Western Maine

Western Maine receives far fewer visitors than the coast, which thrills the outdoorsy types who love its dense forests and solitary peaks just the way they are. While much of the land is still wilderness, there are some notable settlements. The fine old town of Bethel and the mountain setting of Rangeley are relatively accessible to city dwellers in the northeast, while Bridgton's quirky offerings make it a cool weekend retreat.

In the fall, leaf-peepers make their way inland with cameras and picnic baskets. In winter, skiers and snowmobilers turn the mountains into their playground. In the warmer months, the lakes, rivers, campgrounds and hiking trails draw lovers of the great outdoors.

This is rural America at its most rustic. So bring a map and don't expect to rely on your cell phone – signals can be few and far between in these parts.