72 hours in Maine, when there is a clock ticking and you want to take a mini vacation in the Pine Tree State.
I have read stories and blog posts that try to sum up seeing the total experience of Maine in just 48 hours. You can’t do it justice in two days if you are planning to sample more than a fraction of what Maine offers.
It is like attempting to conquer Disney World with your kids in two hours and suggesting you can see it all in that short a time with all those long waiting lines. Let’s face it. Maine is one big honking state. Not in the Rhode Island or Delaware size weight class. Maine ranks 12th in the nation for water area with 4,523 square miles of recreational H2O. Maine is only 41st in population with 1.328,361 friendly souls and 39th for land size with 30,862 square miles of area.
And Maine is located up here in the upper right hand corner of the country. So far north some argue we should be in Canada because Maine is surrounded by the provinces of Quebec and New Brunswick! And just a step from all the Atlantic Maritime provinces like PEI, etc. In Maine it is like a two nation vacation if you can sneak away for more than just a couple days. When you clear the schedule for some unplugging to recharge rest and relaxation.
It’s is similar to hurry up fast food compared to slow cooked relaxed cuisine.
Haste makes wastes and you don’t get the full flavor when you make it a mad dash to Maine. Too little time makes it why bother. It’s vacationing at the same pace of your day to day hectic life chasing the dollar when you don’t allow for enough time to get beyond the usual expensive tourist traps barely into Maine. You can get some retail therapy at the Kittery outlets, maybe venture up as far as LL Bean and the other Freeport Maine shop til your drop commercial venues.
Maine is outdoors, fresh air, clean water and no people when you head further north and up into her interior regions. You just don’t get that experience when you only go a short distance into the state. Maine is six plus miles tall. And to weave in and out around the nooks and crannies of US RT 1 takes time to discover the hidden jewel communities and natural attractions.
The best kept secret is further north, east, west where anyone trying to trot around Maine in 48 hours is going to miss out on so much. Head deeper, get on the less traveled areas to avoid the crowds, the traffic and where the average bear does not that makes it a sprint into Maine and then a flit back out.
Go beyond the sameness of franchises and water parks, go kart courses and just eating junk food in Maine.
To the mom and pop operations of small business where your are treated like a friend, like family with small community members. That’s where you learn about the lay of the land, the history from a local and not a four color tourist information brochures that leaves so so much out and tries to sum it up in a catchy couple lines of copy.
To avoid the crowds that eat into whatever time you do have in Maine, consider your mini vacation trip around the beginning, the ends of the tourist season can works best.
Lighthouses in Maine are one big attraction any time of the year. Have you started your collection that gets added to for life each trek back to Maine?
When money is an object beyond the time you have to spend any, consider swapping where you live for a spot in Maine. I have a little mini vacation set for Halifax Nova Scotia soon and using Air bnb makes it more space for less money and the feeling what it would be like living in the community. Not at a motel next to a truck stop or airport or wall to wall noisy, busy commercial enterprises.
You pride yourself at the number of times you have been to the southern coastal regions of Maine. But have you ever been Downeast, to the northern section of our long waterfront along the Atlantic Ocean?
Consider Maine has sixteen counties and you want to see it all in time. Target a new section and don’t just barely make it into Maine. What you see a few miles after crossing the big green bridge on the southern tip of Maine is not the whole story. Maine is the way life should be but so so much is missing when you barely enter the state and call it good.
The travel magazines and blog posts, all the brochures touting where to eat, play and stay across Maine often show a map that cuts off the upper two thirds of the state or more.
The rest of the story as Paul Harvey would say, page two for the best times and less expensive memory making experiences happen deeper into the real Maine sadly not everyone gets to enjoy. If you relied on the maps, it would give the reader of the propaganda about Maine that nothing exists, nothing worthwhile is above the dots that only show up close to the state’s southern border. Hope this Maine blog post on vacation tips is helpful!
And it is not just summer vacation for your window of opportunity to sample Maine. Be a fall hunter, leaf peaker for the brilliant colors. Bring your snow skis to Maine for cross country or down hill adventures. Hike bike, camp in Maine. Climb in a rubber raft on the Penobscot, Kennebec, Dead Rivers. To navigate through some water rapids and to dine on wild rice and river cooked food that improves the outdoor taste. Don’t just shop for trinkets and waste what time you have being a parking lot shark looking for the best spot and shopping til you drop while in Maine.
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