For other places with the same name, see Maine (disambiguation).

Maine is the northernmost and easternmost state in New England. Its rugged, indented coastline and glacier-carved, forested interior give this state its unique character and have shaped the character of its people.



Some of Maine's major cities are:

Other destinations


Portland Head Lighthouse in Cape Elizabeth

Maine owes its statehood to the Missouri compromise of 1820, that in essence admitted Missouri as a slave state and split off Maine from Massachusetts to admit it as a free state, to maintain the balance of pro- and anti-slavery factions in the US Senate, in which every state has two votes, regardless of population. Maine is a northeastern state, but one of the more sparsely populated states in the USA. Its northern reaches, known as The Great North Woods, are largely pristine wilderness. The coastal regions, supported over the years by fishing, lobstering and tourism, are more heavily populated, particularly in the southern, more temperate part of the state. Although the water is decidedly cool, Maine's mostly rocky coastline and more than 60 lighthouses make for some beautiful scenery. That, a comfortable place to stay, and a Maine lobster may be all you need.


Maine's unique accent and dialect lend to its one-of-a-kind charm. Many natives will jokingly say a few words or expressions in "yankee" as it's sometimes called. Several humorists and story tellers have built a reputation telling jokes and stories using the classic "yankee" dialect combined with a well known regional dry wit. These are not to be missed for the real Maine experience.

There are native French speakers in the St. John Valley of far northern Maine, and a strong Québécois tradition in central Maine, especially Lewiston-Auburn, brought by immigrants. Eastern Maine is referred to as "Down East" because the area is down wind from the rest of the east coast on the prevailing westerly breezes.

Get in

U.S. Route 2 in Maine: On many roads in the state, you will see small-town views like this

Maine shares land borders with New Brunswick, Québec, and New Hampshire.

Boston is the major gateway to Maine for visitors from overseas or the rest of the United States.

There is bus service from Boston to Maine's major cities, and the Amtrak Downeaster offers train service from Boston's North Station to Portland, with some trains continuing to Brunswick. Bus service also links New Brunswick in Canada with Bangor.

A car is required for travel around the state. Many visitors rent a car in Boston and take Interstate 95 northward to Maine. It takes about two hours to drive from Boston to Portland, and another two hours to drive from Portland to Bangor.

Several airlines provide direct flights to Portland and Bangor from most major cities in the northeastern U.S. Bay Ferries used to offer high speed ferry service from Yarmouth, Nova Scotia to Portland and Bar Harbor but shut down these routes at the end of 2009.

Get around

Some buildings in Downtown Portland, Maine's only (relatively) big city

A car is necessary for getting around in Maine. Public roads are rare in the area north and west of Bangor. Private land owners maintain the few roads available in these north woods, and permits are required for access through each of ten checkpoints. Hours vary. Bicycles, motorcycles, all-terrain vehicles and horses are banned in the North Maine Woods to reduce hazards involving logging trucks and forest fires in hard-to-reach places.

By train

By bus

By campervan


Indian summer foliage in Cumberland Foreside, very close to Yarmouth


A good day for sailing along the coast




Mount Chase, Maine Highlands, at sunset

See the regional and city articles for specific restaurants and venues.



Maine produces some of the highest quality beers in the country. When in the Pine Tree State, go for a tour or look for titles by these fine breweries:


Maine's telephone area code is 207.

As far as cell phone use goes, Maine is geographically one of the least-covered states in the country. Coverage is good along the Southern Coast, in the Portland area, and along US Interstate 95 from the New Hampshire border to Bangor -- as well as some other areas such as Camden and Rockland.

Stay safe

Rocky coastline and forest, Acadia National Park

Go next

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