8 Hidden Gems In Maine That You Need To Visit Right Now (2022)
The most popular summer vacation destination in the United States of America is unarguable ‘Maine.’ Located on the Northeast coast of the USA, Maine has a range of tourist places to visit and things to do. Visitors to Maine will come across beautiful coastal beaches, historic lighthouses, mouthwatering seafood, expansive state parks, a range of museums, some top-rated ski resorts, and whatnot. But that is all that the world already knows about. Maine, instead, is also home to hidden gems and secretive pathways that not even many locals are familiar with.
The Pine Tree State has a side that is less looked upon. Be it a small but interesting museum in one of Maine’s towns, a secluded lake in one of Maine’s Parklands, or a restaurant that people often overlook even when in the city. Not only that but when in Maine, visitors may run into a few Francophones as well since there are quite a lot of French-speaking residents here. Let’s start the real fun by keeping more surprises for the legit list.
8 Hidden Gems in Maine That You Need To Visit Right Now
Here we have some of the Best Hidden Gems in Maine, as well some secretive spots. Have a look:
1. Desert of Maine in Freeport
Desert of Maine is a weirdly wonderful place and a surprising hidden gem in Freeport, Maine. What confuses people the most is how a desert can survive so profoundly in the middle of a state that has enough rainfall, winters, and a fine ecology. Well, these 40 acres of huge stretch were once productive farming during the 18th century. However, after some time, due to mistreatment, overgrazing, over-farming, and some natural occurrence, this once Greenland became pretty much a dust bowl. It isn’t ‘Climatically’ a desert; it acts like a desert attraction right in the middle of Maine’s forestland.
The Desert of Maine is today considered one of Freeport’s most exciting tourist attractions, but beyond locals, not many still know about it. However, after the comprehensive renovation since 2019, Desert of Maine will soon earn its fair share of popularity. It presently features an 1800s farmhouse museum, a mini golf course, Gemstone Village, Fossil Dig, the Buried Springhouse, and other such exciting venues. It even has A-frame cabins, tenting, and RVing space for the ones who want to stay back.
2. Wild Blueberry Land in Columbia Falls
Another hidden gem in Maine, the Wild Blueberry Land, is an American roadside attraction and colorful theme park in Columbia Falls. The bright blue domes won’t allow any chances to miss or even confuse the destination. This Blueberry Land is Maine’s one unique hidden gem but also an exciting one. It is 7 acres of open park that has everything resembling, defining, or justifying blueberry from a dome-shaped like a blueberry pie, blueberry-shaped statues, a mini-golf course with blueberry holes, and whatnot.
Blueberry is Maine’s official fruit, and thankfully, this tourist attraction preaches enough about the fruit. A visit here allows individuals to learn about blueberry farming, how blueberry can contribute to different recipes, and more. They even sell blueberry-flavored muffins, bread, sweets, cakes, and endless other treats. In addition, the park also offers some exciting views of Cadillac Mountain, Bar Harbor, Acadia National Park, and Mount Desert Island.
3. Kenneth E. Stoddard Shell Museum in Boothbay
Kenneth E. Stoddard Shell Museum is though small but undoubtedly a worth-stopping hidden gem in Maine’s Boothbay. Every small museum collection has a story, and so does this Shell space as well. Kenneth E. Stoddard was a WWII Navy Man, and while he traveled through the South Pacific, he got into the hobby of collecting shells. Everything Stoddard found, he sent it back to his home, where for many years, the collection kept growing. Though later, Stoddard was diagnosed with cancer and wasn’t able to travel more for his hobby. But his son Lee Stoddard took his father’s hobby and built a shell museum by his name.
Today the Kenneth E. Stoddard Shell Museum stands on Dolphin Mini Golf grounds in Boothbay inside a covered bridge. Lee Stoddard continued to display and even grow his father’s collection, and therefore today, it is the largest private collection of shells in the world. A visit here will introduce you to lobster claws, sand dollars, polished pearls, emerald shells, thousands of sea shells, and many more things found in oceans.
4. Rattlesnake Flume in Evans Notch
Rattlesnake Flume is a very secretive spot in Evans Notch, somewhere in Maine’s the White Mountains. It is a crystal-clear pool on the base of a small waterfall amidst nature’s lap. To reach here, take a short hike on Blueberry Mountain from the town of Gilead. The trailhead begins near route 113 near town and further heads towards Stone House Road. Visitors must park their vehicle at Shell Pond Road and then follow the Stone House Trail while walking through the grassy field. The hike is just two miles long, and the Rattlesnake Flume board will appear soon enough.
Rattlesnake Flume is on private property, though the owners have granted access to the general public for free. However, still out of courtesy, try being as mindful as you can. Rattlesnake Flume and Pool is truly spectacular, with crystal clear blue water. The water at this secret tropical oasis is undoubtedly very cold, but it feels so refreshing on a hot summer day. The inviting dip and swimming opportunities here are so difficult to ignore. It is a gorgeous place to hang out on an afternoon picnic, but make sure you leave no traces behind.
DID YOU KNOW? There are currently several islands off the coast of Maine that are up for sale. Well, if you think you may be able to grab one (basically afford one), you can create a hidden gem of your own. Of course, a little too big a dream, but why not?
5. Stein Glass Gallery in Portland
Perhaps the oddest glass gallery in the United States lies in Portland, and Stein is a true example of the same. The gallery was established by the late Philip Stein in 1985 initially as a place where he wanted to exhibit and sell his glass pieces. For several years, Philips and his team of worked were involved in producing delicate and attractive glass-made items. Though after his death, the production changed a bit, the purpose remained the same.
Today, a visit to the Stein Glass Gallery in Portland will introduce you to some of the most artisan glass art of all time. The gallery is home to striking and fragile pieces by USA’s talented glass artists, who even include some of the very established names. The display includes glass-made paperweight, colorful window panes, diverse items of jewelry, unusual decorative elements, vases, beer, wine, whisky, and much more. The variety of products they have is truly unmatched. The customer service and hospitality here, too, are extremely appreciable.
6. Museums of Old York in York
Museums of Old York are where time stands still. This charming little open-air space was built by three historical organizations who came together to bring back the door to the past. The village consists of nine historical buildings, of which the most famous is the oldest royal prison in the United States of America, The Old Gaol. This former colonial prison is also one of the oldest public buildings in Maine. Other buildings include the Old Schoolhouse, the Visitors Centre, Remick Barn is Jefferd’s Tavern, and the Emerson Wilcox House. A visit to all these historic structures offers a glimpse into a long-ended era. Even today, one can feel how sweet, simple, yet happy life was back then when nothing sort of luxury and technology were available.
The Museums of Old York operates for public visits year-round. Throughout the year, the facility also organizes several quarterly and annual events, one of which includes the popular annual Old York Decorator Show House. In addition, visitors can either tour the historic buildings independently at their own pace. Or, there are intriguing local tales and guided tours available as well. When done with all of that, consider enjoying a lunch or evening snack at Rick’s All Seasons Restaurant, right across the street.
7. Thompson Ice House Harvesting Museum in South Bristol
Another weird historic yet hidden gem in Maine, the Thompson Ice House Harvesting Museum is a must-visit. Located in the small town of South Bristol, the museum takes you to the golden old days when freezers were not a concept. Initially a family-run venture, the site was used to harvest ice since 1826 using some excellent traditional methods. Today, Thompson Ice House operates as a museum and is quite an interesting place to explore. A visit here allows individuals to learn how ice was transported from Maine throughout North America and even far beyond. Back then, large blocks of ice were cut carefully and kept in straw and sawdust. This method uses to prevent ice from melting for several months, which was excellent on its own.
The Thompson Ice House Museum is located on ME-129, 12 miles south of Damariscotta-New Castle. Every winter season, the museum organizes ice harvest on Sundays of President’s Day Weekend. They welcome one and all for absolutely free entry. During summers (July & August), the visiting hours remain from 1 pm to 4 pm every Wednesday, Friday & Saturday. Though slightly quirky, Thompson Ice House is an interesting place to check out.
8. Eartha Globe in Yarmouth
Maine undoubtedly has some unique destinations, and Eartha Globe in Yarmouth is one among them. Eartha Globe is the largest rotating and revolving globe in the world. It is probably the second largest after ‘Actual Planet Earth. This impressive giant globe is an American roadside attraction contained inside a three-level glass building. Every pair of eyes that sees it in real goes into minutes of astonishment. This globe was initially created as a scale model of the world. It has a diameter of a little more than 41 feet, and it takes just 18 minutes to complete one revolution. David DeLorme, the designer of this globe and CEO of the DeLorme Mapping Corporation, also made it earned a spot on the Guinness Book of World Records.
Eartha Globe in Yarmouth is a fun and free-to-visit place with plenty of parking space as well. The three-story building isn’t just home to the giant globe but also some other interesting displays. Also, since it is right off the highway, it is one fine 10 to 15 minutes stop. No matter with people of whatever age you are, everyone from kids to senior lovers will find it interesting.