Need some things to do in Maine this summer? Some of the most important Maine destinations are completely missed if you just drive up the state (or fly into Trenton) without stopping until you get to Bar Harbor. Some Maine harbor towns, like Camden and Rockport, are strikingly similar to Bar Harbor but without all of the tourist hustle and bustle that you encounter all over Mount Desert Island. Take the scenic route instead – drive up US Route 1 from Rockland to Lincolnville, and you'll get to see Maine at its very best – the REAL Maine.

Things to do in Maine: The Rockland Breakwater

The Rockland Breakwater is a stone barrier that protects Rockland Harbor from dangerous tidal conditions. It extends an incredible 4,300 feet into the middle of the harbor, terminating at an early Maine lighthouse. The Breakwater is accessible by anyone from dawn until dusk, free of charge and with free parking as well. There are stunning views of the Atlantic Ocean, Rockland village and harbor, the Breakwater lighthouse, Samoset Resort and yearly sailing events like the Windjammer.

Vesper Children's Chapel – Rockport

The Vesper Children's Chapel in Rockport, Maine is an open-concept stone church overlooking Rockport Harbor – widely considered one of the most beautiful in the state. The grounds of this stunning oceanfront property are meticulously landscaped and have attracted international attention for its beauty. Weddings are a daily occurrence here, with brides and grooms saying short vows in an intimate and supremely natural environment. You can walk through the gardens here and capture incredible photographs free of charge, or you can pay just $200 to have your wedding here. Either way, the Vesper Children's Chapel is a striking and unique destination that you'll never forget.

Things to do in Maine: Mt. Battie in Camden

Camden is considered "the other Bar Harbor." However, Camden is a lot smaller and a lot less tourist-oriented. Real Maine things happen in this little harbor village like fishing and lobstering, sailing and boatbuilding. And you can see it all from the top of Mt. Battie – an exposed granite rock face directly overlooking Camden Village. Whether you drive up or hike to the summit, at the top you'll understand why Edna St. Vincent Millay's poem "Renascence" has the following lines concerning the view from the top of Mt. Battie:

"All I could see from where I stood

Was three long mountains and a wood

I turned and looked the other way;

And saw three islands in a bay."

Other than Mount Desert Island in Maine, Camden is the only place on the entire Atlantic coast where the mountains meet the sea.

Ferry to Isleboro from Lincolnville

Isleboro is a 14 mile-long island just a short ferry ride from Lincolnville Beach. Home to less than 600 year-round residents, the island has long been a summer destination for both locals and tourists. Isleboro is renowned for its remote, virtually untouched parks, coves and inlets, its world-class sailing, and easy cycling due to the exceptionally flat terrain. To see a schedule of ferry times and fees, click here.

Things to do in Maine: Nana's Kitchen on Verona Island

If you want real coastal Maine seafood without any gimmicks or touristy nonsense, then Nana's Kitchen is the perfect place for lunch or dinner after exploring the Rockland to Lincolnville corridor. Nana's is unique because they serve extremely fresh, high quality food in an authentic down-home style environment. With an open bar and kitchen concept and friendly Verona Island service, Nana creates original Downeast Maine fare as well as seafood and other specialties from around the world. And because Nana and Pappy are world travelers (Pappy is a retired Naval Chief Navigator) they understand what it's like to want to experience the real Maine – not some gimmicky foods or junk fed just to tourists. Nana's is the real deal. Find out for yourself – check out Nana's menu and call for a reservation for coastal Maine's best seafood.

From Nana's you'll be less than an hour away from Bar Harbor with a full belly, ready to explore.

Heading to Bucksport and the Penobscot Bridge this summer? Check out the best Maine seafood right here on Verona Island.

Click here for seafood dinners and lunches without all the tourist hustle and bustle.

Author's Bio: 

Ron has been professionlly writing for the web for nearly 15 years and has evolved a style guaranteed to get results.