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Maine is the northeasternmost state in the USA, part of the region of New England. It's a popular state among travellers, especially in summer when temperatures are pleasant and the coastline with its beautiful lighthouses draws many visitors. In autumn, just like the other states in New England, the leaves of the trees turn into all sorts of colours. October therefore also is a popular time and driving across the forested interior with a palet of green, yellow, brown, orange and red leaves is just magnificent.
Maine covers around 35,000 square miles and has about 1.35 million inhabitants. It is bordered by the Atlantic Ocean to the southeast, New Hampshire to the southwest, and the Canadian provinces of Quebec to the northwest and New Brunswick to the northeast. Maine has a rocky beautiful coastline and lots of the interior is covered with thick forests. Maine is the easternmost state in the United States both in its extreme points and its geographic center. The municipalities of Eastport and Lubec are, respectively, the easternmost city and town in the United States. Estcourt Station is Maine's northernmost point, as well as the northernmost point in New England. Maine has several unique geographical features. Machias Seal Island and North Rock, off its easternmost point, are claimed by both the U.S. and Canada and are within one of four areas between the two countries whose sovereignty is still in dispute, but it is the only one of the disputed areas containing land. Also in this easternmost area is the Old Sow, the largest tidal whirlpool in the Western Hemisphere.
Maine has almost 400 kilometres of coastline 5,600 kilometres of tidal coastline). West Quoddy Head is the easternmost piece of land in the contiguous 48 United States.
Maine experiences a humid continental climate, with warm (although generally not hot), humid summers. Winters are cold and snowy throughout the state, and are especially severe in the northern parts of Maine. Coastal areas are moderated somewhat by the Atlantic Ocean. Summers last from June to September and are nice and warm, between 25 °C and 30 °C during the day and between 15 °C and 20 °C at night. Winters last from December to March with average daytime temperatures mostly around freezing point or slightly above. Nights are well below freezing point during this time. Precipitation is quite evenly distributed throughout the year, with sometimes very heavy snowfall in winter. During summer, heavy showers can occur, especially after periods of hot weather. The state's record high temperature is 41 °C, set in July 1911, at North Bridgton. In January 2009, a new record low temperature for the state was set at Big Black River of -46 °C, tying the New England record. Maine has fewer days of thunderstorms than any other state east of the Rockies, with most of the state averaging less than 20 days of thunderstorms a year. Tornadoes are rare in Maine, with the state averaging fewer than two per year, mostly occurring in the southern part of the state.
South Portland Airport (PWM) is an airport that borders with Portland, Maine, about 2 miles (3.2 kilometres) from the Central Business District.
The airport is accessible from I-95 (the Maine Turnpike) and I-295. METRO Bus and taxi service can be accessed from the ground transportation booth outside the baggage claim. A shuttle bus service called The Portland Explorer provides access to area hotels and to other local transportation, such as the Amtrak Downeaster train service, and Concord Coach Lines intercity bus service at the Portland Transportation Center.
The Downeaster travels between Boston, Massachusetts and Portland in Maine, stopping a few other cities in Maine as well.
The largest airports in Maine are the Portland International Jetport in Portland and the Bangor International Airport in Bangor.
The Downeaster passenger train, operated by Amtrak, provides passenger service between Portland and Boston's North Station, with stops in Old Orchard Beach, Saco, and Wells. The Downeaster makes five southbound trips and five northbound trips every day.
Seasonal passenger excursions between Brunswick and Rockland are operated by the Maine Eastern Railroad, which leases the state-owned Rockland Branch rail corridor
Many international rental companies have a wide selection of rental cars and these include Hertz, Avis, Dollar, Thrifty, Enterprise, Budget and Alamo/National. Most companies will require you are at least 25 years of age, although younger people might be able to rent cars at slightly higher rates and with some insurance differences as well. A national driver's license is usually enough, but an additional international one is recommended. Also note that it usually costs more to include lots of other extra things. For example extra drivers, GPS, the first full tank, SLI (Supplemental Liability Insurance), PAI (Personal Accident Insurance, usually covered already at home), road assistance/service plan, and drop-off costs for one-way rentals.
If you want to book a car, it is recommended that you book your car before arriving in the USA. This is almost always (much) cheaper compared to just showing up. Also, try and book with a so-called 'broker', which usually works together with a few or many car rental companies and can offer the best deal. Some examples include Holidayautos, Holidaycars and Sunny Cars. Some of the cheapest deals to book from Europe, includes Drive-USA, which also has a German version.
For more information and tips about renting cars and campers, additional costs, insurance, traffic rules, scenic routes and getting maps and fuel it is advised to check the USA Getting Around section.
Maine has a number of National Scenic Byways which offer a great way to explore the state crossing beautiful landscapes. Mostly, there are lots of national parks, state parks or monuments along the way and it's generally a better alternative than the faster but boring Interstate Highways.
Portland, ME-Metro Bus Service travels all around the city.
There are dozens of hotel and motel chains, ranging from budget to top end. Allthough they are not the most charming accommodations, they usually have a very decent midrange service with good rooms and are generally good value. At least you know what to expect and in some cases they are either the only or the best option in the area. Some of them include:
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