Prior to living there, I can unashamedly confess that the extent of my knowledge of Maine was Sharpay Evans’ song in High School Musical 2 where she demands ‘turkey imported from Maine’. However following two fun filled summers I can honestly say that Maine will always hold a place in my heart.
The most North Eastern state in the USA boasts a number of natural beauties, from its coastline, to its forests to its lakes, as well as a plethora of wildlife, including and not limited to bears. Oh and by the way, snapping turtles? Very much real and not mythical creatures (like I may or may not have originally thought). The climate is variable, in the summer reaching 30C and in the winters dropping well below freezing, so much so that the lakes used for boating in the summer are used to drive trucks across to ice fish in the winter.
My personal favourite city within Maine is Portland. A port city, it encompasses a range of both modern and older features, with the active fishing wharves and the Victorian houses merging into a patchwork of quaintness. For shopping Old Port is undoubtedly the best, with the outlets of Freeport coming a close second- who doesn’t need a 24 hour L. L. Bean store? There’s also several smaller stores such as Mexicali Blues, which has the most amazing jewellery and clothes as well as the nicest staff members.
Given that Maine is largely dominated by vast expanses of forests, a hike is something that should be ticked off the list if you visit. Mount Washington sits in New Hampshire, but can be seen from the state border. There’s a plethora of smaller hikes that can be done across Maine too, with my personal favourite being Arethusa Falls, where at the end of an intermediate level hike you can jump into glacier water- freezing cold but 100% worth it.
Taking advantages of the lakes is also something I would highly recommend; there’s no shortage of them across most of New England, but the ones in Maine are particularly special. Coffee Pond in Casco has a small island in the middle that you can kayak to, definitely worth the excursion. The beaches are beyond beautiful too, there’s a number of hidden gems along the coastline.
Finally, you can’t go to Maine without eating a lobster! The best lobster on earth comes from Maine, and is worth the hefty amount of deconstruction to get to the meat- I’m now quite adept at using a lobster cracker.
So there you are, one of the lesser known states of America has so much to offer, a perfect cohesion of city and countryside, unique to my favourite New England state.
Feature Image Courtesy of Paul_VanDerWerf via Flickr, License here.