M is for Museum
The museums of Maine are far-ranging in depth and scope. I’ll try to sort them out here into some semblance of order! I know I’m going to miss dozens, but you can let me know about them and I’ll add them later on. Not included in this list individually are the historical society museums in every little town and city across the state. That’s where you go to track down the comings and goings of the citizenry back to the start of the village.
It’s not always easy to select the correct box to put each museum in. This museum has wicked good art, but it also has an interesting side building with toys. Is it ‘Art’ or is it something else? Forgive me if I put your fave in the wrong bucket! Do I include the homes of famous people if they are open for visitors? If they were collectors does their house go under ‘Historic Sites’ or ‘Art’? Maybe both?
Maybe I’ll just start and let the museums sort themselves out –
Art Museums of Maine:
- Portland Museum of Art (Portland)
- Ogunquit Museum of American Art (Ogunquit)
- Farnsworth Art Museum (Rockland)
- Bowdoin College Museum of Art (Brunswick)
- Bates College Museum of Art (Lewiston)
- Colby Museum of Art (Waterville)
- Abbe Museum (Bar Harbor) *one of those multiple option museums – Native American art, but also a museum of Native culture
- University of Maine Museum of Art (Bangor)
- LC Bates Museum (Hinckley) *another museum that spans the genres – art, local history, family history
You know I can’t do a post about museums without hitting on the car museums!
- Owl’s Head Transportation Museum (Owl’s Head) *also has planes and motorcycles
- Motorland (Arundel) *combo of car museum and sales and repair
- Goldenrod Garage (Freeport) *not a museum at all, but oh, the cars!
- Seal Cove Auto Museum (Mount Desert)
- Stanley Museum (Kingfield) *Stanley Steamer-centric
- Boothbay Railway Village (Boothbay) *car section, even thought mostly about trains
You’d know one if you saw it!
- Fawcett’s Toy Museum (Waldoboro)
- Umbrella Cover Museum (Peaks Island) *yes, just like it sounds
- International Cryptozoology Museum (Portland)
- Vintage Snowmobile Museum (Turner) *does this go here or with the cars?
- Antique Snowmobile Museum (Millinocket) *yes, TWO museums for snowmobiles!
- Peary-MacMillan Arctic Museum (Bowdoin College, Brunswick) *could belong under ‘History’
- The Telephone Museum (Ellsworth)
Many lighthouses have a museum attached telling about the history of the local area.
- Maine Lighthouse Museum (Rockland)
- Pemaquid Point Lighthouse Museum (Pemaquid Point)
- Portland Head Light (Portland)
- Maine State Museum (Augusta) – Maine history through the ages
- Victoria Mansion (Portland)
- Longfellow Museum (Portland)
- Old Fort Western (Augusta)
- Kittery Naval Museum (Kittery)
- Maine Maritime Museum (Bath)
- Children’s Museum of Maine (Augusta)
- Portland Children’s Museum (Portland)
I know I am missing so many more. There are museums at almost all the historical sites around the state. Every fort tells a story if even there are no plaques and markers. Every lighthouse has seen its share of tragedies and rescues. Let me know if you’ve found a museum we need to share!
Looking for more museum ideas? This is the state list of museums.
Ready for vacation? We’ve got the maps so you can plan your Museums of Maine road trip. Check here for availability.