Our Top 5 Favorite Things to Do in Maine

Maine is a treasure trove of activities for families, couples, and adventure-seekers alike. From lounging on sun-kissed beaches to hiking majestic peaks, the state offers a diverse range of attractions to fill every moment of your vacation with unforgettable experiences. 

Here’s a closer look at some of Maine’s most beloved destinations, each brimming with unique activities and adventures.

Old Orchard Beach: Sun, Sand, and Endless Fun

Old Orchard Beach is a quintessential Maine destination, cherished by visitors year after year. Imagine yourself on seven glorious miles of sand. There’s enough room for everyone to have a great time, whether you’re soaking up the sun, playing beach games, exploring the Eastern Trail, or kayaking through Scarborough Marsh. And if you didn’t bring beach gear, no problem—you can rent everything you need right on the beach.

Make sure to wander down the famous Old Orchard Beach Pier. This spot has been a favorite since it first went up in 1898, even hosting the likes of Frank Sinatra back in the day. Though it’s been rebuilt over the years, the pier today is bustling with fun eateries, quirky shops, and lively bars, all perched above the rolling waves.

Right by the pier is Palace Playland, New England’s only beachfront amusement park. Here, kids and adults can enjoy everything from high-octane rides to more mellow attractions, plus classic arcade games. And don’t miss the fireworks show every Thursday night—it’s a spectacular sight as the fireworks burst over the ocean.

Fryeburg Fair: A Celebration of Maine’s Agricultural Roots

For a taste of Maine’s rich agricultural history, head to the Fryeburg Fair, the state’s largest agricultural fair. Hosted each year, it typically takes place in the last week of September into the first week of October. It’s a vibrant mix of fun rides, live music, and captivating performances.

Explore the Ag Exhibition Center and the Farm Museum, and check out local craftsmanship at the Craft Center. The fair is a feast for the senses, complete with a Grand Parade and fireworks. It offers everything from tasty traditional foods to local craft beers. Kid-friendly rides, truck pulls, and a demolition derby make it a perfect family outing.

Sunday River: Year-Round Adventure Awaits

Sunday River isn’t just a wintertime haven; it’s a year-round destination with something for everyone. Known as one of Maine’s best ski resorts, it boasts over 53 miles of trails spread across eight interconnected peaks, offering varied levels of difficulty for every family member. 

During the warmer months, take a Scenic Lift Ride—yes, it’s dog-friendly—or hike up the ski trails for breathtaking mountain views. The area also offers a range of summer activities, including canoeing, kayaking, or paddleboarding down the Androscoggin River, along with fishing, biking, and hidden swimming spots for cooling off. 

Grafton Notch State Park: A Natural Gem

Grafton Notch State Park is a must-visit. This expansive state park is home to one of Maine’s tallest mountains, Old Speck Mountain. 

Whether you’re up for a challenging 7.4-mile hike to the top or prefer a scenic 21-mile drive through the park, Grafton Notch offers breathtaking views and beautiful waterfalls like Screw Auger Falls and Step Falls. It’s an ideal place for families looking to immerse themselves in nature without straying too far from civilization.

Naples Waterfront: A Slice of Lakeside Serenity

Naples Waterfront, along the shores of Long Lake, is a haven for those who love lake life. Enjoy a leisurely cruise on the Songo River Queen II, an authentic paddle-wheeler, or take the helm of a rented boat for a day of exploration.

The area is also packed with family-friendly activities, including mini-golf, ice cream spots, and tasty restaurants. Each Father’s Day weekend, the waterfront hosts the Maine Blues Festival, celebrating local music with events like the Blues Cruise.

Bonus: Downtown Norway 

In July, Downtown Norway comes alive with the Norway Music and Arts Festival, a day-long celebration of community music and arts. August brings the Foothills Food Festival, showcasing local food, beer, and music at the height of the harvest season.

Or, stroll along Main Street to explore unique locally-owned shops and restaurants housed in historic buildings. Nearby, you can enjoy the natural beauty of Lake Pennesseewassee, Shephard’s Farm Preserve with its Bernard Langlais sculptures, and the scenic trails at Roberts Farm Preserve. Downtown Norway offers a perfect blend of culture, history, and outdoor adventure for visitors and locals alike.

Maine is a place of boundless possibilities, tailor-made for adventurers, families, and everyone in between. Each destination offers unique attractions, ensuring that you’re in for a treat no matter where you go. Maine has something to enchant everyone. 

The best part? These fantastic places are just a day trip from Papoose Pond Family Campground and Cabins. After a day full of adventures, you can return to the comfort of your campsite, share stories of the day, and recharge for another day of exploration. It’s the perfect way to experience the best of Maine from a convenient home base.