Monuments, cliffs, easy boating access, walking and biking paths—not to mention unforgettable sea views—are what call so many to Portland’s  Eastern Promenade (East Portland Harbor, 207/874-8793, 6:30 a.m.–10 p.m. daily).
Hikers find bliss in Wolfe’s Neck Woods State Park (Wolfe’s Neck Rd., Freeport, 207/865-4465, www.state.me.us/doc/parks , Apr.–Oct.), a network of nature trails and bird-watching, with plenty of spots for picnicking. For a bit more quietude, head toward Bradbury Mountain State Park (528 Hallowell Rd., Pownal, 207/688-4712, www.state.me.us/doc/parks ), which has a respectable number of trails in almost 600 acres of woods, ball fields, and meadows; but sees far fewer visitors. Camping, biking, and horseback riding are permitted. Snowshoe rentals are available. The easy terrain of Hedgehog Mountain (Landfill Road, Pownal) makes for good mountain biking. In the winter, it’s also a favorite trekking ground for cross-country skiers.
Sit back and let someone else do the sailing around Casco Bay once you board Bagheera or the Wendameen, the 72-foot and 88-foot schooners operated by Portland Schooner Co. (Maine State Pier, 56 Commercial St., Portland, 207/766-2500, www.portlandschooner.com , $35 adults, $10 children). If you’d rather do it yourself, learn how at the School of Sailing (Long Wharf, 207/871-1315). Instruction takes place offshore on the school’s boat. If you’re in the market to rent kayaks, buy a canoe, or grab some sailboat riggings, your best bet is Ring’s Marine Service (Smelt Brook Rd., South Freeport, 207/865-6143, www.ringsmarineservice.com , 8 a.m.–5 p.m. Mon.–Fri., $38/day kayaks, $27.50/day canoes), which also offers mooring services and boat transporting.