The United States of America is usually broken down by region and then by state/attraction. The west coast boasts great weather and modern attractions including a new and upcoming vegan food scene. The south offers warmer temperatures as well with the chance for ultimate relaxation on world class beaches. New England, or the northeastern region of the United States, offers quaint historic landmarks, great seafood, and every season!
Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont, Massachusetts, Connecticut and Rhode Island – the perfect spot for a road trip no matter what time of year you’re itching to explore. You can hop from one state to the next, usually, in about 4 hours. Although there is a general likeness to the entire collection of New England states, those that are from the area will tell you each state is completely unique. They’ll say no two are the same!
Today we’ll be taking some time to look at one state, in the collection of states that make up New England: Maine. We’re here to offer some highlights of Maine that help it fit into the New England stereotype, as well as some that help set it apart from its neighbors.
What makes New England, New England?
One of the main attributes that sets the north east apart from the rest of the country is the inclination toward mom and pop type shops. Local businesses, family owned business, small standalone stores line New England streets across all six states. Whether you’re looking for a delicious meal, an antique store, fresh produce, or anything else, you can bet in New England there’s a local shop offering the best of the best right down the road.
All throughout the north east you’ll hear a variety of regional accents. And, while those from other parts of the country might think these accents mesh together to create an overarching ‘new England accent’, natives will be able to tell which state you’re from in seconds. Vowel shifts and “R-Dropping” are common throughout.
Finally, but not lastly, when you think about New England there’s no escaping the fact that you will be met with each season at full force. There are only certain locations throughout the United States where you can go to experience all four seasons to their full potential. Not only will you have the opportunity to go skiing on the slopes but also waterskiing on a lake. Temperatures range from 80’s and 90’s in the summer to below freezing in the winter. And, the north east is no stranger to precipitation no matter the season. You truly get a taste of it all.
Maine falls in line with the aforementioned characteristics of a New England state. So, what then, makes Maine stand apart from the other five states?
Road tripping to Maine leaves you with the decision of where you want to stay and which landscapes you’re most keen on exploring.
Option 1: Water – Whether you’re looking to visit one of Maine’s many beaches, lakes, or iconic rivers, the water is a great option in the warmer months. Grab a fishing rod and a paddle and make your way to one of these locations for loads of adventure.
Option 2: Land – This option comes packed with options of its own! Depending on the day, the trip, and your mood, you can find yourself discovering Acadia National Park or moseying around the streets of downtown Portland. From woodlands and granite peaks, to beautifully kept gardens to the hustle and bustle of small-town urban sanctuaries, the land has it all.
Where do the land and the sea meet, you might be asking yourself… Light houses bring the best from both worlds together. If you’re a lighthouse lover, rest assured you will get your fix here in Maine. Choose from one of the 65 lighthouses to check out and photograph – you might even be able to explore some of them!
One of the most exciting portions of traveling is getting to try food native to the areas you visit. So which foods made Maine what it is today?
The first and most obvious answer is lobster. More than half of our country gets its lobster from with wonderful state. Now, eating lobster comes in many forms – hot or cold, on a roll or in a bisque, with your breakfast – anything goes! But, we will note that there are a few standard lobster preferences amongst local eaters. Traditionally Maine lobster rolls are served cold. Chefs use the tail, knuckle, and claw meat to construct the base of the meal. They also opt out of the butter option you may see and opt in to using a mayonnaise mixture. Finally, the delicious lobster meat is piled high between a split bun.
Being that Maine is located so closely to Canada, there is great French-Acadian culinary influence. Some other local food favorites include:
- Chowder – a creamy seafood and potato soup…great for warming up in those cold New England winter months.
- Ployes – crepes on the spongier side made with buckwheat. These can be served sweet or savory.
- Fiddlehead ferns and wild blueberries grow wildly throughout the state and provide a fun foraging activity in harvesting seasons.
Culture is abundant and rich all throughout Maine. No matter if you find yourself in a quaint small town 20 miles from the nearest highway, or finding your way through downtown Portland, you will have opportunities to take in the history. Visit art and maritime museums, antique shops or even take a tour of a famous writer’s home, like Stephen King.
Traveling the United States is an exciting adventure, and it offers a wide variety of landscapes, activities, cultures, and potential memories. Regardless of when you decide to visit New England, be sure to add Maine to your travel bucket list. And remember, traveling protected is always a good idea. Consider travel protection each time you explore the world. Visit our website today to learn more about how it could help you.