Maine History, Heritage & Culture

Acadian Village

Entrance to the Acadian Village Historical Site in Van Buren, Maine.

Maine has a long and varied lineage of traditions, customs and culture. It fact, Maine represents the best of dual histories. The state not only has its own diverse heritage and way of life, but it is also an integral part of New England’s storied past. Maine might not have the quintessential blockbuster attraction that people are accustomed to seeing. There is no Disney World or Leaning Tower of Pisa. Instead, Maine is the sum of hundreds of smaller, more unique places. From historic homes and wildflower gardens to colonial forts and scenic drives, when you add up all these attractions, you have something far greater than one blockbuster landmark.

Distinctive Destinations

History and culture need to be preserved. Rockland, Bath and Portland have been named distinctive destinations by The National Trust for Historic Preservation. These communities helped forge Maine’s identity. From timber production and shipbuilding to a sleepy fishing village turned thriving arts community, Maine’s heritage can be found throughout the streets and coastlines of these cities. Read More >

Ethnic Heritage

Maine is wedged in the upper corner of the northeast. It looks like a state that is trying to escape the U.S. for the nearby Canadian provinces. However, Maine’s remote location did not deter waves of immigrants from finding their way to its shores. While most Mainers are comprised of Yankee stock, there is a wealth of diversity in the state. From Native Americans and Swedes to Acadians and Amish, Maine’s cultural traditions are the direct result of the different people who have settled there. Read More >

Famous People

While Stephen King holds the prestigious title for being Maine’s most famous resident, the state has had an eclectic mix of accomplished residents over the years. While writers and artists like Sara Orne Jewett, E.B. White and Andrew Wyeth made their home in Maine, other notables include John Ford and Patrick Dempsey. If anyone rivals Stephen King, it is George Bush, Sr. and his family. Their summer retreat in Kennebunkport is a popular tourist draw. Read More >

Gardens & Landscapes

While any hike in the Maine woods is bound to bring you face-to-face with colorful wildflowers, the state is also home to several beautifully designed botanical gardens. These magnificent estates, summer homes, retreats, sanctuaries and National Historic Landmarks will have you taking out your flora and fauna guidebook and leaning in for a closer examination. Read More >

Historic Homes & Villages

Maine’s historic homes will not only give you a distinct sense of place, but also an architectural timeline of early America. From Colonial saltboxes to elegant Georgian and Federal style mansions, Maine’s coastline and countryside is filled with classic, must-see examples. The historic houses you find throughout the state are where Maine’s heritage and New England’s storied past come together in perfect Palladian-harmony. Read More >

Kennebec Heritage Corridor

A scenic drive is the cornerstone of any vacation. However, not all scenic drives are created equal. A trip down Maine’s picturesque byways and historic thoroughfares is like flipping through a National Geographic magazine. The Kennebec Heritage Corridor is a 230-mile passage through Maine’s most intriguing natural wonders. Part landscape painting, part Audubon illustration, this road will lead you into the heart of Maine’s cultural heritage. There are plenty of places of interest and historic sites where you can get out and stretch your legs. Read More >

Maritime and Shipbuilding

Maine is to shipbuilding what Detroit is to cars. Pennsylvania is to steel. Florida is to oranges. You get the idea, right? While agriculture and fur trade thrived in interior Maine, coastal Maine built an empire from maritime trade and shipbuilding. You can trace the history of this booming industry by stopping at one the state’s numerous maritime and naval museums. Read More >

Military Forts

Forts are history buff territory, but they are also great places for a family adventure. Maine has twenty-five forts, and some of them have stood in strategic harbors and towns since the colonial era. Maine’s rich military history will satisfy the hardcore academic as well as the curious and casual observer. Read More >

Outdoor Sporting Heritage

Whether you are a hiker or a hunter, there is a reason why you buy parkas and fleeces from L.L. Bean: Warmth. The Maine outdoorsman knew that when you were fishing or hunting, the only way you were going to hook a trout or bag a buck was if you could stay warm. Maine’s countless lakes, streams and forests make it one of the premier outdoor sporting locations in the United States. Just be sure to bundle up. Read More >

Voici the Valley Cultureway

There is a strong French-Canadian flavor in northern Maine, but when you take a tour of the Voici the Valley Cultureway, you better have a French dictionary in your hand. This scenic drive crisscrosses the international border, giving you a taste of Arroostook County, Quebec, New Brunswick and the St. Johns River. Read More >

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