25 Famous Landmarks in Maine to Visit

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A white and black lighthouse next to a house with a red roof on a cliff by the ocean
Maine has an array of fantastic landmarks, like Portland Head Lighthouse

The state of Maine, in the Northeastern United States, has an array of beautiful landmarks to discover and enjoy. Famous landmarks in Maine that you can't miss include the stunning Acadia National Park, the fascinating Cushnoc Archeological Site, and the Harriet Beecher Stowe House.

Whether you enjoy exploring the great outdoors or prefer visiting cultural and historic attractions, you'll find something for you in Maine. Keep reading to learn more about the best landmarks in the Pine Tree State!

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25 Famous Maine Landmarks

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A beach with turquoise water surrounded by trees and greenery-covered hills
Acadia National Park has stunning beaches, woodland trails, and much more

Acadia National Park

Acadia National Park is one of the best National Parks on the East Coast, making it well worth a visit! Located on Maine's Mount Desert Island, the National Park Service manages the park, which covers 47,000 acres.

Being a coastal park, you'll find lots of rocky beaches and fantastic ocean views to enjoy! Hiking trails through dense woodland are also prevalent, and visitors are likely to spot a range of wildlife, from bears and moose to whales in the bay.

☂️ Join a tour to see Acadia National Park

Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens

The Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens is located in the Boothbay region of Maine. This famous landmark in Maine opened in 2007 and features a variety of themed gardens and stunning coastal views.

The giant troll collection is a unique feature, which includes wooden trolls hidden throughout the gardens. Other sculptures, exhibits, and themed gardens include a butterfly house, a dahlia garden, and bear, deer, and fish sculptures.

A mountain with autumn trees and a lake with boulders in front of it
Baxter State Park has a beautiful landscape with lakes, woodlands, and mountains

Baxter State Park

If you are searching for a wilderness experience, Maine has many great state parks to visit, one of which is Baxter National Park. The park was created for visitors that love being in nature and exploring off-the-beaten-path areas.

You'll find woodlands, ponds, and lakes that you can access by following more than 215 miles of hiking trails. The park also has plenty of scenic peaks from which you can admire the vastness of this park.

Schooner Bowdoin

The Schooner Bowdoin is the Official Vessel of Maine and one of the state's National Historic Landmarks, having gained the honor in 1989. The ship was initially constructed in 1921 and was used during World War II and for Arctic exploration.

Bowdoin was refurbished after the war and, when not in use, can be seen in Castine, Maine. The boat is named after Bowdoin College, a private liberal arts college founded in 1794.

A red brick building with a "Portland Museum of Art" sign and a number seven statue
The Portland Museum of Art is the oldest public art institution in Maine

Portland Museum of Art

If you are visiting Portland in Maine, spending some time at the Portland Museum of Art is a must! This landmark is the largest and oldest public art institution in the state and was founded as the Portland Society of Art in 1882.

During a visit to the art gallery, you can see the vast permanent collection and nationally renowned temporary exhibitions. There's also a sculpture park that's fun to explore on a nice day.

Cushnoc Archeological Site

Another of the fascinating Maine State landmarks to see is the Cushnoc Archeological Site located in Augusta. This historical attraction was an important trading post in the 17th century.

The Cushnoc Archeological Site is a significant example of the early period of colonial settlement in New England. When visiting, you can learn a little more about life, settlement, and trading in Maine in the 1600s.

Fort Halifax State Historic Site

Located in Winslow, Fort Halifax on the Kennebec River was constructed as a defense base during the French and Indian War in 1754.

Today, you can visit the historical site during the summer months to view the wooden fort and explore the surrounding area. You can learn more about the structure's history and follow some trails as you look around.

A suspension bridge going over a river with grass and trees around it
Penobscot Narrows Bridge was designed to blend in with the surrounding forests

Penobscot Narrows Bridge

Penobscot Narrows Bridge is an award-winning bridge designed to be naturally integrated into the Maine countryside and surrounding scenic woodland. The 2,120 feet bridge is located near Stockton Springs and connects Verona Island to Prospect.

The Penobscot Narrows Bridge is also one of only four observatory bridges worldwide and the first in the US. Crossing the bridge during the fall is especially memorable as you can marvel at the orange and red leaves surrounding it.

Kennebec Arsenal

The Kennebec Arsenal in Augusta is another of the notable historical sites in Maine. Constructed during the 1820s and 1830s, the site is today managed by the Maine Historic Preservation Commission and is one of the most intact early 19th-century munitions storage facilities.

It was also added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1970 and became a National Historic Landmark 30 years later in 2000.

The arsenal was built after the War of 1812 to better protect the US border with Canada and have a good supply of ammunition on hand. Today, you can follow a greenway trail past the site if you are interested in viewing it.

A river in front of an island with trees and a white house on it
The Kennebec River stretches for 170 miles through Maine to the Atlantic Ocean

Kennebec River

If you want to participate in some exciting outdoor adventures while discovering Maine, check out the Kennebec River! This well-known waterway stretches for 170 miles, from Moosehead Lake in western Maine through the Gulf of Maine to the Atlantic Ocean.

The river is an ideal spot for whitewater rafting or whitewater kayaking. You can also boat in some areas; however, swimming in the river has been banned since the 1980s.

Maine Maritime Museum

The Maine Maritime Museum is a fascinating landmark that will teach you more about the state's rich maritime history. Founded in 1962, the museum offers exhibits on maritime activities in Maine. As the attraction sits on the banks of the Kennebec River, you can enjoy beautiful river views while visiting the museum.

One of the many famous landmarks in Maine is Portland Observatory
Portland Observatory is one of the many famous landmarks in Maine

Portland Observatory

While visiting the city of Portland in Maine, make sure you visit the Portland Observatory, a 19th-century maritime signal tower. The observatory was constructed in 1807 and is the only known surviving tower of its type in the United States.

Portland Observatory was initially used as a watch tower for ships entering the harbor, which were not directly visible from the shore. Today, it acts as a museum that is open to the public. As one of the most historical places in Maine, it has to be on your list of can't-miss landmarks!

Old York Gaol

The Old York Gaol is a former colonial prison in York, ME. The National Historic Landmark dates back to 1720 and is one of the oldest prison buildings in both the state of Main and the United States.

Interestingly, the 18th-century building was not the first prison building on the site; it replaced another jail constructed in 1656 that had fallen into disrepair.

A lighthouse next to a small house on rocks surrounded by the ocean
Portland Head Light has sat in Maine since 1791 and is the state's oldest lighthouse

Portland Head Light

The iconic Portland Head Light attracts visitors from all over the country and beyond. It is one of the most famous landmarks in the US. The historic lighthouse in Cape Elizabeth is the oldest in Maine, having been constructed in 1791.

The lighthouse is next to Portland Harbor, overlooking the stunning ocean and rocky beaches. Interestingly, it is one of New England's most visited, painted, and photographed lighthouses. After seeing the iconic structure, you can explore the surrounding coastal park.

☂️ Explore Portland Head Light with a tour

Sabbathday Lake Shaker Village

Sabbathday Lake Shaker Village is a Shaker village in New Gloucester. Shakers are part of the 'United Society of Believers in Christ's Second Appearing' and were first founded in the mid-1700s.

The small community is highly experienced in farming and practicing a variety of handicrafts. Currently, the village comprises just three members, and the main house was declared a National Historic Landmark in 1974. Visitors can look around a museum and learn more about the life and history of the Shakers.

An old-fashioned mansion with columns and a tower, and a "Victoria Mansion" sign
Victoria Mansion is a great example of 19th-century American residential architecture

Victoria Mansion

Victoria Mansion is one of the most important historical monuments in Maine. The historic home was constructed in 1860 and is one of the best examples of American residential architecture. This National Historic Landmark features a charming interior, and visitors can tour the premise.

Wadsworth-longfellow House & Garden

Another of the famous landmarks of Maine that's located in Portland is the Wadsworth-Longfellow House, a historic house and museum.

The historical building is where the renowned 19th-century poet Henry Wadsworth Longfellow lived as a boy. In 1962, it became a National Historic Landmark and is now also part of the Maine Historical Society.

Today, you can discover a museum within the house that's decorated as it would have been when Wadsworth Longfellow lived there. The property also contains the Longfellow Garden, a quiet oasis where you can walk around and unwind in nature.

Eagle Island State Historic Site

Eagle Island is an island in Maine's Casco Bay that features the site of polar explorer Admiral Robert Peary's retirement home. If planning to visit, note that Eagle Island is only accessible by boat, which takes about 45 minutes, and it is only opened in June through Labor Day.

However, for those who visit this landmark, you can view the house, learn a little more about Robert Peary, and spot creatures like seabirds and seals.

Turquoise water with an old-fashioned ship on it surrounded by greenery
Bar Harbor is connected to Bar Island but can only be reached by car at low tide

Bar Island

Bar Island is one of the unique places you can discover in Maine. This island sits across from the coastal town of Bar Harbor.

Unfortunately, the road that connects Bar Harbor and Bar Island is only accessible at low tide, making it impossible to reach (or leave) at certain times if you don't have a boat.

If you make it to the rural island, you can enjoy a spectacular view of Mount Desert Island and Bar Harbor. You'll also discover an excellent coastal hiking trail.

Bay of Fundy

The Bay of Fundy is a vast bay that sits between Maine and the provinces of New Brunswick and Nova Scotia in Canada. The bay is known for its high tides, some of the highest in the world.

It is also surrounded by geological formations that resulted from hundreds of years of erosion. While most of the bay sits in Canada, you can see a small part of it from areas of Maine near the US-Canada border, like Eastport.

Winslow Homer Studio

The Winslow Homer Studio is the historic studio and home of the artist Winslow Homer. It is managed by the Portland Museum of Art and is located on Winslow Homer Road in Scarborough, Maine. Visitors can tour the studio and learn more about the artist and Maine's influence on his works.

A view of the ocean surrounding rocks and greenery
Thunder Hole is a popular natural landmark within Acadia National Park

Thunder Hole

Thunder Hole is one of the main attractions in Acadia National Park. This stunning spot features striking views of the National Park and a fantastic hiking trail. It is called "Thunder Hole" because many hikers say they can hear a sound like thunder while approaching the location.

At Thunder Hole, you may also see extremely high waves crashing against the surrounding cliffs. It's a highly unique and memorable sight to see!

Olson House

Olson House is a Colonial-style farmhouse and historical landmark in Maine. Notably. Olson House is featured in many works by mid-20th century US artist Andrew Wyeth, such as Christina's World.

The building is now open to the public as a house museum. When visiting, you can explore the home and see Wyeth's drawings, watercolors, and paintings featuring the home and its former owner, Christina Olson.

Harriet Beecher Stowe House

If you are in Brunswick, Maine, you shouldn't miss out on visiting the Harriet Beecher Stowe House. Of course, many know of the iconic writer's house museum in Cincinnati, Ohio, but her former home in Maine is just as fascinating to visit! Notably, this is where she wrote Uncle Tom's Cabin.

The famous building was the residence of Harriet Beecher Stowe and Calvin Ellis Stowe between 1850 and 1852. Visitors to the site, owned by Bodoin College, can immerse themselves in literary history and learn more about Harriet Beecher Stowe's life and work.

A lighthouse with a black top next to a small white house on a grassy hill
The Nubble Lighthouse was built in 1879 and is still used as a lighthouse

The Nubble Lighthouse

Nubble Lighthouse, or Cape Neddick Light, was constructed in 1879 and is still in use today! Located in York, Maine, it is considered the most photographed lighthouse in the state.

Visitors can not only admire the lighthouse but can also admire the surrounding rocky shoreline and the stunning view overlooking the Atlantic Ocean.

In Conclusion

As you can see, there are countless historical landmarks in Maine, along with many natural and cultural places of interest.

Maine truly has something for everyone, from those that enjoy exploring the outdoors to travelers who love learning more about the history of the places they visit. No matter what you choose to do and see in Maine, you will surely have a fantastic trip!

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Written by Loredana Elena

loredanaelena STAFF Loredana has travelled to dozens of countries and has been living overseas for almost a decade. She previously taught English in South Korea and Singapore, and completed a Master of Science in Global Mental Health while living in London, UK. She is also passionate about fitness and photography.

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