Maine Bucket List: 20 Unforgettable Things to Do in the Summer

Kyle, Nala, Nellie, and I are heading back up to Maine next Friday! Honestly, I don’t think I’ve ever been quite so excited for a 25-hour road trip in my life. I want all the wet puppy cuddles, lobster rolls, blueberry desserts, and, most importantly, time to just decompress. This year’s been kind to us so far, but Kyle and I really haven’t taken a vacation since last summer, so yeah… we need this. I mentioned in last year’s vacation recap that I’d be putting together the ultimate Maine bucket list, and even though I’m horribly embarrassed that it’s taken me so long, I finally got it together! Keep reading for the full list!

The Ultimate Maine Bucket List

If you’re new to my blog, Maine is a very special place to us. Kyle’s family has had a cabin in Damariscotta for decades, so he’s been going up every summer since he was little. We also lived in Lincolnville for 6 months in 2016 (recap here), and it’s a time I’ll never forget. It sounds sappy, but we dream about moving back one day. If you’re a first-time visitor, you’re in for a very special treat. Here’s a comprehensive list of my top 20 favorite things to do in Maine–

Maine Bucket List: 20 Must-Do Things to Do This Summer by popular travel blogger Stephanie Ziajka from the blog Diary of a Debutante, things to do in Maine this summer, fun Maine activities

Travel Tips and Recommendations

It always helps to be able to click and learn more, right? Here’s a little more info about all my favorite things to do in Maine–

1. Climb to the top of a Maine lighthouse

Most Maine lighthouses are awesome, but Pemaquid Point Lighthouse is my favorite. It’s absolutely stunning. Check out this post for photos. 

2. Shop for vintage clothing and Maine-made items at Flea-for-All in Portland

Check out the Flea-for-All website here

3. Go sailing

I may be biased, but Lake Damariscotta is my favorite spot for sailing dates. Click here for tips on what to wear!

4. Take a cooking class at Stonewall Kitchen’s Cooking School

Check out class times and make a reservation here

5. Hop from Allagash to Bissell Brothers to Rising Tide Brewery

Portland is one of my favorite cities for brewery hopping. All 3 breweries (Allagash + Bissell Brothers + Rising Tide Brewery) are so good and relatively close together. If Ubering doesn’t sound attractive to you, schedule a Portland beer tour here

6. Eat an authentic Maine lobster roll

Red’s Eats and Sprague’s are two of my favorite spots, and they’re right across the street from each other!

7. Hike through Acadia National Park

Hikes in Acadia National Park are relatively mild, but beware of bike rides. Maine’s got a lot of hills, and speaking from experience, they’re pretty brutal when you’re out of shape. 

8. Have tea and popovers at Jordan Pond House

There’s nothing quite like fresh popovers after a long hike! See the full menu and check their hours here.

9. See the giant L.L Bean Boot at their flagship store in Freeport

Fun fact– L.L. Bean’s flagship store is open 24 hours!

10. Go apple picking

Apple season starts in August! Check out a full list of Maine orchards here.

11. Camp at Baxter State Park

Start planning your trip here!

12. Enjoy $1 oysters at Primo Restaurant in Rockland

Kyle might fight me on this (his vote goes to Long Grain in Camden), but I think Primo Restaurant is the best restaurant in Maine. Plus, they serve $1 oysters on Sundays and Wednesdays! Call to confirm, though, because the days can shift depending on the season. 

13. Make blueberry pancakes with freshly-picked Maine blueberries

Fresh Maine blueberries taste like candy, and they’re amazing in pancakes! Click here to see where you can pick your own. 

14. Go whale watching in Boothbay Harbor

It’s a lot of fun, but come prepared with Dramamine. Read about out my very first experience whale watching here

15. Hike Mount Katahdin

Trust me, the view is totally worth the wait. Click here to learn more!

16. Go whitewater rafting

Here’s a round-up of Maine’s top whitewater rafting companies!

17. Explore Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens

The Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens are stunning, and children under 3 get in for free! Check out their website here

18. Order Crab Eggs Benedict

The Seagull’s Crab Eggs Benedict are my absolute favorite. The restaurant’s also right next to Pemaquid Point Lighthouse, so you can’t beat the view!

19. Eat a fresh potato donut from The Holy Donut

The Holy Donut uses (get this) fresh Maine potatoes to make the most incredible donuts. Wholesome and delicious? Yes, please.  

20. Catch a film at the Camden International Film Festival

The CIFF only lasts a few days, so you’ve got to time your trip right to catch it. It’s more than worth it, though, if you can and enjoy documentaries.

I could expand this list to my top 50 or 100 favorite things to do, too, but I figured it was best to reign it in. You can check out a full recap of our 6-month residence here for more of our favorite things to do and see. If you’ve got any questions for me, feel free to email me or leave me a comment. I’m a Maine enthusiast, and I’m happy to help!

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