If it has wings, wheels, rails, or a hull, Maine has a museum devoted to it. Planes, trains, and automobiles, definitely, but also steamers, trolleys, and ships are well represented in the state. Better yet, not only can you see them, but also often experience them, too.
Maine's transportation heritage parallels the state's history. Early explorers accessed inland Maine by following its waterways via canoe and bateau. Those same waterways were used to transport cargo arriving at the state's seaport inland, timber from woods to mills, and produced goods to the coast. Later, narrow-gauge trains, then trucks, linked cargo ports and inland points. When well-healed summer rusticators began arriving in the late-19th century, passenger trains began operations. As the decades progressed, bicycles, trolleys, automobiles, planes, and snowmobiles came into vogue.
Maine's automobile museums exhibit significant collections of rare automobiles, some masterfully restored, others in as-found condition. A few honor native inventors, others share private collections. Other museums are dedicated to boats, ranging from skiffs to ships; still others to trains and trolleys; and one covers the transportation gamut: bicycles, motorcycles, snowmobiles, and planes.
Many of Maine's transportation museums provide not only the opportunity to view displays and exhibits, but also to experience them. Ride in restored trains along narrow gauge railways, watch air shows including aerobatic feats, cruise waterways on historic vessels, even help operate a trolley. Special events, from military air shows to auctions of rare automobiles, model festivals to full-day foliage cruises, provide other incentives.