Lobsters, Lighthouses, and low crime are some of the things we instantly associate with Maine, but besides these, what is Maine famous for?
Located in New England, Maine only shares internal borders with New Hampshire to the West, but it has international borders with New Brunswick and Quebec in Canada. Maine is by far the largest state in New England, but it is only the 12th smallest state in the Union. With roughly 1.3 million residents, it’s also the 13th least populous.
Nicknamed the “Pine Tree State” and “Vacationland,” Maine was only the 23rd state to enter the union (1820). Curiously, Maine was part of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts until 1820, when it voted to secede as a separate state.
So, let’s explore what is Maine famous for!
10 things Maine is famous for
One of Maine’s first things that come to mind is its iconic rocky coastline. The coast of Maine is a mix of quaint and cozy with rugged and primal. It is one of the main reasons why the state has attracted so many travelers for decades and was nicknamed vacationland.
The rocky, jagged Atlantic coast offers a variety of bays, inlets, and cliffs. It has some beautiful pristine beaches, abundant wildlife, and hundreds of small islands to explore. Others are more developed and less rugged, like the beaches in York, Maine. Either way, Maine boasts lovely, picturesque villages and harbors.
Maine’s 5,000-mile coastline is perfect for a road trip. It is the best way to enjoy the beaches and lovely setting, but also an opportunity to check some of the other things Maine is known for: the food, wildlife, and lighthouses.
Although not an official nickname, Maine is also known as the lighthouse state. Its 5,000-mile coastline and islands have over 60 historic lighthouses. They have been beacons of light guiding ships and fishermen through Maine’s iconic but rocky coast into its beautiful and safe harbors for centuries.
After centuries of protecting sailors, they have become part of the state’s history and become popular landmarks, attracting people to visit them. So, it’s no wonder that Maine is a synonym for lighthouses for many people.
Many of the lighthouses are open to the public, and some even allow you to enter the keeper’s quarters. Some of them can only be accessible by boat, which means you need to take a boat tour to visit, but others are easily reachable by car.
With so many lighthouses in Maine, it may be hard to choose where to go. We suggest:
- Bass Harbor Head Lighthouse
- Cape Elizabeth Light (Two Lights)
- Marshall Point Lighthouse
- Cape Neddick Light (Nubble Light)
- Owls Head Light
- Pemaquid Point Lighthouse
Acadia National park
Acadia National Park is one of the best natural wonders in the USA and one of Maine’s most famous attractions. With about 4 million visitors annually, it is among the top 10 most visited national parks in the USA.
The park has 27 miles of historic roads, 45 miles of carriage roads, and almost 160 miles of hiking trails for people to enjoy. With splendid natural beauty, an abundance of habitats, and a rich cultural heritage, Acadia National Park has plenty to offer. Its popularity means it can be very crowded during high seasons.
Famous for having some of the most beautiful natural landmarks on the coast (Bubble Peaks, Eagle Lake, Jordan Pond), Acadia also features the highest headlands along the Atlantic coastline – Cadillac Mountain. The park is perfect for hiking, bicycling, and horseback riding on carriage roads, but you can also go rock climbing, kayaking, canoeing in the lakes and the sea, or go swimming. A nature and outdoor enthusiast dreamland.
Though, there are also boat tours on the ocean if you don’t want to exercise. The clean water and air are there for everyone to enjoy.
Fall foliage is typical of all of New England, and Maine is no exception. The forests, mountains, state parks, and even the coast are great for leaf peepers. They come from all over the world to the bright autumn colors of the leaves.
The foliage season in Maine lasts for about four weeks, from mid-September to mid-October, traveling from north to south. Remember that the foliage usually only stays for one week or two in each area, so you need to time your trip. Also, each year is different, and foliage may come a few days earlier or later, depending on the weather.
It is possible (and easy) to experience the lovely reds, oranges, and yellows of Maine’s foliage everywhere, but Baxter State Park and Bar Harbor are probably the most popular spots, as they usually have bright pockets of color.
Maine is also well-known for its large population of Moose. With roughly 75 thousand animals, Maine has the largest population of Moose outside Alaska. For this, it is one of the best places in the USA to see this majestic but somehow clumsy animal.
West and North Maine have much more moose than the south and coastal regions, more specifically in:
- Moose Alley (route 201 from the Forks to Canada)
- Baxter state park
- Golden Road
- Route 27 (between Carrabassett and Eustis)
Yet, wildlife is always unpredictable (and fortunately), and there are no guarantees of seeing them. If you have the luck of seeing them, don’t approach them. They are huge animals (up to 1100 pounds) and are sometimes aggressive.
What is Maine famous for food? Lobster is the general answer, though clams and other seafood are also famous. With about 40 million pounds, corresponding to almost 90% of the USA’s lobster, Maine is truly the capital of lobster.
Maine lobsters are typically succulent, sweet, and obviously fresh. They are an essential part of the economy, with more than 4,500 lobstermen fishing them year-round. The lobster industry is a huge economic driver for the state, contributing about one billion USA to Maine’s economy every year.
Nevertheless, they are more active in the high lobster season between June and December. Lobster is so important that it has been named one of the symbols of the state – it is Maine’s state crustacean.
Lobster is usually a luxury ingredient, but it is affordable in Maine. You will find it baked, steamed, or in a bun. Almost every restaurant in Maine will have lobster on their menu, sometimes on some crazy, unexpected dishes like lobster mac and cheese.
Although lobster is everywhere on the coast of Maine, there’s nothing like stopping in one of the many lobster shacks and having a delicious lobster roll. It is the ultimate Maine indulgence and a truly local experience.
Lobster may be the most famous food in Maine, but the state has another beloved and famous ingredient: blueberries, wild blueberries. Maine produces more wild blueberries than any other place. And they grow in the wild, in the mountaintops of Maine, not on farms.
Maine’s wild blueberries are famously sweeter and tastier than others, so when you visit Maine, don’t forget to buy some to take with you. However, our main suggestion would be to have a blueberry pie or a blueberry pancake with maple syrup (another typical New England product).
The blueberry season goes from July to September and attracts thousands of visitors who come to enjoy this delicious fruit, and some even climb the mountains to pick their own. The scenery is beautiful, the fruit is delicious, and it is truly a typical local experience.
The wild blueberry is the state’s fruit, and the blueberry pie is the state’s desert.
Low crime rate
Maine is also famous within the USA for having a very low crime rate. In fact, it is considered to be the US state with the lowest crime rate. With only 124 violent crimes per 100 000 residents, Maine has about one-third of the national average.
In general, the USA hasn’t considered a very safe country, ranking only 128 out of 163 in the global peace index. This is mainly due to several violent crimes like hate crimes, mass shootings, and terrorist attacks, but also because of natural disasters.
According to the world population review, Maine is the safest US state, particularly regarding assaults and other violent crimes. It also ranks first for personal and residential safety.
Curiously, Maine is the home state of one of the most famous writers in the USA, Stephen King, who is considered a master of suspense and horror stories.
King was born in Portland, Maine, lived for more than 30 years in Bangor, Maine, and now lives in Center Lovell, though he spends winters in Florida. Many of his stories are set in Maine, including Carrie, his first published novel. He wrote it while working as a high school teacher.
So, for many people, particularly bibliophiles, Maine is a synonym for Stephen King, though we should note that The Shinning (another of his famous novels) is set in Colorado, where he lived briefly.
New England is the whitest region in the USA, with all the top three least diverse states in the union: Maine, Vermont, and New Hampshire. And according to the latest census, Maine has almost 95% of white population, making it the most white state in the country.
On the other hand, the latest census also shows that the state is becoming more diverse, with black and Latino populations increasing substantially to 2% and 1.9%, respectively. This is not surprising, as it is a national trend.
The reasons for this historical lack of diversity are mainly geographical and economic. Maine is located in the extreme northeast of the country, far from the typical slave trade and the rural, agrarian economy of the south, which depended heavily on slavery. Maine had slavery, but it never really depended on it.
After the Civil War, some black populations migrated to the industrial areas of the rest of the country. Still, again, Maine also never developed a huge industry that attracted a large number of migrants. Plenty of other events also prevented other populations from coming to Maine. For example, excluding people from jobs because of their race.
Records and fun facts about Maine
Yet, besides being so white, full of lobsters and wild blueberries, the state of Maine is also appreciated for a series of other records, curiosities, and quirky fun facts. Let’s explore some of the most widespread and entertaining:
- York, Maine, was the first chartered American city.
- Maine is the only 48 contiguous states that only shares borders with one other state (New Hampshire).
- Maine is a USA state, and its name only has one syllable.
- Eastport, Maine, is the easternmost city in the continental U.S.A.
- And Augusta is the easternmost capital city of the USA.
- You may be charged a fine in Maine if you leave your Christmas decorations after January 14.
- Maine produces 90% of the USA’s toothpicks;
- Maine has the least expensive car insurance in the US.
- LL Bean was founded in Freeport, Maine.
- During Spring, Maine is the second most cold state, only after Alaska.
- The coastline of Maine is longer than the coastline of California.
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