20 Cities in Maine

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Maine is one of six states in New England and, like many in the region, is filled with relaxing stretches of coastline, rolling hills and quaint small towns and cities. Maine is particularly popular with those looking to hike and ski in its wild mountain ranges. Aside from beautiful natural sites, Maine’s towns and cities are filled with culture, history and delicious food.

The state is famous for its lobster, readily available from seaside port towns and cities in Maine. Try a classic lobster roll or visit a lobster shack for unique twists on classic dishes. Many of Maine’s cities are small and almost town-like in feel, with its largest city Portland formed from a series of small villages. This cosy hometown vibe is great for independent shops and restaurants, enjoying slow strolls through their streets and meeting the locals. Here are the top towns and cities in Maine you should not miss.

Maine Cities And Towns

Top Tours

20 Towns And Cities In Maine

1- Portland

Portland Maine From At Sea
Portland is one of the popular cities in Maine.

The city of Portland summarises Maine completely; it has a welcoming small-town vibe, staggering swathes of coastline, and mountain trails a stone’s throw away to escape to.

The city’s historic port is a delight to explore and its cobblestoned streets are filled with independent boutiques, art galleries and cafes housed in the old 19th-century port buildings.

To fully experience the city and get to know the locals stop by the Portland Farmers Market, where more than 40 local growers, makers and creators sell everything from cheese, local honey and bread to wildflowers and crafts.

Top tours:

2- Bangor

aerial view of Bangor at night
One of the top cities in Maine to visit is Bangor.

Bangor is famous as the hometown of Stephen King and guided tours of some of the author’s favourite sites and sources of inspiration from his novels take place regularly.

The Cole Land Transportation Museum is a great family-friendly destination in Bangor to see a range of historic vehicles, including cars, construction vehicles and tractors.

Bangor’s history lies in the timber industry, so take a selfie with the gigantic 31ft (9.44m) high statue of America’s most famous lumberjack, Paul Bunyan.

Make the most of the city’s waterfront and stroll along the Penobscot River Walkway, which has been renovated to create a fun and friendly atmosphere with walking and cycle paths, food trucks and plenty of stunning scenery.

Download the Bangor Blitz Scavenger Hunt for a fun way to explore this city in Maine. 

3- Lewiston

Begin your time in Lewiston with a gentle stroll along the banks of the Androscoggin River between the city and its neighbour Auburn.

You will see waterfalls, intricate bridges and plenty of trees along the river.

Continue to appreciate the great outdoors at the Thorncrag Bird Sanctuary, where many native species of birds live happily surrounded by towering trees and tranquil ponds.

Relax and unwind with a cold beer from Baxter Brewing Company with a great selection of drinks and friendly and knowledgeable staff who will find you the perfect drink.

4- South Portland

Spring Point Ledge Light Portland, Maine
Spring Point Ledge lighthouse in Portland, which is the largest city in Maine.

South Portland is to the south of Portland but is a city in its own right and one worth visiting during your time in Maine.

Spring Point Ledge Lighthouse is a small lighthouse at the edge of a rocky jetty, which offers great views back towards the city and across the shore.

Sunbath or search the sands and rocks for treasure at Willard Beach, a quiet and uncrowned stretch of sand.

For an unusual thing to do in South Portland, explore the unique creatures and legends on offer at the International Cryptozoology Museum, recognisable thanks to its carved statue of Bigfoot by the entrance.

Top tour: Lighthouse Bicycle Tour from South Portland with 4 Lighthouses.

5- Auburn

Auburn is a small Maine city close to Lewiston and the Androscoggin River.

A stroll along the picturesque riverbank should be number one on the list of things to do in Auburn as the paths are well-maintained, it is peaceful, and the views are beautiful.

After enjoying some time outside, head indoors and shop at some of Auburn’s best independent shops and antique stores.

For hidden treasures and antique gems, call into Orphan Annies, where a myriad of antique and vintage clothes, lighting, furniture, jewellery and more can be found.

6- Biddeford

Biddeford Skyline In Maine at sunset
Biddeford is one of the charming cities in Maine to visit.

Biddeford has been an important settlement in York County since the 17th century, taking its name from the Devonshire town of Bideford in the UK.

Biddeford is a historical textiles city and many of its mills and factories remain today, converted into apartments, shops and museums.

The Biddeford Mills Museum was once one of the largest textile mills in the city and today shares this manufacturing history through a range of volunteer ran events and interactive exhibits.

Hop on a 90-minute guided boat tour onto Saco Bay to see Wood Island Lighthouse for some of the best views across the bay or if you’re feeling more adventurous, rent a kayak or SUP for a three-hour adventure in Biddeford Pool.

7- Sanford

Sanford is the perfect Maine city for spectacular landscapes and city life vibes.

Feel inspired at Sanford Springvale Art Association which hosts regular arts and crafts workshops and holds exhibitions celebrating various works of art from locals.

Explore one of Sanford’s many outdoor landscapes and learn more about wildlife at the Rachel Carson National Wildlife Refuge.

The centre is named after Rachel Carson, a marine biologist and writer who spent much of her life campaigning and working towards wildlife conservation.

In the refuge, expect to see wildlife such as deer and migratory birds enjoying the ponds and wetland areas.

8- Saco

The Saco River
Saco is one of the best cities to visit in Maine for a relaxing vacation.

Saco is the oldest still inhabited settlement in Maine and, like many of its counterparts, has its history in both the lumber and textiles industries.

Relax at Ferry Beach State Park, a small but pleasant stretch of sand on the shores of the Saco River surrounded by forest, hills and a nature centre.

Another favourite local beach is Old Orchard Beach, spanning seven miles (11.26 kilometres) of sandy shores and boardwalk backed by many restaurants, shops and cafes.

Locals founded the Saco Museum in 1866, and it is the perfect destination to immerse yourself in local history, culture and geography.

A popular exhibit at the Saco Museum is a taxidermy bald eagle that was caught locally in 1870.

9- Westbrook

Get stuck into farm life at Smiling Hill Farm, a fully interactive farm where visitors can explore and get to know its animals, including cows, donkeys, deer and chickens.

Indulge in something rich and chocolaty at Black Dinah Chocolatiers for award-winning truffles, bars and salted caramels using locally sourced Maine sea salt.

After a day of exploring, enjoy a cold local beer at Mast Landing Brewing Company, with an extensive menu of drinks, including IPAs, American Stouts and American Pale Ales.

10- Augusta

aerial view of augusta waterfront
August is one of the loveliest cities in Maine.

Augusta, the capital city of Maine, sits on the banks of the Kennebec River.

Your first stop should be the Maine State Museum, where stores, homes and businesses, including blacksmiths and a working mill, are displayed as part of an interactive historical street.

The museum also has a range of scientific exhibits and exhibitions showcasing historical artefacts from the state’s history.

Viles Arboretum is the perfect place to relax, unwind and wander through colourful flower-filled borders.

Over 300 species of plants are waiting to be discovered in the arboretum, all planted along the sides of its many walking and cycle paths and bridleways.

Download the Augusta Scavenger Hunt: America’s Dearest Capital app.

11- Waterville

The best collections of art in Maine are housed in the Colby College Museum of Art, which opened as part of the college in 1959.

The museum has over 8000 works of art inside, featuring works from China, Europe and an extensive collection of American contemporary art.

Continue feeling creative at The Common Street Arts, a venue and art gallery that offers regular classes for children and adults alike.

Embrace alternative healing at Enchanted Herbs and Botanicals, a quaint apothecary where a range of herbal teas can be brewed up for you, natural skin care products can be purchased and alternative therapy treatments, including Reiki and hypnotherapy, are offered.

12- Brewer

Brewer is one of Maine’s smaller cities and sits opposite its sister city of Bangor, located over the Penobscot River.

Maine is filled with many excellent local breweries, including Brewer favourite Geaghan Brothers Brewing Company, who brew their own beers onsite, which can be sampled as part of their excellent tasting room menu.

A range of unique souvenirs can be found at the Rock and Art Shop, including jewellery, fossils and crystals, and art prints and supplies.

Leave the city and relax by the waters of Brewer Lake and its forested surroundings.

The lake also has a boat launch and opportunities to hire vessels if relaxing on the waters or fishing is on your agenda.

13- Bath

Bath has a long history surrounding the seas and this heritage can be discovered at the excellent Maine Maritime Museum, aptly located along the Kennebec River.

The museum showcases exhibits on shipbuilding with demonstrations showing how certain parts of the boats were made and offers visitors trips along the river on a range of historic vessels.

Stroll through Thorne Head Preserve, an estuary and forest to the city’s north.

In the preserve, there are several trails, including nature trails for children, and of course, spectacular views out towards the water.

Top tour: Historic Bath Maine Neighborhood Walking.

14- Ellsworth

Surrounded by lakes, Ellsworth is the perfect Maine destination to spend some time relaxing by the waters or sailing, fishing and paddle boarding.

For the best seafood in the city, visit waterside Dorr Lobster Seafood Market, a family ran seafood store, and try its legendary locally caught lobster to take away or eat in with a delicious lobster roll or bowl of steamed and buttery mussels.

Learn more about the local history of Ellsworth by paying a visit to Woodlawn Museum, a former 1800s mansion home with carefully preserved original interiors.

15- Presque Isle

Experience the calming appeal of trees and water at Aroostook State Park and Echo Lake on a hiking trail or, if visiting in winter, a snowmobile trail.

The park spans 1000 acres of forest and offers visitors a range of activities both in the forest and on the lake.

For an unusual thing to do and an excellent photo opportunity, look for the solar system model of Jupiter.

This unique tourist attraction was started by the University of Maine at Presque Isle and spans 100 miles (160.93 kilometres), covering the entire solar system through 3D scale models scattered across the city and beyond.

16- Old Town

Despite its size, Old Town is a small city alongside the Penobscot River that is filled with fun activities for all the family.

A must-visit restaurant in Old Town is the Governor’s Restaurant and Bakery, the city’s highest-rated restaurant serving a menu of traditional American comfort food dishes, including home-style roast turkey with all the trimmings, classic chicken pot pies and sticky maple glazed chicken.

Go for a gentle stroll along one of many hiking trails through Perch Pond, a forested recreation ground surrounding Perch Pond, or take to the water in a kayak.

17- Caribou

Caribou is another of Maine’s small cities and a good place for fruit picking.

Goughan’s Berry Farm is a must-visit in summer for their strawberry picking days or to get stuck into a traditional maple syrup workshop where you will learn the skills to make authentic maple syrup before sampling a range of syrups and produce.

Cool off with a frosty beer from Northern Maine Brewing Co for some of the best locally brewed beers in the state at affordable prices.

Founded by locals in 1939, the Nylander Museum is a great family-friendly destination to spend an afternoon learning about the natural history of Caribou.

The museum has an extensive collection of insects, shells and minerals and offers regular talks from experts on fossils, plants and more.

18- Rockland

Admire the ocean views from Rockland Breakwater and Lighthouse, a quaint and traditional New England-style lighthouse with whitewashed walls, green doors, and window frames.

Rockland is famous for its ports and lobster catching, and to support the fishermen, the lighthouses were key to their safety.

Discover the history of lighthouses in Rockland and the rest of the state at the Maine Lighthouse Museum, which identifies all lighthouses in Maine and displays a range of artefacts from the lighthouses and the famous Maine Lobster Festival.

Spend some time in nature and support the Rockland Project Puffin at their visitor centre, where fans of these beautiful feathered friends can learn more about puffins, their habitats and how everyone can work together to help conserve this at-risk sea bird.

19- Belfast

Enjoy the sea air, stroll along Belfast Harborwalk and look out for sailboats, activity at the shipyard and sea birds.

Nestled inside a beautiful red brick 1800s building is the Belfast Historical Society Museum which displays many local artefacts indulging a recreation of an old apothecary, a restored flag quilt dating from the American Civil War, and an authentic jail from the 1890s.

Indulge your senses at Belfast Maine Farmers Market, where you will find a range of foods and drinks on offer, including cheeses, baked goods and fresh fruits and vegetables, all at affordable prices.

20- Gardiner

Gardiner is one of the smallest cities in Maine but is filled with magnificent natural landscapes, plenty of hiking trails and lots of local history.

If you are visiting with your dog, stroll along the leafy Kennebec River Trail, whose six-mile (9.65 kilometres) length weaves between the treetop canopy, offering a tranquil escape from the city noise.

Warm yourself with a locally made spirit in cosy and traditional surroundings at Chadwick’s Craft Spirits tasting room.

Chadwick’s signature drink is a fruity cocktail named the Raspberry Smash, however, if this isn’t your type of drink, their friendly team of bar staff will recommend the perfect drink for you; you may even get to ask the master distiller himself!

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sarah holmes travel writer
Sarah Holmes is a travel and fashion writer living in the heart of England. From family adventures in numerous parts of the UK and Europe to exploring cities as an adult, Sarah has a wide knowledge of the best areas, sights and local tips that the UK and the neighbouring continent can offer. Sarah grew up in the North East of England, with incredible sights and landmarks only a short drive away. Her favourite places to visit include Seaham Beach, the Lake District and Alnwick Castle. Sarah has written for a range of fashion and travel blogs and print publications.