Must-See Monday: 5 Vacation Destinations in Maine

Ah, Wicked Cool!

As the northern most state in the continental U.S., Maine is often overlooked as for the family vacation. But if you're not considering it for your next New England getaway, you're seriously missing out. Maine has rich forests and parks, beautiful coastlines and harbors and, arguably, the best seafood in the nation. The Institute for Economics and Peace even ranked it the safest state in the country. So, when every other family on the block goes to Disney World, discover this hidden treasure of New England. Here are some of the top 5 vacation destinations in Maine!

Acadia National Park

Located on a small island right off the coast, Acadia National Park offers some of the most breathtaking views in the entire Northeast. It's the oldest national park east of the Mississippi River and has the highest peak of any mountain facing the Atlantic ocean, according to the National Park Service. Like most national parks, Acadia features trails for hiking and biking, camping and historic landmarks. We recommend grabbing a campsite close to that gorgeous ocean view.

Bar Harbor

You can't visit Maine and not visit their landmark harbors. The state is rich with boating culture and ripe with activity along the water. Bar Harbor is the best seaside town in New England to take all of that in. Tourists can rent kayaks, explore museums and enjoy the best clam chowder on the planet. If you're interested in Native American history, the Abbe Museum is your best bet to learn about the area's Wabanaki heritage.

Monhegan Island

Monhegan Island is a slice of nature cut off from the modern world. It's 10 miles from the mainland and has no paved roads or infrastructure. Those looking for the ultimate experience in secluded nature will find it here. The island is roughly a square mile in size and its rocky cliff sides are perfect for watching an Atlantic sunrise. If going 100% primal isn't your thing, there are inns and cottages for overnight stays that offer some comforts of civilization.

Five Fifty-Five

You didn't think we were going to leave food off the list, did you. Well, if truffled lobster mac and cheese doesn't work up your appetite, what are you even doing in New England? Five Fifty-Five is located in historic Portland, and it's home to some of the city's favorite dishes. Epicurious named it a top-five Portland restaurant; try the "savory plates" which feature flat iron steak or the delicious mac and cheese we mentioned earlier.

Hadlock Field

This Fenway look-alike in Portland is one of the hidden treasures in baseball. Hadlock Field is home to the Red Sox-affiliated Sea Dogs and named after Portland High School's legendary baseball coach when the stadium opened in 1994. Like Fenway, it has its own "Green Monster" wall in left field and is a great family outing for those who want the baseball experience but don't want to pay an MLB price. Time to make a trip to Maine? Yes. Take a look at the great Maine vacation rental options on Tripping.com!

Before You Go...

While you're planning your fabulous New England vacation, you should also be planning for safety and preparedness.
  • Have a neighbor or friend check on your home while you're gone and pick up your mail. Burglars target empty houses while families are vacationing over the summer.
  • You may not like the idea of paying extra for travel insurance, but it can act as a safety net during an emergency.
  • Travelers are more susceptible to identity theft than at-home folks, thanks to unsecured Internet access and using credit cards at unfamiliar places. Use cash whenever possible, protect your critical documents and only use your bank's ATM.
For more identity theft facts and travel tips, visit sites such as IndependentTraveler.com and Lifelock.com.   This post was contributed by Francine Daly from SocialMonsters.org. 
Photo Credits: Photo 1 by Flickr user Dougtone; Photo 2 by Flickr user Anna McDermott; Photo 3 by Flickr user Trace Meek; Photo 4 by Flickr user Garden State Hiker; Photo 5 by Flickr user Dougtone