Maine  is the easternmost state in New England. Its rugged, indented coastline and glacier-carved, forested interior give this state its unique character and have shaped the character of its people.
Along the coast:
Some of Maine's major cities are:
Maine is a northeastern state, but one of the most sparsely populated states in the USA. Its northern reaches, known as The Great North Woods, are largely pristine wilderness. The coastal regions, supported over the years by fishing, lobstering and tourism, are more heavily populated, particularly in the southern, more temperate part of the state. Although the water is decidedly cool, Maine's mostly rocky coastline and more than 60 lighthouses make for some beautiful scenery. That, a comfortable place to stay, and a Maine lobster may be all you need.
English is spoken everywhere and French is the de facto co-official language in many northerly areas closer to Quebec.
Maine's unique accent and dialect lend to its one-of-a-kind charm. Many natives will jokingly say a few words or expressions in "yankee" as it's sometimes called. Several humorists and story tellers have built a reputation telling jokes and stories using the classic "yankee" dialect combined with a well known regional dry wit. These are not to be missed for the real Maine experience.
There is a significant concentration of French speakers in the St. John Valley of far northern Maine, and a strong Quebecois tradition in central Maine, especially Lewiston-Auburn, brought by immigrants.
Eastern Maine is referred to as "Down East" because the area is down wind from the rest of the east coast on the prevailing westerly breezes.
Going east along Route 2 from White Mountains Region of New Hampshire.
Portland International Jetport (PWM), you can fly in direct from New York City (La Guardia), Philadelphia, Atlanta, Chicago, Charlotte etc. etc.
A car is required for travel around the state. Many visitors rent a car in Boston and take Interstate 95 northward to Maine. It takes about two hours to drive from Boston to Portland, and another two hours to drive from Portland to Bangor. Another alternative used by visitors is to rent a car in Manchester, NH near the Manchester-Boston Airport (MHT) and drive east along highway Route 101 going towards New Hampshire's Seacoast region and junction onto Interstate 95 north towards Maine. Driving from Manchester, NH to Portland, ME would take one hour and thirty-five minutes, but an extra two hours to drive from Portland to Bangor.
Several airlines provide direct flights to Portland and Bangor from most major cities in the northeastern U.S. Bay Ferries used to offer high speed ferry service from Yarmouth, Nova Scotia to Portland and Bar Harbor but shut down these routes at the end of 2009.
While you can get between some of the bigger cities and tourist destinations by bus and train, a car is necessary for getting around in most of Maine. Public roads are rare in the area north and west of Bangor. Private land owners (generally logging companies) maintain the few roads available in these north woods. Many logging roads are freely open to the public, but permits are required for access to roads managed by North Maine Woods  through each of ten checkpoints. Hours vary. Remember that logging roads are primarily for logging trucks, and you are a guest. Pull over as quickly as possible to let trucks by. The Maine Atlas and Gazetteer, available for about $20 at many gas stations and other roadside stores, is useful further off the beaten path, since it has well-updated information about Maine's many dirt roads, which are unreliably represented in Google Maps and constantly change as logging companies build new roads and let old ones deteriorate.
See the regional and city articles for specific restaurants and venues.
The legal drinking/purchasing age of alcoholic beverages is 21. However, Maine allows underage drinking on private non alcohol-selling premises with parental consent.
Maine produces some of the highest quality beers in the country. When in the Pine Tree State, go for a tour or look for titles by these fine breweries:
Maine's telephone area code is 207.
As far as cell phone use goes, Maine is geographically one of the least-covered states in the country. Coverage is good along the Southern Coast, in the Portland area, and along US Interstate 95 from the New Hampshire border to Bangor -- as well as some other areas such as Camden and Rockland.
Nature - Hikers should carry and know how to use a map and compass and dress in layers for changeable weather. Maine has one of the lowest crime rates in the United States -- in fact, in some parts of the state, "Mainers" leave their houses and cars unlocked even when gone for long periods of time. Violent crime is rare, but visitors to Maine or anywhere should safeguard their possessions. Avoid leaving valuables in plain view in an unattended vehicle. Risk of death from animals is usually remote, but black flies and mosquitoes may drive one mad. Automobile collisions with moose can be deadly for both the moose and the occupants of the vehicle. It is best not to drive too fast in areas frequented by moose. Many, but not all, areas with high risk of moose-auto collisions are marked with signs. Drivers from warmer climates visiting between December and April should avoid driving on snow or ice covered roads. Water - It is unsafe to venture out onto Maine's coastal waters without having the necessary equipment and experience. This is true of kayaking, canoeing, sailing or any other kind of boating. The water is cold and hypothermia can set in in a short amount of time. Dense fog often rolls in very quickly as well as the occasional storm. If you are determined to go out on your own to do so without every single passenger wearing a PFD and/or without having a compass and knowing how to use it and/or without understanding how to navigate safely around other boats and water hazards is not only foolish but could result in serious fines from the Coast Guard or a Marine Patrol officer. There are numerous companies that offer guided sea kayak, sailing, and power boat tours.
Drugs - Marijuana is now legal in Maine. Anyone must be 21 or older to consume, possess, or purchase marijuana - it doesn't matter if its for recreational or medicinal reasons and it is strictly enforced. Keep in mind that marijuana is still illegal under federal law, so you could still be under scrutiny. Do not bring marijuana into and out of the state, into any Indian reservation that deemed it illegal, nor any federal enclave, or you will be charged under both state and federal law.
Fireworks - Although Maine allows the purchasing and use of consumer fireworks, only sparklers and novelty fireworks can be bought and be in possession. So if you wish to use more explosive fireworks, it's best to go to a neighboring state to purchase and use them. Unfortunately, New Hampsire is the only nearby choice as Maine's northern part is borderd by Canadian provinces of Quebec and New Brunswick. Unless you have a passport or visa to get into Canada, New Brunswick is the only nearby choice. Do not bring your purchased non-legal fireworks back into Maine, that qualifies as smuggling as you(the consumer) is in possession of fireworks. And punishments for smuggling fireworks in Maine will lead to serious jail time. Lighting them in the countryside isn't recomended as you'll never know if there's someone nearby watching. This also goes for anyone who is just driving through the state with a vehicle full of non-legal fireworks.
One warning; the legal drinking age in Quebec is 18, and many (particularly near the border with Canada) that are not yet 21 travel to the Province to indulge in drinking.