!

  11. Anna
    May 15, 2018

    I’m from a rural area of England and in less then a month am flying out to work in a summer camp for the first time and this post has made me less nervous and excited to experience the culture and everything Maine has to offer!

    • June 4, 2018

      Yay! You’re going to have the most incredible time, Anna!

  12. Grace
    January 13, 2021

    Maine is the most beautiful place I have ever been to! I love all of the whoopie pies ( because I’m obsessed with them!) and the BLUEBERRIES. I have never had such delicious berries in my entire life!!! If you have never been to Maine before I highly recommend it!

    • January 13, 2021

      So good, right?! Ah, I was meant to head to Maine in 2020 and I’m so sad I didn’t get to there. Hopefully soon, though! It’s easily one of the best states in the U.S.!

  13. Ronald Turcotte
    April 6, 2021

    Hi Lauren, I was born, and raised by a french/canadian family in this beautiful state of Maine. My ancestor’s helped build these infrastructor’s of some of these town’s, of mill’s, churches, loggin. I never had intention’s of ever leaving this calm lifestyle. So next time your in Maine, travel north to the moosehead lake region, as you crest the hill, coming into Greenville, you will capture the most spectacular view of God’s finest creation’s, then take a trip through Rookwood, To capture Mt. Keneo protruding through the water’s. Another great excursion is Baxster state park, with massive hiking trail’s to the top of Mt. Katadin.

  14. Allen now formerly from Maine
    March 26, 2022

    I grew up in Maine. Presently its experiencing a wave of post pandemic tourism driven interest. I get it, life during the pandemic was abysmal. Escape equals denial. Soon the interest will die down however, and once again lots of people from “Away” will grow tired of cold ice covered winters, bad roads, mud season, black flies, and town governments run by delusional out of staters. And as history always repeats, once again the new Mainers leave for more predictable environs outside of Maine. I know this as I grew up in Maine, I lived in Maine, I left, I no longer live in the “quaint” state of Maine.

  15. April
    March 31, 2022

    Great article and happy you enjoyed Maine! I was born and raised here. A beautiful place to check out next time in Maine is the Rangeley Lakes Region. When you drive up into the town of Rangeley, Maine, you come across a scenic stop called “The Height of Land” (Google it!) It overlooks down to several lakes between mountains. It’s absolutely breathtaking and almost looks like a painting it’s so beautiful in person. I just discovered this area about 5 years ago and I have always lived in Portland and was questioning myself as to why I haven’t been there before. There is a secret waterfall in a park near Rangeley you can drive to called “Smalls Falls.” You can safely swim near the falls and it’s hidden in the woods with some walking trails overlook the waterfall and stream. It’s a gem and in my Tik Tok profile @apriltownsend1 as my daughter had a wonderful time there!!

  16. Rosalind
    January 22, 2024

    Just found your website and stumbled upon this gem of a post. I grew up in Bath, ME, and you’re right — it is basically heaven. Glad you found it!

    This is a great blog; I’m enjoying binging on your archives!

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