40+ Budget-Friendly Maine Activities You Need to Know About

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There are so many things to do in Maine even if you’re on a budget. I’ve compiled my best tips for how to enjoy this beautiful state while staying on a budget. Naturally, most things are outdoors themed because those activities tend to be the least expensive.

Hike the Maine Trails

Most hikes in Maine will be free with the exception of trails within state parks. I suggest downloading the Alltrails app and making a “Maine” list.

Hard Hikes in Maine

  • Cutler Coast Trail in Custer, 11 miles
  • Mount Katahdin in Baxter State Park (multiple trails – all challenging) 
  • Whitecap and Black Mountain Trail in Rumford, 9.6 miles
  • Old Speck via Appalachian Trail in Grafton Notch State Park, 6.6 miles
  • Mahoosuc Notch Loop via North Pond Road to Appalachian Trail, 9.0 miles

Moderate Hikes in Maine

  • Tumbledown Brook Trail in Weld, 5.3 miles
  • Mount Battie via Nature Trailhead in Camden, 2.7 miles
  • Harpswell Cliff Trail, 2.1 miles
  • Evan’s Notch and Blueberry Mountain Loop Trail, White Mountain National Forest, 7.8 miles
    • *** This is my husband’s absolute favorite trail in Maine
  • Thompson Trail, Quoddy Head State Park, 3.5 miles

Easy and Beginner Hikes in Maine

  • Casco Bay Trail in Wolfe’s Neck Woods State Park, .5 miles
  • Beech Hill Preserve, 1.5 miles
  • Bradbury Mountain Summit Trail State Park, .5 miles
  • Mackworth Island Hiking Trail, 1.4 miles
  • Morse Mountain to Seawall Beach, 4 miles

Read More: 17 Photos to Make You Wan to Visit Maine

Mackworth Island State Park, Maine

Visit the Maine Beaches

While Maine may not have the white sand beaches of the Caribbean, we have a rocky coast that will leave you wanting to move to Maine. 

There may be a fee to park at the beach. Typically, southern Maine’s beaches are more expensive than the rest of the Maine coastline.

A few of my favorite beaches:

  • Popham Beach State Park and Hermit Island Beach in Phippsburg, Maine
  • I grew up camping at Hermit Island campground and going to their private beach. Although it’s not as quiet as it used to be, it’s still a special place to me. 
  • And another area I love is Scarborough. It’s a little outside of Portland but I feel it’s the perfect mix of small town feel but enough to keep you entertained for days!
  • Scarborough Beach and Higgins Beach in Scarborough, Maine
  • If you’re looking for a local beach with puppies – look no further than Willard Beach in South Portland.  

Read More: 21 Best Things to Do in Lewiston and Auburn Maine

Willard Beach, South Portland, Maine

Go Camping in Maine

Instead of staying at an expensive hotel, consider camping in Maine. Although camping prices have increased in the recent years, it can still be considerably cheaper than staying in a hotel or rental home.

A few of my favorite options:

  • Tent Camping Options
    • Hermit Island Campground
    • White Mountains
    • Baxter State Park
  • There are a ton of RV camping Options
    • Mount Blue State Park
    • Sunset Point RV Park
    • Cathedral Pines
    • Wild Duck Campground

Read More: 3 Amazing Maine Oceanfront Campgrounds: Reviewed for you!

Sunset Point RV Park, Lubec, Maine

Try Geocaching

Have you ever been geocaching? 

This is such a fun activity for families with young kids. There are geochache’s all over Maine and what’s even better is they are totally free! I also love this activity because the geocaches may be well off the typical beaten path and lead you to a totally different area of Maine you wouldn’t have otherwise explored. 

You’ll want to download the app for free (there is an upgraded paid version) and pick an area you want to explore. 

Go Stargazing in Maine

Maine has wonderful stargazing opportunities. And you really don’t need to go anywhere special in Maine to star gaze. Try to get away from the city lights but a trip to a small town or even better, a dirt road up north, and you’ll be astounded at how many stars you can see. 

Visit a Local Maine Bookstore

Exploring local bookstores is such a relaxing activity. A few of my favorite bookstores are below:

  • Oliver and Friends Bookshop in Belgrade, Maine
  • Books, Lines, and Thinkers in Rangeley
  • Sherman’s Maine Coast Bookshops
    • Sherman’s has 9 locations in Maine: Freeport, Boothbay Harbor, Bar Harbor, Portland, Damariscotta, Rockland, Topsham, Windham, Falmouth.
    • All locations are open daily from 9am – 6pm
  • Owl and Turtle Bookshop Cafe in Camden, Maine

Visit a Farmers Market

Portland Farmers Market Saturdays and Wednesdays, April – November, 7am-1pm, Deering Oaks Park

Brunswick Farmers Market Tuesdays and Fridays, May – Thanksgiving, 8am-1pm, Maine St., Brunswick

Augusta Farmers Market Tuesdays, 2pm-6pm, 1 Water Street, Augusta

Alan Day Community Market in Norway July to September, Fridays 5pm-8pm, 26 Whitman St., Norway

Lubec Farmer’s Market June to October, Saturdays, 10am-12pm, Water Street, Lubec

Lubec’s Farmers Market

Explore Maine on a Bike

Another great way to explore Maine is with a bike ride. Check out Maine’s Eastern Trail (link below). The trail reaches from Casco Bay in Portland to Piscataqua River in Kittery, Maine

Eastern Trail in Southern Maine, many access points.

Need to rent a bike? Check out this rental resource on the Eastern Trail’s website. 

Pick U-Pick Berries and Apples

Did you even visit Maine without blueberries in the summer and apples in the fall? We actually love all fruits here in Maine but we’re especially known for our wild blueberries and McIntosh apples. 

In fact, if you’re at the grocery store, look for frozen Wyman’s blueberries. A family owned company that still harvests wild Maine blueberries. 

But if you’re looking to pick your own Maine fruit, you’ll find multiple orchards and blueberry farms.

My favorite orchard is in Turner, ME called Wallingford’s Orchard. Open daily 8am-6pm from June 1st to December 31st. 

You’ll want to visit Wallingford’s in September or October for U-Pick apples and pumpkins plus they have homemade cider and donuts – absolutely delicious!

If you’re wanting to sample some of Maine’s famous wild blueberries it’s best to come in July and August. 

You also may be lucky enough to see wild Maine blueberries while hiking. For example, an easy hike in Camden, ME called Beech Hill Preserve is a great spot for spotting wild Maine blueberry bushes! Plus this hike is beautiful and usually a quiet place for a picnic. 

Beech Hill Summit Road Trail, 1.5 miles, easy

Go on a Scenic Drive in Maine

I’m sure you want to come to Maine because you’ve heard we have a beautiful coast! And it’s very true. But we also have a beautiful interior as well. 

So, when I thought about all of the scenic drives you could take in Maine, I wanted to include both interior and coastal drives.

Rangeley Lakes National Scenic Byway to Height of the Lands

Route 88 Falmouth to Yarmouth – a very short but pretty drive

Bold Coast Scenic Byway from Bar Harbor to Canada

Baxter State Park and Mount Katahdin

Now here me out, because most of this drive is just woods. So, while yes, it is beautiful, it’s not the vistas you’ll see but rather the wildlife. The last time I drove into Baxter State Park, I saw (and almost hit!) 6 moose. 

There are only two roads in Baxter State Park. Most likely you’ll be driving from the southern entrance, which is where I saw the moose.

6 MOOSE! That’s a lot of moose, even for a local Mainer. 

But the key to increasing your likelihood of seeing a moose in Maine is the time of day. 

If you’re hiking Mount Katahdin, you’ll need to get to the trailhead pretty early, therefore, you’re on the road very early depending on where you’re coming from. At the time we were on the road around 6 am. 

Moose love the early mornings in Maine because it’s cooler and they’re more active at this time (therefore you’re more likely to encounter them). 

Now here’s the warning: Hitting a moose can easily total your vehicle. A large male moose can weigh up to 1500 lbs. So a few tips for your drive: keep your eyes peeled, especially when you get on the dirt road that leads into Baxter State Park. Go slow, the faster you’re going, the harder you’ll hit a moose. And finally, if you have other people in your party, make sure their eyes are peeled too. Moose can come from any angle into the woods so you as the driver may not always see them. 

Now, obviously, there’s no guarantee you’ll see 6 moose on your trip to Baxter State Park, or even 1 moose. BUT how fun is it to go looking for them?!

Honestly, exploring dirt roads in northern Maine is a pastime of ours. We look for any type of wildlife, pack a lunch, and enjoy the fresh air. In my opinion, that’s the real Maine experience. 

Baxter State Park, Maine

Final Thoughts

I hope you get out and explore Maine no matter your budget. There are so many areas of the state to explore and things to do! There’s no need to spend a lot of money to enjoy your vacation in Maine. 

Happy Traveling!