Believe it or not, low-cost vacations in Maine can still feel extravagant

Quick notes:

  • Maine has a number of outdoor spaces to explore

  • There is no shortage of charming coastal towns

  • Camping is a great way to fully experience Maine and cut costs

You’re in need of a getaway but you don’t have as much to spend on a vacation as you’d like. You want to try out some time away, but you don’t want your trip to feel second-rate or to be boring. If you’re looking for a full vacation experience consider Maine. The area is beautiful and there are plenty of cost-conscious options that will still allow you to unwind and enjoy your downtime.

Not sure how to make things work? We’ve got three suggestions for ways to experience Maine without breaking the bank.

Tip 1: Center your time around Acadia National Park or Mount Katahdin

Located in the Northern part of Maine, Acadia National Park is one of the ten most visited National Parks for a reason. It shows off the glorious rocky terrain of the North Atlantic coast. There are also miles of hiking trails that can accommodate a variety of skill levels and allow visitors to explore both the coastline and forested areas. While hiking, you can take part in wildlife watching, find a lighthouse, practice photography, and — if you’re a true early bird — catch the sunrise at one of the eastern-most locations in the United States.

For a different outdoor experience, head to Baxter State Park and experience hiking in and around the 5,269 ft. Mt. Katahdin. This mountain is the tallest peak in Maine and it marks the Northern end of the Appalachian Trail. While you can endeavor to climb the mountain, less ambitious hikers may choose to simply enjoy the area’s nature for its own sake.

Tip 2: Try camping

Pixabay

Maine has a number of campgrounds open throughout the year, from Spring through fall. There are obvious camping choices at either Acadia National Park (be sure to have reservations here for summer camping) or Baxter State Park. However, other campgrounds are plentiful, even in areas near major cities.

Tip 3: Plan a shorter weekend getaway

One of the most obvious ways to save money on a getaway is to shorten your stay. If this is going to be your strategy, there are a number of towns in Maine that make for great destinations. Choose just one and explore it more deeply. You’ll be pleasantly surprised at all you find there and you’ll find you’re satisfied even after a shorter stay.

One destination for a weekend getaway is Portland, Maine. The city has any number of charming and cozy accommodations to choose from and an amazing array of restaurants with nationally-ranked chefs in the kitchen. There is also plenty to keep you busy in this waterfront town. Stroll through shops that lead down to the harbor, visit the Portland Museum of Art, or stop into the Victorian Mansion, a 19th-century mansion with well-preserved period furnishings and decor.

There are plenty of Maine towns that make for relaxing and interesting weekend vacation experiences.

Another area to consider going to is Bar Harbor. Because this is the gateway to Acadia National Park, you’ll be able to pair a visit here with some hiking and park exploration.

A final option, that happens to work particularly well for families, is a visit to Boothbay Harbor. This coastal town also features excursions like the Coastal Maine Botanic Gardens, the Maine State Aquarium, and the Boothbay Railway Village. There are comfortable restaurants with a range of pricing and menu options, great for both kids and adults.

A deeper dive – More from the 101: