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Humorist Dave Barry once wryly suggested that Maine's state motto should be "Cold, but damp."
Cute, but true. There's spring, which tends to last a few blustery, rain-soaked days. There's November, in which Arctic winds alternate with gray sheets of rain. And then winter brings a character-building mix of blizzards and ice storms to the fabled coast.
Ah, but then there's summer. Summer in Maine brings ospreys diving for fish off wooded points; gleaming cumulus clouds building over the rounded peaks of Acadia, and the haunting whoop of loons echoing off the dense forest walls bordering the lakes. It brings languorous days when the sun rises before most visitors and it seems like noontime at 8 am. Maine summers bring a measure of gracious tranquility, and a placid stay in the right spot can rejuvenate even the most jangled nerves.
The trick comes in finding that right spot. Those who arrive here without a clear plan may find themselves cursing their travel decision. Maine's Route 1 along the coast has its moments, but for the most part it's rather charmless--an amalgam of convenience stores, tourist boutiques, and restaurants catering to bus tours. Acadia National Park, for all its vaunted ocean vistas, also has world-class congestion along some of the byways in and around the park. In this it's no different than other national parks of its stature--whether Yosemite or Yellowstone. You need strategy to avoid the worst moments.