Maine is an amazing place and a great destination for a vacation. There are various things that you can do in Maine during your vacation and the best time to visit Maine may depend on your schedule and preference because there are always great events to attend and things to do all year round.
Located in the northeastern most corner of the United States, the country’s 23rd state is home to a pristine beauty unlike any other. Maine shares borders with New Hampshire and the Canadian Provinces Québec and New Brunswick giving the state a wonderful blend of Northeastern, French, and Native American cultures.
Previously a part of the Massachusetts Commonwealth until 1820, Maine is well known for its rocky coastlines, maritime splendors, nature preserves, and plaid couture! Whether completing a tour of the East Coast, looking for a summertime getaway or craving a cozy white winter, Maine is the perfect spot to visit throughout the year for a vacation unlike any other.
With over 3,000 miles of coastline, 2,000 islands, and 6,000 lakes/ponds, Maine is a water lover’s paradise.
But when is the best time of the year to visit Maine? Are there really blueberries galore? Where can you see a moose during your visit to Maine? Whatever your question about visiting Maine may be, you will likely find an answer soon.
The Weather in Maine and the Best Times to Visit Maine
Maine has a humid continental climate throughout the state, boasting warm and humid summers along with cold and wet winters.
Being the most forested state in the United States with 83% of land covered in forest, Maine is home to a diverse array of animal species.
The hinterland consists of lakes, rivers, forests, and mountains while the thousands of miles of coastline boast picturesque fishing villages, beaches, and offshore islands.
Summer Weather in Maine
Summers in Maine are one of the most comfortable in the United States with an average high in the upper 70s in the peak of July along with cool lows in the 60s.
Winter Weather in Maine
Winter, though an absolute winter wonderland, experiences harsh lows at an average of 12 degrees in January and an abundant amount of consistent snowfall throughout the season.
Fall Weather in Maine
Autumn in Maine experiences drastic changes September through October. In these three months, the average temperature falls from 70 degrees to 45 along with an increase in precipitation.
Spring Weather in Maine
Spring in Maine experiences a similar amount of change as autumn as the average temperature increases from 40 degrees to 65 across March to May.
What is the Best Time to Visit Maine for Vacation and Foliage
With these varying temperatures, rain, snow, bright foliage, and a wonderful display of the natural wonders of the world, what could possibly be the best time to visit Maine?
Although the peak tourist season occurs June through August, these summer months are by far the best time to visit Maine. The comfortable temperatures paired with Maine’s many maritime activities and popular lobster season makes the summertime the best time to visit Maine.
However, if summer is not an option for you, a visit to Maine’s hinterland in autumn is the perfect time to visit for incomparable, brilliant foliage. If winter is the season for you, be sure to check out Maine’s multiple ski resorts for the perfect ski season; or curl up by the fire in a log cabin for some holiday season joy!
No matter the season, Maine offers splendid activities and adventures for every traveler. Depending on your taste, Maine brings a bountiful of options to you. Best of all, every season of the year can be a good time to visit Maine.
What are Some of the Things You Can Do in Maine?
Maine is a state of many wonders and many things to do. But what are the best things to do in Maine and what season can you do them in?
With drastic changes in weather, Maine offers a wide variety of things to do. You just have to know where to find them. The following are options of things to do in Maine in various seasons or throughout the year!
Places to Visit and Things to do in Maine during the Summer Season
These places can be visited during any season of the year, but you may enjoy your visit more during the summer season. Some of these places include:
Composed of three mountain peaks along with a pond nestled between them, the Tumbledown Mountain trail network near Mount Blue State Park is a wonderful way to spend your summer day. Whether hiking one or more of the six trails composed in the network or cooling off with a swim in the mountain pond, Tumbledown Mountain is one of the best things to do in Maine in the summertime.
For novices and advanced kayakers, Merchant’s Row in Acadia National Park is the perfect way to spend a day island hopping. The Row comprises 50 islands, many of which are open to the public. Kayakers can either venture out to the islands on their own or can take a guided tour. This is a great way to discover the wonders of Maine’s natural beauty in the summertime.
Summertime in Maine is the perfect time to experience the wonders of one of Earth’s most majestic mammals: whales. With coastlines covering the migration patterns of various whale species such as Humpbacks, Finbacks, Minkes and more, Maine is the perfect spot to experience these wonderful creatures of the sea. There are various whale watch tours that you can book for an unforgettable experience.
Learn about the Wabanaki People
Four indigenous groups collectively known as the Wabanaki people or, “People of the Dawnland,” comprise the lands within what is now modern-day Maine. Learn about the history and culture of these native peoples with Ways of the Wabanaki People Canoe Trips.
Maine Lobster Festival
For five days every year, the streets of Rockland, Maine shut down for the annual Maine Lobster Festival. What better way to taste Maine’s number one delicacy than by planning a trip to the Maine Lobster Festival? With fresh Maine lobster, parades, crate races, and carnival rides, this festival cannot be missed.
Lazy Day by the Lake
With over 6,000 lakes and ponds in Maine, there are plenty of options for spots to spend a low-key day skipping rocks and sunbathing along the water’s edge. Maine also offers tons of campsites, so be sure to check those out for an unforgettable opportunity to get a true Mainer cabin and lake experience.
Machias Wild Blueberry Festival
Maine is known for its world-famous blueberries, so be sure to check out the Machias Wild Blueberry Festival during your visit to Maine. Held every summer on the Downeast along Maine’s rugged southern coastline, this festival celebrates Maine’s most favorite fruit. With crafts, food, entertainment, and all things blueberry, this festival cannot be missed.
Places to Visit and Things to do in Maine during the Fall Season
With over 100 varieties of apples in Maine, one of the best things to do in Maine during your visit in the fall is to go apple picking. Check out orchards like Treworgy Family Orchards for a marvelous day of apple picking and apple cider tasting. While you’re at it, take a hayride or challenge yourself to a corn maze for some additional fall fun.
Take in the Fall Foliage
For foliage enthusiasts, Maine is the perfect place to catch the vibrant colors of fall. Check out spots like Height of Land Overlook, Attean Overlook on Route 201, Caterpillar Hill near Deer Isle, Penobscot Narrows Observatory Bridge, or Mount Kineo (where you can even climb a fire tower!)
Maine Harvest Festival
Have an inkling to celebrate the autumnal season with everything Maine has to offer? Check out the Maine Harvest festival held every November in Bangor to get your fall fix. Hundreds of local farmers flock to this festival every year to celebrate the treats Maine’s land has to offer. Along with distillery, brewery, winery, and hard cider tents, the Maine Harvest Festival is an absolute treat for all things fall.
Places to Visit and Things to do in Maine during the Winter Season
Take a journey through Maine’s winter wonderland via cross country skis! Check out ski trails such as those at the Appalachian Mountain Club’s Wilderness Lodge where you can ski any of the 90 miles of wintery trails or curl up at the fireplace and warm up with some hot cocoa.
Maine’s copious amounts of lakes and ponds offer the chance to partake in a prime Maine wintertime activity: ice fishing! Head out with a registered guide for a day of outdoor winter fun on a remote lake.
Test your Skills on a Snowmobile
One of the best things to do in Maine during the winter is to test your adventure side and hop on a snowmobile. With over 14,000 miles of snowmobile trails, Maine offers a wonderful chance to take in the wintery scene with tons of fun! Check out snowmobile tours for an awesome wintery adventure.
Inspired by the Carnaval de Québec, this two-day festival held in Portland is a celebration of all things winter! With events and activities such as Bites and Brews Igloo, ice sculptures, illumination art, and live entertainment, Maine Carnaval is the perfect thing to do in Maine during the winter season.
Places to Visit and Things to do in Maine during the Spring Season
Lobster Boat Tours
Take a trip into the life of a true Mainer for a day and hop on a Lobster Boat Tour. There are several boat tours that offer visitors a taste of everyday Maine life and the chance to learn about the lives and tales of lobster fishermen.
White Water Rafting
White water rafting is one of the best things to do in Maine, a state known for its river rapids. You will find White Water Rafting tours that offer a wide array of adventure options for white water rafting and tubing. Each option offers pristine wilderness settings as well as dam-controlled waters, ensuring prime rapids throughout the rafting season.
Spring through summer in Maine is the best time of year to catch glances from one of Maine’s best-known penguin species, puffins! Puffins can be found along Maine’s thousands of miles of coastline. During your trip to Maine in the spring or summer be on the lookout for these cute feathered friends.
Places to Visit and Things to do in Maine All Year Round
Acadia National Park
With 27 miles of historic motor roads, 158 miles of trails, and 45 miles of carriage roads, no wonder Acadia National Park in Maine is one of the top ten most visited national parks in the United States. The park protects the natural wonders of the highest rocky highlands to be found along the Atlantic coastline, as well as a plethora of habitats and a historic cultural heritage.
If these shellfish make your mouth water, then Maine is the place for you! Low tide on Maine’s coast offers fun for everyone with shellfishing and clamming. Be sure to check out local regulations and licensing. Clamming and shellfishing can be done throughout Maine year-round and is a great way to bring your hard work home for dinner.
Visit the Last Shaker Community
For a taste of Maine’s religious history, check out the Sabbath day Lake Shaker Village. Today, it is the only remaining active Shaker community in the world. Explore the property’s 1,800 acres of land on a guided hike or partake in one of the Sunday meetings for an interesting religious experience.
Cities in Maine that You Can Visit Any Time of the Year
So, now you know of so many things to do in Maine throughout the seasons. However, what are the best cities and towns to visit during your vacation in Maine?
Being the 13th least densely populated state in the United States, there can be plenty of land and travel time between places to visit. Here is a list of the top six cities and towns in Maine to check out during your visit to Maine.
Portland is a true New England destination. The Old Port is a wonderfully historic harbor town with colonial architecture, fabulous restaurants, unique boutiques and art galleries. Maine’s oldest lighthouse, the Portland Headlight, commissioned by George Washington can be found in Portland as well and is an awesome thing to see during your visit to Maine.
Portland’s waterfront is a revitalized warehouse district with top shops, hotels, entertainment, nightlife, and a working waterfront. Portland Harbor also provides easy access to ferries and boat tours. Be sure to check out the islands in Casco Bay!
Bar Harbor is home to the stunning Acadia National Park, Mount Desert Island, along with a quaint seaside town. This makes the townhome to a little taste of all the beauty that Maine has to offer.
With hiking, trails, national parks, canoe and kayak tours, coastlines, and Downeast clambakes and lobsters served throughout the streets, Bar Harbor is the perfect place to visit in Maine.
Ogunquit is one of Maine’s premier summer vacation towns. The town, named “beautiful place by the sea,” by the Algonquin Native Americans, Ogunquit is home to 3 and a half miles of coastline with plenty of beachfront hotels.
Check out the Marginal Way coastal walking path that connects Ogunquit to Perkins Cove, a small fishing village filled with seafood and a working drawbridge! Ogunquit is an awesome place to visit in Maine in the summer for nightlife and entertainment as well.
Known as the “Jewel of the Maine Coast,” Camden is a must-see during your trip to Maine. Located in the Mid-Coast region, Camden offers prime access to Penobscot Bay.
The town is a great spot for chartering boasts and partaking in sailing trips. Camden also offers rich history, museums, architecture, and amazing brick streets to stroll around in.
Rockport is a scenic fishing village where visitors can sail out of the harbor and get a true taste of all the flavors Maine’s seafood has to offer. Located between Kennebunkport and Bar Harbor, Rockport is a must-stop location during a road trip along the coast of Maine.
This town, located along Maine’s mid-coast, offers wonderful access to the many islands to visit along Maine’s coastline. Belfast offers a ton of local art-oriented things to do as well.
Check out the Cold Comfort Theatre or Waterfall Arts for an evening of all things Maine art. Belfast is easily accessible from one of Maine’s larger towns, Bangor, via Routes 15 and 1, and is a perfect spot to visit when adventuring around Maine’s coastline.
What are Some of the Places You Can Stay When Visiting Maine
Maine offers a wide array of accommodations for you to stay in during your visit to this wonderful state. With everything from five stars, bayside hotels to quaint and secluded log cabins, Maine has the perfect places to stay for you.
Be sure to check out all the options the AirBnB and GlampingHub apps have to offer for your stay in Maine. These apps will direct you to amazing accommodations from the Hinterland to the coasts.
For ski resorts, be sure to check out Sugarloaf, Sunday River, and Saddleback for your perfect winter getaway.
If a fantastic beach getaway is what you are looking for, be sure to stay at options like The Tides Beach Club in Kennebunkport, The Chebeague Island Inn on Chebeague Island, and the Inn by the Sea on Cape Elizabeth.
Where to Eat When Visiting Maine
Maine is a food lovers paradise, especially for those seafood fanatics out there. But where are the best places to eat in Maine that you can find throughout the state? There are so many restaurants to check out that are well worth the wait during your visit to Maine. Be sure to check out:
- Francine Bistro, Camden
- The Lost Kitchen, Freedom
- Central Provisions, Portland
- A1 Diner, Gardiner
- Eventide Oyster Company, Portland
- Red’s Eats, Wiscasset
- The Well, Jordan’s Farm
- Moody’s Diner, Waldoboro
- Palace Diner, Biddeford
- Fore Street, Portland
No matter where you stop to grab something to eat, be sure to try some of Maine’s most famous delicacies such as:
- Lobster Rolls
- Crab Cakes
- Clam Chowder
- Bean Suppers
- Needham Candies
No matter where you stay, what you do, or where you eat, Maine is the perfect spot for a vacation throughout the year. Though some may argue that summer is the best time to visit Maine, the state has so much to offer that you cannot go wrong with a visit in any season.