Visiting the United States? There are 50 states to see. If you like unspoiled forests, breathtaking scenery, great sailing and world-class seafood, the “Pine Tree State” should be on your itinerary!
Also nicknamed “Vacationland,” Maine is the perfect combination of small towns, coastal inlets and forested getaways. Located at the northernmost tip of New England, next to Canada, Maine is known for its lobster, blueberries and maple syrup — and, of course, for its maritime heritage, iconic lighthouses and vibrant arts scene.
Hike Cadillac Mountain at Acadia National Park, just as President Obama did with his family in 2010. On a clear day you can see Canada from the top of the mountain.
The park, whose dramatic landscapes were immortalized by artists of the Hudson River School, has lush fir and spruce forests and stunning lakes. It’s also a popular destination for offshore whale-watching.
To the lighthouse
Maine’s rugged coastline is famous for its beauty — and also for its lighthouses.
Up and down the shoreline, you’ll find more than 60 lighthouses, including the majestic Portland Head Light (Maine’s oldest lighthouse, dating to 1791) and the picturesque Cape Neddick Light (also known as the Nubble Light, which was first lit in 1879). Many of these iconic structures are open to the public, and the surrounding trails typically offer spectacular views.
Bounty of the sea
Fresh lobster — a favorite regional delicacy — is always on the menu in Maine, whether you’re dining in fine restaurants, grabbing a bite at an open-air seafood shack or enjoying a picnic at the beach.
A rich artistic legacy
The Portland Museum of Art, founded in 1882, is the largest and oldest public art institution in Maine. Located in the Arts District downtown, it occupies McLellan House (seen here) and adjacent properties.
Its State of Maine Collection — featuring masterworks by artists Winslow Homer, Marsden Hartley, John Marin, Louise Nevelson, Andrew Wyeth, John Greenleaf Cloudman and others — anchors its reputation as a repository of superb American art. But the museum’s collections also cover major European art movements, from impressionism through surrealism, through works by Mary Cassatt, Edgar Degas, René Magritte, Claude Monet, Edvard Munch, Pablo Picasso and Auguste Rodin.
If you’re wondering what inspired the powerful maritime imagery of Winslow Homer’s paintings, visit the restored Winslow Homer Studio, on the museum’s campus. The museum’s purchase of the studio and its environs has preserved Homer’s views of Prouts Neck, a site that has sparked the creativity of artists from the 19th century to the present.
Rockport, described by Forbes magazine as one of the prettiest towns in America, is a popular destination for tourists year-round. However, this Maine enclave offers more than just picturesque charm. The town, settled in 1769, is home to an art colony featuring notable artists and art institutions.
To get a sense of the local flavor, explore Rockport’s eclectic art galleries and music venues. Bay Chamber Concerts sponsors music performances (mostly classical) and hosts a music festival in July and August. The festival brings a variety of musical groups to the Strand Theatre and the Rockport Opera House, so there’s usually something to suit every taste.
Rockport is also a magnet for sailing enthusiasts. When you visit, be sure to book an excursion on one of the town’s sailing or boat tours. You can end your day by enjoying a sunset dinner cruise with views of Penobscot Bay.