With lighthouses, outdoor recreation and miles of coastline, Maine is a scenic destination for a rail vacation. Amtrak trains travel to Maine daily, and the train trip is easiest if you live in the Northeast. Explore options for Maine travel to plan your next adventure.
Where to Start Your Trip
The Downeaster is the only Amtrak route that travels to Maine, and this route has train stations in Maine, New Hampshire and Massachusetts. You’ll want to start in Boston for longest train ride, which is about 3.5 hours.
If you don’t live near Massachusetts or New Hampshire, you’ll need to take a different Amtrak route to Boston or fly into the Boston Logan International Airport and transfer to the Downeaster. Below is a summary of all the states that have direct service to Maine or can get you to Maine with one train transfer:
- New Hampshire (Downeaster)
- Massachusetts (Downeaster and Lake Shore Limited)
- Rhode Island (Northeast Regional)
- Connecticut (Northeast Regional)
- New York (Northeast Regional and Lake Shore Limited)
- New Jersey (Northeast Regional)
- Pennsylvania (Northeast Regional and Lake Shore Limited)
- Delaware (Northeast Regional)
- Maryland (Northeast Regional)
- Virginia (Northeast Regional)
- Ohio (Lake Shore Limited)
- Indiana (Lake Shore Limited)
- Illinois (Lake Shore Limited)
Don’t see your state? Check the train routes that travel to New York City. At New York City’s Penn Station, you can board a Northeast Regional or Acela Express train to Boston. Note this trip will require two train transfers.
Places to Visit in Maine
You can exit the Downeaster train at six different stations in Maine. Stations are listed below with information on attractions and amenities near each stop.
Wells is a quiet coastal community and one of the oldest towns in Maine. The Amtrak station is about 3.5 miles from the beach, where there are many places to stay. Rental cars are not in close proximity to the station, but you can get a cab.
Choose Wells as your destination if you want to visit any of the below attractions:
- Wells National Estuarine Research Reserve
- Rachel Carson National Wildlife Refuge
- Seashore Trolley Museum
Saco has a charming Amtrak station that is walking distance of downtown Saco and downtown Biddeford. Explore breweries and restaurants without having to rent a car, and for getting to the coast or nearby golf courses, two Enterprise rental car offices are nearby.
Top nearby attractions:
Old Orchard Beach, Maine
Plan a trip to Old Orchard Beach if you want the quintessential summer beach getaway. The Amtrak station is only one block away from the ocean and in a walkable coastal area with a pier (pictured above). There are many choices in accommodations on the beach.
While in Old Orchard, kids of all ages will enjoy:
Portland is Maine’s largest city if you want a vacation destination that has a large selection of restaurants, breweries, museums and tours. East End Beach is the only public beach in Portland and is more pebbles than sand.
Some of the major attractions in Portland include:
- Islands of Casco Bay
- Old Port Historic District
- Portland Observatory
- Portland Head Lighthouse
- Wadsworth-Longfellow House
Take Amtrak to Freeport for a quaint downtown area with retail stores, inns and restaurants. The Amtrak station is in walking distance of these amenities, so if you’re looking for a shopping trip that doesn’t require renting a car, Freeport is a destination to consider. There’s also oceanfront camping nearby with the option to rent bikes and kayaks. There is an Enterprise car rental office about 10 minutes away from the Amtrak station by car (call for pick-up availability), and taxis are available.
Highlights of things to do include:
- Freeport Shopping Outlets
- Wolfe’s Neck Woods State Park
- Bradbury Mountain State Park
- Winslow Memorial Park and Public Beach
Brunswick is the northernmost Amtrak stop in Maine. The station is in a walkable area near several hotels, a historic district and Bowdoin College. You will need a car to visit lighthouses and the maritime museum, which you can rent at the nearby Hertz or Enterprise. Call ahead to verify availability and pick-up services.
- Harriet Beecher Stowe House
- Maine Maritime Museum
- Cabot Mill Antiques
- Doubling Point Lighthouse
- Androscoggin River Bicycle & Pedestrian Path