Maine is a naturally beautiful state. Wild and rugged, the coast is a remarkable place to explore. With more coastline than California, it takes time to view the entire Maine Coast. We visited a small section of the Maine coast from Bar Harbor to Cape Elizabeth to create a coastal Maine bucket list for you. While there are hundreds more remarkable things to see, do, and experience along this route, these are our absolute favorites that should be on everyone’s coastal Maine bucket list.
Coastal Maine Bucket List
Under Canvas Acadia
With breathtaking views of the Maine coastline and Acadia National Park, Under Canvas Acadia is the perfect starting point for any coastal Maine bucket list.
Enjoy glamping on 100 acres of waterfront land, with more than 1200 feet of coastline, just 35-minutes to Acadia National Park. Under Canvas Acadia allows you to explore the beauty of Maine by day and the comforts of home by night.
Camp amenities include organic bath products, USB battery packs, fire pits and s’mores, on-site dining, complimentary camp activities, and West Elm furnishings.
Canvas tent options range from suites to safari, including a Deluxe Stargazer options with a viewing window above the king bed.
Acadia National Park
Acadia National Park is the oldest national park east of the Mississippi and the only national park in New England. You can go hiking, biking, or boating during the warmer months and cross-country skiing, snowshoeing, or snowmobiling during the winter. No matter when you visit, you’ll be sure to find a favorite spot you’d like to revisit.
Acadia has more than 125 miles of hiking trails and 45 miles of carriage roads.
Two beaches offer salt water or freshwater swimming locations.
Our absolute must-visit spot in Acadia National Park is Jordan Pond where you can hike Jordan Pond Path. The trail follows the shore of Jordan Pond providing iconic views of steep, glacially sculpted mountains and the glacially carved valley that is now Jordan Pond.
Other Acadia National Park suggestions:
Explore Park Loop Road. This 27-mile road begins at the visitor center and brings you through Acadia’s beautiful lakes, mountains, rocky coasts, and forests. There are frequent pullover points along the way to allow you to explore and take photos.
Drive up Cadillac Mountain before stopping for traditional popovers and strawberry jam at Jordan Pond House.
Visit Bass Harbor Lighthouse. As you arrive in the parking area, you will note a walking path to the left. This leads to a stairway that will take you down the face of the cliff to an oceanside observation area. The path to the right of the building leads to a vantage point that provides a panoramic view of the ocean.
Hike ideas in Acadia National Park:
Jordan Pond Nature Trail Forest and pond setting – Park at Jordan Pond parking area – 1.0 mile loop/1.6 km loop
Ocean Trail Begins near Sand Beach and runs parallel to the Park Loop Road on its east side past Thunder Hole all the way to Otter Cliff – Park at the Sand Beach or Otter Point parking lots – 3.0 miles/4.8 km
Bubble Rock Trail (Moderate, 0.7 miles one-way) Bubble Rock is arguably the most well-known rock in the entire state of Maine and one of the most visited spots in Acadia National Park. Perched precariously on the eastern edge of the summit of South Bubble, the giant boulder is an excellent example of a glacial erratic, a huge rock that was moved here by the powerful action of ancient glaciers. Scientists estimate the rock originated some 40 miles to the north near Lucerne, its coarse-grained white granite differing markedly from the familiar pink granite of Mount Desert Island. Bubble Rock and the 768-foot peak of South Bubble can reached via the Bubbles Divide Trail and Bubbles Trail. The Bubbles trailhead and parking is located on the Park Loop Road, just over a mile south of Bubble Pond and about 1.5 miles north of Jordan Pond House.
The Claremont Hotel
A stunning waterfront hotel in Southwest Harbor, The Claremont offers a luxury experience with guest rooms, houses, and cottages.
From the high-end linens and décor of every guest room to the reimagined restaurants and bar areas, The Claremont Hotel delivers an unparalleled vacation experience.
New additions include a heated outdoor swimming pool, an on-site spa, and multiple spots from which to enjoy breathtaking views of Somes Sound and Cadillac Mountain.
Personalized amenities, services, and experiences will make your vacation as exhilarating or as relaxing as you wish. This is your opportunity to witness the rebirth of one of the most beautiful hotels in Maine while enjoying all the attractions that make Acadia a top tourist destination in the U.S..
From traditional guest rooms ideal for couples to a 3-bedroom Ocean House that can accommodate an entire family or a group of friends, you’ll find over a dozen luxurious guest experiences at The Claremont Hotel. No matter which option you choose, a stylish, breathtaking oasis awaits.
Sail on a Schooner
Be part of a time gone by, and sail on the 151′ Schooner, Margaret Todd with Downeast Windjammer Cruises.
This lively, exhilarating sail of Frenchman Bay features an interesting narrative of local history, geographical points of interest, and wildlife.
Who doesn’t dream about sailing on a tall ship? Let the winds and tides propel you though your coastal Maine bucket list.
Go Lobster Fishing
The coastline surrounding Camden Harbor and Penobscot Bay is considered some of the most beautiful in the world.
Relax aboard Camden Harbor Cruises and get a close-up look at the Maine coast.
You will glide past majestic lighthouses, seaside mansions, world famous windjammers, and visiting yachts. With a chance to see seals, porpoises, osprey, and bald eagles, don’t forget your binoculars.
During the ride, guests are encouraged to help haul up lobster traps and discover what’s inside. You’re also given the opportunity to see live lobsters and learn about the lobster fishing industry.
Do you wonder what is lurking on the bottom of the ocean floor? This coastal Maine bucket list experience is for you.
With 230 waterfront acres overlooking Penobscot Bay, Samoset Resort found a spot on our coastal Maine bucket list.
From the moment you arrive at the Samoset, you will enjoy warm, intuitive service along with elegant accommodations, oceanside dining, an 18-hole championship golf course, and an endless variety of activities.
Soak up the sun from their spectacular 200,000-gallon “zero entry” pool and multi-tiered deck. Indulge in a little personalized pampering at their seaside spa and salon. Enjoy tennis, basketball, disc golf, and lawn games at their Ultimate Backyard. Keep up with your daily workout schedule in their fully-equipped strength room and Cardio Theater. Samoset Resort has so many activities, it needs its own coastal Maine bucket list.
Portland Head Light
Cape Elizabeth is the home of Portland Head Light at Fort Williams Park.
The Museum at Portland Head Light is contained within the former Keepers’ Quarters. The award winning museum contains a number of lighthouse lenses and interpretative displays. Also on the site is a seasonal shop featuring fine lighthouse and Maine related gifts.
The adjacent ninety acre Fort Williams Park offers picnic facilities, hiking opportunities, sports and recreation areas, historic structures, and unlimited ocean views.
They said, “Be sure to stop at Portlandhead Light in Cape Elizabeth. It is a great place to scramble on the rocks, walk along the coast, and enjoy those lighthouse views.”
Inn by the Sea
Inn by the Sea is located on a mile of sandy beach, which is just one of the reasons it made our list.
Their Beach Suites offer exterior private entrances and plenty of room with large living spaces, fully equipped kitchens, soaking tubs, furnished decks and more.
On-site, you can find a cozy outdoor fire pit with s’mores, family-friendly resort amenities and activities, and a full-service SPA.
Delectable dining at Sea Glass, also on-site, celebrates Maine fare, vegan options, and underutilized and sustainable seafood fresh from the Gulf of Maine.
Girl with the Passport said it best when she said, “I forbid you to leave Maine without adding, “eat lobster” to your list of the best things to do…”. “Because eating lobster is a quintessential part of any trip to Maine.”
The menu at Sea Glass includes a Traditional Maine Lobster Roll. It deserves a spot on the coastal Maine bucket list as well. After all, you can’t visit coastal Maine without having a lobster roll.
It’s made with local lobster, lightly dresses, and finished off with bibb lettuce on a brioche roll. It’s coupled with Sea Glass’s signature fries.