Explore the great state of Maine in 2016

photo by CC user flissphil on Flickr

Looking for a great place to discover on vacation next summer? While Massachusetts has its fair share of attractions, its built-up nature wears a lot on many people.

Maine, located a paltry 100 miles north of Boston, is the antidote to the frantic pace of life found in the highly urbanized lands to its south. Here’s what you can get up to in the state of Maine in 2016…

Go on a whale watching cruise

The gentle giants of the deep make the waters off the Maine coast their home throughout the summer months, as the plankton rich environment draws them in spades.

At communities along this state’s indented shoreline, you’ll find tour companies that will take you out into the Gulf of Maine in search of finbacks, humpbacks and minke whales. If you are lucky, you might get to see the rare right whale, an orca, or even dolphins!

Experience Maine’s wilderness – by land, or sea

If you’d rather experience Maine’s nature with both of your feet firmly on the shore, there are a number of parks that will grant you this opportunity both along the coast or inland.

Midway down the Maine coastline is Acadia National Park, which protects most of Mount Desert Island and a number of surrounding ones as well.

Covered in spruce and pine forests, and boasting a number of low granite peaks at its centre, this park offers a variety of natural experiences in addition to its extensive coastal areas.

Inland, Baxter State Park preserves the land surrounding Maine’s most imposing peak, Mount Katahdin.

It serves as the northern terminus of the Applachian Trail; while you might not be able to through hike it like the scores of younger adults you’ll run into here, you can certainly trek a section of it with a bit of preparation.

The views of the highlands are well worth the effort if you have the fitness to make it up, so give it a try if you do.

Experience Portland’s old downtown core

It shares a name with the cool and hip city that can be found on the west coast, and for many involved in finding the next big thing out there, the eastern Portland (the largest city in Maine) is starting to garner its fair share of attention.

The Old Port neighbourhood is where you’ll want to spend much of your time, as its boutiques, coffee shops, restaurants and bars offer a great deal of selection for the discerning urbanite, but all with a salty Down East charm.

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