This bayside town of Maine is famous for its puffins, whales, lobsters, seals, and seabirds. The surrounding lighthouses are another favorite. Mount Desert street features several summer homes from the 1940s that are listed on the National Register of Historic Places and currently operate as inns.
Penobscot Narrows Observatory
At 420 feet, the Penobscot Narrows Observatory is the world’s tallest bridge observatory. The bridge itself is 2120 feet and connects Verona Island to Prospect in Maine. It is one of three cable stayed bridges in the USA. The site is also where the historic Fort Knox can be found, which was the first fort to be built of granite and not wood.
Fort Williams Park
Until 1964, this park was an active military base guarding the Casco Bay and was the headquarters of the Portland harbor defenses. It is known as The Battery of Portland Head.
Fort Williams Park is also famous in Maine for another reason. Built in 1791, the Portland Head Light is the oldest lighthouse in Maine. During the American Civil War, it was common for ships coming in and out of Portland Harbor to be raided. The Portland Head Light served as a guiding force for ships. Located in Cape Elizabeth, it is currently maintained by the US Coast Guard.
The Berlin Wall
A section of the Berlin Wall can be found on Long Wharf near DiMillo’s Floating Restaurant in Old Port, Portland.
Also known as Route 112, this is the driving route between New Hampshire and Acadia National Park in Maine. The White Mountains can be observed against the backdrop. There is a particularly scenic passage between Conway and Lincoln.
Acadia National Park
Located predominantly on Mount Desert Island, Maine, Acadia National Park stretches across more than 47,000 acres of land. One of the most popular national parks in the United States, Acadia attracts more than 2 million visitors annually. The tallest geographic structure is Cadillac Mountain, whose peak is 1,530 feet high, making it the tallest mountain on the Atlantic Coast.
Hitting the 27 mile Park Loop Drive is a basic for anyone visiting. The route begins at the Hulls Cove Visitor Center and offers great coastal views. It also offers access to many of Acadia’s attractions such as Sand Beach, Otter Cliffs, Thunder Hole, Jordan Pond and Cadillac Mountain.
The Wild Gardens: More than 300 native species are displayed in nine separate areas. Located at the Sieur de Monts Spring and Nature Center, there are hiking trails leading to the Abbe Museum, Maine’s only museum devoted to Native American heritage.
Sand Beach: 5,000 years ago, ice from glaciers carved out this valley in present day Acadia. Melting glaciers resulted in rising sea waters which flooded the valley leading to a protected cove. Swimming is only possible if you can handle waters at 10 degrees Celsius! The sand consists of sparkling quartz, pink feldspar, fragments of shells and other marine animals. The seaweed which gets washed up ashore, have air sacs within them. This makes them so difficult to “pop” or break, even if you jumped up and down on them!
Thunder Hole: The crashing of waves creates a thunderous sound with water splashing as high as 40 feet. You can also see the 110 foot high Otter Cliff, one of the highest headlands north of Rio de Janeiro.
Bee Hive Trail: A short hike but definitely not for those afraid of heights and cliff hangers! Rated as “Strenuous”, the trail runs 0.8 miles long and 520 feet, but includes exposed cliffs with iron rungs on the ledges.