Your Guide to Moving to Maine

If you choose to live in the Pine Tree State, you’ll soon find that it has much more going for it than just a rocky coastline, lighthouses and lobster shacks. In terms of quality of life, Maine is considered one of the top two states in the nation to live in by Thrillist. And it seems people are catching on to this fact in ever-increasing numbers. 

The 2020 United States Census revealed that Maine has a population of 1,362,359, an increase of nearly 40,000 residents since 2010. According to United’s 2021 National Movers Survey, Maine had an inbound traffic rate of 58% in 2021, which means more and more people are heading there to retire, raise families and get their share of the good life. Maine’s crime rate has been decreasing since 2012, making it a safe haven for anyone yearning for a safe, secure place to live, work and enjoy life.

Advantages of Moving to Maine

Maine is a state of stunning natural beauty, with acres of forests, an incredible coastline and a relaxing, laid-back lifestyle all its own. From Land’s End to Penobscot Bay and hundreds of locations in between, it’s a scenic wonderland with quaint towns, historic attractions and recreational opportunities few US states can match.

The state has a strong job market, too. In fact, Maine’s unemployment rate as of May 2022 is 3.2%, 0.4 points below the US national average. Some of the top employment sectors include healthcare and social assistance, retail, and professional, scientific, and technical services – as well as a powerful presence in lumber and paper manufacturing, shipbuilding, fishing and agriculture.

Top Growing Cities in Maine

With such a high quality of life, it comes as no surprise that the Pine Tree State has grown 2.6% since the 2010 United States Census. This is particularly evident in the southern counties of York and Cumberland. In fact, Cumberland County saw the largest growth compared to 2010 (7.6%) and is Maine’s second most populated county with 303,069 residents. 

Let’s focus on a few of the most popular towns and cities where people are choosing to live. 

Scarborough, Cumberland County – Between 2010 and 2016, Scarborough added over 1,100 residents. Located on the water, Scarborough is home to Scarborough Beach State Park.

Ogunquit, York County – The coastal retreat has beautiful beaches, great restaurants and a thriving arts community. Its proximity to both Boston and Portland has helped make it one of the fastest growing towns in York County.

Sanford, York County – Once home to many prominent mills and factories, Sanford is known for its historic buildings and scenic neighborhoods. The city has organized several walking trails through the historic and wooded areas. 

Wells, York County – Another town worth mentioning is beautiful beachside Wells, which calls itself “the friendliest town in Maine.” Wells is home to almost seven miles of beaches, including Moody Beach, Crescent Beach, Wells Beach and Drake Beach. No wonder its population has increased by nearly 20% since 2010.

Fun and Exciting Things to Do in Maine

Tourism is a major industry in the Pine Tree State. As a future resident, you will have access to the cultural, recreational and historic attractions that bring people here from all over the US. and the world at your doorstep.

Maine’s 65 lighthouses have played an important role in helping ships navigate its rocky coastline, and while many of them have been officially retired, they’re nonetheless a picturesque and enduring part of the landscape. One of the most popular for tourists and residents alike is Portland Head Light, in Cape Elizabeth. Dating to 1791 and commissioned by George Washington, It’s the oldest lighthouse in the Pine Tree State and features a fascinating museum. Others include Nubble Lighthouse in Cape Neddick (incredibly popular with painters and photographers); and Bristol’s Pemaquid Point Lighthouse, built in 1827 and still using its original Fresnel lens. There’s also a Fishermen’s Museum in the keeper’s house. Fun fact: it’s featured on the back of the Maine quarter dollar coin.

A fixture on Bangor’s Main Street since 1959, the 31-foot-tall Paul Bunyan statue in Bass Park pays homage to his supposed birthplace, and is a beloved icon. And for all you horror fans, another Bangor celebrity, author Stephen King, was born in Maine and lives in an imposing mansion just outside of town.

Ready for some thrills and laughter? Palace Playland, in Old Orchard Beach is New England’s only beachfront amusement park. With rides that include the Sea Viper which propels you 70 feet above the beach, the famous Carousel with hand-carved and painted animals, and arcade games that run the gamut from the “Grandma” and “Zoltan” fortune teller machines to an old-fashioned shooting gallery to more than 20,000 square feet of arcade fun, there’s a bit of something for everyone here.

For those of you with a cultural bent, don’t pass up the Farnsworth Art Museum in Rockland, with its world-class collection of American art.  Founded in 1882, the Portland Museum of Art showcases a vast collection of art from local and international artists and includes a State of Maine Collection featuring artists such as Winslow Homer and Marsden Hartley.

Outdoor Experiences in Maine

Whether it’s for snowboarding and skiing, golfing, camping, hiking or just relaxing on the beach, the Pine Tree State is an outdoor lover’s paradise.

Maine is home to 48 state parks and historic sites, with thousands of miles of hiking trails and beaches. There are four national parks in Maine, including Acadia, one of the most visited national parks in the US. Located just south of Bar Harbor, Acadia has some of the highest headlands on the entire East Coast, along with 27 miles of historic motor roads, 158 miles of hiking trails, and 45 miles of carriage roads.

The Appalachian Mountains run along the northwest region of the state. At the very end of the Appalachian Trail, you’ll find Mount Katahdin at Baxter State Park, just outside of Millinocket. At 5,269 feet, it’s the highest point in Maine and home to a unique subspecies of Arctic butterfly, known as the Katahdin Arctic.

Golf anyone? You’ll be happy to know that Maine has over 125 superb golf courses, the majority of them overseen by the Maine Golf Association. Located on the coast, the Portland Golf Club is one of the oldest golf courses in the United States. Other top-ranked courses include the Point Sebago Golf Resort in Casco; Poland Spring Resort in Poland Spring, the first golf course resort  in America; and the Sunday River Golf Club in Bethel where you can play a round or two surrounded by miles of pristine wilderness and towering mountains. 

Maine Eats

Although probably best known for its lobster rolls, cod, haddock, and halibut, there are some unique food delicacies in Maine that may surprise you. They include: 

Ployes – A cross between a crepe, a breakfast pancake and artisan bread, ployes are used as everything from appetizers to main course accompaniments to desserts and snacks.

Fiddleheads – Fiddlehead greens are furled fronds of a young fern that are used as a vegetable. For many Downeasters, harvesting them is an annual springtime tradition.  

Needhams – Also know as “Maine Potato Candy,” Needhams are a delicious blend of potato and coconut covered in chocolate. If you want to try them, the Maine Needham Company sells Needhams online. 

Whoopie Pies – The state’s official dessert, the  Whoopie pie is a combo of chocolate cake filled with marshmallow fluff. Labadie’s Bakery in Lewiston began making them way back in 1925 and continues to do so to this day.

Blueberry Pie – Thanks to the state’s abundance of wild blueberries, it’s a classic staple of Maine cuisine.

Dining out options abound, and if you choose to live in Maine, here are a few must do’s:

Bite into Maine – Famous for their Lobster Rolls,  Lobster Grilled Cheese, Lobster BLTs, and Lobster Mac Grilled Cheese, this popular dining destination has food trucks at convenient locations in Scarborough, Cape Elizabeth and Portland. Why not let them cater your housewarming party!

Duckfat –  This popular Portland eatery serves up mouthwatering dishes that include entrees, salads, soups and their specialty, Belgian-style fries that are twice-fried in duck fat,

DiMillo’s On the Water – Located on a repurposed 20th century car ferry right at the Portland Marina, this unique restaurant is known for its lobster dinners and stunning harbor views. 

Palace Diner – Looking for a comfort food fix? What better choice than the Palace in Biddeford that’s been serving up gererouse portions of home-style cooking since in their historic Pollard dining car since 1927? 

Weather in Maine

Since 1936, Maine license plates have used “Vacationland” as a slogan. That’s really no exaggeration since people who live in the Pine Tree State can enjoy true four-season living. Summers in Maine are very comfortable statewide with average highs of 70℉. On the other hand, winters may take a bit of getting used to for the uninitiated: they can be very cold, with an average low of 12 ℉. During the fall, the leaves change to a beautiful red and orange, attracting sightseers from all over to view the fall foliage. If you’re considering relocating to Maine, the best time to make the move is from mid-May to mid-October.

Prepare for Your Move to Maine

Considering a move to the Pine Tree State? A professional moving company like United Van Lines can make your move as seamless and efficient as possible. Whether you are moving across the country or just across the state lines, our interstate moving agents can help. So, you can enjoy the many wonders Maine has to offer without the stress.

United Van Lines offers a variety of moving services, including full-service moving packages that can be tailored to your needs. Our MyUnited Move Portal can help you stay organized on your journey to Maine. The portal provides customized tools to keep track of your important contacts and major milestones, allowing you to move with confidence.  

Learn more about our moving services and get your online quote today! 

United Van Lines Moving Resources

Still trying to decide where to move? Check out the latest United Van Lines Annual Movers Study. Each year we interview our customers about where they’re moving and why. Our Moving To articles help familiarize you with your next home state. 

United helps you stay organized throughout your move with the help of comprehensive online moving checklists. We also offer many expert tips on packing and preparing for your move. Moving should be less overwhelming!

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