Why: The East Coast’s northernmost state is bursting with natural beauty -- a rugged, winding coastline complete with sheltered coves and wildlife-packed state and national parks. It also boasts lots of charming New England towns filled with antique stores, classic roadside diners, and an impressive selection of art museums and galleries. If you dream of swapping vows in an old-fashioned country church, you’re certain to be able to find one here.

When to go: Summer is when the state attracts the most visitors, especially in July and August, when the weather is warmest (average highs are in the high 70s, average lows in the high 50s), but you should consider having your wedding in September instead, when it’s less crowded and the crisp fall weather (highs around 67, nighttime lows in the 50s) lights up the foliage.

Guest activities: In the summer, the state offers the perfect chance to enjoy water sports such as sailing, canoeing, and kayaking. Nature lovers will want to hit the hiking trails in one of Maine’s many parks and nature preserves, such as Acadia National Park, a 35,000-acre spread of mountains, woodlands, lakes and oceanfront that contains 120 miles of hiking trails. Culture vultures will want to check out local art landmarks, such as Winslow Homer’s studio in Prout’s Neck, the Farnsworth Art Museum in Rockland (which is chock full of work by the Wyeth family), and Portland’s Museum of Art. Everyone should dine on lobster rolls and blueberry pie, two of Maine’s scrumptious signature dishes.

Best Spots for Weddings:

White Barn Inn ( New England charm at its most quaint and elegant, both the individually decorated rooms in the inn and the waterfront cottages two-tenths of a mile away from the main property are charming. The kitchen here is also a real foodie mecca in Maine.

Spruce Points Inn ( Sitting on 57 acres of green lawns and gardens overlooking Boothbay Harbor, this lodge offers accommodations for more than one hundred couples. Whatever outdoor venue you choose as your ceremony location, the breathtaking Atlantic Ocean serves as your backdrop.


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