Maine is a big state and it’s portion of Interstate 95 is a long road. The highway enters Maine from the New Hampshire state line in Kittery and runs over 300 miles north to the Canadian border in Houlton. There’s lots to see and do along the way, and I-95 makes it easy to visit each one.
Here are 10 roadside attractions you may want to check out while traveling along I-95 in Maine:
1. Maine State House
The Maine State House is a historic building located in Augusta, Maine, that serves as the seat of government for the state of Maine. Completed in 1832, the building is notable for its Greek Revival architecture, with a dome that rises 185 feet above the ground. Visitors can take guided tours of the building to learn about its history and significance, including the famous copper statue of a woman on top of the dome known as “Lady Maine.” The State House also contains a number of important government offices and chambers, including the Governor’s Office, the Maine State Senate and House of Representatives, and the Maine Supreme Judicial Court.
Days/Hours of Operation: Open weekdays from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Guided tours are available Monday through Friday at 9:00 a.m., 10:00 a.m., 11:00 a.m., 1:00 p.m., 2:00 p.m., and 3:00 p.m.
Admission: Free admission. Guided tours are available for a small fee.
Time to visit: allow 1-2 hours*
Directions: To get there from I-95, take exit 109A for Western Avenue and follow the signs to the State House complex.
2. Old Fort Western
Old Fort Western is a historic fort located in Augusta, Maine, and is the oldest surviving wooden fort in the United States. The fort was built in 1754 during the French and Indian War to protect the area from French and Native American attacks. Today, visitors can take a tour of the fort and learn about its history and significance, including the daily life of soldiers and civilians during the 18th century. The fort contains several restored buildings, including a blockhouse, barracks, and trading post. Visitors can also see historical artifacts, such as weapons, tools, and household items, that give insight into what life was like during this time period.
Days/Hours of Operation: Open daily from late May to mid-October, from 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.
Admission: $10 for adults, $8 for seniors and students, $5 for children ages 6-14, and free for children under 6.
Time to visit: allow 1-2 hours*
Directions: To get there from I-95, take exit 109A for Western Avenue and follow the signs to Fort Western.
3. L.L. Bean Flagship Store
The L.L. Bean Flagship Store is located in Freeport, Maine, and is the largest retail store in the state. The store opened in 1917 and has since become a popular destination for outdoor enthusiasts and shoppers alike. The store sells a wide range of outdoor gear and apparel, including L.L. Bean’s famous boots and hunting and fishing equipment. Visitors can also take advantage of the store’s outdoor discovery programs, which offer activities such as kayaking, fly fishing, and archery lessons. In addition to the retail space, the store also has a restaurant, a bike and boat rental service, and a trout pond where visitors can fish for rainbow trout.
Days/Hours of Operation: Open 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.
Admission: Free admission.
Time to Visit: Allow 1-2 hours*
Directions: To get there from I-95, take exit 52 for Coastal Route 295/US-1 and follow the signs to Freeport.
4. Portland Head Light
Portland Head Light is a historic lighthouse located in Cape Elizabeth, Maine, and is one of the most photographed lighthouses in the United States. The lighthouse was built in 1791 and stands on a rocky bluff overlooking the Atlantic Ocean. Today, visitors can take a tour of the lighthouse and museum, which features exhibits on the history of the lighthouse and the lives of the lighthouse keepers. The grounds around the lighthouse offer beautiful views of the ocean and surrounding coastline, and visitors can also take a short hike along the nearby trails.
Days/Hours of Operation: The grounds are open year-round from sunrise to sunset. The museum and gift shop are open daily from Memorial Day to Columbus Day, from 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.
Admission: Free admission.
Time to visit: Allow 30 minutes to 1 hour*
Directions: To get there from I-95, take exit 44 for I-295/US-1 and follow the signs to Cape Elizabeth.
5. Maine Maritime Museum
The Maine Maritime Museum is located in Bath, Maine, and is dedicated to preserving and sharing the maritime history of Maine. The museum is situated on a 20-acre campus on the banks of the Kennebec River and includes several historic buildings and exhibits. Visitors can learn about the history of shipbuilding in Maine, including the construction of clipper ships and steamships, as well as the lives of the sailors and fishermen who worked on these vessels. The museum also offers boat tours of the Kennebec River, which provide visitors with a unique perspective on the region’s maritime history.
Days/Hours of Operation: Open daily from 9:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. from mid-April to late October. Off-season hours vary.
Admission: $18 for adults, $16 for seniors, $10 for children ages 6-12, and free for children under 6.
Time to visit: Allow -3 hours*
Directions: To get there from I-95, take exit 52 for Coastal Route 295/US-1 and follow the signs to Bath.
6. Boothbay Railway Village
Boothbay Railway Village is a living history museum located in Boothbay, Maine, and is dedicated to preserving the state’s railway history. The museum includes several historic buildings, exhibits, and a collection of vintage trains and locomotives. Visitors can take a train ride around the village and learn about the history of the railway industry in Maine, including the role of trains in the logging and fishing industries. The museum also offers hands-on exhibits for children, including a toy train exhibit and a vintage fire engine. Additionally, visitors can explore a historic village featuring homes, a schoolhouse, and a blacksmith shop.
Days/Hours of Operation: Open daily from late May to mid-October, from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
Admission: Admission is $18 for adults, $16 for seniors and students, $10 for children ages 4-12, and free for children under 4.
Time to visit: Allow 2-3 hours*
Directions: To get there from I-95, take exit 52 for Coastal Route 295/US-1 and follow the signs to Boothbay.
7. Funtown Splashtown USA
Funtown Splashtown USA is an amusement park and water park located in Saco, Maine. The park features over 50 rides and attractions, including roller coasters, thrill rides, and family-friendly rides. The water park features a variety of water slides, pools, and other water attractions. In addition to the rides, the park offers games, food concessions, and live entertainment. One of the park’s most popular attractions is the Excalibur roller coaster, which features a 105-foot drop and reaches speeds of up to 55 miles per hour.
Days/Hours of Operation: Open daily from late May to early September. Hours vary by day and by season.
Admission: Admission is $39.99 for adults and children over 48 inches tall, $29.99 for children under 48 inches tall, and free for children under 3.
Time to visit: Allow 4-6 hours*
Directions: To get there from I-95, take exit 36 for I-195 and follow the signs to Funtown Splashtown.
Kennebunkport is a small coastal town in southern Maine, known for its picturesque harbor, historic homes, and quaint New England charm. The town is a popular tourist destination and features several art galleries, boutiques, and restaurants. Visitors can take a stroll along the harbor and watch the boats come in, or explore the town’s historic district, which includes several 18th and 19th-century homes. The town is also home to several beaches, including Goose Rocks Beach and Kennebunk Beach, which offer opportunities for swimming, sunbathing, and beachcombing. Additionally, visitors can take a whale watching tour, go fishing, or take a scenic drive along Ocean Avenue to see some of the area’s most stunning views.
Days/Hours of Operation: Most shops and restaurants are open daily in the summer and on weekends in the off-season. Specific hours vary by business.
Admission: Free to visit, but some activities and tours may have fees.
Time to visit: Allow 2-4 hours*
Directions: To get there from I-95, take exit 25 for Coastal Route 35 and follow the signs to Kennebunkport.
9. Acadia National Park
Acadia National Park is located on the coast of Maine and is known for its stunning natural beauty and diverse array of outdoor activities. The park covers over 49,000 acres and includes mountains, forests, lakes, and shoreline. Visitors can explore the park’s many hiking trails, which offer breathtaking views of the ocean and surrounding landscape, or take a scenic drive along the Park Loop Road. The park also offers opportunities for swimming, boating, fishing, and wildlife watching. In addition to its natural attractions, Acadia National Park is home to several historic sites, including the Jordan Pond House, which has been serving visitors since the late 1800s.
Days/Hours of Operation: The park is open year-round, but some roads and facilities may be closed in the winter. Visitor center hours vary by season.
Admission: Entrance fees are $30 per vehicle for a 7-day pass, $25 per motorcycle, and $15 per person for a pedestrian or bicycle pass.
Time to visit: Allow 1-2 days*
Directions: To get there from I-95, take exit 182A for I-395 E toward Bangor and then follow the signs for US-1A E and US-3 E to Acadia National Park.
10. Fort Knox State Historic Site
Fort Knox State Historic Site is a well-preserved military fort located on the Penobscot River in Prospect, Maine. The fort was built in the mid-19th century to protect the river and the city of Bangor from potential naval attacks. Today, visitors can explore the fort’s barracks, tunnels, and gun batteries, as well as the nearby observatory tower. The fort offers a glimpse into the lives of soldiers during the Civil War and provides a unique perspective on Maine’s military history. The site also hosts several events throughout the year, including reenactments and guided tours.
Days/Hours of Operation: Open daily from late May to late October, from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
Admission: $5 for adults, $2 for children ages 5-11, and free for children under 5.
Time to visit: Allow 1-2 hours*
Directions: To get there from I-95, take exit 174 for US-1A E toward Ellsworth and follow the signs to Fort Knox.
*The amount of time to visit each attraction depends on several factors, including the size of the attraction, your level of interest, and the activities you plan to do while there. It’s always a good idea to check the attraction’s website or contact them directly to get a more accurate estimate of the time required to fully enjoy the attraction.
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