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Top Maine Museums & Historical Sites

Explore the Top Museums & Historic Sites in Maine

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Unique Museums & Historic Sites: Maine's "Must-See" Stops for the Curious Traveler.

Maine’s top museums and historical sites offer visitors the chance to explore the state’s rich history and culture. From art museums like the Portland Museum of Art and the Farnsworth Art Museum that showcase works by iconic Maine artists, to living history museums like the Maine Maritime Museum that highlight Maine’s maritime heritage, these destinations provide unique insights. Historic forts, mansions, landmarks, and monuments transport visitors back in time. Cultural institutions like the Abbe Museum and Bates College Museum of Art highlight Maine’s Native American roots and creative arts. Together these intriguing sites give visitors a comprehensive perspective on Maine’s past, present, and creative spirit. It’s no wonder Maine’s museums and historical sites attract countless vacationers year after year.

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Portland Harbor Hotel, Portland Maine

Portland Harbor Hotel

Portland, ME

Portland Harbor Hotel is a AAA Four Diamond hotel in the heart of Portland’s Old Port. The hotel features spacious rooms with soaking tubs, free Wi-Fi, and stunning views of the harbor. Amenities include a fine-dining restaurant, a fitness center, and a spa. With its excellent accommodations and convenient location, you’re sure to have a memorable stay

 

468 Fore Street
Portland, ME 04101

Aloft Hotel, Portland Maine

Aloft Hotel Portland

Portland, ME

Aloft Hotel is a modern hotel in Portland, ME. The hotel features modern rooms with airy high ceilings, free Wi-Fi, and a 24-hour fitness center. Amenities include a lobby bar, a game room, and a rooftop terrace with stunning views. Whether you’re looking for a fun and vibrant place to stay or a convenient base for exploring Portland, the Aloft Hotel is the perfect choice.

 

379 Commercial Street
Portland, ME 04101

Cambria Hotel, Portland Maine

Cambria Hotel Old Port

Downtown Portland, ME

Cambria Hotel Old Port Downtown Portland is a modern hotel in Portland’s historic Old Port district. The hotel features spacious rooms with free Wi-Fi, and on-site dining and a bar that serves local craft beer. The hotel is within walking distance of downtown Portland attractions like the Portland Museum of Art and the Old Port district.

 

25 Hancock Street
Portland, ME 04101

TOP 10 MAINE MUSEUMS & HISTORIC SITES
Top 10 Museums & Historic Sites in Maine

Top 10 Museums & Sites

Maine offers visitors a wealth of museums and historical sites that highlight the state’s rich history, art, and culture. Top attractions include the Portland Museum of Art, home to iconic works by Maine artists in the heart of Portland. The ornate Victoria Mansion provides a window into 19th century life. The Owls Head Transportation Museum dazzles with its massive collection of working antique vehicles. History buffs will appreciate the Penobscot Marine Museum’s maritime exhibits and Fort Knox’s Civil War-era fort. Art lovers shouldn’t miss the Farnsworth Art Museum and its collection of Wyeth’s works. From art museums to historic landmarks, these top ten museums and historic sites offer tourists the best of Maine’s past and present.

TOP MAINE MUSEUMS
Abbe Museum in Bar Harbor Maine

Abbe Museum

26 Mt Desert Street,
Bar Harbor, ME 04609

The Abbe Museum in coastal Bar Harbor provides visitors with an enriching introduction to the history and culture of Maine’s Native tribes. This engaging museum’s extensive collection of Wabanaki artifacts and contemporary pieces brings the region’s indigenous heritage to life.

Bates College Museum of Art in Lewiston, Maine

Bates College Museum of Art

75 Russell Street,
Lewiston, ME 04240

Located on the campus of the historic Bates College, this impressive art museum houses a remarkable collection of contemporary and modern American artworks. Visitors can explore captivating paintings, prints, photographs, and sculptures from renowned artists.

Boothbay Railway Village Museum in Boothbay, Maine

Boothbay Railway Village Museum

586 Wiscasset Road,
Boothbay, ME 04537

The Boothbay Railway Village Museum transports visitors back in time to early 20th century Maine. This engaging museum allows guests to explore and ride vintage trains, antique autos, and re-creations of turn-of-the-century shops and homes.

Bowdoin College Museum of Art in Brunswick, Maine

Bowdoin College Museum of Art

245 Maine Street,
Brunswick, ME 04011

Located on the campus of Bowdoin College, this art museum houses an outstanding collection of ancient, Renaissance, and 19th-20th century art. Visitors can admire paintings, sculptures, and decorative arts from around the world.

Children's Museum and Theatre of Maine in Portland, Maine

Children's Museum & Theatre of Maine

5600 Mayflower Hill Drive,
Waterville, ME 04901

This engaging Portland museum provides interactive, hands-on exhibits that allow children to explore, create, and learn through play. The museum’s exhibits and theater educate and entertain kids (and adults) of all ages.

Colby College Museum of Art in Waterville, Maine

Colby College Museum of Art

20-40 Bayview Avenue
Scarborough, ME 04074

Located on Colby College’s beautiful campus, this impressive art museum houses an extensive collection of American and contemporary art across various mediums. Visitors can explore captivating paintings, sculptures, prints, and more from renowned artists.

Cole Land Transportation Museum in Bangor, Maine

Cole Land Transportation Museum

405 Perry Road,
Bangor, ME 04401

The Cole Land Transportation Museum displays an extensive collection of antique automobiles, carriages, wagons, and more. Visitors can explore different modes of turn-of-the-century transportation used in Maine and beyond.

Farnsworth Art Museum in Rockland Maine

Farnsworth Art Museum

16 Museum Street,
Rockland, ME 04841

Located in Rockland, Maine, the Farnsworth Art Museum’s remarkable collection highlights Maine’s role in American art. Visitors can discover works from renowned artists like the Wyeth family that capture the essence of coastal Maine life and its natural beauty.

Joshua L. Chamberlain & Maine Civil War Museum in Brunswick, Maine

Joshua L. Chamberlain & Maine Civil War Museum

226 Maine Street,
Brunswick, ME 04011

This museum honors Civil War hero and former Maine governor Joshua Chamberlain through exhibits on his life and the state’s role in the war. Artifacts, documents, and a restored historic home bring history to life.

Katahdin Cruises & Moosehead Marine Museum in Greenville, Maine

Katahdin Cruises and Moosehead Marine Museum

12 Lily Bay Road,
Greenville, ME 04441

This museum captures the history of Moosehead Lake through exhibits on steamboats, hotels, camps, and more. Visitors can also enjoy narrated lake cruises for scenic views of Mt. Katahdin and surrounding wilderness.

Maine Maritime Museum in Bath Maine

Maine Maritime Museum

243 Washington Street,
Bath, ME 04530

Dedicated to Maine’s seafaring heritage, the Maine Maritime Museum in Bath, Maine allows visitors to explore the state’s deep connection to the sea. Engaging exhibits showcase Maine’s boatbuilding history, lighthouses, fishing industry, and other maritime traditions.

Maine Lighthouse Museum in Rockland Maine

Maine Lighthouse Museum

1 Park Drive,
Rockland, ME 04841

This museum illuminates Maine’s iconic lighthouses and their vital role protecting mariners along the state’s treacherous coastline. Visitors explore lighthouse artifacts, images, interactive displays, and an original Fresnel lens to learn about their history and importance.

Maine Narrow Gauge Railroad Museum in Portland, Maine

Maine Narrow Gauge Railroad Co. & Museum

49 Thames Street,
Portland, ME 04101

This railway museum provides train rides and exhibits displaying Maine’s historic narrow gauge railroads. Visitors can enjoy vintage train experiences while learning about the important role these railways played in the state’s development.

Maine State Museum in Augusta, Maine

Maine State Museum

230 State Street,
Augusta, ME 04330

As the official state museum, this extensive institution commemorates Maine’s rich history and heritage through diverse exhibits and artifacts related to the state’s natural landscapes, innovations, industries, communities, native tribes, and notable historic figures.

Owls Head Transportation Museum in Owls Head, Maine

Owls Head Transportation Museum

117 Museum Street,
Owls Head, ME 04854

This museum displays an extensive collection of antique planes, automobiles, motorcycles, and transportation equipment. Visitors explore different modes of transportation that shaped Maine and American history.

Ogunquit Museum of American Art

Ogunquit Museum of American Art

543 Shore Road,
Ogunquit, ME 03907

This coastal museum houses an impressive collection of American art across all mediums, from paintings to sculpture, graphics, and photography. Visitors explore over 2,000 works spanning the 17th century to today.

Peary-MacMillan Arctic Museum in Brunswick, Maine

Peary-MacMillan Arctic Museum

10 Polar Loop,
Brunswick, ME 04011

This museum commemorates Arctic explorers Robert E. Peary and Donald B. MacMillan through exhibits of Inuit artifacts, tools, and other items collected on their northern Arctic expeditions based out of Bowdoin College.

Penobscot Marine Museum in Searsport, Maine

Penobscot Marine Museum

2 Church Street,
Searsport, ME 04974

Located along Maine’s Penobscot Bay in Searsport, this museum brings the region’s rich maritime heritage to life through exhibits on boatbuilding, lighthouses, fishing, shipping, and more. Historic artifacts, images, and vessels tell the story of coastal Maine communities.

Portland Museum of Art in Portland Maine

Portland Museum of Art

7 Congress Square,
Portland, ME 04101

With a collection focusing on American, European, and contemporary pieces, the Portland Museum of Art is Maine’s largest public art institution. Visitors can explore outstanding works of art spanning the 18th century to today in this architecturally stunning museum.

Sabbathday Lake Shaker Village Shaker Museum in New Gloucester, Maine

Sabbathday Lake Shaker Village Shaker Museum

707 Shaker Road,
New Gloucester, ME 04260

This museum located in one of the last active Shaker communities in the U.S. preserves the history and legacy of the Shakers through exhibits of furniture, artifacts, documents, and historic buildings dating back to the 1700s.

Seal Cove Auto Museum in Seal Cove, Maine

Seal Cove Auto Museum

1414 Tremont Road,
Seal Cove, ME 04674

Located on Mount Desert Island, the Seal Cove Auto Museum displays an impressive collection of vintage automobiles, motorcycles, and auto-related artifacts. Visitors can explore antique cars ranging from classics of the brass era to iconic autos of the 1950s and 60s.

Seashore Trolley Museum in Kennebunkport, Maine

Seashore Trolley Museum

195 Log Cabin Road,
Kennebunkport, ME 04046

Dedicated to mass transit history, this museum offers trolley rides and displays the world’s largest collection of streetcars and related artifacts. Visitors explore different vintage trolleys while learning about their unique roles in communities over time.

Telephone Museum in Ellsworth, Maine

Telephone Museum

166 Winkumpaugh Road,
Ellsworth, ME 04605

This museum traces the evolution of communications technology through engaging exhibits displaying antique telephones and switchboards. Visitors learn how early phones connected local communities and explore how communication has transformed over time.

Wilson Museum in Castine, Maine

Wilson Museum

107 Perkins Street,
Castine, ME 04421

Located in a historic 18th-century home, the Wilson Museum highlights the rich history of the Castine peninsula through period furnishings and artifacts. Exhibits provide an in-depth look into the daily lives of past Castine residents and the area’s maritime heritage.

TOP MAINE HISTORICAL SITES
Colonial Pemaquid State Historic Site in Bristol, Maine

Colonial Pemaquid State Historic Site

1361 Bristol Road,
Bristol, ME 04539

This historic state park features excavated ruins and reconstructed buildings providing insights into Colonial-era settlement life in the 1620s. Engaging exhibits and artifacts bring Pemaquid’s role as an early English colony in Maine to life.

Farnsworth Homestead in Rockland, Maine

Farnsworth Homestead

21 Elm Street,
Rockland, ME 0484

Nestled along the Maine coastline in Rockland, this historic homestead offers an immersive glimpse into 1840s family life in New England through guided tours and hands-on activities. Costumed interpreters demonstrate daily chores, cooking, and artisan crafts of the era.

Fort Knox State Historic Site in Prospect, Maine

Fort Knox State Historic Site

740 Ft Knox Road,
Prospect, ME 04981

This impressive 19th century granite fort located in Prospect, Maine allows visitors to explore Maine’s role in the Civil War era. Guided tours take guests through passageways and climb atop parapets, bringing the experience of a 19th century fort garrison to life.

Fort Popham State Historic Site in Phippsburg, Maine

Fort Popham State Historic Site

219 Popham Road,
Phippsburg, ME 04562

Overlooking the Kennebec River in Phippsburg, Maine, the ruins at this Civil War-era fort provide insights into mid-19th century military life and defense along the Maine coast. Informational exhibits detail the site’s history.

Old Fort Western historic site in Augusta, Maine

Fort Western

16 Cony Street,
Augusta, ME 04330

This National Historic Landmark is an authentically restored 1754 fort and 18th-century home depicting Colonial and Revolutionary-era life in Maine. Costumed interpreters and guides allow visitors to step back in time to early Augusta’s roles in trade and conflict.

James G. Blaine House (Governor's Mansion) in Augusta, Maine

James G. Blaine House

192 State Street,
Augusta, ME 04330

As the official Maine Governor’s residence since 1919, tours of this National Historic Landmark provide a glimpse into the life of governors past and present through the home’s historic design and State Capitol artwork. The ornate mansion overlooks the scenic Kennebec River.

Maine State House & Maine Capitol Building in Augusta Maine

Maine State House

230 State Street,
Augusta, ME 04330

Completed in 1832, the beautiful Maine State House is open for tours showcasing the state’s Capitol building, legislative chambers, and historic artwork and artifacts. Guides provide insights into Maine politics past and present under the iconic dome of this National Historic Landmark.

St. Croix Island International Historic Site

Saint Croix Island International Historic Site

84 Saint Croix Drive,
Calais, ME 04619

This island is the site of an early 17th century French settlement attempt, one of the first European colonies in North America. An interpretive center and walking trails throughout the site explain the expedition’s challenges.

Historic Tate House in Portland, Maine

Tate House Museum

1267 Westbrook Street,
Portland, ME 04102

Built in 1755, the historic Tate House offers guided tours showcasing Colonial architectural styles and period furnishings. Costumed guides bring Portland’s involvement in the Revolutionary War and early maritime trades to life at this National Historic Landmark home.

Victoria Mansion in Portland Maine

Victoria Mansion

09 Danforth Street,
Portland, ME 04101

This National Historic Landmark is an impeccably preserved Italianate-style Victorian mansion. Guided tours allow visitors to experience the ornate 1860s home and learn about the lifestyles of wealthy Portlanders during the Gilded Age in Maine’s thriving port city.

Wadsworth-Longfellow House in Portland Maine

Wadsworth-Longfellow House

489 Congress Street,
Portland, ME 04101

Once home to famed poet Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, this historic house museum located in downtown Portland provides a glimpse into the life and works of one of Maine’s most celebrated literary figures through period rooms and exhibits.

Whaleback Shell Midden State Historic Site in Damariscotta, Maine

Whaleback Shell Midden State Historic Site

535 Main Street,
Damariscotta, ME 04543

This site features an ancient oyster shell midden created by Native Americans providing insights into the lives of indigenous people along Maine’s coast centuries ago. Interpretive exhibits detail the archeological findings.

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