Take Your Pick
Augusta, ME
Western Supply Depot
Old Fort Western - Old Fort Western was designed and used as a fortified supply depot where goods were dropped off and then transported to Fort Halifax roughly 20 miles to the north. Built in 1754, it is the oldest surviving wooden fort in the US. Benedict Arnold, the Revolutionary War General who switched sides from the American Army to the British Army, visited the fort in 1775. Today the fort is open for tours with costumed interpreters guiding guests through the buildings. The store includes a variety of goods and wares essential for settlement life and the house displays the simplicity of the times.
Augusta, ME
Maine's State Capitol Building
State Capitol Building - The cornerstone of Maine's State Capitol Building was laid on July 4, 1829 and construction was completed in January 1832. The majestic building was designed after the Massachusetts Statehouse, the state in which Maine separated from in 1820. Maine granite was used for the stately structure and was hauled from the Hallowell Quarry located a few miles south of Augusta. Standing atop the 150 foot dome is a golden female figure representing wisdom which was designed by W. Clark Noble. Across the street is the Blain House, the residence of the Governor's family, where self-guided tours of the gardens are available.
Bangor, ME
Birthplace of Paul Bunyan
Paul Bunyan Statue - As the story goes, Paul Bunyan was born in Bangor, Maine and was such a large baby that he had to be delivered to his parents by 5 giant storks. His enormous size enabled him to create the Great Lakes as a watering hole for his ox Babe and dig the Grand Canyon just by dragging his axe. The first article about Paul Bunyan was written in 1906 by James MacGillivray and stories have been told ever since. A 31 foot tall, 3,700 lbs statue is dedicated to this giant man and is located in downtown Bangor (which in the 1800s was the "Lumber Capital of the World").
Bangor, ME
Into the Bog
Orono Bog Boardwalk - The Orono Bog Boardwalk is a nearly one mile floating boardwalk trail through the area's forested wetlands. Along the trail are a variety of trees, ferns and mosses providing a deep cover for the frogs and birds that call this place home. In the mornings a fog often covers the bog making it a little spooky during that time. Nearby is the 260 acre Mount Hope Cemetery, the second-oldest cemetery in the United States. Of course this is all the perfect setting for Bangor's most famous part-time resident, suspense and horror writer Stephen King.
Bar Harbor, ME
Be the First to See the Sun
Acadia National Park - Acadia National Park is one of the top ten most visited National Parks, attracting between 2 and 3 million people a year to its rocky coast. The park consists of three areas, Mount Desert Island, the Schoodic Peninsula, and Isle au Haut (only accessible by ferry). Features of the park include the famous Bass Harbor Head Lighthouse, Thunder Hole which shoots a geyser-like spout of water over 40 feet in the air, and Cadillac Mountain the highest point in Maine (and the first to see the sun in the USA from October to March). Take a ranger-led walk or boat cruise, a horse-drawn carriage ride, or a refreshing swim in the North Atlantic.
Bar Harbor, ME
Whale Watching
Bar Harbor - If you aren't from New England, the first thing you'll notice is that town it isn't pronounced "Bar Harbor" it is pronounced "Bah Hahbah". If you are from New England, you probably have no idear what I'm talking about. That aside, Bar Harbor is a fantastic place to visit for a lobster dinner, a whale-watching cruise, or just to relax next to the ocean at the Bar Harbor Inn. This little town started out as an exclusive resort for the rich and famous in the 1880s, but a fire in 1947 destroyed most of their summer homes and resorts. Today Bar Harbor is a place for travel monkeys from all over the world to visit.
Bath, ME
Visit the Wyoming in Maine
Maine Maritime Museum - The Maine Maritime Museum includes a museum, five original shipyard buildings, and a Victorian-era home on its spacious waterfront property. Take a tour of the Percy and Small shipyard where the largest wooden schooner (the Wyoming) was built and learn the art of constructing sailing vessels. Then hop on a one hour cruise up-river along the Bath coast to see the modern Bath Iron Works and the Doubling Point and Kennebec Range Lighthouses.
Freeport, ME
Riding a Camel through the Desert
Desert of Maine - In Maine a monkey might expect to see a rugged rocky coast engulfed by a churning sea, but he wouldn't expect to see a miniature desert. But there is one. The Desert of Maine is roughly 40 acres of shifting sands covering trees, buildings, and anything else in its path. The sand is actually glacier silt that was deposited in the area nearly 11,000 years ago and over the years covered by top soil. The land was purchased for farming in 1797 by the Tuttle family, but after years over-farming and over-grazing, the silt reemerged. Today it is one of Maine's many tourist attractions with tram tours, a sand museum, campground, and gift shop.
Kennebunk, ME
Whale Watching Tours
Whale Watching - Just a short boat ride from Kennebunkport, about 20 miles or so, are dolphins, Blue Whales, Right Whales, Minke Whales, Humpback Whales, Finback Whales, and lots of seals. To see a Humpback Whale get fully airborne and crash back to the sea is a tremendous sight. Tours aboard a First Chance Whale Watch boat last about 4 1/2 hours and operate from late May to early October. With the best chance of spotting a whale in July and August.
Kennebunkport, ME
Bush's Summer White House
President George H W Bush House - A popular tourist attraction in Kennebunkport is the President George H W Bush House. Built in 1903 by the 41st President's grandfather, George H Walker, the estate was passed down to his parents Prescott and Dorothy Walker Bush, and finally to George and Barbara. Although tours aren't conducted here, cars and people line up to see the estate that is located right on the Atlantic Ocean. It is also near here where the President skydives on his birthday (June 12, 1924).
Lubec, ME
Bring your Passport - Half in Canada
Roosevelt Campobello International Park - The Roosevelt Campobello International Park is located in Canada and is the only "international park" in the world (administered and funded by both Canada and the USA). The 2,800 acre park contains the sprawling 1897, 34-room summer cottage, of President Franklin Delano Roosevelt. This exquisite wood-framed house displays furniture and decorations from the late 1800s to early 1900s as well as personal belongings of the President. The park also contains a Visitor Center (that shows a short film of FDR), gardens and walking trails. It was also on this island where FDR contracted polio in August 1921 at age 39.
Lubec, ME
Easternmost Point in USA
West Quoddy Head Lighthouse - The first West Quoddy Head Lighthouse was authorized by Thomas Jefferson in 1806 and completed in 1808. Then in 1857 a new tower, keeper's house and lens were installed and are what we see today. This candy-stripped lighthouse is fully operational (with fog horn) and includes a museum running a videotape tour of the tower, sells original art and houses historical articles and artifacts relating to the lighthouse. The lighthouse is also the eastern most point in the US. Of course this monkey's first question was, "If this is the eastern most point, why is this called the WEST Quoddy Head Lighthouse"? As it turns out, there is an East Quoddy Head Lighthouse on Campobello Island in Canada. Goofy Canada.
Ogunquit, ME
Outside the Playhouse
Ogunquit Playhouse - The Ogunquit Playhouse opened its doors on July 17, 1937 and is one of the nation's oldest summer theaters. This little playhouse attracts some well-known actors, including Lorenzo Lames and Sally Struthers, and puts on contemporary works (Disney's High School Musical and The Full Monte) as well as classic works (Les Miserable and The King and I). One of the best things about the Ogunquit Playhouse are the ticket prices. You can see a big city play for a small town price.
Old Orchard Beach, ME
Palace Playland
Palace Playland - Located in the middle of seven miles of beach front in Old Orchard Beach, Palace Playland is New England's only amusement park on the Atlantic Ocean. This four acre park contains all your favorite rides including a Ferris wheel, Tilt-A-Whirl, carousel and several roller-coasters. There is also a 24,000 square foot arcade and skill games where you can win those monstrous stuffed animals for your girlfriend. Right next to Palace Playland is the Old Orchard Beach Pier. The first Pier was built in 1898 and has been a center of activity ever since.
Penobscot, ME
A Bridge and an Observatory
Penobscot Narrows Observatory - The Penobscot Narrows Observatory sets several records for Maine, the USA and the world. It is the tallest occupied structure in Maine, has the fastest elevator in Maine, is the first bridge with an observation tower in the USA, and the tallest observation bridge in the world. The observatory is atop one of the two obelisks that make up the Penobscot Narrows Bridge. Standing at an impressive 447 feet, the observatory is made of granite quarried from Mount Waldo (the same quarry used for the Washington Monument in DC). The most impressive part of the tower is the grand panoramic view of the Penobscot River and Maine countryside.
Penobscot, ME
The Other Fort Knox
Fort Knox - Built between 1844 and 1864, Fort Knox is Maine's largest historic fort and the state's first made of granite. Don't be a monkey-head like me and think this structure houses the nation's gold bullion (that one is in Kentucky). This structure was created after the Aroostook War (a cold-war with England over the Canadian border), and occupied during both the Civil War and the Spanish-American War. Self-guided tours are available and throughout the year the historic fort offers Civil War reenactments, a pirate festival and a Halloween "Fright at the Fort" event.
Perry, ME
Oldest 45th Parallel Marker
45th Parallel - Wrapping around the globe, halfway between the equator and the North Pole, is the invisible line marking the 45th parallel. Even though this line travels through a dozen US states, Perry Maine was the first to put up a road-side marker in 1896 commemorating it. And speaking of invisible things, I'm told the Largest Whirlpool in the Western Hemisphere called the "Old Sow" is near here, I swam for hours looking for it but I couldn't find it. I did see a couple of piglets though, but that's it.
Portland, ME
Mansions of Portland
Victoria Mansion and Longfellow House - There are two must-see houses in Portland, the Victoria Mansion (Morse-Libby house) and the Longfellow House. The Victoria Mansion is a fantastic display of pre-Civil war architecture containing a magnificent 6 foot by 25 foot stained glass sky-light. The Wadsworth house is the former residence of American poet Henry Wadsworth Longfellow (1807-1882) who was born in Portland. His most famous work entitled Paul Revere's Ride states "Tis all very well for the children to hear of the midnight ride of Paul Revere".
Portland, ME
All the Greats at the Portland Museum
Portland Art Museum - Founded in 1892 and with over 112,000 square feet of gallery space, the Portland Art Museum is one of the oldest and one of the largest art museums in the USA. Works in its over 42,000 object permanent collection include a Van Gogh, Renoir, Monet, and Cezanne. The silver collection, Native American, Asian, and American art are all great. But the photography collection, with over 5,000 works of art and focusing on the western USA, is fantastic.
Rockland, ME
Lighthouses and Lobster
Maine Lighthouse Museum - The Maine Lighthouse Museum contains one of the most significant collections of lighthouse and lifesaving artifacts in the USA. Exhibits include Fresnel Lenses (the light magnifier), vintage buoys, brassware and hundreds of other related items. Of course the best time to visit is during the Maine Lobster Festival which is held the first weekend in August. Each year the festival cooks up over 20,000 lbs of Maine's finest lobster, and the best lobster this monkey has ever tasted. The festival is quite an event with bands, parades, and of course a lobster crate race.