One of the latest national days to be added to the calendar, National Maine Day has been celebrated on December 21 since 2017. While it isn’t officially declared a national holiday, the day is still celebrated with fervor. Maine, also known as the Pine Tree State as well as Vacationland, is one of the most special states in the U.S. The day simply honors the 23rd state to join the union, but Maine’s history is what sets it apart. It lies at the northeasternmost tip of the country but offers more than many other states. Visit the state and celebrate it like the women and men of Maine do!
History of National Maine Day
Before Maine was colonized by French and English settlers, it was populated by Wabanaki tribes. Until two centuries ago, Maine was part of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, before it voted to leave Massachusetts. As part of the Missouri Compromise, it became a separate state. It was then admitted to the Union as the 23rd state.
Nobody can say for sure why it is called Maine. Some say it was named by French colonizers after the province of Maine in France. Others say it was named by English colonizers as a reference to the mainland. Either way, it is Maine today, and it is the only state named with a single syllable, and also the only state to border only one other state.
Maine’s rocky coastline, rough mountains, green expanses, and wiggly waterways have inspired numerous artists. From writers and poets to painters, they have all flourished here for centuries. Maine’s mountains and shores offer enough hidden treasures for tourists and locals alike. The options are endless! If you need to celebrate digitally, use the hashtags #NationalMaineDay and #MaineDay.
National Maine Day timeline
Giovanni da Verrazzano explores the coast of Maine, the first European known to do so.
The first sawmill in the U.S. is set up in Maine.
The first newspaper in Maine, “Falmouth Gazette,” is established to promote the state’s separation from Massachusetts.
As a result of the Missouri Compromise, Maine becomes its own state.
The worst floods in the state’s history cause losses of nearly $25 million.
National Maine Day FAQs
What is the state of Maine known for?
With 17.6 million acres of forest land, covering almost 90% of the state’s land area, Maine is known as the Pine Tree State. It is also famous for the amount of lobster it produces, in addition to blueberries and toothpicks.
Is Maine a good place to live?
Maine provides affordable housing and a low cost of living compared to neighboring states. More importantly, it is typically ranked one of the overall safest states to live. Not being as densely populated also helps — there are about 43 people per square mile.
Is Maine considered a poor state?
Some could say yes, it is. The overall lower incomes mean the state has a higher poverty rate than some others, at 12.3%. It has improved and gotten richer over the past few years, though.
How to Celebrate National Maine Day
Climb Mount Katahdin, the tallest peak in the state, or go skiing at Sugarloaf. Explore the spectacular outdoors by camping at Cobscook Bay State Park or Baxter State Park. Maine also has its own desert across 40 acres, right outside the town of Freeport.
Take a dip in the ocean at Higgins Beach or go white-water rafting. Take a ferry to the Casco Bay Islands or set sail on the Maine Windjammer Cruise. Don’t forget to feast on some delicious lobster after — it’s a state specialty.
Not just any museums — bizarre ones like the International Cryptozoology Museum and Umbrella Cover Museum in Portland, as well as the Maine Coast Sardine History Museum in Jonesport, and the Telephone Museum in Ellsworth.
5 Facts About Maine
About 40 million pounds of lobster a year is sourced from the coast of Maine, which is close to 90% of the country’s lobster supply.
The state of Maine is the largest producer of blueberries in the U.S. — 99% of the country’s supply.
Surprisingly enough, Maine has a 3,478-mile coastline by the Atlantic Ocean; it’s more than 5,500 miles if you count the state’s islands.
Maine has 3,166 coastal islands, many of which are accessible throughout the year.
With close to 76,000 moose — the official animal of Maine — the state is home to one of the largest populations in the country, making moose-watching a popular tourist activity.
Why we love National Maine Day
While donuts may have been introduced by the Dutch, they didn’t have holes and ended up being unevenly cooked, especially through the center. As a teenager, Captain Hanson Gregory of Maine came up with the ingenious idea of punching a hole in the center to solve the donut problem.
As the northeasternmost state, it sees the sunrise first in the entire country. The best views can be enjoyed from Cadillac Mountain, which is more than 1,500 feet tall. It is named after French explorer Antoine de la Mothe Cadillac, as was the Cadillac auto company.
Stephen King fans, this one's for you! Remember how we mentioned numerous writers have been inspired here? From Maine himself, he has set many of his novels here, while even writing his first one in this very state.
National Maine Day dates