The state of Maine has a reputation for being outdoorsy and cultured. You can check into historic seaside hotels and eat lobster dinners if you so choose. There are many things to do in Maine for free, including hiking, swimming, cross-country skiing, and enjoying the arts scene.

You can save money on special experiences such as seafood dinners and overnight stays on the shore by taking advantage of the many free activities in Maine.

There are plenty of things to do in Maine, from hiking on the rocky coastline to front-row seats at a wrestling match. In Maine, there are many free things to do.

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1. Tour Maine's lighthouses

George Washington commissioned the Portland Head Light in Cape Elizabeth to be the most photographed lighthouse in the country. The adjacent 90-acre Fort Williams Park has stunning ocean views and is a great place for a picnic. The Spring Point Ledge Lighthouse is located in South Portland.

Owl's Head Lighthouse, Rockland Breakwater Lighthouse, and the famous Marshall Point Lighthouse are all located in the Midcoast region. The most easterly point in the continental United States is West Quoddy State Park, home to the West Quoddy Head Lighthouse.

Staying in a lighthouse costs a little more and is a planning tip. The Little River Light was built in 1876 and was once used to keep the coast safe for shipping.

There are great beaches in Maine.

2. Visit Stephen King’s house

Stephen King's mansion on West Broadway Street in Bangor is a must see for horror fans. The author's most famous works evoke the author's red mansion, and the supernatural-looking wooden tree in the front yard is worth the visit alone. You probably won't see a glimpse of the famous author, but you never know. The house could eventually be used as a museum.

Are you looking for more free things to do? You can take a selfies with the Paul Bunyan statue or look for wildlife in the Bangor City Forest. You can take a 25-minute drive from Bangor to see the amazing views of the Penobscot River.

If you're on a literary kick, you can visit Henry Wadsworth Longfellow's residence in Portland, as well as EB White's home in Brookline, and the house ofHarriet Beecher Stowe in the city.

Girl doing a handstand on a Maine beach
Maine's beaches are lovely in summer, but just as beautiful out of season © MaloriMay / iStockphoto / Getty Images

3. Sunbathe on southern Maine's beaches

Most of the state's 1.3 million people live in southern Maine, which is mostly taken up by York and Cumberland counties. York County is home to some of the best sandy beaches in the state. Long Sand Beach in York is one of the prettiest beaches in New England, perfect for vacations during Maine's short, warm summers.

It is one of the busiest beaches in Maine during the summer because of its pier and amusement park. As you head north, sandy beaches begin to disappear, replaced by Maine's signature rocky coastline, but you'll still find a few sandy spots for a dip in the Atlantic.

When Maine's southern beaches are busy in the summer, it's a good idea to visit out of season.

4. Stroll the First Friday Art Walk in Portland

The largest city in Maine is home to world-class restaurants, hip breweries, cool coffee shops and more. It is easy to spend a lot of money on food and beer, but there are a lot of free things you can do to make up the difference.

Many of the city's art galleries and studios are open to the public for free on the first Friday of every month. The Portland Museum of Art is located in the heart of downtown and has a permanent collection of over 18,000 artworks by art greats such as Andy Warhol and Claude Monet.

One of the greatest American painters of the 19th century, and one of the largest collections of works by him, is located at the PMA. Tours of Homer's studio are available for an additional fee.

A hiker wearing an orange backpack walks past a white blaze painted tree on the Appalachian Trail in Maine
For a Maine adventure. hike the Appalachian Trail, which cuts through several Maine parks and reserves © Cavan Images RF / Getty Images

5. Take a hike through the Maine forests

Thousands of miles of hiking, biking and nature trails can be found in Maine. The Alewive Woods Preserve is a 625-acre nature preserve with 2.5 miles of hiking trails and is free to visit.

It's an hour north of Portland and Pleasant Mountain makes for a great day hike. The Shoreline Trail is an easy two-mile trail for the whole family and you may even see a moose if you are lucky.

The Grafton Notch State Park is located in the Bethel area. If you prefer a shorter day hike, there are other trails within the park.

If you want to avoid crowds on the trails, you can hike in the spring or late fall. Bring appropriate clothing for the changeable weather.

Hikes in Maine are amazing.

6. Jam out at LL Bean’s outdoor concerts

Summer in the Park is a yearly event at the flagship store in Freeport. If you want to attend a free concert by big names, you should shop for flannel shirts and duck boots first. Free yoga classes, fitness classes, movie nights and more can be found at LL Bean. The family can have lots of fun at all the events.

A family group cross country skis along a trail in Dayton, Maine.
Many Maine parks groom their trails in winter for cross-country skiing © Carl D. Walsh / Getty Images

7. Cross-country ski, snowshoe and sled in winter

There are thousands of miles of cross country skiing trails in the state. Many walking trails across the state can be accessed in the winter with snowshoes or cross country skis.

There are 15 miles of free cross-country ski trails. If you are new to cross-country skiing, Pineland Farms in New Gloucester is a great place to start.

There are lots of great sledding hills for both adults and kids to enjoy. You can bring your sled to any of the parks in the area.

It's the best time to visit Maine for seafood.

8. Experience the Maine Potato Blossom Festival

The Maine Potato Blossom Festival is held in Fort Fairfield in July. The festival takes place when the potato fields are in full bloom. There is a town-wide yard sale and nightly entertainment. The festival is a great place to spend time with your family.

Woman hiking along cliff edge, Acadia National Park, Maine, USA
Acadia National Park is free during National Parks week in April © Chris Bennett / Getty Images

9. Explore Acadia National Park

You can visit any of the country's national parks for free during National Park week in April. The first national park to be established east of the Mississippi River is located on Mount Desert Island and is a highlight of Maine.

There are 27 miles of scenic motorway, 158 miles of hiking trails, and 45 miles of carriage roads in the park. Hike to the summit of any of the granite peaks in the park, take a sip of the Atlantic at Sand Beach, or watch the sunrise from atop Cadillac Mountain.

There is more to this scenic piece of coastline than the national park. Outside the park boundaries, you can find hiking trails and places to swim.

A person rides their bike through a reed-lined path, backlit by the sun
Cycle one of Maine's bike routes to see some of the state's most beautiful landscapes © Ben McCanna / Portland Press Herald / Getty Images

10. Traverse the state on two wheels 

There is a lot of backroads to explore in Maine, with light traffic on the backroads. The Eastern Trail is a 22-mile bike ride from South Portland to Kennebunk.

The Down East Sunrise Trail is a multi-day trail that spans over 100 miles. There are mountain bike trails in Augusta and Waterville that are free to use.

The article was last updated about 8 hours ago.