Maine is a well-known bucket list state, and it should be. Many know it for its lobster rolls or Acadia National Park, but also for the many secret places in Maine.
These places include rocky coastlines, quirky museums, and off-the-beaten-path restaurants. We’ve got nine secret places in Maine to add to your bucket list to the Pine Tree State. But don’t tell anyone about these. They are, after all, a secret.
What’s Maine Known For?
Maine is known for its rugged beauty, often referred to as where the mountains meet the ocean. Located in the far northeast corner of the United States, it is often one of the last places travelers visit, yet one of the first on their bucket lists.
The beautiful pine trees, jagged coastline, and fabulous seafood in Maine are legendary. The state offers a picturesque view of the Atlantic ocean, with deep forests covering 89% of its land mass. Lighthouses dot the state, offering glimpses into Maine’s maritime culture.
And you can’t forget about the blueberries. Maine is the largest producer of wild blueberries in the nation. All of these attractions draw in millions of tourists worldwide. However, the number one attraction in Maine is Acadia National Park, and that’s no secret.
What Is the Number 1 Attraction in Maine?
Situated on the coast of Maine, Acadia National Park is one of the most popular tourist destinations in the United States. The park encompasses over 47,000 acres and is home to a diverse range of plant and animal life and various geological features.
Here the mountains meet the ocean. Visitors can enjoy activities such as hiking and biking. Or you can simply take in the stunning views of the Atlantic coastline, such as Cadillac Mountain, the highest point on the East Coast.
Acadia National Park was first established as a national site in 1916 and has since expanded several times. It officially became Acadia National Park in 1929. Today, the National Park Service manages the park, the number one attraction in Maine.
9 Secret Places in Maine to Add to Your Bucket List
You should visit Acadia, enjoy a Maine lobster and some wild blueberries for dessert, and visit a lighthouse or two. But you must also visit some of these secret places in Maine. You might want to put these a little higher on your bucket list.
These nine secret places have beauty, wonder, mouth-watering food, and exquisite art. They won’t stay a secret for long. So before they get crowded, you’ve got a leg up. Start crossing these nine secret places in Maine off your bucket list today.
1. Cutler Bold Coast Preserve
Location: SE Maine, ME-191, Cutler ME
About: Cutler Bold Coast Preserve covers 12,334 acres and offers some of the most stunning and diverse views in Maine, including over four miles overlooking the Bay of Fundy. With 10 miles of hiking trails, Cutler Bold Coast Preserve is the perfect place to explore the great outdoors.
It also has over 19 miles of ATV trails that wind through different ecosystems. This activity provides a unique and exciting way to experience everything the preserve offers.
Whether you want a challenging hike or a stroll, Cutler Bold Coast Preserve is a secret place in Maine worth checking out. Although on the weekends, we’re pretty sure the secret has gotten out.
Why Visit: This trail system can often have a lot of fog, and many trails take you to clifftops overlooking the sea, crashing onto the rocks below. The rugged beauty of the coastline here is the reason to visit.
2. Bagaduce Lunch in Brooksville
Location: 145 Franks Flat, Penobscot, ME
About: Bagaduce Lunch is a simple yet delicious locally owned seafood restaurant in south-central Maine in Northern Bay. They specialize in flavored soft serve cones that rotate often, with flavors such as coffee, pistachio, orange pineapple, and more.
Bagaduce Lunch serves delicacies such as lobster, crab, clam, shrimp, scallops, and fish and chips. Not a seafood fan? Try their burgers, hot dogs, or chicken fingers. Whatever you choose, you’ll have a grand lunch on the bay, one unique to Maine.
Why Visit: Seafood in Maine is delectable. But this secret place in Maine is all about the soft-serve ice cream on a gorgeous summer day.
3. Rattlesnake Flume
Location: Shell Pond Rd in Stow, Maine
About: Rattlesnake Brook is not your average brook. It feeds into a waterfall and pool, creating a natural water ride. From the brook comes Rattlesnake Flume, a 10-foot plunge into Rattlesnake Pool, with 12 feet of clear waters.
The lagoon-like green waters are clean and cool, making it the perfect place to take a dip on a hot day. Its location in west-central Maine makes this area one of the best-kept secrets ever. Everyone else is on the coast.
Why Visit: The better question here is why not? Taking a dip in a serene natural pool full of clear, clean, refreshing mountain water surrounded by pine trees and lush greenery may just be the highlight of your trip. Don’t tell anyone else about this secret place in Maine.
Traveler’s Tip: Escape the Maine shoreline and seek out these Best Waterfalls in Maine You Have to Visit instead.
4. Damariscotta Fish Ladder
Location: 335 Bayview Rd., Nobleboro, ME
About: Located just off of U.S. Highway 1, north of Boothbay on the Damariscotta River, you’ll find a truly secret place in Maine, a fish ladder and alewife fishery. A fish ladder is a man-made structure that gives a passageway for fish to migrate over a barrier. The Damariscotta fish ladder was built in 1807 so that fish could cross the river blocked at that time by mills.
The alewife fish are an important source of bait to both commercial and local lobstermen. They also help to promote a healthy marine ecosystem. If you love Maine lobster, then pay a visit here.
Gain an understanding of how the alewives help sustain a healthy environment for the lobster you love. And gain an appreciation of the history of the region.
Why Visit: Visit here in the springtime, and you’ll experience something unique: harvesting the alewives. The fish are harvested for bait twice a day, and visitors can come to view this event.
5. Ogunquit Museum of American Art
Location: 543 Shore Rd., Ogunquit, ME
About: Wide, spacious windows overlooking the sea allow creative expression to flow freely at the Ogunquit Museum of American Art. Here, you can wander the museum while contemplating the many beautiful pieces displayed throughout the galleries. Or you can join one of the classes offered here and make your own art.
You’ll find over 3,000 works of modern and contemporary art and a three-acre sculpture garden. It includes 18 small themed gardens, many overlooking the Atlantic Ocean. With all of this, you may feel like you’ve entered a secret garden.
Why Visit: How many museums offer the beauty of the Atlantic coast? For that matter, how many offer the beauty of Maine? Here, you get both natural and man-made art. Museum and art lover or not, don’t miss this inspiring place.
6. Wild Blueberry Land
Location: 1067 U.S. Hwy 1, Columbia Falls, ME
About: Wild blueberries grow abundantly in Maine, and you would be remiss if you didn’t take some home with you. And here at Wild Blueberry Land, you can get blueberry coffee, tea, jams, syrups, candles, and more. There’s even a wild blueberry museum to explore.
Owners, chefs, and farmers, Dell and Marie Emerson have worked with blueberries for decades. They know berries, and you must pay them a visit to enjoy the fruits of their labor. This little hidden gem may be a secret place in Maine now, but it might not be for long.
Why Visit: Do you really need another reason other than the fact that this building has the shape of a blueberry? Yes? How about its scrumptious blueberry goodies?
Traveler’s Tip: Feeling hungry? Find out What Makes Maine Blueberries So Special?
7. Thompson Ice House Harvesting Museum
Location: 4568 ME-129, South Bristol, ME
About: Ice is easy to come by in the 21st century, but in the 19th century, not so much. In the early 1800s, a farmer named Asa Thompson dammed a brook on his property, creating a pond. He then cut ice to use on his farm. But people caught wind of it and wanted some for their farms, too. Thus began commercial ice cutting.
Today, volunteers come and harvest ice the same way as in the 1800s. Now a museum open to guests to explore in the summer, this secret place in Maine is something truly unique.
Why Visit: If you feel hardy and can withstand Maine’s beautiful yet frigid winter season, then plan a trip in February for their annual Ice Harvest. Not that hardy? Take advantage of the ice harvested in February for their annual Ice Cream Social in July, instead.
8. Laite Memorial Beach in Camden
Location: 112 Bay View St., Camden, ME
About: Laite Memorial Beach in Camden provides a beautiful place to enjoy the Maine coast. The harbor beach has oceanfront access and no fees, making it a popular spot for swimming, sunbathing, and picnicking.
The Laite Beach playground is great for kids to burn off energy. And the on-site bathrooms and grills make it easy to spend a whole day at the beach. Laite Memorial also has a pebble beach where you can collect seashells. And no matter where you go, you’ll have stunning views of Penobscot Bay and Camden Hills.
Why Visit: After a day exploring the quaint town of Camden, come relax, unwind, and enjoy the beauty of the Atlantic in a small town park setting.
9. The Nook and Cranny Restaurant in Baileyville
Location: 575 Airline Rd (Rt 9), Baileyville, ME
About: If you want some of the best food in Maine, head to Washington County. One of the best places to enjoy this food is at the Nook and Cranny Restaurant. Considered one of the top 14 places to visit in Maine, the locals call it “Washington County’s best-kept secret.”
And we can see why. They serve everything from fresh fish tacos to liver and onions, handcrafted gourmet burgers, surf and turf, and much more.
Plus, they have a full bar with specialty cocktails. So whether you want a great meal or just a place to relax with a drink, the Nook and Cranny is the place to be.
Why Visit: The Nook and Cranny isn’t your typical restaurant. Its award-winning menu comes from a chef with over 40 years of experience. And the fresh, local ingredients make this a restaurant to experience and savor.
Are Secret Places in Maine Worth Visiting?
Maine is about more than just lobsters and Acadia National Park. And now you know why. Visit these little-known places, like the Bagaduce Lunch, offering unique soft serve ice cream flavors alongside local seafood. Or take a trip to Lake Memorial’s harbor and see why Maine should make your bucket list.
With these wonders, Maine’s secrets will be hard to keep. So, let’s keep these places just between us. Or they won’t be a secret for long.
What secret spot in Maine do you want to visit first? Tell us in the comments!
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