Maine is famous for two things: lobster and natural beauty. It has some of the best parks in the United States, and most of them are inexpensive for visitors. The state is the perfect travel destination for people who want to enjoy the sheer beauty of the natural world, from stunning forests to calm coastlines.

Acadia National Park

Acadia National Park is one of the largest parks in Maine and also one of the oldest parks in the United States. The park, which is right next to the city of Bar Harbor, preserves the natural splendor of Mount Desert Island and a couple of smaller islands. The park includes a rare mixture of natural features, including a long coastline, woodlands, mountains, and lakes. Approximately 40 different mammal species make their home in the park, ranging from beavers to bears. Because of the park’s size, visitors should make sure to leave plenty of time to explore and take in all of the views.

Cadillac Mountain

Cadillac Mountain is within Acadia National Park, but is such a significant local feature that it deserves a dedicated trip of its own. It’s the highest shoreline peak in the United States, so it offers a view of the sea that is impossible to get in any other part of the country. During fall and winter, it is also the first place in the entire country to see the sunrise. Visitors can climb to the peak via several different hiking trails or by driving up a paved road.

Casco Bay

Casco Bay is a striking little inlet next to the city of Portland. The bay itself is full of small islands. Early explorers said that there were as many islands as there were days in a year, but there are only a couple hundred. The famous journalist Walter Cronkite said that the bay has some of the best sailing in the world, and many satisfied sailors are inclined to agree with his assessment. It’s a great place for anyone who likes to spend time out on the water.

Portland Head Light

The Portland Head Light is a piece of artificial beauty that stands amidst the wonder of nature. It’s an historic lighthouse in Cape Elizabeth that was constructed by order of George Washington. The lighthouse has been in nearly continuous use for more than 200 years.