Maine's museums surprise visitors with their depth and breadth: they're human sized, rarely crowded, engaging, inviting, and fun. They reward the curious with world-class collections, intriguing exhibits, fascinating displays, and mind-stretching possibilities. Many invite interaction, not only through exhibits and displays, but also through programs ranging from lectures and films to bean-hole suppers and day sails.
Maine's museums are the real deal. They allow visitors to experience the real Maine in meaningful, authentic ways. In Maine, you can:
- Soak up Maine's seafaring tradition by touring a historic shipyard or a village that went to sea, climbing an observation or lighthouse tower, or prowl around a fort.
- Immerse yourself in Maine's artistic vision by visiting art museums, touring sites where American Masters painted iconic scenes and viewing studios where they created their art, and touring architectural gems.
- Transport yourself, via Maine's transportation museums, to a different era: view rare automobiles, watch aerobatic air shows, ride narrow gauge rails, or board historic boats.
- Learn about the Native Americans who first called Maine home; the Acadian settlers and Franco-American and Irish immigrants, who later populated it; the slaves who followed the Underground Railway here; and the Shakers, who still reside here.
- Arm yourself with military knowledge at museums honoring Maine's war history; visit forts and view re-enactments, tour shipyards and walk through historic towns and cities.
- Get to know historic Maine figures who lived large on the national stage: explorers and inventors, literary greats and political leaders.
- Introduce kids to Maine's playful nature at a children's museum or by participating in family friendly museum activities.
- Focus on smaller, often quirky museums devoted to everything from umbrella covers to sardines, or ones with eclectic collections united only under the name of their collector.
Small towns and big cities, rural and urban, coast and mountains, Maine's museums are found statewide, making it easy to include visits, no matter where you're visiting or for how long. The reward for doing so is a better understanding of the place, people, geography, history, heritage, and economy of Maine, an understanding that will enrich your visit and provide plentiful factual souvenirs to enliven your tales when you return home.