Destination Guides


Maine

General   Weather   Airports   Attractions   Activities  

Introduction

Morning Light, Maine ©Paul VanDerWerf

The picturesque New England state of Maine lies in the easternmost reaches of the United States, bordering on the Canadian provinces of Quebec and New Brunswick. Similar to its Canadian neighbours, Maine is a lovely contrast of rugged coastline dotted with picture perfect lighthouses, fishing villages and sandy beaches, and an interior covered with lush forest, towering mountains and mirror-like lakes.


Maine is the largest state in the New England area, but remains one of the most sparsely populated states in the country, creating a wide expanse of unspoilt wilderness. The original inhabitants of the area were Native Americans of the Algonquin group, while European settlement by the French occurred in 1604. Over subsequent years, control of the region was fought over by the English, French and the Americans - evidence of which remains in the large number of historic forts still standing today. The strong Acadian and French Canadian heritage of the area can still be felt, particularly in the Acadian Village in Aroostook county and other parts of central Maine, while the coast boasts a fierce maritime heritage.


The warmer months bring a flood of holidaymakers to Maine and summer homes pepper the landscape. With plenty of outdoor activities, this is the nature lover's and outdoor enthusiast's paradise. The state experiences harsh winters, but this brings its own charms as snowboarding, skiing and snow-shoeing replace the summer activities of canoeing, kayaking, camping and hiking. In true New England style, autumn brings a festival of colours to the foliage and spring is a riot of blossoms. The Acadia National Park, on Maine's Mount Desert Island, provides an opportunity to enjoy the spectacular beauty of the state, as well as its wildlife and birdlife.


History buffs can enjoy plenty of historical sites, including visits to the house of poet and Maine native Henry Wadsworth-Longfellow; food lovers can feast on the region's fine seafood and blueberries, and city lovers can roam the streets of the capital Augusta and the bustling city of Portland. Maine is big, beautiful and charming, and is well worth exploring from top to bottom, whatever the season.


Climate Info

Maine has a continental climate, with cold winters and warm summers. Winter temperatures drop between 20°F and 30°F (about -4°C), while summer temperatures in Maine range between 80°F and 90°F (30°C and up). The northern part of the state tends to be drier and colder in comparison to the southern and coastal areas, while the sea keeps the coastal temperatures moderate. Snowfall occurs in winter.


Getting Around

Portland is relatively easy to negotiate on foot, with plenty of attractions within walking distance. The Old Port is worth exploring on foot, as is the Downtown Arts District. A car is worth hiring if exploring the wider region and parking is readily available within the city with free 'park and shop' options available at downtown parking garages. Tickets can be stamped for an hour's free parking at a number of downtown locations. The Greater Portland Transit District METRO provides good bus coverage of the Portland area.


Portland International Jetport (PWM)

LocationPortland International Jetport is located five miles (8km) from central Portland.
Time DifferenceGMT -5 (GMT -4 from mid-March to the first Sunday in November).
Contacts

Tel: (207) 774 7301.

Getting to city

The Greater Portland Transit District METRO provides bus service throughout the region. Route 5 connects the airport to downtown Portland, where transfers can be made to Amtrak, Greyhound, and other long-distance transport options.

Car Rental

Car rental firms at the airport include Alamo, Avis, Budget, Enterprise, Hertz, and National.

Airpor Taxis

Taxis are available at the airport, with flat rates to most towns in the area. A $1.50 surcharge is added to airport pick-ups.

Airport Facilities

Facilities in the Jetport include a full-service restaurant, ATMs, a Starbucks, gift shops, a business centre, a children's play area, and a visitor information desk. Disabled facilities are good. Several airport hotels are located on the premises.

Car Parking

Short-term parking is $2 per hour, however quickly adds up with a $48 daily maximum. Medium to long-term parking is available for a daily rate of $12.

Websitewww.portlandjetport.org


Bangor International Airport (BGR)

LocationThe airport is located three miles (5km) from Bangor city centre.
Time DifferenceGMT -5 (GMT -4, from the first Sunday in March to the first Sunday in November).
Transfer terminals

The international terminal and the domestic terminal are within walking distance of each other.

Getting to city

Bangor International Airport is connected to the city by the Community Connector bus service on the Capehart line with the airport designated by the D stop symbol (BIA/DHHS). A single fare costs around $1.50 but most destinations around Bangor will require at least one transfer. Buses stop at the airport about every 40 minutes. Alternatively, some hotels may provide a shuttle service from the airport.

Car Rental

Car rental companies are available on the first floor of the domestic terminal and include Avis, Budget, Hertz and Alamo.

Airpor Taxis

A wide variety of reliable taxis and limos serve Bangor International Airport and the Bangor area.

Airport Facilities

Airport facilities include lockers, shopping, restaurants, a kids zone, ATMs and emergency services. The airport has assistance available for disabled passengers.

Car Parking

The airport offers 15 minutes free parking. Hourly parking (short-term) is available at $1 for each half hour and a daily rate of $17. Daily parking (long-term) is available for $1 for the first half hour and $1 for each additional hour thereafter up to $10 per day.

Websitewww.flybangor.com


Old Orchard Beach


As its name suggests, Old Orchard Beach's most popular attraction is its seven-mile (11km) stretch of sand, one of the best beaches in Maine. The town is a popular excursion for families in the summer, and ads to the entertainment with a seaside amusement park and weekly fireworks shows.
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Old Orchard Beach ©Devin Young



Portland Head Light


It is no surprise that the Portland Head Light lighthouse is the most photographed lighthouse in the world. Every view of this 18th century lighthouse is spectacular. The lighthouse took four years to build and was completed in 1791. The lamps originally used to power the light were of w
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Portland Head Light ©Justin Russell



Wadsworth-Longfellow House


Built between 1785 and 1786, the Wadsworth-Longfellow house was home to three generations of a Portland family that formed an integral part of the cultural, political and literary life of New England and the rest of the country. Revolutionary War General Peleq Wadsworth was its first inh
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Henry Wadsworth-Longfellow ©David



Portland Downtown Arts District


Stretching from upper Congress Street to the West End, the Arts District incorporates several galleries and museums, including the Portland Museum of Art, the largest of its kind in Maine and dating back to 1882, and the Maine College of Art.


A great way to explore the Arts D
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Downtown Portland ©Jeremy Reding



Acadia National Park


The Acadia National Park encompasses 60 square miles (155 sq km) of rugged coastline, forest, granite peaks, lakes and plenty of wildlife. Roughly four million visitors flock here each year to drink in the beauty of the park, hike up Mount Cadillac, spot wildlife or enjoy a ranger-led pr
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Acadia National Park ©heipei



Kennebunkport


Located just 30 miles (48km) from Portland, Kennebunkport is a popular destination for weekenders escaping the heat in big cities like Boston and New York City. This pretty town is known for its laid-back yet genteel atmosphere, with several golf courses, antique shops, art galleries, an
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Kennebunkport Harbour ©mislibrarain



Rockland


Historically a blue-collar fishing town, Rockland has gotten a bit of a facelift recently; the somewhat depressed-looking main street has been fixed up and enhanced by attractions like the Farnsworth Art Museum and Wyeth Center gallery, as well as a number of shops and restaurants.

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Rockland ©manray3



Bar Harbor


Bar Harbor is a village on Mount Desert Island that's extremely popular with tourists. With a few interesting museums, parks, and educational centres, the town is the perfect destination for a great weekend getaway in Maine.


Popular activities include golf, whale-watching, sa
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Bar Harbor ©Aude



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