Maine is often described as 'the way life should be,' and this city in our Pine Tree State is clearly living up to that motto.

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Maine has several iconic nicknames, including 'The Switzerland of America,' 'Down East,' 'Old Dirigo State,' and, perhaps most notably, 'Vacationland.' The latter is so iconic that it's featured on our license plates.

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Townsquare Media
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But have you ever wondered why Maine is called 'Vacationland?'

According to the U.S. Forest Service, a federal agency under the U.S. Department of Agriculture, 'Vacationland' has been the slogan on Maine license plates since 1936, serving as a reminder to promote our state's reputation as a top-tier vacation destination.

People 'from away' come to Maine to experience a unique natural setting with 'seemingly endless outdoor recreation opportunities.'

Jordan Verge/ Townsquare Media
Jordan Verge/ Townsquare Media
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So, we’re called Vacationland because people like to come here and have fun, but we can certainly have fun here, too!

With the International Day of Happiness right around the corner on March 20th, the personal finance website WalletHub has released its report on '2024's Happiest Cities in America,' and a city in 'Vacationland' just so happens to be towards the top of that list.

Credit: Jordan Verge / Townsquare Media
Credit: Jordan Verge / Townsquare Media
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WalletHub determined the happiest cities in America by comparing 182 of the largest cities across three dimensions: Emotional & Physical Well-Being, Income & Employment, and Community & Environment. They evaluated these dimensions using 29 metrics, each graded on a 100-point scale, with higher scores indicating greater happiness. After calculating each city's weighted average across all metrics, they ranked the cities accordingly to determine the happiest ones.

According to WalletHub’s study, Maine’s largest city ranked at #17 as the happiest city in America.

Credit: Canva / Getty Stock
Credit: Canva / Getty Stock
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In fact, our Portland ranked much higher and is therefore much happier than the other Portland, which ranked in at 67th place.

However, another city in Maine ranked in a less exciting way. Lewiston, Maine, which came in 133rd place overall, also came in last regarding the 'Highest Depression Rate.'

Credit: Canva / Getty Stock
Credit: Canva / Getty Stock
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Full details on WalletHub’s list, rankings, and explanations are available here.

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