Famed for its stunning coastline and quaint fishing towns, the Pine Tree State can keep both city lovers and nature enthusiasts busy throughout the year. Foodies will love the fresh seafood served along the coastline, adventure junkies will love the forests and hiking trails and families will love the kid-friendly resort towns found all throughout the state.
- No permits are required to move in Maine. If you’re going to live in one of the larger cities, you might want to see if you can apply for a residential parking permit on that city’s website.
- Try to schedule your move in the milder weather of late spring or fall. Maine winters can be very challenging for a move as snowfall is unpredictable. Summers can get warm but generally, the weather is quite pleasant. Thunderstorms are common in the spring and early fall.
- While Maine is not a heavily populated state, the city/metro areas still experience high-traffic times and congestion. Plan to avoid rush hours and Mondays and Fridays.
Change your address online. To make your move from California to Maine easier, consider changing your address online. It is easy to do, inexpensive, and will ensure that your mail arrives to your new home with you.
Cities and Metro Areas
Though you can see a lot of Maine’s special features via the big cities, the small towns are where the state’s mellow and humble personality truly shines.
Outdoor lovers will enjoy all the local hiking, snowmobiling, fishing, boating, and horseback riding in Van Buren. Falmouth is a dreamy location for parents to raise a family, this suburb is home to the best selection of schools in the state. Yarmouth residents boast that it is the rugged coastline, expansive forests, fast-flowing rivers and gentle lakes that make them feel so happy to live here.
Other notable cities/towns include Scarborough, Freeport, Farmington and Bar Harbor.
Cost of Living
Maine is a geographically diverse state, and as such the cost of living varies greatly from north to south. The Greater Portland metropolitan area is the most densely populated with nearly 20% of Maine’s population. In general, the cost of living in Maine is slightly higher than the national average, but not overly so.
Generally speaking, Mainers pay relatively low utility costs. Food prices are around average. Maine gas prices are above average and while the Pine State has a state sales tax of 5.5%, there are no additional local sales taxes for residents to contend with. The gas tax on regular gasoline is 30.01 cents per gallon.
Since the COVID-19 pandemic, the state of Maine has attracted many new residents, drawn in by the high quality of life, strong economy, and affordable housing prices of this beautiful state. According to estimates, approximately 7,000 more people made their way to this northern New England state than tried to leave it. Therefore, property prices have significantly increased in the past two years, powered by the low-interest rates, high demand for housing, and limited inventory. Nevertheless, the increasing mortgage rates following the aggressive monetary policy initiated by the Federal Reserve Bank have started taking a toll on the Maine housing market.
According to data collected in September 2022, the latest available at the time of writing, the median home price in Maine had reached $344,400, 7.4% more than the year prior.
Highways and Public Transport
For a state with a lower population density, Maine is still easy to navigate due to the highway, airport, ferry and bus transportation services. Below is information about specific Maine modes of transportation.
Major highways: Interstate 95 runs through the state of Maine, with I-295 servicing the eastern part of the state.
Airports: Maine has two international airports and many local and regional airports servicing the state.
- Bangor International Airport (BGR) offers daily non-stop flights to eight major hubs: Atlanta, Boston, Cincinnati, Detroit, Philadelphia, Minneapolis, LaGuardia and Newark airports.
- Portland International Jetport (PWM) is Maine’s largest airport and is just five miles from the center of Portland.
Ferries: Because of the number of smaller islands off the coast of Maine, ferries are plentiful and run on schedules that are very accommodating. Here’s a site to find information about specific ferry services in Maine.
Mass transit: Maine has a convenient mass transit system. By visiting the American Public Transportation Association, you can get detailed information about system branches throughout the state.
Maine has a humid continental climate, with warm and humid summers. Winters are cold and snowy throughout the state, and are especially severe in the northern parts of Maine. Coastal areas are moderated somewhat by the Atlantic Ocean, resulting in milder winters and cooler summers in immediate coastal areas. Daytime highs are generally in the 75–80 °F range throughout the state in July, with overnight lows in the high 50s °F.
You’ll find that Maine has a strong commitment to education. Current school rankings (elementary, middle and high schools), campus and district zoning/location maps, information and reviews are available online for parents moving to Maine.
The state has exemplary schools at all levels K-12, but below are the state’s highest-ranking schools:
- Yarmouth Elementary School (Yarmouth)
- Hope Elementary School (Hope)
- Owls Head Central School (Owls Head)
- Holden School (Holden)
- Rose M. Gaffney (Machias)
- Me School Of Science & Mathematics (Limestone)
- Falmouth High School (Falmouth)
- Cape Elizabeth High School (Cape Elizabeth)
- Yarmouth High School (Yarmouth)
- Greely High School (Cumberland Center)
The The Maine State Government maintains a comprehensive website with information for visitors, residents and businesses. You can apply for park passes, purchase a hunting or fishing license, pay traffic ticket fines and file certain taxes online from the site.
- The Voter Registration Websote provides a wealth of information about registering to vote and voting in Maine’s elections.
- Get information on registrations, plates, driver’s licenses and state identification cards by visiting Bureau of Motor Vehicles (BMV) website.
- Get convenient access to Maine tax information whenever you need it by visiting the Taxes (Maine Revenue Services).