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A list of less visited and major cities in Maine with facts and things to do in the area.
We’ve included indoor and outdoor activities for all seasons.
At Hey! East Coast USA, we like to create organized destination guides, so we have created this list of Maine cities from north to south.
Did you find this guide useful? Did we miss your favorite city? Tell us in the comments below!
For a complete guide on what to do and see in the state, read our Maine bucket list guide.
Cities in Maine
The City of Caribou, ME
Caribou is not only Maine’s most northeasterly city but also the most northeasterly in the whole of the United States, and the city is close to the Canadian border.
Located in Maine’s Aroostook County, Caribou is the second largest city in this region, with a population of 7,710, but this number is decreasing.
If you like winter, this is the city for you as it gets just over three months of it from December to March.
Thrill seekers travel to Caribou to ride snowmobiles through 110 miles of trails, which are groomed by the city and local clubs.
Other things to do in Caribou include visiting the Nylander Museum-Natural History to learn about wildlife, geology, and the history of Aroostook.
Goughan’s Berry Farm is a family favorite in fall for its decor and in summer for ice cream.
Don’t forget to take a picture of the Caribou deer statue!
Did you know that there is a potato named after this city?
The Caribou Russet potato was released by The University of Maine and became available to New England stores in 2018.
City of Presque Isle, ME
Presque Isle is one of Maine’s most northern cities and the largest in Aroostook County or ‘The County’.
It is also the region’s economic hub.
According to the official website, it has a population of around 9,511.
Presque Isle is the headquarters of the federally recognized tribe, Aroostook Band of Micmac.
Things to do in Presque Isle include buying local produce at the farmers’ market, visiting The Maysville Museum, seeing the world’s largest scale model of the Solar System, and outdoor activities at Maine’s first state park, Aroostook State Park.
Like many of Maine’s cities, Presque Isle can be enjoyed all year round, and it celebrates winter with The County Snow Festival, which features snowmobiles, snow-shoeing, and s’mores!
You can also ski at Quoggy Jo Ski Center.
The City of Calais, ME
The city of Calais has a small population of 3,123 and is located on the Canadian border by the banks of the St. Croix River.
Visitors can visit the Saint Croix Island International Historic Site, which describes the beginning of French presence on US soil.
Other things to do in the area include the 2.7-mile hike at Devils Head and visiting the 30,000 acres of federally protected lands of Moosehorn National Wildlife Refuge.
You may also like our guide to the best hikes on the East Coast.
The City of Eastport, ME
Eastport is Maine’s least populated city, with 1300 residents, and it is known for its high tides.
When visiting Eastport, you’ll want to look out for the Eastport mermaid statue on Water Street, join a whale-watching cruise around the Eastport/Bay of Fundy area, and check out the largest tidal whirlpool in the Western Hemisphere, The Old Sow near Deer Island!
There is an annual Pirate Festival held each year at Eastport, which features a parade and vendors offering lots of family-friendly fun.
The City of Old Town, ME
Don’t be put off by the name; Old Town is a city and a unique one at that.
Thanks to its location, this island community is surrounded by the Penobscot and Stillwater Rivers, which are known for supporting its logging industry and canoe-building businesses.
The Stillwater runs the 2.3 miles to the Penobscot Indian Reservation.
You can learn more about “…the oldest continuous government in the world…” at The Penobscot Museum on Down Street.
With a population of 7,840, this is a small destination, and many attractions are built around history, nature, and the outdoors.
Things to do in Old Town include visiting the Old Town Museum, learning more about the city’s industry at Maine Forest and Logging Museum, and taking a day trip to the 2,402 acres of Hirundo Wildlife Refuge where you can paddle along Dead or Pushaw Streams, and snow-shoe the trails in winter!
Author Tabitha King is from Old Town.
You may be familiar with her husband, Stephen.
The City of Brewer, ME
Brewer is located in Penobscot County and has a population of around 9,672.
It is named after the first settler in the area, Colonel John Brewer.
The Penobscot River, named after the Penobscot people, splits Brewer and its sister city, Bangor.
Things to do in Brewer include ice skating at Penobscot Ice Arena, playing golf at Pine Hill, and walling along Brewer Riverwalk with views over to Bangor.
The City of Bangor, ME
Bangor is the ‘big’ city for northern, central, and eastern Maine and is known as Queen City of the East.
If you are using this guide as a Maine itinerary to help you build a road trip or for day trip ideas, you will probably pass through Bangor at some point if you are traveling up to the North Woods or down to popular Acadia National Park.
With a population of 32,000, you can experience city attractions but still feel part of the community here, especially if you are a Stephen King fan!
47 W Broadway is home to a Victorian mansion with black iron bats on the gate…
You guessed it; this is one of the private homes of the author Stephen King.
Bangor is where King drew lots of his inspiration, and you can see it at Thomas Hill Stand Pipe (IT) and the second oldest public cemetery in the US, Mount Hope Cemetery (Pet Cemetery).
Bangor is also home to another work of fiction.
This is where you can find a 31-foot Paul Bunyan, the folk hero lumberjack statue.
Other things to do in Bangor include The Maine Discovery Museum, Zillman Art Museum-University of Maine for modern and contemporary exhibitions, and The Hill House, which was commissioned by Thomas A. Hill and designed by Richard Upjohn.
There are also live waterfront concerts, craft beer bars, and a 1.8-mile loop at Indian Trail Park or 680 acres of nature at Bangor City Forest.
Don’t forget to take a picture of the Greetings From Bangor mural at the corner of Main and Union Street.
The City of Ellsworth, ME
Ellsworth was named after United States Founding Father Oliver Ellsworth and is the gateway to one of the most visited parks in the US, Acadia National Park.
Home to 8,399, Ellsworth is located in Hancock County.
The area which Ellsworth is part of is known as Downeast or Down East.
The City of Augusta, ME
The capital city of Maine, Augusta, has a population of approximately 18,899.
This is where you will find the domed 19th-century Maine State House and Blaine House, the state governor’s residence.
Things to do in Augusta include walking, walking, running or cycling along the 6.5-mile Kennebec River Rail Trail, appreciating nature at the 224 acres of the botanical garden of Viles Arboretum, and learning about colonial history at a former British outpost called Fort Western.
If you are interested in history and people’s rights, check out the First Amendment Museum at the Gannett House.
The City of Lewiston, ME
Lewiston has a few claims to fame!
It is the only city in the state with a basilica, the Basilica of Saints Peter and Paul (122 Ash Street), and it is home to The Phantom Punch, where Muhammed Ali knocked out Sonny Liston on May 25, 1965. Or did he?
This knock was questioned for years and was linked to gangster fixing.
Maine’s second-largest city, with a population of 37,121, is located in Androscoggin County.
Originally home to Androscoggin people, the river with the same name runs through it.
Things to do in Lewiston include a basilica tour, Bates College Museum of Art, a riverside walk, a Thorncrag Bird Sanctuary hike, and ice fishing at Sabattus Pond.
The City of Auburn, ME
Auburn, Lewiston’s twin city, is located in south-central Maine in Androscoggin County and has a population of 24,061.
It is home to Central Maine Community College.
Things to do in Auburn include the 1.6-mile Auburn Riverwalk, which connects the city with Lewiston, water sports at Taylor Pond, and winter sports at Lost Valley Ski.
The City of Bath, ME
Bath is located in Sagadahoc County and has a population was 8,766.
This is one of the most popular cities in Maine for tourism and is known as The City of Ships.
Many people head to Bath for July 4th as they host a multi-day event called the Bath Heritage Day Festival, which features free concerts, art in the park, an antique car show, Maine’s largest parade, fireworks, and Smokey’s Greater Shows Carnival.
Other things to do in Bath include learning about maritime history at the Maine Maritime Museum, seeing Maine’s First Ship, and visiting out Doubling Point Lighthouse.
Bath is also featured in our guide to where to stay for fall foliage in Maine.
The City of Westbrook, ME
Westbrook is located in Cumberland County and is a suburb of Portland.
The population is around 20,400, and it was once the fastest-growing city in Maine.
European settlers were attracted to Westbrook’s natural amenities, including the city’s two falls – Saccarappa and Ammoncongin.
Things to do in Westbrook include dining out on food Downtown, such as deli, pizza, and, of course, Dunkin Donuts, watching live music in the summer at the City’s Vallee Square, and hiking the 6 miles of Mill Brook Preserve Trailhead.
The City of Portland, ME
Portland is the largest city in Maine by population, with around 68,500 residents calling it home.
It is also one of the most popular places to visit in Maine, with crowds being attracted to its coastal views of Casco Bay and its cool city life.
Portland, OR, and Portland, ME, were both featured in the top 10 places to live in the US.
Portland is a walkable city with separate districts that draw in different crowds.
Wander along the cobbled streets and by the converted warehouses at Old Port District, stopping for a craft beer and lobster roll to refuel while watching the working port.
From the pier, you can hop aboard a ferry to Casco Bay Islands, such as Peaks Island (17 minutes one way), Little Diamond Island (15 minutes one-way), Great Diamond Island (20-25 minutes one-way), Long Island (30-60 minutes one-way), Chebeague Island (60-90 minutes one-way) and Cliff Island (60-120 minutes one-way).
Many of these islands were previously the homeland of Indigenous people before settlers took over.
If you prefer to stay on dry land, head to the Arts District, which is just a few blocks away.
Then, walk through the West End to photograph Portland’s largest historic homes, visit the Victoria Mansion Museum, and enjoy the green space at the Western Promenade.
On the opposite side of the city is the East End neighborhood, where you will find Munjoy Hill, Eastern Promenade, and East End Beach.
You can also visit the Portland Observatory, a historic maritime signal tower, here.
There are many lighthouses close to Portland, which we’ll discuss next.
In South Portland, which is a city in its own right, you can see two lighthouses – Bug Light at Bug Light Park and Spring Point Ledge Lighthouse.
South Portland is also where you will find Fort Preble ruins and a large shopping mall.
Many Portland visitors drive out to Cape Elizabeth to see one of the oldest lighthouses in the US (1791), The Portland Head Light.
Portland and the islands are also featured in our guide on Maine summer vacation ideas.
Planning a trip? Read our guide on where to stay in Portland, ME.
You may also like our guide to Portland in the fall.
If you’re making it a romantic getaway, check out all our date ideas in the city for easy planning.
The City of Saco, ME
Saco, with its population of 20,381, is located in York County, over the Saco River from Biddeford.
Things to do include al fresco dining at Run Of The Mill, history at Saco Museum, and hiking trails at Rachel Carson National Wildlife Refuge.
For the family, ice cream at Candy Drop, Funtown Splashtown USA swimming amusement park and Ferry Beach State Park.
City of Biddeford, ME
Biddeford is a young, coastal city on the banks of the Saco River near the Atlantic Ocean.
It is located in York County and has a population of 22,552.
Biddeford is where you will find the University of New England.
Things to do include shopping locally at these black-owned businesses Downtown, dining and drinking in converted mill buildings and relaxing at the large tidal pool, Biddeford Pool.
The City of Sanford, ME
Sanford is Maine’s newest city and is located in York County.
It has a population of 21,982 and also includes the village of Springvale.
Sanford is known for its forests and ponds nestled in the foothills of the White Mountains.
Previously, the fabric industry relied on the city’s Mousam River to power its mills and factories.
Today, things to do in Sanford include urban hikes around the old buildings, baseball games at Goodall Park and days out at Mousam Lake.
You can view all of these Maine cities on this free map.