Southern Maine: From the state line at Kittery to, say, the Biddeford town line, Maine’s southern coast features most of the state’s best beaches and beach resorts.
Portland: The state’s largest and most vibrant city, Portland proper is home to fewer than 70,000 people, although the greater metro area—running roughly from Freeport down to the former mill towns of Saco and Biddeford—has over 500,000. It’s Maine’s epicenter for shopping, adventurous dining, and arts and culture; the increasing “Brooklynization” of trendy Portland has earned it the (slightly derisive) nickname of “Portlyn.”
Midcoast Maine: Midcoast Maine begins, depending on whom you ask, somewhere around Freeport or Bath and ends at either Bucksport or Ellsworth. In between, you’ll discover more rocky headlands, bays, and coves than you ever dreamed existed, as well as quaint villages with names such as Blue Hill, Camden, and Rockport. For this book, I have broken this scenic region into two chapters: the Lower Midcoast, which extends from Freeport to the St. George peninsula, and the Upper Midcoast, which begins at Rockland and continues over the Penobscot River and up to the Acadia gateway town of Ellsworth.
Mount Desert Island: A vacation paradise since the moneyed “rusticators” descended in the 19th century, Mount Desert Island is today home to one of the country’s great public land parcels in Acadia National Park. On the fringes of the park, the fishing villages of MDI (as it’s known to locals) have maintained their salty hinterland character for generations.
The Downeast Coast: In Downeast Maine—which goes from the Ellsworth area all the way up the coast to the Canadian border—you’ll find plenty of empty back roads and room to roam, not to mention rocky islands, foggy mornings, and lobster boats aplenty.
The Maine Woods: Inland, north of Bangor, the Great North Woods of Maine could legitimately be called the Northeast’s last bit of untrammeled wilderness. In chapter 10, I sketch out a side trip to this wilderness, as well as side trips to historic Portsmouth, New Hampshire, and across the Canadian border to a lovely slice of coastal New Brunswick.
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