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Exploring Naples Maine: What to See and Do in Naples, Maine

Naples, Maine
Discover Naples, Maine: pristine lakes, outdoor adventures, rich history, and small-town charm await in this hidden gem of the Lakes Region.

Unwind in Naples Maine: A Lakeside Haven in the Pine Tree State

Nestled in the heart of Maine’s Lakes Region, Naples is a charming town that offers a perfect blend of natural beauty, outdoor adventure, and small-town charm. As a travel writer who’s explored every corner of Maine, I can confidently say that Naples is a hidden gem that deserves a spot on your Maine vacation itinerary.

 

Getting to Naples Maine

Finding your way to Naples Maine is a breeze. To reach Naples from Portland, Maine, take the Maine Turnpike, 95 North. On the Maine Turnpike, take exit 63 to Gray. At the end of exit 63 take a left onto US Rte 202 West towards Windham. Follow Rte 202 West which becomes Tandberg Trail. Follow Tandberg Trail to North Windham. In North Windham, turn right onto ME-302 West. Follow ME-302 West into Naples. The journey covers about 30 miles and typically takes 35-45 minutes, depending on traffic. You’ll pass through several small towns along the way, and Naples is located on the southern shore of Long Lake. Remember to check current road conditions before your trip.

 

Natural Beauty and Outdoor Activities

The star attractions of Naples are undoubtedly Long Lake and Brandy Pond. These pristine bodies of water are the lifeblood of the region, offering endless opportunities for recreation and relaxation.

Aerial view of Naples, Maine

 

Water Sports and Activities

On Long Lake, you can try your hand at kayaking, paddleboarding, or even wakeboarding. I once spent a sunny afternoon paddling along the shoreline, taking in the lush forests and spotting local wildlife. It’s an experience I won’t soon forget.

Sebago Lake, Maine’s second-largest lake, is perfect for boating and fishing. The lake is home to landlocked salmon and lake trout, making it a favorite among anglers.

 

Best Spots for Swimming and Sunbathing

For those who prefer to stay on land, there are several public beaches where you can soak up the sun or take a refreshing dip. The beach at Sebago Lake State Park in Casco on Sebago Lake is a local favorite, with its sandy shore and calm waters.

Sebago Lake State Park beach

 

Hiking and Nature Trails

If you’re looking to stretch your legs, head to Sebago Lake State Park. The park offers several hiking trails that wind through pine forests and along the lakeshore. The Edes Falls Preserve is another great option, with its scenic trails leading to a beautiful waterfall.

Hiking trail in Sebago Lake State Park

 

Scenic Drives and Viewpoints

For a leisurely afternoon, take a drive along the winding roads that hug the lakeshores. The views are particularly stunning in fall when the foliage is at its peak.

Scenic drive along Long Lake near Naples, Maine

 

Historical Attractions: The Songo Lock System

One of Naples’ most fascinating attractions is the Songo Lock System. Built in the 1830s, this lock is the last remaining hand-operated lock in the country. It’s still in use today, connecting Long Lake to Sebago Lake.

Songo Lock in Sebago Lake, Maine

 

Songo Lock History and Significance

The lock system played a crucial role in the region’s logging industry, allowing timber to be transported from the lakes to Portland. Today, it’s a living piece of history that offers a glimpse into Maine’s industrial past.

Songo River and Songo Lock in Casco, Maine

 

Lock Operation Demonstrations

If you’re lucky, you might catch a demonstration of the lock in action. It’s a fascinating process that hasn’t changed much in nearly 200 years.

Songo Lock in Sebago Lake, Maine

 

Naples Historical Society Museum

For a deeper dive into local history, visit the Naples Historical Society Museum. The museum houses a collection of artifacts and exhibits that tell the story of Naples and the surrounding area.

History of Naples, Maine

 

Family-Friendly Activities: Naples Seaplane Adventures

For a truly unique experience, book a seaplane tour with Naples Seaplane Adventures. Soaring over the lakes and forests provides a breathtaking perspective on the region’s beauty.

Naples Seaplane Adventures in Naples, Maine

 

Steamboat Rides on the Songo River Queen II

Step back in time with a ride on the Songo River Queen II, a replica of a Mississippi River steamboat. The narrated tour offers insights into the area’s history and ecology.

Songo River Queen II Steamboat in Naples, Maine

 

Mini-golf and Ice Cream at Steamboat Landing

For some classic family fun, head to Steamboat Landing. Challenge your family to a round of mini-golf, then cool off with a scoop of locally made ice cream.

Steamboat Landing Miniature Golf in Naples, Maine

 

Local Cuisine and Dining: Waterfront Restaurants with Lake Views

Naples boasts several waterfront restaurants where you can enjoy fresh seafood while taking in stunning lake views. The Rick’s Cafe Restaurant is a personal favorite, offering delicious lobster rolls and an unbeatable sunset view over Long Lake.

Many local restaurants embrace the farm-to-table concept, sourcing ingredients from nearby farms. This approach not only supports local agriculture but also ensures incredibly fresh and flavorful meals.

Don’t leave Naples without trying some local specialties. Fresh-caught fish, wild blueberry pie, and maple syrup are all must-tries. For a true taste of Maine, order a lobster dinner – it doesn’t get fresher than this!

Rick' Cafe Restaurant in Naple's Maine

 

Where to Stay in Naples, Maine

For a true Maine experience, consider staying in a lakeside cabin or resort. Waking up to the sound of loons on the lake is an unforgettable experience.

If you prefer a more personal touch, Naples offers the the charming Lakeside Inn. This inn offers comfortable accommodations and insider knowledge of the area.

For those who want to fully immerse themselves in nature, there are several campgrounds in and around Naples. Sebago Lake State Park offers both tent and RV sites.

Lakeside Inn in Naples, Maine

 

Best Times to Visit Naples Maine

While Naples is beautiful year-round, the best time to visit depends on your interests. Summer offers the widest range of activities, fall provides stunning foliage, winter is perfect for snow sports, and spring offers peace and renewal.

Brandy Pond in Naples, Maine

 

How to Get Around

Having a car is the most convenient way to explore Naples and the surrounding area. However, during the summer, you can also get around by boat on the lakes.

Causeway in Naples, Maine

 

Interesting Facts about Naples Maine

  • Naples is known as the “Gateway to the Sebago Lakes Region.”
  • The town was named after Naples, Italy, due to similarities in their scenic beauty.
  • The Songo Lock is the last remaining hand-operated lock in the United States.
  • Naples’ population more than doubles during the summer months.
  • The town was originally inhabited by the Abenaki people.

Long Lake, Naples, Maine

 

Naples, Maine: Where Memories Are Made on the Water

Naples, Maine, may be small, but it packs a big punch when it comes to natural beauty, outdoor recreation, and small-town charm. From its sparkling lakes to its rich history, from family-friendly activities to culinary delights, Naples offers something for every type of traveler.

As you plan your Maine vacation, consider carving out some time for this lakeside gem. Whether you’re seeking adventure, relaxation, or a bit of both, Naples delivers. It’s a place where you can create lasting memories and experience the authentic charm of Maine’s Lakes Region.

So pack your bags, bring your sense of adventure, and prepare to fall in love with Naples, Maine. Trust me, once you visit, you’ll be planning your return trip before you even leave.

Aerial view of Naples, Maine

 

Frequently Asked Questions about Naples Maine

The following are answers to some common questions about Naples Maine.

What’s the best time of year to visit Naples, Maine?

he best time depends on your preferences. Summer (June-August) is ideal for water activities and outdoor events. Fall (September-October) offers stunning foliage. Winter (December-February) is great for snow sports. Spring (April-May) is perfect for wildlife watching and quieter experiences.

Can I rent a boat in Naples?

Absolutely. There are several marinas and rental services in Naples where you can rent various watercraft, including motorboats, kayaks, canoes, and paddleboards.

What’s the must-try local food in Naples?

Fresh seafood, especially lobster, is a must-try. Also, don’t miss out on wild blueberry pie, a Maine specialty often available at local restaurants and bakeries.

Is Naples suitable for a family vacation?

Yes, Naples is very family-friendly. It offers numerous activities for all ages, including beaches, mini-golf, boat tours, and outdoor adventures in the surrounding parks and lakes.

How far is Naples from Portland, Maine?

Naples is approximately 30 miles northwest of Portland, which is about a 45-minute drive. This makes it easy to combine a lakeside vacation in Naples with a day trip to Maine’s largest city.

 

Contact Information
Naples Maine Information Center
19 Village Green Lane, Naples, ME 04055
Phone: 207-693-6364
Naples Maine Information Center Website

 

Picture of Mark Beale - Author Bio

Mark Beale - Author Bio

Mark has an extensive background in the Maine Hospitality Industry, having owned the Ledges By The Bay, a boutique oceanfront hotel property, in Rockport Maine, for 40 years. He sold the property in 2016 but remains well-versed in the Maine Tourism industry and has written a number of Maine travel-related articles for various blogs and publications over the years.

Mark founded the TakeMe2 Travel Guides platform, an online travel guide initiative, designed to promote tourism in Maine, New England and in other key states – by providing in depth, unbiased information to potential tourists and travel consumers. TakeMe2 currently features the TM2Maine.com website.

Mark is also currently a stakeholder in VONT, a digital marketing agency in Westbrook, Maine, where he leads VONT's search engine optimization (SEO) practice.

Mark is versed in a number of digital information technologies including web design and development, digital video, electronic design and digital imaging technologies as well as internet marketing tactics such as blogs, web properties, and other smart media such as AI chatbots for content, image and video enhancement. One of his primary tasks at VONT is to find the successful application of these new information platforms in marketing and then teach VONT's marketers how to use them to create marketing campaigns more efficiently, creatively and cost effectively.

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