Southern Maine is a charming and picturesque destination that offers visitors a wide variety of activities to enjoy. From quaint coastal towns to stunning lighthouses, from wildlife parks to delicious seafood, Southern Maine has something for everyone.
In this article, we’ll be highlighting 8 cool things to do in Southern Maine, so whether you’re a first-time visitor or a seasoned traveler, you’re sure to find something here that will pique your interest.
So, without further ado, let’s dive into some of the most exciting and memorable activities that Southern Maine has to offer!
Visit the Portland HeadLight
If you’re looking for a quintessential New England experience, the Portland Head Light should be at the top of your list. This iconic lighthouse has been standing guard over the rocky Maine coastline since 1791 and is one of the most photographed lighthouses in the country.
Visitors can take a guided tour of the lighthouse or simply explore the surrounding park and trails. The park offers stunning views of the ocean, and the trails are great for hiking or jogging.
For history buffs, the lighthouse museum is a must-see, with exhibits that highlight the history of the lighthouse and its keepers. And for those who love a good ghost story, there are plenty of legends surrounding the Portland Head Light, including tales of a haunted lighthouse keeper’s cottage.
No matter what your interests are, a visit to the Portland Head Light is sure to be a highlight of your trip to Southern Maine.
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Ogunquit is a picturesque coastal town that is beloved by visitors and locals alike. Known for its beautiful beaches, charming downtown area, and lively arts scene, Ogunquit is the perfect destination for anyone looking for a quintessential Maine experience.
One of the must-do activities in Ogunquit is walking along the Marginal Way, a stunning one-mile coastal path that offers breathtaking views of the ocean and the rugged Maine coastline. Along the way, visitors can stop at benches to relax and take in the scenery, or explore the various coves and inlets that dot the shoreline.
Another great activity in Ogunquit is visiting the Ogunquit Museum of American Art, which features an impressive collection of modern and contemporary art. The museum is located on a cliff overlooking the ocean, and visitors can enjoy stunning views while perusing the galleries.
For those who love live performances, Ogunquit has a thriving theater scene, with several venues offering everything from Broadway-style shows to intimate plays and musical performances.
Whether you’re a beach bum, an art lover, or a theater enthusiast, Ogunquit is a destination that is sure to delight and inspires.
Visit the Maine Wildlife Park
If you’re an animal lover, a visit to the Maine Wildlife Park should definitely be on your Southern Maine itinerary. The park is home to a variety of native Maine wildlife, including black bears, moose, bobcats, and bald eagles.
Visitors can take a self-guided tour of the park and observe the animals in their natural habitats. The park also offers educational programs and exhibits that highlight the importance of conservation and environmental stewardship.
One of the unique features of the Maine Wildlife Park is its rehabilitation program. The park takes in injured and orphaned wildlife and provides them with medical care and rehabilitation services with the goal of releasing them back into the wild.
The park is open year-round, but the hours vary depending on the season, so it’s a good idea to check the park’s website before planning your visit. Admission fees are reasonable, and the park is a great activity for families and animal lovers of all ages.
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Go Antique Shopping
Southern Maine is home to many charming antique shops that offer a glimpse into Maine’s rich history and heritage. Whether you’re a serious collector or just looking for a unique souvenir, antique shopping is a fun and rewarding activity.
Kennebunkport is one of the best places to go antique shopping in Southern Maine. The town has several antique shops, each with its own unique collection of vintage items, including furniture, glassware, and artwork.
One of the most popular antique shops in Kennebunkport is Antiques on Nine, which has been in business for over 20 years. The shop offers a wide range of vintage items, from fine china to antique jewelry.
Another great place to go antique shopping in Southern Maine is the town of Wells. The town has a large antique mall, which houses over 100 dealers and offers an extensive collection of vintage and antique items.
Antique shopping is a great way to spend a leisurely afternoon, and visitors are sure to find unique treasures that they won’t find anywhere else.
Tour the Nubble Lighthouse
The Nubble Lighthouse, located in York, Maine, is one of the most iconic and photographed lighthouses in the country. The lighthouse sits on a small island just off the coast and is accessible via a causeway.
Visitors can take a tour of the lighthouse and learn about its history and significance. The lighthouse was first built in 1879 and has since been an important navigational aid for ships sailing along the Maine coast.
In addition to the lighthouse, visitors can also explore the surrounding area, which includes a gift shop and several picnic tables. The area is a popular spot for photographers, and visitors can often see seals and other marine animals swimming in the water.
The Nubble Lighthouse is open to visitors from May to October, and tours are available on select days. Admission to the lighthouse is free, but donations are encouraged to support the upkeep and maintenance of the site.
Take a Culinary Tour
Southern Maine is known for its delicious seafood and farm-to-table cuisine, and taking a culinary tour is a great way to sample some of the region’s best food and drink.
There are several tour operators that offer culinary tours in Southern Maine, including the Maine Foodie Tours and the Kennebunkport Culinary Walking Tour. These tours typically take visitors to several different restaurants and food establishments, where they can sample a variety of dishes and learn about the local food culture.
In addition to seafood, Southern Maine is also known for its craft beer and wine. Many of the culinary tours also include stops at local breweries and wineries, where visitors can sample some of the region’s best brews and wines.
Taking a culinary tour is a fun and delicious way to experience Southern Maine’s food scene, and visitors are sure to discover new flavors and culinary traditions that they’ll want to take home with them.
Explore the Rachel Carson National Wildlife Refuge
The Rachel Carson National Wildlife Refuge is a 5,400-acre sanctuary located in Wells and Kittery, Maine. The refuge was established in 1966 to protect the coastal salt marshes and estuaries that are vital habitats for migratory birds and other wildlife.
Visitors can explore the refuge on several hiking trails, which wind through the marshes and forests and offer stunning views of the coastline. The refuge is also home to several bird-watching blinds, where visitors can observe a variety of bird species, including the endangered piping plover.
One of the unique features of the Rachel Carson National Wildlife Refuge is its educational programs and events. The refuge offers a variety of educational programs for visitors of all ages, including guided nature walks, bird-watching workshops, and children’s activities.
The refuge is open year-round, but the hours vary depending on the season, so it’s a good idea to check the refuge’s website before planning your visit. Admission to the refuge is free, and visitors are encouraged to respect the fragile ecosystem and wildlife habitats.
Visit the Seashore Trolley Museum
The Seashore Trolley Museum, located in Kennebunkport, Maine, is the oldest and largest electric railway museum in the world. The museum features over 250 trolleys and other electric railway vehicles, as well as exhibits on the history of electric transportation in the United States.
Visitors can take a ride on one of the museum’s vintage trolleys, which run on a scenic 1.5-mile track through the Maine countryside. The museum also offers guided tours and interactive exhibits, where visitors can learn about the history and technology of electric transportation.
In addition to the trolley collection, the Seashore Trolley Museum also has a large collection of historical photographs, documents, and artifacts related to electric transportation.
Visiting the Seashore Trolley Museum is a unique and educational experience, and visitors of all ages will enjoy learning about the history of electric transportation and riding on a vintage trolley. The museum is open from May to October, and admission fees vary depending on the type of ticket and the age of the visitor.
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Southern Maine is a region with a rich history, diverse culture, and natural beauty. From exploring the sandy beaches and picturesque towns to indulging in the region’s delicious seafood and taking in the local art scene, there is something for everyone to enjoy.
Whether you’re a first-time visitor or a seasoned traveler, Southern Maine has plenty of cool things to see and do. So pack your bags and get ready for a memorable trip filled with adventure, relaxation, and new experiences.