Maine, the Pine Tree State, occupies the northeastern United States, in the breathtaking New England region. Algonquian speaking Native Americans were the original inhabitants of this area before a French group created a permanent settlement in 1604. Maine is the nation’s easternmost state, and shares its borders with the Atlantic Ocean, New Hampshire, and the Canadian provinces of Quebec and New Brunswick.
The state of Maine, the largest state in New England, covers 33,215 square miles. In fact, ME’s total area exceeds the boundaries of the five remaining New England states combined. According to 2008 Census estimates, Maine has a population of more than 1.3 million. The largest cities include Auburn, Bangor, Biddeford, Brunswick, Lewiston, Portland, Sanford, Scarborough, South Portland, and the charming capital city of Augusta. Rockland and Waterville are among Maine’s smaller communities.
Maine features eight tourism regions, each providing its own distinct activities, accommodations, recreation and scenery. Maine’s tourism and travel industries attract nearly eight million visitors each year, resulting in nearly $2.75 billion in revenue. Maine features 32,000 miles of rivers, 6,000 lakes, 5,000 miles of scenic coastline, and nearly 550,000 acres of state and national parks. With such a diverse natural backdrop, outdoor enthusiasts have an impressive selection of recreational activities at their disposal. Options include biking, bird and whale watching, hiking, fishing, llama trekking, river rafting, skiing and snowmobiling.
Tourist who sightsee by ferry, plane or scenic byway may enjoy vibrant foliage in autumn, visiting the state’s remaining covered bridges, scenic harbors, and touring the 60 lighthouses found along Maine’s pristine coastline. ME’s major attractions include Acadia National Park, Baxter State Park, Isles of Shoals, Machias Seal Island, Moosehead Lake, and a variety of historic communities such as Kennebunkport.
Renowned for its cuisine, Maine thrives as the nation’s paramount source of blueberries, as well as a significant contributor of apples, clams, lobsters, potatoes, maple sugar and shellfish. The primary manufacturing outputs include paper products such as cardboard boxes, paper bags and wood pulp. Maine features a flourishing selection of small business establishments, and is home to larger companies such as Fairchild Semiconductor in South Portland, and the popular L.L. Bean, with headquarters in Freeport, ME.
Citizens of Maine have access to an outstanding public education system, with a wealth of private and parochial school options from which to choose. Those seeking higher education have the numerous campuses of the University of Maine System, the University of Southern Maine, and the Maine Maritime Academy. Maine’s post-secondary schools also include several community colleges and private institutions such as Andover College, Thomas College, the University of New England, and Maine College of Art, which is the oldest arts educational institution in the state.
Maine’s majestic landscapes with lush green forests, island communities, rugged coastal beaches and low, rolling mountains will not disappoint those looking to experience the renowned New England scenery. However, the delectable cuisine, diverse cultural and recreational options, combined with state-of-the-art facilities for education, and numerous career opportunities push Maine to the forefront of enviable places to call home.