One of the most picturesque coasts in the United States, Maine is the perfect place to spend your Fourth of July Family vacation. Just imagine watching fireworks light up the beach from the window of your seaside vacation rental. Enjoy days on the beach, or seek some adventure on the lake. Maine even offers a great culture, and of course, seafood so fresh you can hear it splash!

1. Mount Desert Island

rocky cliff

This island off the coast of Maine was recently voted as one of Travel and Leisure’s Top 10 World’s Best Islands for Beaches and Natural Attractions, and it’s easy to see why. Home to Acadia National Park and the town of Bar Harbor, Mount Desert Island draws millions of visitors each year for its charming inns, rocky beaches, and endless hiking trails. Get your lay of the land by scaling Cadillac Mountain, a 1,530 promontory over the Eastern Seaboard, and set up camp on Isle Au Haut or the month-old Schoodic Woods Campground on the mainland. And don’t let a surge of tourist intimidate you because some believe that the area has an over-abundance of seasonal vacation rentals and hotel rooms. More for you to choose from!

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2. Quoddy Head State Park

historic lighthouse

The Quoddy Head State Park boasts 541 protected coastal acres. Catch stunning views of the many available hiking trails and nature walks. Visit the cranberry bog, climb the coastal trail or visit the rocky beach, and definitely don’t leave without seeing the West Quoddy Lighthouse. This red-and-white-striped lighthouse at the far eastern stretch of Maine is as iconic as iconic can get. The tower isn’t open to the public, but there is a museum inside the former lighthouse keeper’s quarters that features historical displays. Come early to see the sunrise, and keep an eye out for whales!

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3. Portland

headlight house near the sea

Not to be confused with the Portland on the west coast, Maine’s Portland is a perfect mixture or artistic and outdoor adventures. Here, you’ll experience quintessential Maine with its lobster rolls and rocky shores, but you’ll also get the thrill and excitement of an urban landscape. Portland has a thriving contemporary arts community, and at the Portland Museum of Art, you’ll find the treasure trove of internationally renowned artists. The Portland Symphony Orchestra, Stage Theatre, and Portland Ballet are also world-class and locally loved. Finish your Fourth with fireworks during a 2-hour cruise along the Kennebec River with the Maine Maritime Museum.

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4. Great Diamond Island

clouds in the sky
Source: Flickr / InAweofGod’sCreation

Technically part of Portland, Great Diamond Island is so amazing that we had to list it on its own. It’s the perfect place if your family wants to get away from it all. Reach the island via a short ferry ride from Portland or bring your personal boat that can be docked at the marina. No car needed! The island also boasts several beaches, hiking trails, a history museum, a general store, a fitness center and a yoga studio. It has everything you need for a fun and relaxing family vacation.

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5. Penobscot Bay

sunlight over the ocean
Source: Flickr / smilla4

You can’t come to Maine without getting on the water, and Penobscot Bay is considered to be the best and most scenic cruising grounds in Maine. “The Jewel of the Maine Coast” is just forty miles long by twenty miles wide but is full of small uninhabited islands, secluded anchorages, quaint fishing villages, working harbors, and summer resorts. In Rockland, the “Lobster Capital of the World” and gateway to Penobscot Bay, you can see lobstermen bring in their daily catch at the docks, and you can actually buy lobster fresh off the boat!

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6. Ogunquit

attractive sky

The name might look funny, but it actually means “ a beautiful place by the sea.” If that’s not enough reason to visit this idyllic small town on the southern coast of Maine, how about its gorgeous beaches, charming inns and boutiques and delicious food? Lounge in the sun on the white-sand coast or follow the Marginal Way trail along the rocky part of the coastline, which will take you to the fishing community of Perkins Cove. If you’re looking for special Fourth of July events, there will be fireworks at the Main Beach parking lot.

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7. Blue Hill

peeping sun

Another great beach town in Maine? Can’t say we’re surprised. In this unspoiled beach town, you and your family will be transported to a simpler time. Hike up Blue Hill Mountain for the most spectacular views in the state, or shop for antiques dating back to the 18th century. Every summer, the town hosts the Blue Hill County Fair, with its trademark skillet toss and livestock galore along with concerts from the local chamber music academy which attracts the top students from around the nation. Don’t leave without taking a trip to the White family farm, former home of E.B. White, the author of Charlotte’s Web.

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8. Old Orchard Beach

shops at the pier
Source: Flickr / Paul VanDerWerf

Old Orchard Beach has been welcoming guests for more than 170 years. Your kids will love the Beach’s many attractions like the Beachfront Palace Playland Park, which is the only beachfront amusement park in New England, while you can play 18 holes of golf near the beach at the Dunegrass Golf Club. The Old Orchard Beach Pier opened in 1898 and extends nearly 500 feet out over the Atlantic Ocean. On the pier, you can shop, eat, fish, or go on a whale watching or bird watching tour, and of course, watch some Fourth of July fireworks!

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9. Downeast Lakes

boat on the sea
Source: Flickr / OtherDrK

Downeast Lakes is the perfect place for you and your family to reconnect with nature. Comprised of over two dozen pristine lakes and miles of woodland streams all surrounded by private and public conservation land, it’s an explorer’s dream. Instead of just eating seafood, catch some yourself at the charming village of Grand Lake Stream, a world-renowned fly fishing destination for landlocked salmon and brook trout. If you are looking for beauty, solitude and a peaceful escape, this is definitely the place for you.

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10. Baxter State Park

lake and mountains

Trade the water for the Highlands at Baxter State Park starting with Mount Katahdin. Katahdin is Maine’s highest peak, clocking in at 5,267 feet. Backpack up and stay the night to get the most out of the breathtaking views at the top. The rest of the state park features 200,000 acres of natural riches including the Penobscot River, famous for whitewater rating, and Moosehead Lake, where you can hop aboard the steamship Katahdin. The nearby town of Millinocket is where you can find your home away from home.

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Ready to plan a trip to Maine? Check out more places to stay: