In May I was lucky enough to take a trip to Maine USA for the third time. I was attending the Women in Travel Summit in Portland Maine and honored to be able to do some travel up the Maine coast by train. Below I’ve compiled my best places to visit in Maine list based on all the places we got to see. I hope you’ll enjoy the list and share it with anyone you know heading to Maine or more specifically the Maine coast. I’ve even included my top 3 “places to visit in Maine” if you want just one bar, hotel and activity from the list.
On my first visit to Maine I took the bus from Boston to Portland for the day. I was on a quest to finish all 50 states and I wanted Portland Maine to be my last “big” city visit before finishing up my quest. I thought it would be cool to say I went from Portland to Portland. My final state visit was the last frontier, Alaska, which I thought was also very fitting.
On my second visit to Maine I did a road trip all the way up through Maine coast and into Eastern Canada on a new quest to see all the provinces in Canada. I took this road trip in the fall so that I could do some leaf peeping. It might be the best time to go to the area as it’s all aglow in reds, yellows and oranges. I don’t know about you but fall is such a sight to see in states like Maine that have a lot of deciduous trees like maple, oak and beech.
But you’re not hear to learn about trees in Maine are you? It is a highlight if you want to plan a trip in autumn. The second best time to go if you are a tree lover might be spring as you can catch some glimpses of pink cherry blossoms. I was excited to see them as I had already experienced the cherry blossoms in Portland Oregon, central California and now Portland Maine.
Maine USA by Train in the spring
I started my train journey in Boston and stopped in Wells. Wells is the gateway to the Maine coast, outlet shopping, boutique hotels and great eateries. I know when a lot of people think of Maine they think of lobster but there’s so much more to Maine than just lobster. I ate and drank so many good things on the entire trip that I thought I was back home in my Portland.
Who would enjoy the area?
If you’re looking to enjoy nature or some quiet time this is definitely the area for you. It’s not a party town as everything closes around 9 PM. This is a place to go and relax, eat some good food, try some new spirits and enjoy the scenery.
Kennebunk is the safest city in North America and Wells is said to be the friendliest town in Maine. Sounds like a great place to be as a solo traveler or a family. Everyone is nice and you don’t really have to worry about crime. It’s a perfect getaway spot.
Best places to stay in Maine near Wells
Kennebunkport Inn in Kennebunkport Maine
I would add this to your best places to stay in Maine list. I would actually go out of my way to stay at Kennebunkport Inn. It might even be the best of the best places to stay in Maine. It’s just my style and it might be yours too. From the lobby to the restaurant and bar to my room, everything was so classy and cozy. I was sad I didn’t get a chance to stay in the hotel more. I can’t even imagine how nice it would be in the summer when you can sit outside on the patio. And did I mention those bath products. Not only will you feel amazing after you shower but you’ll smell good too. They were some of the best bath products I’ve ever had in a hotel.
— My top 3 “Best places to visit in Maine”
I would highly recommend booking this place with booking.com
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Grand Hotel in Kennebunk Maine
Another option in town that is owned by the same people is the Grand Hotel. What I loved about that place was that the lobby was also an art gallery. I love art! I also loved the generous sizes of the rooms and some rooms had their own balcony. It’s a bit closer to restaurants and shops than the Kennebunkport Inn but nothing is far in town.
Breakwater Inn and Spa in Kennebunkport Maine
If you’re there for a wedding or a group that wants to relax, eat and have great views all in one you might consider staying at the Breakwater Inn and Spa. I was fortunate enough to get a facial at the spa after lunch and it was amazing. I only wish I could have stayed longer and gotten the massage and pedicure too. So make sure you plan your day accordingly or go back a few days in a row and treat yourself.
Best places to visit in Maine — Wells area
Mornings in Paris
If you’re looking for the best coffee treats then you must stop here. I really enjoyed the nutella latte. Good lattes are one thing and so is Nutella. I never thought to put the two together. We also enjoyed their selection of tasty pastries. They also do this fun challenge on social media to match your macaroons to your outfit and post it with #my123mip. Of course we all had to do this while we were there. The owners of this establishment were quite lovely as well.
Not everyone loves shopping or outlets but if you do then you should definitely check out the Kittery Outlets. There’s so many stores and they are all divided up into smaller sections so it’s not that overwhelming or busy. I really enjoyed going to the Columbia store and finding a new jacket that was 70% off. What a deal?! I don’t think I even get those deals in Portland where they are headquartered.
Bitter End Restaurant
I don’t know if it was the company of Eleanor from Wells Chamber of Commerce or the friendly staff but this place was a real treat. The decor was cute and the food was delicious. Not to mention the intricately crafted cocktails. You would not think you were in a small town in Maine, you might think you were in some big city. I highly recommend this place if you are anywhere near Wells Maine USA.
Kennebunkport Brewing Co inside Federal Jacks
I wish we got to eat some food here but we did get to sample some of the beers from Kennebunkport Brewing Co. We also got to go on a tour of the behind the scenes operation. I think anytime you can see the process of how something is made it makes it more enjoyable. I was pleasantly surprised that they had several dark beers to try even if they are more known for their lighter beers. You might know some of their beers by the name Shipyard Brewing Company.
Do you love mead, then you must make a stop here. If you’ve never heard of mead or had a taste you must stop here to learn about Mead. Honeymaker Mead has some excellent flavors. I’m sure everyone could find something they love. I personally loved the spiced mead but was pleasantly surprised by the Blueberry and Lavender. They were not as sweet as I thought they would be. The tasting room is also close to the water which is a bonus. It has some great views of the boats from the inside.
If you’ve got lobster on the brain Hurricane Restaurant is a good place to eat dinner. We ordered all the lobster items so that we could sample each. The stuffed lobster might be the best and easiest way to eat lobster. So much easier than getting all the meat out yourself but then again maybe that’s part of the lobster fun. We also very much enjoyed the appetizers, desserts and drinks. They had some unique cocktails but I’m a sucker for a good Manhattan. And when there’s a good view, it just makes me want to stay longer and enjoy all the great food.
Best places to visit in Maine — Brunswick
Brunswick Hotel and Tavern
If you’re heading up to the Brunswick area the Brunswick Hotel and Tavern is right by the train station. The best way to get around after you get off the train is to rent a car. There isn’t much in the way of public transportation or even Uber. There are many things you can walk to just staying at the hotel for a weekend so don’t think that you would be missing out too much, especially if you wanted a quiet weekend in. However if you do want to venture out from the hotel I have some ideas for you!
I would recommend booking this place with booking.com
Cameron’s Lobster House
Looking for an authentic, old, drive up lobster spot then Cameron’s Lobster House is just the place for you. The place is pretty small so make sure you get there early if you want a table inside. We tried the BLT lobster roll, crab roll, chowder and of course the full lobster. If you go to main you need to do the full lobster experience complete with a bib.
Vessel and Vine
This might have been my favorite activity on the trip to Maine. Learning how to make cocktails at Vessel and Vine on the first floor of a church was pretty unique. Nikaline was a great hostess. She told us the basics of drink making and then got to know our tastes so that we could up our cocktail game and make things we would love at home. I felt like a true cocktail genius never having made anything so tasty before. If you’re a cocktail lover at all at least stop into the bar if not take a class. You won’t regret it.
— My top 3 “Best places to visit in Maine”
Androscoggin Swinging Bridge
In Brunswick Maine there’s one of the few remaining and active pedestrian suspension bridges constructed by legendary designers John A. Roebling’s Sons Company. It was erected in 1892 and really neat to walk out on. It might move a little but there are some great river views in both directions. I can imagine that it’s a good place for a sunrise or sunset and not a long walk from the Brunswick Hotel.
Best places to visit in Maine — Bath
Maine Maritime Museum
Kids and boat lovers alike will love the Maine Maritime Museum. Between the lighthouse display and the scaled boat skeleton you’ll be entertained for hours. I have to say that pulling up the lobster basket is a harder challenge than I expected it to be.
Doubling Point Lighthouse
I wasn’t able to visit the many lighthouses close to Portland Maine but I was able to see this tiny lighthouse. The Doubling Point Lighthouse on Arrowsic Island is on the Kennebec River established in 1898. It may be small but it’s still mighty. All lighthouse lovers would love this light and touring the many that area all along the Maine Coast.
The Maine Coast is made up of beaches and rocky shores. Giant Stairs is a great example of the rock formations along the coast. I wish we could have spent more time here. I had so many photos I’d love to have taken. This spot would be amazing for sunrise. I’m sure it’s a photographer’s paradise.
— My top 3 “Best places to visit in Maine”
Bath Brewing Company
The Maine Coast trip would not have been complete without a stop in Bath Maine. Bath Brewing Company not only has great food but it has good cocktails and beer too. The beer operation may have started small but they are very up and coming. I highly recommend a stop here for lunch or dinner. If you’re there on a sunny day like we were I would recommend getting a table on the second floor patio. It was gorgeous that day and we couldn’t get enough of the sunshine and the view. If they have it try the Hot Chocolate Porter or the Milk Stout.
All of the downtown areas that we visited were very cute and wonderful to browse the shops. If you are staying in Bath, Brunswick or Kennebunkport (Kennebunk) I know you’ll enjoy a daytime stroll or two. Both Bath and Kennebunkport have the advantage of being really close to the water too. Brunswick isn’t far away either so you’ll still get that Maine Coast feel everywhere you turn.
My best places to visit in Maine list was completed with the help of the local chambers. It was a pleasure to work with them and see a little of these communities. I hope you found some new places to visit on your next visit to the Maine coast. These places were all accessible by train and/or car. We did a little of both and we enjoyed each thoroughly.
Looking for other places to stay in Maine check out booking.com
As always, sharing is appreciated.