Vacationing in Acadia National Park turns you into a pioneer: Each trail leads to rugged, untouched land just waiting to be captured by your camera lens. Cobalt waves crash on the jagged granite slabs topped with spruce trees that jut out from the shore. Harbor seals sun themselves on abandoned chunks of bedrock off the coast as peregrine falcons scream down at you from the skies. Rocky trails and rustic carriage roads thread around the inland trees and ponds, begging for exploring. Needless to say, the park is for your typical outdoor enthusiast, with a huge focus on adrenalin-pumping activities like horseback riding, biking, hiking — even rock climbing.
A politico can tell you that the Bush family has been vacationing on Kennebunkport for years. And a paparazzo might encourage you to camp out along Ocean Drive to snap a blurry photo of the presidential family at their Walker's Point compound. But harboring politicians isn't even what this southern coastal area of Maine does best, nor is it what the town should be known for. Kennebunkport is simple, sea-centric bliss: a natural beach destination with miles of rugged shoreline dotted with summer homes and sailboats. In town, local fisher- and lobstermen deliver the morning's catch to the open-air cafes while artists open up shop on the wharves of Dock Square. Even the beaches are unassuming and quiet, with secret footpaths leading you from the road. Here, you might have literally found the place where you can get away from it all.
The thought of Maine may conjure up images of sleepy coastal towns with craggy coastlines, boats blowing in the wind and loads of lobster, but Portland is so much more than that. With a population of about 66,700, Maine's largest city may not be considered big to some, but it has all the offerings of a vibrant metropolis. Yes, it features typical Maine topography and a thriving harbor that offers plenty of delectable seafood, but Portland has made a name for itself in more ways than one. The city's outstanding dedication to the arts, revered dining scene and incredible preservation and reinvention of its historic Old Port continually impress and surpass traveler expectations. Museums abound, kitchens with James Beard Award-winning chefs dot the downtown area and local boutiques share streets with national chains.
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