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By far the largest of the New England states, Maine mirrors Minnesota in the number of lakes punctuating the countryside, 6,000 strong. It has an amazing 17 million acres of forest land, over 5,000 miles of coastline and an astounding 32,000 miles of rivers, the Kennebec being my favorite. It played no small role in the Revolutionary War, as Benedict Arnold had to forge it to move his men and several huge cannons in an ill-conceived attempt to take Quebec from the British.

The United States has named 95 roads National Scenic Byways or All-American Roads. Four are in Maine.

All of the New England states are divided into tourism regions. That’s why we have a main state Home Page and a state Regions Page on Newenglandtimes.com Maine has eight regions: Aroostook County; Downeast &Acadia; Greater Portland; Kennebeck and Moose River Valleys; Mid-Coast; The Maine Beaches; the Maine Highlands and Maine Lakes & Mountains.

Each has its own distinct nature, flavor and attractions, diverse, fun and great places to live if not to sneak off on a great Maine getaway and its many Attractions in the northern most state in the region. To "do" the entire state and soak up the essence of each region would take a month, at least, but a trip like that would be memorable for a lifetime, but it would be a fantastic Maine getaway and vacation.

Within each region are sub-regions that help in further filtering down how much state your eyes and mind can handle. But you’ll not be disappointed with any region or sub-region.

Maine borders New Hampshire to the south and west, Canada to part of its west and north, and the Atlantic Ocean, known for its chilliness at certain times of the year (even during the summer), to the east.

This is a superb state in which to take a great New England getaway or vacation.

The Regions
There is more information about Maine regions threshed out at The Maine Regions Page. But what follows is a quick peek at some of what Maine regions offer overall.

Downeast & Acadia
It’s here that President Franklyn D. Roosevelt’s summerhouse is. As in most of the state, lobsters are on the menus of about every restaurant, off-the-boat fresh. Whale and puffin watching are favored attractions here, and it’s a mistake to view one at the exclusion of the other. Puffin are among the most colorful birds in existence with fascinating faces, and worth a Maine getaway and part of a New England getaway all by themselves. And seeing whales up close and personal is an enchanting experience. You can find quite a few whale boats and cruises to take you as close as possible.

Here, too, is Acadia National Park, the quintessential spot for a Maine vacation, ready and primed for exploration, by foot, bike, boat. or climbing are available. In addition there are plenty of fishing and hunting opportunities.

Bar Harbor, a lovely town, is just east of the park, and serves as an excellent spot for a New England getaway or vacation spend the summer.

Aroostook is as fascinating for its history and heritage as it is for its sheer size, attractions and sightseeing opportunities. The largest county, it is also the farthest north and awash in Acadian heritage.

Canoeing and bike riding through potato fields for as far as the eye can see are but two popular activities. Of Maine’s 6000 lakes, 2,000 are in this one region alone. That makes for great fishing, especially for muskie. Hiking in summer and fall gives you truly wild trails where you can commune with nature in many ways.

You can camp here or visit the three museums in the area.

Two great New England getaway packages are the Maine Moose Hunt and Maine Black bear Hunt. There are no fewer than 28 museums in Aroostook County, including: the Ashland Logging Museum; the Caribou Historical Center and Society; the Nylander Museum, which is dedicated to Swedish immigrant Olof Nylander; and the Thomas Heritage House, a family farm restored for posterity, which is open by appointment; the Fort Kent Blockhouse, Historic Site; Aroostook County Historical & Art Museum among many others.

Central to the patchwork social fabric of the region is the Fort Kent area, where a variety of people settled and where many hold U.S. and Canadian dual citizenships. It’s also where a unique version of French (referred to as "Brayon" by some and "Valley French" by others ) is a second language. It’s a language close to the French spoken in Quebec.

Fort Kent is also home to the Fort Kent branch of the University of Maine, and the last major outpost of civilization, save the for smaller towns of Allagash and St, Francis, before one enters Maine’s North Woods—the biggest area of undeveloped land east of the Mississippi River.

Each year brings special events, festivals and get-togethers, such as, the International Muskie Derby in the summer, during which fisherman vie to catch the biggest muskie. The Bouchard Family Farm Ploye Festival. Ployes comprise buckwheat flour, aluminum free baking powder and wheat flour, much like a pancake. During the festival they cook one huge ploye that takes four to five people to handle with enormous spatulas. Finally, there’s the Can Am Crown 250 Dog Sled Race.

Greater Portland Region
It matters not the season, Portland, Maine’s largest urban area has plenty in the way of bucolic, as well. A plethora of fishing cruises head out to sea from Portland, and there’s a wonderful nightlife full of various attractions and superb places to hang out. It’s also the region that includes Freeport, where the headquarters of LL Bean resides.

Upper Kennebec and Moose River Valleys
If you’re interested in summer waters sports, New England fall foliage and snowmobiling in winter, this is the region for you. In fact, it’s probably the best region for outdoor adventures, including fishing, hiking, biking, kayaking, canoeing and just enjoying nature. Starting in Augusta, you can drive aside the historic and multi-sport Kennebec River on Scenic Route 201. As you travel along, you’ll pass through Waterville, home to Colby College and the Redington Museum, which displays, town and regional history; antiques from different periods; toys and centuries’ period household treasures and a variety of historical documents. You’ll travel through the Margaret Chase Smith library in Skowhegan. Stop in The Forks to do some white-river rafting after stopping.

Maine Lakes
For those who like mountains and lakes together, this is the region for you. In the Western part of Maine, there’s little season blending, but rather start seasonal differences in the form of colorful wild flowers in spring and summer, truly magnificent fall foliage, and tall snow-laden mountains.

Besides the flora and snow scenes, there’s ample fauna. Moose, loon and an assortment of other fascinating wildlife lives in the region. This is also where the ski areas are for both Nordic and cross-country skiing. Jackman is the place to be for snowmobiling.

The region is dotted by charming, New England villages, where you can come and relax regardless the season. It’s a true "get-away-from-it-all" paradise.

The MidCoast Region
As the name implies, this is the mid part of Maine’s coast. Here, as in other coastal regions are puffin and whale watches. Plenty of shops selling everything from scrimshaw to antiques and books about the unique, New England lifestyle, not to mention magnificent boat models already made or to build yourself.

Numerous peninsulas, jaggedly carved by the Ice Age, jut out in the Atlantic or form wonderful bays for sailing, swimming or just getting some sun. Lobster are plentiful here and the dinner fare is both diverse and delicious.

Maine Beaches
Wonderful ages-past Old Orchard Beach is here awaiting you, your umbrella and picnic lunch. It’s in the lower part of the state, known more perhaps for summer vacationing, but it has something to offer year-round. Here there are names well known to New Englander vacationers, starting with Kittery, then Kennebunkport, Ogunquit and Wells. The fishing is terrific as is the food, and Kittery joins other New England communities as an outlet town, with the big name brands for those who want to shop.

The Maine Highlands
Here is where Maine does some record-setting or darn-close-to-record-setting. Moosehead Lake is vast, the largest in New England. Baxter State Park, with 200,000 acres, takes the prize for biggest in the state while Mt. Katahdin rise proudly a mile into the ski as the state’s tallest mountain.

White water rafting is one among many different activities in which to get involved. The Kennebec shows up in this region, too, and the Penobscot River is were the best rafting can be done.

This region is for the outdoorsman and outdoors woman, those interested in nature, hunting and fishing. Here, too, you can enjoy a layover in Bangor before heading into the wild.

All in all, Maine is one place where you can get the farthest away from stress, crazy commutes and the jerk in the office with the rose tie who tells jokes no one laughs at but he thinks are thigh slappers. Up here, nature will re-tune and fine-tune your mind as you unwind in a vast land of forests, lakes, mountains, rivers, and most important of all, peace and supreme relaxation.


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QuickStart Guide

Four Simple Steps to Planning the Perfect New England Getaway or Vacation.

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