Maine, incredibly, is not a part of Canada. It is one of the contiguous 48 states, the blueberry and lobster capital of the world, and home to some of the most marvelous people you will ever meet in your life. It’s home to a distinctive accent that doesn’t make a lick of sense unless you grew up in the throes of decoding the thick, cottony consonants of the Northern drawl that graces the tones of the relatively few, but mighty, individuals who are proud to call Maine home. I, despite my lack of an accent, was one of those blessed people for twelve years of my life. Here are 20 reasons everyone should make it a point to visit Maine.
1. From the Pilgrims to the Civil War, Maine is packed with history.
Brunswick, Maine is home to Joshua Chamberlain, who was a valuable asset in the Battle of Gettysburg, and earned himself a Medal of Honor for his bravery.
2. Sea towns, like Boothbay Harbor, are picturesque and quaint.
From their barnacle-adorned docks to their selection of salt water taffy. spending an afternoon basking the sea breeze is an experience that can’t be beat.
3. Maine winters are not for the faint of heart, but my God, are they amazing.
Four feet of snow can fall in a single night, and the skiing and sledding options are unbelievable. Every Christmas is a white Christmas ,and for a kid, there is nothing better than a snow day.
4. Spring means vibrant flowers galore and baby birds chirping.
It’s as if Cinderella has come to life when April rolls around. It also means the snow melts away, which is welcome after the long, dark months of winter.
5. Summertime means summer camp.
I spent my summers at Chop Point Camp in Woolwich, splashing around in the Kennebec River, roasting in the sun, and getting copious amounts of poison ivy and mosquito bites. It was the best kind of summer for a kid.
6. Fall means apple orchards, pumpkin picking, and the most incredible foliage you’ll ever see.
Everyone pulls out their L.L. Bean fleeces and duck boots and stomps through piles of reds and browns and oranges, sending dusky sunsets flying through the air with the rubber toe of their boots.
7. One minute you can be in the mountains, and the next you can be at the ocean.
Nothing is more than just a drive away, despite the huge size of the state.
Real live, humongous, terrifying moose roam free in the Maine wilderness. They are way bigger in real life than you think. When people accidentally hit them with their cars, the vehicles are totaled and the moose run away unscathed.
9. Maine wildlife is unreal, in general.
Blue herons stand guard in every marsh in the state, fisher cats have been known to steal house pets, and even black bears pay the occasional visit to your backyard. Maine is nothing short of a zoo, no matter where you are.
10. Lobster is not just another meal in Maine; it’s the food of the gods.
You can boil it, fry it, make it into a roll, make it in a patty, make it into a soup, and every other idea in between. And in Maine, it’s so darn cheap.
11. Warm blueberry cobbler a la mode made with freshly picked Maine blueberries.
12. The shopping is low key unreal.
Towns like Freeport and Augusta are filled with outlets where you can get everything at deep discount. Freeport is also home to the L.L. Bean headquarters, which is basically the heart and soul of all that encompasses Maine.
13. An astonishing amount of celebrities hail from the Pine Tree State.
Anna Kendrick (known for Pitch Perfect) and Patrick Dempsey (a.k.a. Dr. McDreamy) are proud to call themselves Mainers. Dempsey still has a home in Harpswell, Maine, and is often seen scouring the shelves at the Brunswick Hannaford Supermarket.
14. Funtown Splashtown, U.S.A.
Which is, in fact, the only amusement park in the state; and it rivals Disneyland on the fun factor. Are you a thrill seeker? Check out Dragon’s Descent and wait for your stomach to drop as you plummet 400 feet. More traditional? Try out the wooden roller coaster, Excalibur, and you won’t be able to put your arms down – not to mention the eight massive water slides that park has to offer. Step aside, Six Flags.
15. The ocean on a summer day.
Whether it’s Reid State Park or Popham Beach or Old Orchard Beach, it does not disappoint. The Atlantic Ocean is frigid, but frying in the sun, running across blazing hot sand, and throwing yourself into the ocean, is the only way to spend a summer Saturday. Afterwards, you can treat yourself to a frappe and a funnel cake at one of the many boardwalks the beaches have to offer. Maine does beaches right.
16. Maine is responsible for a lot more than just fine berries and fine celebrities.
Bath, Maine, otherwise known as “The City of Ships,” is responsible for building naval aircraft carriers and other stunning works of industrial craftsmanship at Bath Iron Works (not to mention its darling coffee shops). A massive, famous crane whose red light illuminates the sky every night signifies the location of Bath Iron Works.
17. Maine is so unbelievably safe.
Sure, in my lovely hometown there were a few knife fights here and there and a meth lab was recently busted, but what town doesn’t have its issues? Maine, in comparison to a lot of places, is a sanctuary. Especially in smaller towns, everyone knows everyone and looks out for each other. It’s this sense of community that makes everyone like family.
18. The accent is a force to be reckoned with.
The ah ending is applied to the end of words that end with R, and the “rogue R” is applied to the end of words that end with vowels. Confused? So was I, for a solid five years of my life. Here’s a sentence for a non-Mainer to decode: “I drove my cah down ta Bah Hahbah and had an idear to pahk mah cah in the lawt.”
19. Local is a way of life.
The community of people in Maine, and the way they stand behind each other, is an incredibly special connection. Everyone supports local and makes an effort to buy locally grown and sourced products; because beyond their community, they care about the world, and know that their small but mighty state has all that they could ever hope for.
20. The people.
Despite an inability to understand them and their affection for flannel, they are the most genuine, down to earth, humble people that this planet has ever seen. Sure, they’ve got that New England edge, but at the heart of it, they are truly the most fantastic population of people you could ever hope to meet.
If you need any more convincing to visit Maine…
My family moved to Maine when I was five, following my mother’s marriage to my stepfather. Having grown up in Woolwich, Maine, he insisted that it was the perfect environment in which to raise children – and he was right. I spent my summers traipsing through forests and at summer camps on one of the many lakes the state has to offer, and basking in the sweet New England sunshine. I spent my winters bundled up in six layers of clothing, tumbling off snow mounds created by the plow after a blizzard and running inside to be greeted by a cup of Swiss Miss cocoa with Fluffernutter topping. It was an idyllic childhood. Our neighborhoods were safe, deer galloped through our backyards, and a twenty minute drive down Route 1 would take you to some town rich with history, in the simple borders of what I still consider to be the greatest state in America.
At seventeen, I found myself suffocated by those borders. I left for a foreign country and dreamt of great adventures. I got what I was looking for, but at the end of the day, I still found myself longing desperately for Maine’s crisp fall air and the trucks and the turkeys and the flannel. I still do, everyday, despite my escape to sunny California. I returned last summer to be a camp counselor, and was instantly reminded of the beauty and wonder that the Maine landscape has to offer. Many don’t realize all that Maine has to offer. It isn’t just pine trees and lumberjacks. It’s a place where the mighty pines meet rushing rivers that spill off into a brisk, powerful ocean, and breezes whisper the secrets of a history forged within the borders of a state home, to far more wonderment than one could ever fathom.
Featured image source: favim.com
I'm a Communications and English student at Santa Clara University with big dreams of pursuing a career in writing. I believe in living and loving and that what you give, you get back. As for writing? Well, Ernest Hemingway said it best: "There is nothing to writing. You just sit down at a typewriter and bleed."