Perhaps not since Sarah Orne Jewett has a writer captured the stunning natural and cultural beauty of the state of Maine. Stephen King is the author of over 50 novels, and other written works. Most are set in his native Maine, yet he often sets his novels in fictional locations. However, this hasn’t stopped avid King fans from trying to decipher where his fictional locations would, in reality, be located.

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The first stop for any Stephen King fan looking for a Maine vacation is Bangor. King calls Bangor (and Naples, FL) home. Travelers can view his home from the sidewalk as well as take “Stephen King” tours, in which fans can see where King drew inspiration for his bloodcurdling novels. The area around Bangor also carries fictional significance. For those familiar with the town of Haven—featured in the 1988 novel The Tommyknockers—Bangor is the closest approximation of this fictional town. 

Next, King fans should make their way to Dexter, Maine. Dexter most resembles the fictional Derry—a King location perhaps only second to Castle Rock in infamy. Derry is the central location in the 1986 novel It as well as a score of other novels. Travelers should take a stroll down Main Street, avoiding, of course, storm drains and standpipes as well as any inconspicuous residents wearing clown costumes. Oh, giant spiders, too!

After Dexter, travelers should make their way North to Flagstaff Lake. Flagstaff Lake is the closest approximation of the fictional Dark Score Lake. Fans will instantly recognize Dark Score Lake as the setting of the novel and TV series, Bag of Bones. Though Flagstaff Lake doesn’t make an explicit appearance, the rich, natural landscape is sure to evoke, for many readers, the experiences of Trisha McFarland in The Girl who Loved Tom Gordon. Though we hope you don’t have any confrontations with the God of the Lost or find yourself embroiled in a custody suit, we do hope you appreciate the serene, natural beauty of the lake.

After taking a swim, travelers should head south to Rumford, Maine. Rumford is a close approximation of the fictional town, Chester’s Mill. Chester’s Mill is the setting of both the novel, and the TV series, Under the Dome. Whether you take in the picturesque town by driving, skiing, or walking, we hope that the inexplicable surrounding of a giant dome doesn’t suddenly compromise your departure.

Finally, make your way over to Woodstock, Maine. Woodstock closely resembles the fictional town, Castle Rock. Castle Rock, like Derry, plays a huge role in a number of novels--perhaps most notably in Cujo, The Dead Zone, and Needful Things. Though we hope you check out the very real giant crank telephone sculpture, we hope that a sudden auto breakdown doesn’t lead to a showdown between you and an execrable St. Bernard!