When is the Best Time to Visit Maine?

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Rockland Harbor on Maine’s Central Coast
Rockland Harbor on Maine’s Central Coast. Photo credit: Terri Marshall

Summer is far and away the best time to visit Maine. And just about everyone knows it. So the state can be crowded with tourists then. Here’s why people visit Maine during the warm summer months and a few ideas for other times to visit to beat the crowds but still experience the wonders of Maine.

Why Summer is the Best Time to Visit Maine

Let us count the reasons why the summer season is the best time of year to go to Maine:

  • The weather is warm and sunny, with average temperatures ranging from 60 to 80 degrees Fahrenheit (15.5 to 26.6 Celsius)
  • Flowers are in bloom, the sky is blue and the forests green, making this state a haven for outdoor adventures such as hiking, biking, kayaking and fishing.
  • It’s lobster season, baby! That means you can order a fresh yummy lobster roll from just about any hole-in-the-wall Maine restaurant and drool over the meal.
  • The Maine Lobster Festival takes place in Rockland on the Maine coast. This 5-day festival of deliciousness runs from Wednesday through Sunday the first weekend in August. Rockland is a coastal town about two hours from Portland, so it’s easy to fly in, eat your fill and head home.
  • Maine’s wild blueberries are in season. Order a slice of blueberry pie. Or just pluck a few berries off a bush and pop them in your mouth. These tiny berries pack a powerful punch.
  • Maine’s Windjammer tall ships are sailing. These beautiful vessels sail out of the state’s small coastal towns such as Rockland, Camden and Boothbay Harbor, the site of the annual Windjammer Days Festival each summer.

SheBuysTravel Tip: Are you heading to Maine on a family vacation? Check out our list of fun things to do in Maine with kids.

Portland Head Light in Fort Williams Park is one of the best things to see in Portland Maine
Fort Williams Park is worth visiting to check out Portland Head Light. Photo credit: Cathy Bennett Kopf

How to Avoid Summer Crowds

The downside to all of that awesomeness during the peak tourist season is, well, it draws a lot of tourists. And higher demand means higher prices at hotels, restaurants and attractions.

Avoid the worst of the summer crowds by visiting in early June. Bring a jacket because the New England nights will still be cool. But the seasonal businesses will be open and you’ll be able to enjoy some of the state’s best beaches, lighthouses and best restaurants and breweries with fewer crowds

Fall in Maine

Maine’s tourism off-season starts after Labor Day and it just might be the most beautiful time to be in Maine. The lush forests, rolling countryside and tranquil national parks turn brilliant shades of red, orange and yellow. The apples are in season and orchards across the state open for apple picking. Mainers celebrate the season with pumpkin festivals, apple festivals and corn mazes.

When is the Best Time to See Fall Colors in Maine?

Fall comes early to this far northern state. The leaves in the northern regions and the higher elevations start to change by the end of September and early October. Late October is the best time of the year to see fall foliage in the southernmost areas of Maine.

Here are some of the best places to visit in Maine to see fall colors:

Winter in Maine

A winter getaway in Maine is not for the faint of heart. The weather can be brutal, with those famed noreaster storms where snowfall is measured in feet not inches, but Mainers are a hardy bunch.

The winter is ski season, so they don’t let below-freezing temperatures and sub-zero wind chills keep them inside. Instead, they switch their outdoor activities to winter sports. They spend the day ice fishing, head out snowmobiling, hit the ski resorts for snowboarding and go cross country skiing, sledding and snowshoeing.

Our favorite Maine ski resorts are:

Read More: Top Ski Destinations in New England

Spring in Maine

Spring doesn’t exactly mean warm weather in Maine, but it does mean warmer weather.

The flora and fauna are waking up from the long winter’s chill. And it’s maple syrup time. This state, next door to Canada, taps the trees and celebrates the sugary result with Maine Maple Sunday in late March. And, since springtime is still shoulder season in Maine, there is far less competition for hotel rooms and restaurant reservations, which translates into lower prices.

Lobster roll with butter on red plaid paper placemat
Lobster roll. Butter. Simply delicious. Photo credit: Cathy Bennett Kopf

When is the Best Time to Visit Maine for Lobster?

The best time to visit Maine for lobster is from late June to late September. The lobsters are abundant and the weather is warm enough to enjoy a lobster roll the way it was meant to be eaten — while sitting on the beach looking out at the ocean.

See a humpback whale on an ecolodge family vacation.
Photo credit: Pixabay

When is the Best Time for Whale Watching in Maine?

Humpback whales, pilot whales, minke whales and the massive finback whale, which can grow as long as 80 feet, cavort in the waters off the coast of Maine from May to October. While the whales can be seen from the shore, the best way to catch a glimpse of these majestic creatures is on a whale-watching tour.

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