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Maine Planning Tips and Fast Facts

Feast on Lobsters, Linger at Lighthouses, and Behold the Spectacular Scenery that Surrounds You

Our Expert Opinion

Maine is drenched in beauty with a rugged coastline and hundreds of islands- more than the Caribbean. Unless you have Neanderthal roots (like our own Brad Lavigne), this is an on-the-water vs. an in-the-water destination as temperatures hover around 60 degrees F (16C) in the summer months. So think kayaking, paddle boarding, wave runner, hiking, biking, sightseeing and magnificent sailing. One of our favourite summer time spots.

What is Destination Known For?

Rich culinary culture, fresh seafood, windswept and rocky coastline, quaint villages, Arcadia National Park, boutique shopping, windjammers, clambakes, oysters, lobsters, lighthouses, hearty and self-reliant people, biking, hiking and kayaking.

Location and Size

With an area of 35,385 sq. miles (91,647 sq kms.), Maine is a state in the U.S., located within New England. It shares boundaries with New Hampshire in the west, the Atlantic Ocean and the Canadian provinces of New Brunswick in the east and Quebec in the north.

History

The warrior-class Micmacs, and the Abanakis, who were mostly farmers and fishermen, are believed to be the earliest settlers in Maine. Gradually, a number of other Native American tribes also migrated to the region. Two of them exist even today – the Passamaquoddies and the Penobscots. The Plymouth Company made the first white settlement here in 1607, but the colony could not survive the harsh winters. Thereafter, throughout the first half of the 18th century, England and France would compete to claim the ownership of Maine.

Maine became a battleground during the American Revolutionary War in the late 1700s, suffering a huge loss of lives and property. After much political slugfest, which saw the exchange of French and British territories, Maine was recognized as the 23rd state of the independent United States of America, on March 15, 1820.

Ever since, Maine has witnessed tremendous economic growth, with the emergence of several mining and manufacturing industries, while its astounding landscapes gave birth to a quintessential tourism industry.

Getting There

Portland International Jetport (PWM) in Portland, Hancock County-Bar Harbor Airport (BHB) in Trenton and Knox County Regional Airport (RKD) in Knox County are the most prominent ports of entry. Direct flights to Maine are available from other American states while connecting flights are accessible from Australia, the United Kingdom and various other parts of the world.

Best Time to Go

June to September are the best months to cruise in Maine. July and August are the warmest months.

Local Customs to Observe

"Maniacs" as the locals are known are friendly welcoming people. Etiquette and customs match those of the rest of the United States.

Helpful Fast Facts

Entry Requirements: All travelers are required to produce a valid passport. Citizens of Australia, UK, New Zealand, France and Germany do not require a visa for a stay

of up to 90 days.

Departure tax: None.

Legal Drinking Age: 21 years.

Smoking Regulations: Smoking in Maine is prohibited in public transports and public places such as stores, bars, theaters, restaurants, membership clubs, hotel lobbies, meeting rooms, government offices and motels.

Staying in touch: Maine has commendable network connectivity. Visitors can enjoy international roaming facility in the region. Internet facilities are also good.

Medical Information: Bridgton Hospital, Calais Regional Hospital and Blue Hill Memorial Hospital are some of the premier medical facilities in the state. Emergency services are available at the toll free number 911.

Public Holidays: New Year (Jan 1), Martin Luther King Jr. Birthday (Feb 15), Patriots Day (Apr 18), Memorial Day (May 30), Independence Day (Jul 4), Labor Day (Sept 5), Columbus Day (Oct 10), Veterans' Day (Nov 11), Thanksgiving Day (Nov), Thanksgiving Friday (Nov), Christmas (Dec 25).

Tourist Office: http://visitmaine.com/ provides information on tourism and fun things to do in Maine.

Shopping Information: Kittery and Freeport are packed with a number of shopping outlets. For the best boutiques and handicraft stores, visit Portland's Old Port. The Congress Street corridor is the place to look for funky items, quality handbags and rugs.

Top Ten "Must Do's"

  • Rent a bike and enjoy a heart pumping and eye feasting pedal through Arcadia National Park or take a horse carriage ride instead
  • Kayak from Monhegan Island to nearby Manana Island and hike though the wildflowers
  • Wander into Duckfat in Portland and savor their hearty poutine – no calorie counting allowed
  • Relish fresh plucked Damariscotta oysters any which way you want them at Mine Oyster in Boothbay
  • Anchor off of one of the granite islands near Stonington and toast the sunset
  • with nary another boat in sight
  • Visit the outstanding Japanese-inspired Azalea and Thuya Gardens in Northeast Harbor
  • Pub crawl though Portland’s numerous craft breweries
  • Order a clam chowder and eat “lobster in the rough” in any port of call
  • Haul some lobster traps and discover the briny history of this rugged profession with Captain John in Bar Harbor

Major Local and Regional Events

  • Old Port Festival - celebrated every year in Portland in mid-June. People enjoy live music, gourmet food and activities for kids during the day-long party
  • Bath Heritage Days – a 5-day event held early July, featuring parades, rides, games, concerts, competitions and much more
  • Maine Lobster Festival - usually conducted in the first week of August in Rockland

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