Maine is known for its beautiful landscapes, pristine coastline, and iconic lighthouses and beaches, not to mention amazing seafood. Maine is full of state and national parks, outdoor recreation, agriculture, and hunting, but many of the cities within the state are bustling with people and have thriving downtowns and vibrant nightlife.
Maine is only 320 miles long by 210 miles wide which means that no matter where someone is at in the state, they can easily take a day trip to many different places that aren’t too far away since every town is within just a few hours drive of each other. CDC information for travelers. Hours/availability may have changed.
1.Acadia National Park
Acadia National Park in Maine is 47,000 acres on Mount Desert Island that is covered in forest, rocky beaches, and granite peaks that have been scoured by glacier movement over thousands of years. The park attracts over 3.5 million outdoor adventurers from all over the world who want to climb and hike Cadillac Mountain which is the highest point on the east coast. Over two hundred miles of trails can be explored including motor roads, hiking trails, and carriage roads. Visitors often spot a lot of different wildlife and a variety of birds while on the mountain and can sign up for whale watching tours off the Atlantic coast as well.
Bar Harbor, Maine, Phone: 207-288-3338
One of the best vacation spots in Maine is Bar Harbor, the gateway to Acadia National Park and Mount Desert Island. Bar Harbor is surrounded by ocean cliffs, beaches, lakes, and valleys, that were formed by glaciers thousands of years ago and the boreal forest seems to stretch on for dozens of miles. Famous American artists include Thomas Cole, Edwin Church, and Fitz Henry Lane have painted the scenic landscapes of Bar Harbor.
Visitors to Mount Desert Island will find that Bar Harbor is the place to be for shopping, dining, and fun nightlife on the island and the coastal community offers many tourism experiences including Acadia National Park with bridges and roads built by John. D. Rockefeller. Bar Harbor is also the ultimate place for outdoor recreation, including cycling, hiking, water sports, and rock climbing, and features many summer homes and heavy foot traffic from June through August.
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Bethel is a place where visitors can go all year round to enjoy thrilling or relaxing, outdoor recreation from skiing and snowshoeing in the winter to fishing, boating, and beaches in the summer. The authentic New England town of Bethel features a walkable downtown area with locally-owned shops and restaurants. Visitors can also explore the Broad Street Historic District where there are two museums and walking tours available of the village.
Bethel is also known for its gems and minerals. Visitors can mine for their gems at several outdoor recreation businesses and learn all about the gems at Maine Mineral & Gem Museum. There are two top-notch golf courses in Bethel as well as a casino, and many events that happen through the year.
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Boothbay Harbor was settled in the mid-17th century by fishermen and farmers from England. The area was resettled by the Scottish and Irish farmers in 1729, and eventually the harbor became the known for the excellent fishing as well as shipbuilding, with several naval vessels for both World Wars and the Korean War. Today, Boothbay Harbor is a popular area for summer residents, retired adults, and as a vacation destination.
Visitors to Boothbay Harbor can explore waterfront art galleries, shops, and restaurants. Many special events and festivals happen on the waterfront. Besides boating, there are also tidal pools, coves, hiking, and botanical gardens that can be explored for outdoor fun. The Boothbay Railway Village is another popular attraction where visitors can board an authentic steam engine.
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Blue Hill is a small town settled between the Blue Hill Mountain and the Blue Hill Bay. The city was known for shipbuilding and sawmills, as well as granite mining when it was established in the mid 18th century.
Today, Blue Hill is known as a summer destination with amazing seafood, unique art galleries, and great local shops and boutiques. The town offers both a summer and winter farmer’s market as well as concert series, parades, and other special events throughout the year. The Blue Hill Fair over Labor Day Weekend features vendors, exhibits, and great entertainment. The event draws visitors from around the east coast.
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There is no shortage of activities in Camden, Maine, especially when it comes to outdoor recreation. The natural scenery is beautiful, the ocean vistas are pristine, and the idyllic location between the hills on the Penobscot Bay make this town the perfect place for a relaxing day away from city life.
Camden Hills State Park is a popular attraction in Camden that includes 5,700 acres of oceanside parks, camping, and hiking to the summit of Mount Battie. Many people spend the day boating, sailing, and fishing in the clear blue harbor waters and ocean. The Fort Knox Historic Site is also nearby in Prospect.
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© Town of Carrabassett Valley
Only 500 people live in the Carrabassett Valley all year round, but the winter months see the valley packed with skiers and other winter recreation lovers on Sugarloaf Mountain. Skiers with children can utilize the lodge’s childcare center that offers kid-friendly snow and ski activities. There are several notable restaurants worth checking out in the Carrabassett Valley including Shipyard Bew Haus, Bag & Kettle, Gepetto’s, Double Diamond steakhouse & Wine Bar, and Widowmaker Lounge.
Several hotels and bed and breakfasts are located close to Sugarloaf Mountain including the Sugarloaf Mountain Hotel; however, most people visiting the mountain or Carrabassett Valley rent summer houses. Access to the Appalachian Trail isn’t too far from the Carrabassett Valley, and there are many other hiking or snowshoeing trails nearby.
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Some of the most dramatic mountainous trails are found in Cutler, a small fishing village on the east coast of Maine. Thousands of acres of the quiet town are set aside for public land for recreation and wildlife which has left the land and water in pristine condition. There are three nature preserves at Cutler and visitors can also venture over to Machias Seal Island to check out the lighthouse and puffins that call the rock coast home. The lighthouse has seasonal open house days and even overnight stays on select dates. Visitors can also take boat or kayak chartered tours to the Cross Island National Wildlife Refuge. The only stores are in the nearby Cutler Naval Base.
The history of Damariscotta goes back to the early 17th century, but the town was incorporated in 1848. The small town is only twelve square miles but together with Newcastle makes a broader region known for shipbuilding, military and maritime history and culture, and the first automated lighthouse in Maine.
Some notable historic attractions to explore in the Damariscotta Newcastle region include the Colonial Pemaquid State Historic Site, Fort William Henry, Fort Frederick, Fort Edgecomb Historic High, and the Thompson Icehouse. The area is known for its festivals including the annual ice harvest, Harbor Fest, Oyster Festival, Pumpkin Fest, and Festival of Lights, to name a few.
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, Michigan beaches
10.Deer Isle and Stonington
John Steinbeck’s book, Travels with Charley, put Deer Isle on the map and turned it into a tremendous touristy town since the 1960s. The 1,000-foot Eggemoggin Reach suspense bridge, constructed in 1939 is still the way visitors reach the island by car today. The island is known for their beautiful beaches in the Penobscot Bay and historic farmsteads, many of which remain operational today.
There are also many places on Deer Isle that are perfect for hiking and wildlife viewing including Barred Island Preserve which is only accessible by car or walking during low tide, Crockett Cove Woods in Stonington, and the Edgar M. Tennis Preserve. The village of Deer Isle has many excellent locally-owned restaurants that serve freshly caught seafood, wine bars, and coffee houses.
© Zack Frank/stock.adobe.com
People looking for the ultimate shopping destination can head to Freeport, Maine for the day where the Casco Bay offers world-famous shopping opportunities with hundreds of brand-name outlet stores, locally-owned boutiques, and unique retailers, houses within 18th-century brick buildings. Visitors can also explore historic farms or catch a show at one of the many performing arts spaces in Freeport.
Visitors who love the outdoors can explore Bradbury Mountain State Park, Desert of Maine, Leon Gorman Park, Maine Audubon Mast Landing Sanctuary, Wolfe’s Neck Woods State Park, or take a trip with one of the seacoast touring companies by boat. L.L. Bean Outdoor Discovery Programs are also available and offered all year around.
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12.Height of the Land
Visitors looking for the best views in Maine should venture to Height of the Land just beside Route 17 overlooking Rangeley Lakes. The views over the lakes along the Rangeley Lakes National Scenic Byway have been declared some of the best in Maine, and there is plenty of parking available for visitors who want to stop and take a look. There are also conservation lands just adjacent to the viewing point where visitors can take a short hike or walk.
© Enrico Della Pietra/stock.adobe.com
Kennebunkport is a small coastal town that is part of the Kennebunks which includes Kennebunk and Arundel. The beaches offer crashing waves at Goose Rocks Beach, pastoral vistas, and quaint villages. The region is also famously known for being the generational summer home of President George Bush and his family. Visitors can drive through town to see stately mansions and pass into the countryside of Arundel where antique homesteads and farmhouses have been in some families for centuries.
Popular activities to do in the Kennubunks include kayaking, sailing, whale watching, hiking, camping, and spending time on the pristine beaches. The area is great to visit year-round with the New England foliage offering beautiful displays of Autumn color, and the Christmas Prelude holiday celebration event that draws visitors from across the state.
14.Lewiston and Auburn
Lewiston has a downtown area that has bounced back in recent years to become a fabulous place for vintage thrift stores, bookstores, Halal markets, specialty shops, boutiques, and other locally owned businesses. Forage Market is one of the most popular places to visit in Lewiston and is an eat-in grocery store that sells specialty foods, craft beer, wine, and offers a diverse menu with rotating selections. Many restaurants offer a variety of foods from steakhouses and seafood to Italian, French, and Asian flavors.
Auburn is known for the Auburn River Walk, a 1.2-mile path that allows visitors to traverse the banks of the river and under bridges on the way to the Lewiston Railroad Park where the Great Falls Balloon Festival kicks off annually.
© Harry Collins/stock.adobe.com
There are eight wildlife sanctuaries across Maine managed by Maine Audubon. The Maine Audubon Sanctuaries are open to the public during daylight hours and are located in Elliotsville, Holden, Georgetown, West Bath, Freeport, Falmouth, Scarborough, and Biddeford; however, dogs and other pets are not allowed in the sanctuaries. The Maine Audubon’s purpose is to conserve the wildlife and habitats of Maine through education, conservation, and action.
Each of the eight Maine Audubon Sanctuaries offers outdoor recreation including hiking, kayaking, wildlife viewing, and picnicking. Many of the parks offer stunning views of the harbors, ocean, mountains, and famous New England Lighthouses. Some also have lodges, cabins, and camping available.
Maine Audubon Headquarters Gilsland Farm Audubon Center, 20 Gilsland Farm Road, Falmouth, Maine, 04105, Phone: 207-781-2330
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16.Maine Maritime Museum
© Maine Maritime Museum
Visitors can learn about the historic maritime past of Maine at the Maine Maritime Museum. The museum is on the Kennebec River in Bath and features exhibits on watercraft, shipbuilding, fishing, lobstering, sea trade, and how Maine’s economy relied on their incredible natural resources and the proximity to the water.
The museum also offers boat tours and cruises of the lighthouses and wildlife of Maine. There are several different boat tour options to choose from, each between one and four hours long, that explore different parts of the coast and lighthouses. Included with admission to the Maine Maritime Museum is admission to the Percy & Small Shipyard Tour, Donnell House, and the 1906 Schooner Mary E.
© Eric BVD/stock.adobe.com
Peaks Island is only seventeen minutes from Portland and was once home to a fabulous Boardwalk and World War II Outpost. Today, the island is a neighborhood that has been incorporated into Portland and is home to artists, retired people, and those who don’t mind commuting from the island. The population increases substantially in the summertime when people rent beach homes and other waterfront properties.
The ferry runs to Peaks Island from Portland fourteen times daily, so getting to and from the island is never really an issue. Most people who live on the island use golf carts rather than cars to get around. Visitors can also explore by foot, bicycle, or kayak. The Fifth Marine Museum provides visitors with a glimpse at the island’s past and the Fifth Maine Regiment that battled in the Civil War.
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18.Pemaquid Point Lighthouse
© Paul Lemke/stock.adobe.com
The first land-based lighthouse in Maine was the Pemaquid Point Lighthouse. This lighthouse was first built in 1827, but a replacement tower was constructed in 1835 and is the one that remains standing to this day. The lighthouse keeper, Isaac Dunham invented a way to keep lamp oil from becoming congealed when cold. Today, the Pemaquid Point Lighthouse has been restored, and the tower is accessible for visitors and managed by Friends of Pemaquid Lighthouse. The home that the lighthouse keeper would typically live in is now the Fishermen’s Museum, and both are open during summer months.
19.Popham Beach State Park
Popham Beach State Park is open all year from 9 am to sunset, although the park may be closed some days during winter months. There is an entry booth at the front entrance that collects the service fee as well as a self-service station. The landscape of Popham Beach State Park often changes due to erosion of the dunes and beaches. The beaches are sandy and popular for sunbathing and island walking during low tide. The Atlantic surf makes the park an excellent location for surfing and shell collecting. The park is busy during the summer months, and lifeguards are available on the beaches; however, visitors should be aware that there are rip tides and a strong undertow that can be dangerous for even experienced swimmers. Dogs are not allowed from April through September.
Maine Route 209, Phippsburg, Maine, just south of Bath, Phone: 207-389-9125
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Visitors looking to experience the best Maine has to offer all in one great city should visit Portland, a city known for artistic expression, outdoor adventure, and culture inspired by technology, fashion, food, and continuity. Portland is also known for its many festivals that happen throughout the year, drawing people from all over the world for excellent food, wine, boating, and other great activities.
There are several historic sites to visit including the International Cryptozoology Museum, Farnsworth Art Museum, Maine Maritime Museum, Portland Museum of Art, Tate House Museum, and the Sabbathday Lake Shaker Village, amongst many others. There are also many opportunities for shopping, indoor and outdoor recreation, performing arts, music, and cruises.
21.Quoddy Head State Park
The Quoddy Head State Park is found on the easternmost peninsula in the continental United States and encompasses 541 acres of land. Visitors to the state park have five miles of trails to explore and can also venture to the West Quoddy Head Light, the most eastern lighthouse in Maine. From the tower, visitors can see the Quoddy Channel which serves as a border between the United States and Canada and the towering cliffs on Grand Manan Island.
Some of the best wildlife viewing in Maine happens at Quoddy Head State Park, and many people can see whales, ducks, sandpipers, plovers, and other roosting birds, as well as bald eagles and other migrating birds. A one-mile walk leads to Heath, a coastal plateau bog with plants that don’t often grow south of Canada. The Carrying Place Cove Bog is another bog found at the park and is a National Natural Landmark
Sebago Lake in Southern Maine is a touristy town that is busy during the summer months and is the second-largest lake in the state as well as the deepest in all of New England. Nearly one trillion gallons of crystal-clear water fills the lake that doesn’t even need filtration before drinking.
Most visitors to Sebago Lake come for fishing, boating, or the beautiful, clean beaches, but there are other activities near Sebago Lake including the Seacoast Fun Park, several golf courses and country clubs, and the Blacksmith’s Winery. Visitors can also cruise on the Songo River Queen, a replica of the Mississippi River Paddle Wheelers.
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The White Mountains of New Hampshire are found over the Maine/New Hampshire Border and provide excellent outdoor recreation opportunities on the Northeast coast including ziplining, hiking, camping, mountain biking, aerial trams, Gondola Skyride, and The Loon Mountain Resort. The Conway Scenic Railroad offers train excursions of the mountains for those who want a more leisurely expedition into the White Mountains and wilderness.
Many visitors to the White Mountains love to take moose tours where they can encounter several of them on each three-hour tour. Several different tour companies that take visitors out onto the mountain in search of Moose. The White Mountains can also be explored via The White Mountains Trail, a designated National Scenic Byway that traverses one hundred miles of the mountains and White Mountain National Forest.
23 Best Day Trips in Maine (Small Towns, Beaches )
- Acadia National Park, Photo: IRINA/stock.adobe.com
- Bar Harbor, Photo: atlantic_advert/stock.adobe.com
- Bethel, Photo: Richard/stock.adobe.com
- Boothbay Harbor, Photo: Isabel/stock.adobe.com
- Blue Hill, Photo: Foap.com/stock.adobe.com
- Camden, Photo: tristan/stock.adobe.com
- Carrabassett Valley, Photo: Town of Carrabassett Valley
- Cutler, Photo: Guy Bryant/stock.adobe.com
- Damariscotta, Photo: Isabel/stock.adobe.com
- Deer Isle and Stonington, Photo: rylandscott/stock.adobe.com
- Freeport, Photo: Zack Frank/stock.adobe.com
- Height of the Land, Photo: Marina/stock.adobe.com
- Kennebunkport, Photo: Enrico Della Pietra/stock.adobe.com
- Lewiston and Auburn, Photo: Jennifer/stock.adobe.com
- Maine Audubon, Photo: Harry Collins/stock.adobe.com
- Maine Maritime Museum, Photo: Maine Maritime Museum
- Peaks Island, Photo: Eric BVD/stock.adobe.com
- Pemaquid Point Lighthouse, Photo: Paul Lemke/stock.adobe.com
- Popham Beach State Park, Photo: jpeacockcad/stock.adobe.com
- Portland, Photo: SeanPavonePhoto/stock.adobe.com
- Quoddy Head State Park, Photo: lightningboldt/stock.adobe.com
- Sebago Lake, Photo: Foap.com/stock.adobe.com
- White Mountains, Photo: jiawangkun/stock.adobe.com
- Cover Photo: ablokhin/stock.adobe.com
More Ideas: York’s Wild Kingdom
A visit to Maine’s own Wild Kingdom is a treat for children of all ages and the adults who love them. Meeting and interacting with animals, seeing butterflies fly all around, and riding rides meant for smaller children… all things meant to make an impression and stay with guests for a lifetime. York Beach, Maine is home to York’s Wild Kingdom, which is visited by over 200,000 people every year. This attraction has been in operation since the 1960s and has been with the same owner for the past 30 years.
With plans to develop the nearby area into an even greater destination, visiting the kingdom will continue to be a fun, family friendly destination for years to come. It still remains the only zoo and amusement part combination attraction in New England.
The wild kingdom is a multifaceted attraction featuring a variety of animals, butterflies, rides, and live interaction opportunities.
Animals - The zoo portion of the wild kingdom is full of unique and interesting animals for guests to see and experience firsthand. Beautifully manicured and curated, animals like the gibbon, lemur, various species of monkeys and mandrills coexist with predators like the lion, fennec fox and lynx. There are also many species of birds to see, like the owl, kookaburra, peafowl, and pheasant. Guests can spend all day and never see the same animal twice. They should also make sure to see one of the many animal presentations and speak directly with the zookeepers to find out more about the animals that live on the premises (most of these animals are not on regular display so presentations are often a fun peek behind the scenes).
Butterfly Kingdom - This beautiful and huge (over 5000 feet) exhibit features many different species of butterflies from all over the world. Even though the butterflies fly freely throughout the exhibit, guests are asked not to touch them as they are very delicate and easily injured by even the small contact.
Amusement Park - Even though the amusement park is catered to smaller children, people of all ages can have fun! Many of the rides have a maximum height of four feet to make sure that children are the center of attention, which is vastly different from regular amusement parks. There are also family oriented rides, like roller coasters and bumper cars, so that the entire family can have fun together! On the amusement park grounds, guests can also play 18 holes of mini golf, hit the batting cage, or have fun at the arcade.
Live interaction - There are plenty of opportunities for visitors to interact with many of the animals at the wild kingdom. Feed the ducks (which only costs a quarter), visit the petting zoo (full of pygmy goats that guests can feed as well), spend time with the fallow deer (guests can feed these animals as well), and take a ride on the paddle boats.
Although the wild kingdom does not host many special events on premises, the kingdom is always open for corporate and group outings! After the company has selected a date, contact the park to make sure that date is available (certain times of the year are more quickly filled than others). Once the date is approved, the park will send out a contract that needs to be both signed and also returned within a two-week period to make sure the reservation is on the books. There also is mandatory deposit that needs to be paid, or people can choose to pay half of the cost up front (for those that do, if received on time, the group will be credit a dollar for each admission cost). For groups of more than 100 that require meal catering, a guaranteed number is required prior to the event. If the event is not being catered, there is a fee for use of the on-ground picnic sites.
Passes will be mailed out after reservations are confirmed. Catering menus can be found online prior to the visit - there are a few options to choose from. Cost is dependent on the amount of people.
There are multiple gift shops for guests while on kingdom premises. The main gift shop offers all the usual souvenir related memorabilia one might expect from an attraction of this type. The other, smaller, satellite gift shops offer a smaller selection of the same type of gift items. Pick up a hat, t-shirt, or keychain to remember the visit!
York’s Wild Kingdom, PO Box 1139, York Beach, ME, 03910, Phone: 207-363-4911
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More Ideas: Maine Maritime Museum
Step into the past of maritime at the Maine Maritime Museum. Boat and ship enthusiasts, as well as people of all ages just interested in learning more will love this fun and educational experience. The area that is now the maritime museum has been there since the 1800s, although the museum only opened to the public in the 1960s (founded by just seven local Bath residents).
It has expanded many times since then, seeking to provide the public with a complete understanding of maritime culture and economy.
Although the museum features a wide and diverse selection of temporary exhibits, the permanent exhibits should not be missed.
1.A Maritime History of Maine - The main permanent exhibit at the museum, this section gives a large, general idea of what maritime in the state has looked like since its inception. Featuring nearly 250 different objects meant to let guests get an inside look at how locals made their living as well as items related to fishing, trades on the coast, shipbuilding (both with wood and with steel), recreation, maritime during war and travel on the coast.
2.A Shipyard in Maine - The museum permanent collection features the only wooden sailing vessel shipyard in the United States. Percy and Small, the only intact shipyard of this type, was made to build sailing boats and schooners (like The Wyoming, the largest wooden sailing vessel in the US). See the wharves, the slips and other historic structures to see what building sailing vessels was like in the period between the 1890s and 1920s.
3.Snow Squall - This is the only remaining clipper ship from America in existence today and it is on display at the museum. Built in Maine in the 1850s, this 157-foot-long, three mast ship, crewed by 16 men, sailed around the world
4.Historic Boat Collection - Over 100 ships with their roots in the state of Maine are housed on the museum campus. Make sure to see them all!
5.Lobstering - Recently redesigned and updated, the permanent exhibit on lobstering (with an emphasis on the East Coast) walks guests through the history of the trade and how it has affected the local economy. View a collection of unique buoys and learn about the people who used them. Guests can even donate a buoy.
6.Into the Lantern - This full-scale replica of the Two Lights lighthouse from Cape Elizabeth is the first of its type in existence. Experience what it is like to be in a lantern room with video projections of time lapsed panoramic scenes.
7.Deepwater Commerce - Learn about how Bath, ME had an impact both national and also international deep-water commerce and trade in the 19th and 20th centuries.
The maritime museum offers special events throughout the year. There is a full calendar available on the website that is updated frequently. There are specialty cruises, day camps during the summer and both lighthouse and river cruises.
There is also an annual fall book and store sale (find amazing deals on antique books and clearance museum items) as well as multiple holiday events (like the Jolly Family Jamboree - visit with Santa and Captain Christmas, explore the museum, and watch a special performance of the Grinch - as well as Mixers and Merriment - a social hour with craft cocktails specific to Maine). There is also book, and film series talks and trolley tours as well as crafting workshops (make a shaker box at the boat shop!). Make sure to keep an eye out on the website as events are added often. This will also give visitors information on if there will be any cost needed to attend or if reservations are required.
Field trips are both welcome and encouraged at the museum. Use hands on and immersive learning techniques to engages students in a new and unique way that helps history come alive. Focusing on science, social studies and technology based curriculum that hit state specific benchmarks, a field trip to the maritime museum is educational as well as fun!
Prices vary depending on the subject matter teachers choose, and there are two social studies as well as two science and technology based programs. They vary depending on grade level (one is generally intended for grades 3 through 12 and the other for grades 1 through 6) and optional boat tours are able to be added at an additional cost. Teachers should make sure to book the tour date and time in advance to verify availability as well as to confirm number of students expected. Admission is free for teachers and adult chaperones, and it is recommended that there is one adult for every ten students.
Maine Maritime Museum, 243 Washington Street, Bath, ME, 04530, Phone: 207-443-1316
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More Ideas: 5th Maine Museum on Peaks Island
The 5th Maine Museum on Peaks Island, Maine is a civil war and local history museum. The building dates to 1888 and is an important cultural center to the Peaks Island community. The 5th Maine Museum began as the Fifth Maine Regiment Memorial Hall built in 1888 to be used as a headquarters for the 5th Maine Volunteer Infantry of 1861-1864 and served as a summer getaway for veterans and their families.
The Museum is maintained by Fifth Maine Regiment Community Association as a memorial to the Civil War and local history of the island community.
The Regimental Hall was designed as a Queen Anne style cottage with large windows made from handblown glass and engraved with the names of those who served in the volunteer infantry of the 5th Maine Regiment. The building consisted of 15 sleeping rooms, a dining area, and several kitchenettes for family and personal use. In 1954 the hall was turned into a museum and in 1978 was listed in the National Register of Historic Places. The museum was named a greater Portland landmark in 1984.
The museum is open limited hours year-round with the schedule listed on the website. During non-summer months, the museum is only open on weekends. Appointments can also be made to visit the museum outside of their business hours. To get to Peaks Island a ferry is available from the Portland Waterfront. The museum is approximately a 10 minute walk from the wharf.
The restrooms, lower level dining room, and main room are handicap accessible; however, the second floor is not.
The Exhibit at 5th Maine Museum commemorate the Civil War, local culture and history, and the Fifth Regiment Maine Volunteer Infantry.
The Coney Island of Maine- This exhibit explores the history of Peaks Island as a monumental tourist attraction from 1880-1920 when it was nicknamed the Coney Island of Maine. History of the hotels, theaters, amusements and outdoor recreations are showcased in the exhibit.
Maine’s Fighting Fifth- The Forest City Regiment- The Memorial Hall where this exhibit is housed was built by members of the Fifth Maine Regiment with displays featuring both personal and regimental history artifacts that were donated by veterans. The regiment consisted of 1,546 men from Maine who answered President Lincoln’s call to arms in 1861 to commence the American Civil War. This regiment was known as a fighting regiment and participated in 22 battles capturing more than 1200 confederate soldiers and three times as many battle flags as any other Maine regiment. Only 194 men were mustered out in 1864 with the rest killed in action, wounded or transferred to other regiments. Others died from diseases during the war or were deserters.
The Pioneer Trail- Visitors will discover the history of Peaks Island from the early settlers on the island in the 17th -19th centuries and the legacy those people left behind.
An Island at War- Peaks Island Military Reservation was the largest military base in Casco Bay and an important location in the defense of World War II. During this time, there were up to 900 soldiers stationed at the base.
Events and Education
The 5th Maine Museum offers many special events and classes for the community that inspire a learning and appreciation for the culture significance of Peaks Island and history of the island as a military base. There are also arts classes offered throughout the summer. Some events include:
· Peaks Island Music Association concerts
· Pancake breakfasts
· Classes in portraiture
· Classes in calligraphy
· Special Exhibition openings
· Arts and crafts shows
· Summer fair
Class and event schedules are available through the museum website.
The 5th Maine Museum is available to rent for private events such as weddings, retreats, corporate outings, meetings, parties and other events. Views of the Atlantic Ocean and Whitehead Passage make the location ideal for small groups and intimate affairs. The main room is encircled by a covered verandah, perfect for indoor/outdoor events with the dining room seating up to 75 guests at tables. A restored garden is also available for garden ceremonies, outdoor picnics, and group gatherings. Restroom facilities and a kitchen are available for guest use.
Membership and Volunteer Opportunities
Descendants of soldiers that were part of the Fifth Maine Regiment are encouraged to apply for membership in the museum. Memberships range from $15- $250 per year and are available for individuals, families, and corporations. Volunteers are always needed to assist in landscaping, fundraising, pancake breakfasts, hospitality, working the arts and crafts shows, research, publicity, kitchen and collections committees, and as museum docents.
45 Seashore Avenue, Peaks Island, Maine 04108, Phone: 207-766-3330
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