Best Maine Attraction (2017)


Remote Maine boasts some 5,500 miles of coastline and 3,000 coastal islands, so it's no surprise that the seafaring culture here is strong. Rocky shorelines, sandy beaches, lighthouses and lobsters are never far away, but there's more to this state; Portland ranks among the nation's hippest small cities, and inland – particularly in the Western Lakes and North Woods – lies an outdoor enthusiast's playground.

  • Maine Windjammers

    Maine Windjammers
    Rockland & Camden

    Maine is home to one of the nation's largest fleets of historic schooners, and during the summer months, visitors can embark on a range of themed cruises from both Rockland and Camden. Each vessel is unique, making this one of the state's most singular experiences.
    Photo courtesy of Maine Windjammer Association

  • Pemaquid Point Light

    Pemaquid Point Light

    John Quincy Adams commissioned the Pemaquid Point Light in 1827. Today, the historic property houses the Fisherman's Museum on its first floor and a rentable apartment on the second. The museum collection includes items from the lighthouse itself and artifacts of Maine's maritime history. 
    Photo courtesy of Maine Office of Tourism

  • Maine Maritime Museum

    Maine Maritime Museum

    Located on 20 acres along the Kennebec River, The Maine Maritime Museum celebrates the state's maritime history and heritage through galleries, exhibits and narrated excursions along the area's waterways. The museum's collection includes more than 20,000 items, including the world's largest collection of shipbuilding tools, 550 model ships, 140 historic watercraft and 475 maritime paintings.
    Photo courtesy of Maine Office of Tourism

  • Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens

    Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens

    The Coastal Mine Botanical Gardens opened in 2007 to celebrate and display the natural landscape of the region. On these 270 acres of tidal shoreline in mid-coast Maine, visitors follow granite pathways snaking through rustic woodland, manicured and themed gardens, including the interactive Lerner Garden of the Five Senses.
    Photo courtesy of Maine Office of Tourism

  • Moosehead Lake

    Moosehead Lake

    Moosehead Lake covers some 120-square-miles of Maine's North Woods wilderness. Shaped somewhat like a moose when viewed from above, the lake is dotted with island and attracts anglers with its brook trout, togue and landlocked salmon. 
    Photo courtesy of Maine Office of Tourism

  • Acadia National Park

    Acadia National Park

    Highlighting the rugged coast of Maine, Acadia National Park spans 49,600 acres and diverse habitats – granite mountains, sandy beaches, lakes, ponds and woodlands – much of it on Mount Desert Island. Some 125 miles of scenic trails wind throughout the park, with an additional 57 miles of carriage roads for biking. The 20-mile Park Loop Road leads to the summit of Cadillac Mountain, so visitors need not leave the car to enjoy the views. 
    Photo courtesy of Maine Office of Tourism

  • Owls Head Transportation Museum

    Owls Head Transportation Museum
    Owls Head

    The history of transportation comes alive at the Owls Head Transportation Museum, where visitors are treated to a collection of pre-1940s aircraft, engines and ground vehicles. Highlights include a replica of the 1903 Wright Flyer and an 1886 Benz, the first ground vehicle designed to be powered by an internal combustion gasoline engine.
    Photo courtesy of Maine Office of Tourism

  • Maine Huts & Trails

    Maine Huts & Trails

    Outdoor enthusiasts in Maine have access to four off-the-grid eco lodges spaced out along an 80-mile trail network. Each European-inspired hut features shared bunkroom accommodation, as well as hot showers and drying rooms. 
    Photo courtesy of Maine Office of Tourism

  • Portland Head Light

    Portland Head Light
    Cape Elizabeth

    Commissioned by George Washington in 1790, Portland Head Light is perhaps one of Maine's most recognizable landmarks. The keeper's quarters of the white stone structure, located within Fort Williams Park, now houses a museum dedicated to the history of the lighthouse and surrounding area.
    Photo courtesy of Maine Office of Tourism

  • The Marginal Way

    The Marginal Way

    The Marginal Way, a mile-long footpath hugging the Ogunquit coast, is one of New England's most beloved coastal walks. The paved path edges the Atlantic, passing rocky coves, quiet beaches and stellar sea views. The path's 39 strategically placed benches offer plenty of opportunities to stop and take in the views.
    Photo courtesy of iStock / pictus photography


We asked a panel of Maine travel writers to nominate their favorite state attractions, and for the past four weeks, our readers have been voting for their favorites. The results are in!

The top 10 winners in the category Best Maine Attraction are as follows:

  1. Maine Windjammers - Rockland & Camden
  2. Pemaquid Point Light - Bristol
  3. Maine Maritime Museum - Bath
  4. Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens - Boothbay
  5. Moosehead Lake
  6. Acadia National Park
  7. Owls Head Transportation Museum - Owls Head
  8. Maine Huts & Trails
  9. Portland Head Light - Cape Elizabeth
  10. The Marginal Way - Ogunquit

A panel of experts partnered with 10Best editors to picked the initial 20 nominees, and the top 10 winners were determined by popular vote. Experts Eric D. Lehman and Hilary Nangle ( were chosen based on their knowledge and experience of travel in Maine.

Congratulations to all these winning attractions.

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Eric D. Lehman

Eric D. Lehman

Eric D. Lehman

Hilary Nangle

Hilary Nangle

Hilary Nangle