Maine is a state that tends to be sidelined when people consider the places to visit in the USA. In a country with such cultural and geographical diversity, it can be tricky to choose what experience of America you would like to come away with.
If you are drawn to the east coast, of course New York is the jewel in the crown. However, if you venture north, you will be taken in by one of the most beautiful places in America – New England.
On the border with Canada, Maine is defined by three things – pristine countryside, beautiful picket-fenced wooden houses, and the best lobster in the world. Staying on the coast is the best way to see Maine, and what a coast it is – valleys and mountaintops transformed into thousands of inlets and island chains by the last ice age, and everywhere covered with dense prehistoric pine forests.
The nature there is truly intoxicating – the woodland has a magical quality, lichen draped over boughs and the forest floor layered with thick emerald mosses, occasionally intersected with hiking trails.
While on the coast, hiring a boat and picnicking on tiny islands is the best way to spend a lazy day. You’re sure to avoid the crowds as the only other people around will be the ever-present lobstermen, always lingering in the distance while gulls, loons and ospreys swoop down, stealing scraps of baitfish.
Inland, Maine is rather underdeveloped, with little villages and mining towns dotted about the gemstone-rich Appalachian Mountains. The coast has been invigorated by tourism, with many New Yorkers and Bostonians investing in holiday homes and timeshares, who then visit Maine during the summer break.
If you find yourself losing your mind in New York (it’s very easy to do), fly up to Maine and you’ll see just how amazing America is – the true outdoors is always at your fingertips in New England.
Finally, do try the lobster. It really is the best in the world.