Maine is geographically larger than the other five New England states, Maine is the least populous with only 41 people per square mile. "Maine: the way life should be," is the current state slogan, and residents here are careful to preserve the natural beauty of the environment. One of the original state mottos "Vacationland" still works well for many!
The state's economy has always been tied to its vast natural resources. Tourism, fishing, lobstering, lumber, paper products, and farming of crops like potatoes and blueberries remain economic mainstays. The growing high technology industry has added diversity to the mix. The city of Portland, closer to Europe than any other U.S. port of call, is a center of international commerce.
Maine's rugged landscape has always appealed to travelers. With nearly 3,500 miles of rocky coastline, more than California, the ocean is central to the traditional way of life here. Visitors enjoy the spectacular ocean views and the recreation the waterfront affords. Seaside vacation spots like Kennebunkport, Kennebunk Beach, Wells, and Ogunquit are popular summertime destinations. Outdoor enthusiasts also enjoy the incredible opportunities for hiking and camping in Maine. The Allagash Wilderness Waterway, Acadia National Park and Baxter State Park at the northern tip of the Appalachian Trail all offer amazing ventures.
Portland is the cultural center of the state. The harbor's historic Old Port district hosts a lively collection of specialty retail shops, fine restaurants and funky cafes. Portland is also the center of a thriving local music scene, while national acts perform at the State Theater and The Cumberland County Civic Center. Portland is well-known for its exceptional live theater and the its remarkable Museum of Art, a beautifully I.M. Pei-designed multi-story structure that features a number of Winslow Homer paintings in its collection.
Shoppers from all over the world trek to Freeport for impressive outlet shopping at more than 100 stores. Surely the number one attraction here is L.L. Bean open 24/7/365. Kittery is another Mecca for shoppers and deals.
In an increasingly fast-paced society, more and more people are seeking out a healthier lifestyle for them and their families. The seacoast region of southern Maine offers residents a balance of modern growth and traditional values that has become all too rare. Conveniently located between the major metropolitan centers of Boston and Portland, the seacoast enjoys easy access to these cities from Interstate 95.
Maine is rated the "safest" state in the country by the Huff Post (Nov 28, 2011). Maine has a low rate of uninsured and is among the country's healthiest states (#8). Community spirit abounds in the cities and towns here. Neighbors know one another, and share a common commitment to continued economic growth balanced with a preservation of the seacoast's uncommon quality of life.
Seacoast residents appreciate the many advantages the region has to offer – a growing economy, a thriving cultural community, and a healthy, outdoor lifestyle. Families here truly want it all, and they are lucky enough to have it.
Maine Quality of Life From its very beginnings, Maine has always been known for its diversity. Mainers have access to miles of rugged coastline as well as clean, sandy beaches. The state has 6,000 lakes and ponds and more than 540,000 acres of state and national parks. Mountain ranges await hikers, campers, skiers and photographers.
Maine's economy is as diverse as its natural assets. Strong in traditional mainstays of the New England economy, such as lumber and wood products, paper and allied products, leather and goods, Maine's growing industries are wedded to high technology–microelectronics, aircraft components and ultra-precision machining. Growth in non-manufacturing industries is largely due to expanding tourism, insurance and information services and retail trade.
Maine: A Brief History The first Europeans to settle in Maine established the Popham Colony in 1607 – the same year that America's first permanent settlement in Jamestown was founded. By the early 1620s a number of settlements existed along the coast including York, America's first chartered town. Originally part of Massachusetts, residents of the area began to press for statehood following the War of 1812. In 1820 Maine was allowed to join the Union as a free state, one rooted in political independence, religious freedom and popular control of government. At the time of statehood, Maine's population had reached nearly 300,000. Today, Maine is home to 1.3 million people. When the state separated from Massachusetts, Augusta was chosen as its capital after months of debate. Governor Enoch Lincoln and his Executive Council commissioned Charles Bullfinch, the noted Boston architect, to design the State House.
The center of state government, the capital houses both the executive and legislative branches. The governor is popularly elected and is limited to two consecutive four-year terms. Maine's legislature consists of a 35-member Senate and 151-member House of Representatives.
The state has produced several prominent national political figures: Margaret Chase Smith achieved fame as the first woman to serve in both the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives, noted for her political courage, integrity and independence, she was the first Republican senator to speak out against McCarthyism. In 1964 she was nominated for president at the Republican convention. Former Governor Edmund Muskie became a senator, where he fought for a clean environment and became an expert in urban legislature and budget control. In 1968 he was the Democratic nominee for vice president and in 1972 he was a major presidential contender. U.S. Senator William Cohen served in two administrations as U.S. Secretary of Defense. Former President George H.W. Bush has a summer home in Kennebunkport - Walkers Point.
Climate Maine is a four-season state. Summer temperatures average a near perfect 72 degrees Fahrenheit, while winter temperatures average about 30 degrees. Snow rarely falls until mid-December, with average accumulations of 60-90 inches. A higher snowfall inland is a plus for the region's winter activities including snowmobiling, ice fishing, snowshoeing, alpine and cross country skiing.