Maine is the easternmost state in New England. Its rugged, indented coastline and glacier-carved, forested interior give this state its unique character and have shaped the character of its people.
Maine is a northeastern state, but one of the most sparsely populated states in the USA. Its northern reaches, known as The Great North Woods, are largely pristine wilderness. The coastal regions, supported over the years by fishing, lobstering and tourism, are more heavily populated, particularly in the southern, more temperate part of the state. Although the water is decidedly cool, Maine's mostly rocky coastline and nearly 60 lighthouses make for some beautiful scenery. That, a comfortable place to stay, and a Maine lobster may be all you need.
Maine shares land borders with New Brunswick, Québec, and New Hampshire. For visitors from overseas or the rest of the United States, Boston is the major gateway to Maine. There is bus service from Boston to Maine's major cities, and the Amtrak Downeaster offers train service from Boston's North Station to Portland. Bus service also links New Brunswick with Bangor. A car is required for travel around the state. Many visitors rent a car in Boston and take Interstate 95 northward to Maine. It takes about two hours to drive from Boston to Portland, and another two hours to drive from Portland to Bangor. Several airlines provide direct flights to Portland and Bangor from most major cities in the northeastern U.S. Bay Ferries offers high speed ferry service from Yarmouth, Nova Scotia to Portland and Bar Harbor.
A car is necessary for getting around in Maine outside of cities. Public roads are rare in the area north and west of Bangor. Private land owners maintain the few roads available in these north woods, and permits are required for access through each of ten checkpoints. Hours vary.