Nora Ramirez, 2, enjoys the thrill of a crashing wave as she is held by her father, Mayner Ramirez, of Boston, at Old Orchard Beach Saturday, Aug. 25, 2018. If you cross off all seven things on this list, you can always take one last dip in the ocean. Credit: Robert F. Bukaty | AP

We hate to say it, but summer is slowly coming to a close. But it’s not over yet. Put these adventures on your list this weekend to take in that last bit of Maine sunshine. Before we know it we’ll be sledding and skiing, and apparently this winter’s going to be a big one.

Visit a state park

Fun fact: Maine state parks are free to residents until Monday, Sept. 3. Head to Popham Beach State Park in Phippsburg for a quintessential Maine beach day. Lake lovers should try Lake St. George in Liberty for some freshwater fun. Never been to the easternmost point in the U.S.? Add Quoddy Head State Park in Lubec to your list of accomplishments, and then you can say you did. Keep in mind that free day use doesn’t include camping fees. Almost 2.5 million people visited the state’s parks and historic sites last year. You don’t want to be the one to miss out.

Watch some whales

Although some whale watching trips continue through mid-October, why not take in the sunny weather and 70-degree temperatures over the holiday weekend? In Bar Harbor, recent sightings include two humpback whales, some dolphins and a minke whale. Travel to whale feeding grounds off Boothbay Harbor and try to catch some sights of whales, sharks, seals, puffins and more. Downtown Portland features whale watching, too, with goals of finding everything from breaching whales to sea turtles gliding through the ocean.

Credit: WGME | CBS 13

Head to an amusement park

Families and big kids alike can enjoy the endorphin-filled (or kid-friendly) rides and classic fare at some of Vacationland’s most joyful amusement parks. Palace Playland in Old Orchard Beach has more than 25 rides and attractions plus an arcade on its 4-acre property. Funtown Splashtown USA in Saco offers an aquatic option with plenty of water slides for the whole family in addition to its more traditional amusement park rides, including the only wooden roller coaster in Maine. York’s Wild Kingdom features an expansive butterfly exhibit; wildlife including lions, zebras and kangaroos; and more than 20 rides geared toward smaller children. You’ll have to hurry, though: Palace Playland and Funtown Splashtown close after Labor Day weekend. York’s Wild Kingdom limits its amusement park features after Labor Day.

Credit: File photo |

Eat Lobster

No summer weekend’s complete without a lobster roll. Yes, you can find lobster in Maine year-round, but it’s obviously best to eat a lobster roll on a sunny day by the ocean. Most of Maine’s most popular lobster shacks limit their hours after Labor Day weekend, and close down for good by Columbus Day. Stop by iconic spots along the coast such as Red’s Eats in Wiscasset, Five Islands Lobster Co. in Georgetown and Portland Lobster Company. You can even try Lay’s lobster roll chips along with it, though the jury’s still out if they actually taste like a real lobster roll. And make sure you wash it down with a cold can of Moxie.

Credit: Ashley L. Conti

Try river rafting

Take your adventurous side to a whole new level with some of Maine’s top white water rafting sites. Get a guided tour on the Penobscot, Kennebec or Dead rivers for all the action-packed rapids you could want. The Allagash River features 8 miles of nonstop rapids, and a calmer side for those looking to leisurely canoe.

Credit: Brian Swartz

Take a boat cruise

For a more relaxing way to experience Maine’s beauty, head to the seas and take a scenic boat cruise. Early birds can start their days off with some muffins and coffee along the Ogunquit shoreline, or check out the best lighthouses in Boothbay Harbor and along the Kennebec Historic Waterway. Animal-lovers should head to New Harbor for some seal- and puffin-centric boat tours or try an eco-tour filled with eclectic wildlife sightings in Camden Harbor. Catch a sunrise or a sunset in Casco Bay and get a glimpse of the peaceful waters illuminated by the rising or setting sun.

Credit: Aislinn Sarnacki

Camp at Baxter State Park

Both nature-loving pros and outdoor novices can have one last adventure at one of Baxter State Park’s 337 campsites. These sites close down to summer campers in mid-October and reopen Dec. 1 for the winter season. Summit mountains or chase some waterfalls on the more than 200,000 acres of park land. Don’t summit Katahdin this weekend, though. Hikers are asked to avoid Katahdin so they don’t disturb a longstanding annual ceremony conducted by the Penobscot Indian Nation on the mountain from Sept. 1- 3. You can, however, explore some of the other 40 peaks and ridges that aren’t Katahdin at Baxter State Park.

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