Are you ready for the most wonder-fall (get it because this post is about fall in Maine?) time of year in Maine? Heck yeah, you are since Maine in the fall is NEXT level beautiful.
No really, this is not a drill faithful reader. Because everywhere you turn you’ll find large swaths of vibrant foliage that is made up of rich reds, exquisite oranges, and shocking yellows that will leave you thinking, “Hot damn! Is this for real?”
And guess what? It is 110% real since fall is definitely one of the best times to visit Maine.
However, it’s not just because of the foliage mind you. Nope, Maine in the fall is exceptionally perfect because not only are the massive summer crowds gone but the weather is still ideal for awesome outdoor activities like:
- Whale watching
- Sea kayaking
- Visiting Portland’s Best Lighthouses
- A Windjammer Cruise from Camden Maine
- Doing some of the best hikes in Maine
- Doing One of the Most Scenic Drives in Maine (Perfect for leaf peepin’ of course)
So, if you want to experience the best of Maine’s awe-inspiring, natural beauty – but without the more-than-a-little annoying hordes of selfie-stick-obsessed tourists that inundate the area throughout the summer – then consider planning a trip to Maine in the fall!
Trust me, I’ve spent at least a portion of every fall in Maine (and that’s 30+ years’ worth of fall seasons mind you) and absolutely love it since there are a ton of amazing festivals that happen around this time of year too!
So, if you want a slew of awesome, expert tips to help you plan the perfect trip to Maine in the fall, then this is the post for you! Because I’m about to use all of my savvy, insider knowledge to answer important questions about:
- Average Fall in Maine Weather
- Is October a Good Time to Visit Maine?
- What is the Best Time to see Fall Colors in Maine?
- Best Places For Fall Foliage in Maine
- How to Get to Maine in the Fall
- What to Pack for Fall in Maine
- Top Things to do this Fall in Maine
- Where to Stay this Fall in Maine
- Where to Eat When You Visit Maine in the Fall
- Additional Resources for Maine in the Fall
- And so much more!
That’s why, if you’re ready to rock this casbah like a boss, then grab a plate of fresh blueberry pancakes and chase it with a warm and tasty chai latte.
Because yes my friends, we’re about to swan dive into the wonderful world that is Maine in the fall! And we’re doing that right now!
Dear wonderful, beautiful, and oh-so-amazing reader (Yup, I lay it on thick for my dozens of fans). Since I am incapable of making it rain money, there’s a high probability (like 99.999%) that this post may contain affiliate links. Please see my disclosure for more information. As an Amazon Associate, I earn a small commission from qualifying purchases.
⏰ In a hurry and not sure what to do in Maine in the Fall? Book the Acadia National Park self-guided driving tour. You can explore the gorgeous park at your own pace! 🏞️
If you’re booking a trip right now then I IMPLORE you to get travel insurance – even if it’s not from me.
After all, this past year has been a wild ride and I don’t want you to lose money because government regulations have changed.
Truth be told though, I’ve never traveled without travel insurance and don’t think you should either – especialy since I think we’ve all had plans drastically change because of the pandemic.
Therefore, find an insurance agency that covers travel changes related to COVID-19, like my two all-time faves World Nomads and Safety Wing. You can also read more about which policy is right for you in my full review here.
Average Fall in Maine Weather
Not gonna lie to you. Maine in the fall is pretty awesome when it comes to weather since it’s cold but not TOO cold. At least not yet.
That’s because fall in Maine technically runs from September 22nd through December 21st -although, I personally consider fall in Maine to be September through November.
So, if you can, definitely visit sometime between late September and early November. Because at this time of year, you can expect:
September – Average daily highs are around 70°F (21.1°C) while daily lows are between 45°F (7.2°C) and 50°F (10°C). It also rains quite a bit (4″ per month) so definitely pack some rain gear. Days are also still quite long since sunrise is around 6:25 am and sunset is around 7:40 pm.
October – October is a bit colder in Maine since October since daily temperatures can get as low as 33°F (0.6°C) and as high as 58°F (14.4°C).
Rain gear is also a total must since this month is even rainier than September with an average of 5″ per month of rain. Days are also still pretty long since sunrise is around 7:00 am and sunset is around 6:00 pm.
November – Throughout November, days get shorter and colder as winter rolls into the region. Snow is also common at higher latitudes since daily lows drop to between 22°F (-5.6°C) and 25°F (-3.9°C) while daily highs only reach between 40°F (4.4°C) and 48°F (8.9°C).
The weather is also quite windy and rainy since many parts of the state can get up to 7″ of rain throughout the month.
Days are also extremely short since daylight savings time means that we lose an hour this month, with sunrise at 6:30 am and sunset at 4:15 pm after daylight savings on November 7th.
So, moral of the story? Try to visit sometime in late September and early October, before the weather gets too cold, wet, and windy.
You’ll also definitely want to pack plenty of layers, warm clothes, and rain gear when spending fall In Maine. Because in addition to the rain and wind, Noreasters (hurricanes from the south that move up the east coast of the US) routinely hit the area at this time of year.
Therefore, always check the weather and come prepared before you visit Maine in the fall.
Is October a Good Time to Visit Maine?
Yes! October is a great time to visit Maine! Not only are the crowds of summer gone (meaning that hotel and flight prices will be a bit cheaper), but fall foliage is usually at its best throughout much of the state.
Additionally, temperatures are cool, but comfortable since the polar vortex of doom hasn’t truly come into town yet.
So, if you want to experience Maine in the fall, then definitely consider a visit at the start of the month!
What is the Best Time to See Fall Colors in Maine?
To see the best fall colors in Maine, try to visit between late September and mid-October (Columbus Day Weekend is ideal) when fall foliage is at its most beautiful. Although, that does vary by location since some high-elevation areas experience peak fall foliage in late September.
Best Places For Fall Foliage in Maine
Not surprisingly, one of the best things to do when visiting Maine in the fall is to see the exquisite fall foliage. Yeah, it pretty much takes over the entire state and is pretty dang amazing to behold.
So, if leaf peepn’ and seeing vibrant foliage is high on your fall in Maine bucket list, then here are some of the best places for fall foliage in Maine!
Fort Kent – Located at the tippity top of the state (so right near Canada) is Fort Kent. It’s a sleepy little town that is surrounded by 3.5 million acres of pristine forest.
So, take in all the vibrant colors around you while hiking, canoeing, kayaking, and watching dog sled races (in the winter).
Acadia National Park – Probably the most famous national park in the state, Acadia is located right near Bar Harbor and is an all-around great place to see foliage this fall in Maine.
It’s also located right on the coast, so there are a ton of amazing lakes and coves to see while taking on some of the best hikes in Acadia National Park – just sans the overwhelming number of summer tourists that swallow up the area when it’s warm.
Rangeley Lakes Scenic Byway – Easily one of the most scenic drives in Maine, Rangeley Scenic Byway is a stunning, 52-mile long route through central/western Maine that takes you past enchanting lakes, rolling hills, and stunning foliage – at the right time of year.
Also, because this place is a veritable outdoor enthusiasts wonderland, you can enjoy all sorts of amazing activities like biking, hiking, canoeing, kayaking, fishing, camping, and even moose spotting this fall in Maine.
Baxter State Park – This pet-friendly park in northern Maine (right near Millinocket) covers an astounding 200,000 acres of natural forests and lakes and is the perfect backdrop for any fall foliage field trip you might take.
Because not only can you see beautiful fall colors here, but you can pitch a tent at the picturesque South Branch Pond Campground and hike on one of the area’s many picturesque trails.
Moosehead Lake – Located right near Baxter State Park, this is one of those iconic, romantic getaways in Maine that is perfect at any time of year.
But, truth be told, Moosehead Lake is something extra special when the trees come alive with the stunning colors of fall.
So, take some time to visit the country’s single largest mountain lake before enjoying some of the best views in the region from the top of Pinnacle Pursuit.
Camden Hills State Park – Just a hop, skip, and jump away from Camden in mid-coast Maine is Camden Hills State Park. It’s here that you can up the 1,384 foot tall Mount Megunticook for stunning views of Penobscot Bay.
Afterward, visit the quaint little town of Stonington – on Deer Isle – before checking out nearby Stockton Springs too.
How to Get to Maine in the Fall
Okay, so if you’re planning to visit Maine in the fall, then there are a couple of different ways you can get here.
Personally, I’d drive if I were visiting from any place in the Northeast since Maine is one of those states where you’ll deffo need a car.
However, if you’re coming from far away and it’s just not feasible to drive then you could always fly into Portland International Jetport since it’s only two miles from downtown Portland and services flights from all over the world.
Once at the airport though, I’d absolutely rent a car, unless of course, you’re just planning to visit Portland, Maine. If that’s the case, then skip the rental car and just take the Route #5 bus to downtown Portland (or, you could save a little money and rent a car after you’ve finished exploring Portland).
Other ways that you could get into Maine include:
Amtrak – Believe it or not, Amtrak trains from all across the country actually travel directly to multiple train stations throughout Maine.
So, this is definitely an option if you’re not a fan of flying and have a bit of extra time on your hands. Just do your research first before spending fall in Maine since a one-way, coach ticket from Newark to Portland starts at $63 per person and takes a solid 9.5 hours.
So, if you’re not careful, a train trip can take longer and be infinitely more expensive than a flight.
Bus – Two different bus companies have bus routes that go into and out of various stations in Maine. Concord Coach Lines is a more local company with routes throughout Maine that extend to major cities in New York, Massachusetts, and New Hampshire.
Tickets start as low as $79.00 one way and $158.00 round trip. In contrast, Greyhound operates bus services into and out of Maine from most major cities in the US, with one-way tickets starting at as little as $16 per person from Boston to Portland, Maine.
And once here, I cannot stress enough that to get around Maine itself, you definitely need a car. Yes, there is local, public transportation but it’s usually pretty regional and won’t be helpful when going from one city to the next.
Plus, Maine is a hella big state and is home to a lot of exceptionally rural areas that you just won’t be able to access if you don’t have a car.
So, even if you choose not to drive into Maine, be sure to rent a car after you’ve finished experiencing all of the amazing things to do In Portland, Maine.
What to Pack for Fall in Maine
As you probably already gathered from my section about the weather in Maine in the fall, this state can be equal parts cold, wet, and windy throughout the beautiful autumn season.
Therefore, it is extremely important that when spending fall in Maine, you always check the weather prior to the start of your trip and pack accordingly, especially if you’re not sure what to add to your road trip packing list for Maine this fall.
Pro Tip: Be sure to pack plenty of layers because from mid-September through early November daily temperatures can fluctuate greatly throughout the day and the night. Therefore, even if you only need a warm sweater throughout the day, you might need to wear a heavy winter coat in the evening.
And some items that you’ll need to pack for Maine in the fall – aside from obvious things like underwear and socks and toiletries – are:
⭐️ Rating: 4.7/5 (18,231 Reviews) Price: $17.99 Details: Read more on Amazon!
When that pre-winter wind rips through the coast of Maine, you’re going to need a nice, stylish hat to keep your head warm.
And although I’ve worn a ton of different winter hats throughout my life, this maroon, pom-pom hat from FURALK is hands down my fave.
“The puff comes off! how cool! I can wash it and not have to worry about ruining another beanie. Super soft, love the feeel. Its stretchy but not too much which I like. 10/10”Kaitlin (read more reviews now!)
Not only is it cute and incredibly warm, but it doesn’t rip and costs less than $15. The cute pompom at the top is also totally removable and the maroon color photographs well too.
⭐️ Rating: 4.4/5 (5,065 Reviews) Price: $41.98 Details: Read more on Amazon!
As you’ve probably already ascertained, the temperature gets pretty dang cold in Maine in the fall – especially towards the end of November.
So, to keep yourself nice and warm and toasty, try packing a chic, textured sweater. I personally adore the details on the sleeves of this sweater right here which in a variety of different colors.
“I loved this sweater, but I got a L and needed an XL for an oversized fit. I got the pink, and the colors are very vibrant. Looks just like the picture.”Shawna (read more reviews now!)
It also features a flattering, oversized silhouette and will actually keep you warm in the evening. It also costs less than $30, easily making it one of the best things to pack for fall in Maine.
⭐️ Rating: 4.4/5 (9,481 Reviews) Price: $56.99 Details: Read more on Amazon!
Not gonna lie, I absolutely love this insanely awesome pair of black boots from DREAM PAIRS. I know it’s a slightly rando company but I’ve gotten shoes from them loads of time and have always loved them.
I mean they’re comfy, keep your feet warm, fit well, incredibly durable, and are extremely well-priced at under $60 a pair.
“I am always a bit skeptical when buying shoes, clothes, apparel online… but I am genuinely happy with this purchase. Very nice quality. I was pleasantly surprised how much I like them. They came packaged and protected very nicely, too.”Becky (read more reviews now!)
They’re just not great for hiking. So, if you’re looking for a solid pair of hiking boots then you can try these waterproof women’s hiking boots from Columbia instead.
⭐️ Rating: 3.9/5 (4,570 Reviews) Price: $12.99 Details: Read more on Amazon!
If you’re going to be doing a ton of different, super intense outdoor activities this fall in Maine, then you’re obviously going to need to stay hydrated.
And this nifty, Nefeeko Collapsible Water Bottle will help you to do just that! It’s also collapsible and super easy to pack when you’re not using it.
“Super light weight and I love the little hook to carry it around. Super cute bottle.”Joanne (read more reviews now!)
Plus, it’s good for the environment, will help save you a ton of money on bottled water. costs less than $15, features a leak-proof body, is made of BPA-free plastic, and has a carabiner that you can attach to your backpack – saving you a whole lot of space in your day bag.
You can even pair it with a life straw (it’s a personal water filter that is perfect for hiking) so that you can safely drink unfiltered water anywhere you go!
⭐️ Rating: 4.6/5 (23,513 Reviews) Price: $11.99 Details: Read more on Amazon!
Nothing warms me up on a cool fall evening quite like a cozy winter scarf.
And this one from Wander Ago is perfect since it comes in a beautiful, fall-inspired, plaid pattern and is made of super soft material that feels nice up against your skin.
It’s also exceptionally long, costs less than $10, and is the perfect accent piece for any fall outfit.
⭐️ Rating: 4.8/5 (107,300 Reviews) Price: $17.47 Details: Read more on Amazon!
Because fall in Maine tends to be quite rainy, you’ll definitely want to pack a stylish but totally practical raincoat, like this one from Lomon.
It’s basically a super cute, durable, totally waterproof windbreaker that costs less than $40 and comes in a bunch of different colors.
“Wanted to get one for a while now, at $20 the price was right. Drank water out of the Lake of Two Mountains in the Montréal area, tasted fine and no ill effects several days later.”GeorgeZ (read more reviews now!)
Although, me personally? I love the yellow since it photographs really well and looks super great on.
Just pair it with an uber-cute pair of Sperry women’s rain boots and you’ll look stylish while never having to worry about getting wet again.
⭐️ Rating: 4.5/5 (13,633 Reviews) Price: $30.99 Details: Read more on Amazon!
Nothing screams, “fall in New England” quite like a cozy, flannel shirt. So, if you don’t really have a flannel shirt to call your own, then try this beauty right here.
“I love this shirt. It quickly became one of my go to work or play shirts. It’s very soft- hard to wrinkle- I love it. I just ordered another! Order a size up. I wear a medium and a large fit perfect.”Margi (read more reviews now!)
Not only is the fit great but it costs less than $25 and comes in a variety of different patterns.
It’s also actually made to last so you won’t need to go out and buy a new one after your fall in Maine trip ends.
⭐️ Rating: 4.4/5 (1,009 Reviews) Price: $23.99 Details: Read more on Amazon!
These are the PERFECT leggings for fall in Maine! Not only are they fleece lined to keep you extra warm, but they cost less than $20 a pair and have a control top waist that will help keep all your slightly wobbly bits extra secure.
They also don’t look like ratty gym pants but like legit, fashion-forward leggings. This way, you can actually feel good about what you’re wearing.
“I bought these leggins to go to Tennessee in January. Temp was 26°F and I always felt warm and so into fashion. I never wore extra layers, just this leggins and they did the job just perfect! I’m 5’6″ and 180 pounds so I went with a Large size, just perfect!!”Monica (read more reviews now!)
And while I personally try and stay away from jeans since they retain odors, I do love the look and feel of these Levis right here.
You know, just in case you absolutely “need” another pair of durable, supremely comfy, fly AF jeans that make your butt look damn good.
⭐️ Rating: 4.7/5 (4,960 Reviews) Price: $65.77 Details: Read more on Amazon!
Hello world! Meet my all-time favorite backpack!
And because you’ll be hardcore walking around all day, you’ll need an altogether stylish, but super functional, antitheft day bag to keep all your most precious belongings super safe.
“I bought this as my work backpack and it is the perfect size and so cute. Perfect!”Lindsey (read more reviews now!)
And that’s why I never leave home without this amazing Kenneth Cole Backpack.
It lasts forever, (I’ve had mine for 2+ years, use it every day, and have had zero problems), costs less than $60, and cna even fit a 15′ laptop. Yup, #awesome.
Women’s Fall Jacket
⭐️ Rating: 4.4/5 (1,958 Reviews) Price: $89.99 Details: Read more on Amazon!
The one downside about Maine in the fall? It can get pretty cold in the evenings and throughout the month of November, Therefore, you may want to consider packing a supremely warm, super sleek fall jacket that is also long enough to keep your butt cozy.
Yeah, you read that right. Because a cozy butt = a happy butt. Anyway, this jacket right here is the real deal since it is a warm puffer coat (it’s made with cotton and keeps you pretty dang warm) that features a lovely, totally removable, faux fur collar.
“The coat is exactly as it appears on Amazon. I am surprised at how warm it keeps me considering the affordable price I paid. I am happy with the coat and highly recommend it.”Williams (read more reviews now!)
Additionally, this coat comes in no less than ten different colors and has a fantastic silhouette – with a stunning, cinched waist belt – that will make you look and feel great.
Top Things to do This Fall in Maine
Guess what you intrepid traveler you? There are about 10,000 different, super fun things for you to do in Maine in the fall. And yes, that’s obviously an EXACT number (lol).
So, while I’m not gonna get into all of them now (that would make for one hella long post that no one has time for), here are some of my picks for the absolute BEST things to do this fall in Maine!
1. Visit Acadia National Park
Umm, could I really in good conscience create a post all about Maine in the fall and NOT mention Acadia National Park?
And the correct answer to that question is, of course, an emphatic, “hell no”. Especially since this uber-famous, 40,000-acre national park is extra beautiful in the fall.
You know, when it’s brimming over with stunning foliage and largely devoid of the hordes of people that overwhelm the area throughout the summer.
It’s also the ONLY national park in all of New England and offers visitors breathtaking coastal views along with an almost neverending series of idyllic trails that are perfect for novice and more advanced hikers alike.
So, after you’ve hiked some of the best trails in Acadia, relaxed along the shores of Echo Lake/Sand Beach, marveled at Thunder Hole, walked around Jordan Pond, and seen the sunrise from Cadillac Mountain, take some time to pop into nearby Bar Harbor.
Once here, you can explore some of the town’s super cute shops and restaurants, like The Thirsty Whale Tavern. Stop in for their ever-delicious lobster roll and chowdah and thank me later.
Pro Tip: Skip 1-95 and drive up along the coast on route 1 instead. You’ll enjoy all the leaf peepin’ opps and the stunning views of the Atlantic Coast.
2. Go Whale Watching
Contrary to what you might think, the whale watching seasons in Mane actually extends well into October. So, if you’re planning to visit Maine in the fall, then why not make time to hop on a boat and marvel at these gentle giants as their fins disappear beneath the cavernous ocean?
I mean, come on. You know you want to. Especially since Maine is one of the best whale-watching destinations along the Eastern Coast of the US.
And if you’re not 100% sure where to start, here are some places where you can find the best whale watching in Maine:
First Chance Whale Watch (Kennebunk) – Hop aboard one of this company’s 87-foot-long boats and prepare to be amazed by the insane wealth of whale-erfic knowledge that Captain Gary has to share with you.
Typically, the tour will be about 4.5 hours long and you’ll get to see tons of has plenty of whales, dolphins, and seals along the way.
Eastport Windjammers (Eastport) – Not gonna lie, this is probably my single most favorite company to go whale watching with in all of Maine!
I mean, not only are they family-run, but this amazing organization will take you on a fascinating, 3-hour whale watching tour through the Bay of Fundy – an amazing place where you can see whales, seals, and porpoises in their natural habitat.
Along the way, you’ll also get to see the Old Sow (largest whirlpool in the Western Hemisphere) and the East Quoddy Lighthouse before crew members pull up local lobster traps and place the various crustaceans they catch into a touch-tank right there, on the ship.
Cap’n Fishes Cruises (Boothbay Harbor) – Not only has this family-run company been in business for 3+ generations, but they also own one of the fastest whale-watching boats in all of Maine.
More than that though, you’ll get to see plenty of wicked awesome marine wildlife during their 3.5-hour tour, which is narrated for you by expert marine biologists.
Add in some padded seats, a fully stocked galley, comfy tables, and a free voucher for another tour – just in case you don’t see whales during your visit – and you definitely have one of the best things to do in fall in Maine.
3. Foliage Train Tour
One of the top things to do in Maine in fall is the Foliage train tour. The best part about it is that you can sit back and relax while just taking in the sights. The colors of fall really provide some spectacular views.
In fact, Maine has a number of popular foliage train tours that you can choose from. There are rides that cater to everyone. From classy dinners to apple cider and doughnuts, you can choose the experience that suits you best.
Most of the foliage train rides are between one to two hours. They take you through the wilder regions where you can see woods, streams and fields. Waldo county is one of the popular routes.
Pro tip: If you are looking for something kid friendly then you should check out the Pumpkin express. Here you can combine the journey with pumpkin picking! It is definitely cool closer to Halloween. On the flip side, the ride is in high demand so you may want to check the availability before heading there.
4. Explore Baxter State Park
Another one of the most amazing state parks in Maine is the jaw-droppingly beautiful, Baxter State Park. It’s a supremely special place that is filled with dazzling fall foliage throughout the autumn and that is home to the immortal, Mount Katahdin.
It stands at 5,267 feet tall and is not only Maine’s tallest mountain but the terminus of the 2,190-mile-long Appalachian Trail.
So, hike to the top – if you dare – before exploring some of the park’s other trails, many of which are totally devoid of people (hooray).
You could also take time to spot a wild black bear or two, climb up some sheer cliffs (channel your inner rock climber), go fly-fishing in some local ponds/rivers, and so much more.
Pro Tip: If you want to visit Maine in the winter, the park is a also local hot spot for various winter sports like snowmobiling. Also, be on the lookout for moose and bald eagles since they can be found all across the park too.
5. Head Out In A Canoe
The Allagash river waterways are the perfect spot for canoeing and is really one of the coolest things to do in Maine in the Fall. The 92 mile long stretch is particularly popular in autumn because of the riot of colors, cooler temperatures and the lack of mosquitos!
If you are ambitious and want to do the whole stretch then it is going to take you a while. Most people take as long as 10 days. That however is not for everyone.
One of the best ways to canoe is to tackle the river in segments. That’s what most of us do anyway. You can even break it up based on the number of days that you want to stay.
Pro tip: If you are a bit nervous of doing it on your own, then check out some of the guides in the area. Allagash Canoe trips are highly recommended. There are kinds of trips that you can choose from. Plus if you do the multiday trips you can even camp by the river!
6. Explore Kennebunkport
Easily one of the best beach towns in Maine, Kennebunkport is the perfect place to explore when you visit Maine in the fall.
I mean, not only are most of the summer crowds long gone once September rolls around but there are a ton of awesome things to do in Kennebunkport and the surrounding area.
Because this charming little beach town sits along Maine’s picturesque, US 1, and is filled with beautiful beaches and quaint New England storefronts that are just waiting to be explored.
Now, is it preppy AF? You betcha. But that’s to be expected since this town in Southern Maine has always been a popular vacay spot among the elite of New England society.
So, grab a polo shirt and explore the wealth of galleries, cafes, and boutiques that proliferate throughout Dock Square, aka the vibrant epicenter of the community.
If you have time. you can also take a scenic drive along Ocean Ave and marvel at the opulent mansions there, like the famous Bush family complex at Walker’s Point.
Afterward, take some time to visit the vintage trolleys at the Seashore Trolley Museum before stepping back in time at the Brick Store Museum and marveling at the talent of the area’s many local artists at Maine Art Hill.
7. See a Lighthouse
It’s no secret that Maine is basically the lighthouse capital of the United States. Therefore, you are forbidden from visiting Maine in the fall without seeing at least one, next-level beautiful lighthouse.
Luckily for you, this is exceptionally easy to do in places like Portland, Maine, where there are no less than five different lighthouses that are all within a short, twenty-minute drive of the city (for the full deets, check out this post on the best lighthouses in Portland, Maine).
However, if you only have time to visit one lighthouse in Maine, then let Portland Head Light be it. Not only is it picture-perfect (no really, it’s on basically every Maine travel brochure ever printed) but it’s also the single oldest lighthouse in all of Maine.
It also sits right along the coast, so visitors can enjoy stunning views of the Atlantic Ocean before exploring the vast grounds of beautiful Fort Williams Park.
Yesiree, you could definitely pack a picnic lunch and spend a beautiful fall day amidst the vast greenery of Fort Williams Park
8. Eat Some Local Lobster
This next suggestion for your Maine in the fall bucket list is more than a little obvious since Maine and lobster go together like peanut butter and jelly.
Therefore, unless you’re totally allergic to shellfish, you should definitely spend fall in Maine consuming as much succulent lobster as humanly possible.
Plus, added bonus? June through December is actually peak lobster season in Maine since lobsters are at their most active and fishermen can catch a whole heck of a lot of them.
In particular, October and November are exceptionally good times to order hard-shell lobster since the supply is plentiful and most of the tourists have left – a fact that helps keep the price of lobster low.
So, go ahead and dive into a fresh lobster roll, a piping hot bowl of lobster bisque, or a fresh steamed lobster – with a side of melted butter – at iconic eateries like:
- Bayley’s Lobster Pound (Scarborough) – Get the lobster roll
- Five Islands Lobster Company (Georgetown) – The haddock chowdah, deep-fried seafood, and fresh steamed lobsters are all good
- Chauncey Creek Lobster Pier (Kittery Point) – Local hot spot for boiled lobsters
- Barnacle Billy’s (Ogunquit) – Get a rum punch and chase it down with a paprika encrusted lobster roll
- The Clam Shack (Kennebunk) – BEST LOBSTER ROLL EVER. Period.
- Boothbay Lobster Wharf (Boothbay Harbor) – A working lobster wharf where you can pick out your lobster, have it cooked right in front of you, and then chow down at one of their many, super informal picnic tables. Nom, nom, nom.
9. Attend a Local Festival
So, what you may not know about Maine in the fall is that this state has some pretty cool local festivals, like my personal fave, the Damariscotta Pumpkinfest and Regatta.
It’s an awesome, 10-day festival in, you guessed it, Damariscotta where people show off the insanely enormous pumpkins that they’ve grown.
However, the fun doesn’t really begin until people hollow out these pumpkins of awesome and then use them as a boat that they race through the harbor in! Yeah, definitely one of the coolest/funniest things I’ve ever seen in my life.
So, if you’re in the area during the second weekend in October, then definitely give this unique festival a gander.
Because in addition to this iconic pumpkin race, there are pumpkin decorations aplenty, a pumpkin pie eating contest, pumpkin-related foods of every variety, a pumpkin smash, a pumpkin parade, and a celebration of the largest pumpkin grown during the season.
And if that’s still not enough fall-inspired awesomeness for you, then some other events you might want to check out this fall in Maine are:
- York Harvestfest (York) – This traditional fair is held in York and includes delicious food, carnival rides, live music, fun games, and vendors selling their local wares. So, hop aboard a historic horse-drawn wagon before sampling some decadent lobster mac and cheese, whoopie pies, pumpkin donuts, and blueberry pie.
- Boothbay Fall Folliage Festival (Boothbay Harbor) – Held sometime in mid-October, this festival allows you to take a ride aboard a vintage narrow-gauge steam train before sampling local food, shopping for local crafts, listening to live music, and trying an array of engaging kids activities.
- Maine Harvest Festval (Bangor) – Celebrate the harvests of hundreds of local farmers with this Maine event that includes a wide selection of goods from regional wineries, distilleries, and chefs. Local artists will also be on hand, selling an eclectic array of products to eager visitors.
- Freeport Fall Festival (Freeport) – This three-day event happens in early October and features local Maine foods, unique arts and crafts, and live music that plays through the streets.
- Fall Festival at Sunday River (Newry) – This is probably the most unique fall in Maine festival of them all since couples compete to carry their significant other through a challenging outdoor obstacle course in the eternal hope of winning their partner’s weight in beer. However, other, slightly more traditional events include things like a traditional New England cornhole tournament.
- Harvest on the Harbor (Portland) – This serious culinary celebration brings together master chefs and delicious foods for a stellar event that is filled with decadent brunches, multi-course dinners, and an informal snack market that the whole family will love.
- Acadia’s Oktoberfest (Mount Desert) – Have your lederhosen and extra liver at the ready because this festival is ten full days of craft beer, artisanal chocolate, kettle corn, German sausage, gourmet grilled cheese, chowdah, and (duh) lobster.
- Camp Sunshine’s Maine Pumpkin Festival (Freeport) – Head to L.L. Bean’s flagship store and see more than 10,000 carved pumpkins line the streets of Freeport as you watch a parade, enjoy live music, and enjoy other fun fall activities.
- Ogunquitfest (Ogunquit) – This festival typically occurs late in October and celebrates all things Halloween. So, go on a ghost tour, see some vintage cars, check out some handmade crafts, and watch an awesome costume parade.
- Fryeburg Fair (Fryeburg) – Held during the first week of October, this is an iconic agricultural fair that has been around since 1851 and that introduces visitors to historic farming traditions, agricultural exhibits, horse pulls, food vendors, local artisans, and more.
10. Enjoy the Fall Foliage
Maine in the fall is absolutely brimming over with stunning, almost otherworldly trees that come alive with fiery reds, shocking yellows, and earthy oranges – colors that are almost too beautiful to believe.
So, if you want to make the most out of fall in Maine, then take some time to do a bit of leaf peepin’ within the state’s millions upon millions of acres of wild forests.
Because whether you tackle one of the best hikes in Maine or go on one of the most scenic drives in Maine, admiring stunning fall foliage is easily one of the best reasons to visit Maine in the fall.
Just be sure to time your visit right since the first two weeks of October are typically when the state’s foliage is at its most vibrant.
Pro Tip: One of the best ways to see stunning fall foliage in Maine is to drive along the Acadia All-American Road. It’s a stunning, 40-mile, drive that will take you through Acadia National Park and nearby Bar Harbor.
11. Go Stargazing
Maine is one of the top places in the country to head out for stargazing. The lack of artificial light makes it so easy to catch some amazing views of the milky way.
All you need is a clear sky. If you are lucky enough to have a telescope with you, you can set it up but if you ask me, you really don’t need it.
Some of the best places to head to for stargazing include Acadia National Park, Mount Desert island, Cobscook Bay State park and Aroostook County. Night photographers often love to camp out in Maine so that they can get some epic photographs of the milky way.
Oh and before I forget, the Acadia stargazing festival is also held in September every year. So keep an eye out for it.
12. Watch The Northern Lights
Did you know that the lack of light pollution and its northern location makes Maine one of the best places in the world to watch the Aurora Borealis aka the Northern lights? A lot has to align in place for you to catch a glimpse of them though.
For one you need a clear night sky. Also check the forecast of the solar flares. These are what causes the Northern lights to appear.
Dress up nice and warm before you watch the sky. You will see shimmering lines of green appear in the dead of the night. It is a magical experience.
Where to Stay this Fall in Maine
Luckily for you, Maine is basically like the charming bed and breakfast capital of the world. Okay yeah, I totally made that up.
In all seriousness though, basically every town you visit in Maine has a ton of super cute, ultra-charming bed and breakfasts for you to stay in. So, finding a fantastic place to stay in this fall in Maine should 110% not be a problem.
But, if you’re not exactly sure where to start, here are some of my favorite accommodations for you to enjoy in Maine in the fall.
The Craignar Inn – Rockland
⭐️ Rating: 9.4/10 (26 Reviews) Price: $220 per night 📍Location: 5 Third Street, Spruce Head, ME Details: Read more on booking.com now!
I’m gonna be real with you. I’ve stayed in A LOT of hotels in my life. But this one is probably one of my absolute faves.
Not only are the owners, Laura and Greg, super friendly and happy to help you in any way possible, but the hotel itself has this old-world charm about it that makes it the perfect place for a romantic getaway in Maine.
“Beautiful setting, great mid-Maine location. Quiet, peaceful ambience. Look forward to returning in the future.”Joy (read more reviews now!)
It’s also super close to Rockland but quietly tucked away at the end of a dead-end road, right on the ocean.
Therefore, you can happily watch the sunrise above the Atlantic -from the comfort of your room – before exploring one of the many hiking trails in the area and enjoying a complimentary, breakfast feast that includes delicious things like blueberry pancakes (so good).
The Tides Beach Club Inn – Kennebunkport
⭐️ Rating: 9/10 (20 Reviews) Price: $250 per night 📍Location: 254 Kings Highway, Kennebunkport, ME Details: Read more on booking.com now!
If you want to spend a luxurious weekend in Maine in the fall then The Tides Beach Club Inn is the perfect place for you!
It’s well-located right across the street from Goose Rocks Beach and is a chic, modern hotel that sits inside a historic clapboard house.
“Location on the beach, the decor was beautiful, great food in restaurant and we loved the verandah seating”Kay (read more reviews now!)
Rooms here also come with stunning, ocean views, as well as flat-screen TVs, free Wi-Fi, marble bathrooms, and plush linens.
And, added awesomeness? There’s a fantastic, farm-to-table restaurant on-site with happy hour specials that you will adore.
Plus, if you pay their daily resort fee, you’ll be given access to two on-site pools, as well as a spa/wellness center at a sister resort.
The Blind Tiger Inn – Portland
⭐️ Rating: 9.2/10 (49 Reviews) Price: $190 per night 📍Location: 163 Danforth Street, Portland, ME Details: Read more on booking.com now!
If you’re looking for an amazing place to stay while in Portland, Maine in the fall, then definitely consider booking a room at The Blind Tiger Inn.
Because this upscale guest house features Individually decorated rooms that are hidden away inside a stunning, Federal-style mansion from 1823.
“Blind Tiger was one of the most stunning places I have ever stayed.”Rachel (read more reviews now!)
This luxurious, 3.5-star hotel is also conveniently located in the supremely posh West End and offers guests top-notch service that includes a personalized welcome note upon arrival and a complimentary continental breakfast each morning throughout your stay.
The Inn on Mount Desert – Bar Harbor
⭐️ Rating: 9.3/10 (883 Reviews) Price: $150 per night 📍Location: 68 Mt. Dessert Street, Bar Harbor, ME Details: Read more on booking.com now!
If you want to visit Acadia National Park this fall in Maine, then consider a stay at the luxurious, centrally located, 3-star, family-run guest house.
It sits inside a beautiful, residential area that is just 3-miles away from Acadia National Park and features comfortable, modern rooms that include WIFI, flat-screen TVs, tea/coffee making facilities, microwaves, minifridges, and balconies/terraces with garden or ocean views.
“Great cooked breakfast of omelet and French toast with delicious sausage and fruit. Great Tea selection.”Claire (read more reviews now!)
A delicious daily breakfast is also included with your stay, as is parking and access to an onsite garden, fire pit, front porch, and a pool table in a common living area.
Where to Eat When You Visit Maine in the Fall
Now, I know that at first glance the pine tree state (aka Maine) may not seem like a culinary giant, but hear me out on this one.
Because believe it or not, Maine is actually home to some seriously delicious eats that include iconic local dishes like lobster rolls, chowdah, whoopie pies, donuts, and so much more.
So, if you’re hankering to eat your way through Maine in the fall, then pack a pair of extra-stretchy pants and check out all of my top foodie recs below.
Eventide Oyster Co (Portland) – There’s nothing quite like a traditional New England-style clam bake to warm you up, heart and soul.
And this tiny little informal eatery with picnic benches will give you just that since they steam their fresh shellfish over seaweed to give you extra layers of flavor.
All their entrees also include sweet Bangs Island mussels and fresh Casco Bay steamers in addition to lobster tail, local potatoes, salt pork, and an egg (it was an old-school temperature monitor).
Maine Diner (Wells) – If you ever find yourself in Wells then you MUST try the Lobster Pie here. Yeah, I know it sounds kind of weird but it’s some seriously good eats since each pie includes five ounces of fresh lobster that is topped with a mixture of Ritz crackers and lobster tomalley.
It’s a traditional family recipe that everyone will love, scout’s honor!
Red’s Eats (Wiscasset) – If you plan to drive along Maine’s iconic Route 1, then be sure to stop into Red’s Eats and give their delicious lobster roll a try.
I mean, you know it’s good since this tiny lobster shack with picnic tables out front has been in business since 1954 and is known for lobster rolls with a seriously generous amount of meat.
Yeah, my mouth is definitely watering while writing this.
DiMillo’s on the Water (Portland) – This Portland staple is known for its seriously delicious steamed lobster dinner, which is served to you on a floating restaurant that is housed inside an old car ferry on Long Wharf. Add in some beyond campy decor and you have the perfect place to eat in Portland.
Duckfat (Portland) – What people “from away” (what locals call out of towners) might not know is that Maine actually produces a whole hell of a lot of potatoes. In fact, it’s easily one of the top potato producers in the entire country.
So, if you want to taste some of Maine’s finest tubers, then head to Duckfat where you can get delicious, fresh-cut fries made with Norwis Cross potatoes from Green Thumb Farm in Fryeburg.
And if you want a seriously hearty meal, opt for their poutine – which is smothered in two different types of cheese curds and duck gravy – and chase it down with a milkshake made from vanilla gelato, creme Anglaise, and Tahitian vanilla.
Bob’s Clam Hut (Kittery) – While Maine is more well0known for its lobster roll, the fried clam roll at Bob’s Clam Hut, on route 1, is seriously top-notch.
You can also get it Bob’s Style, with whole belly clams that are fried in corn/white flour, or Lillian’s style with clams that are dredged in an egg wash before they are fried.
The clams are then gingerly placed inside a buttered and grilled, split-top hotdog roll and served with a side of homemade tartar sauce.
The Great Lost Bear (Portland) – Run, don’t walk, to this iconic brewery where you can sample not one, but two iconic Maine beverages – Moxie (a bitter soda) and Allen’s Coffee Flavored Brandy.
Try both in their signature Burnt Trailer cocktail which is served to you on ice, in a nifty little pint glass.
Governor’s Restaurant and Bakery (multiple locations) – I love a freshly made whoopie pie.
And Gov’s is the perfect place to try one since their homemade confectionary delights are made using a recipe that the founder’s developed that is heavy on the cocoa and made with a rich, buttery, sugary, Marshmallow filling that will leave you licking your fingers.
Plus, if you’re feeling extra adventurous, then be sure to try their peanut-butter-filled whoopie pies or seasonal faves like maple bacon and root beer float.
Warren’s Lobster House (Kittery) – I know it’s a “lobster house” but do yourself a favor and get the Indian Pudding. It’s been served here since 1940 and is made with a divine mixture of oatmeal, molasses, milk, ginger, and cinnamon.
FYI, it’s a warm dish that is topped with a scoop of fresh vanilla ice cream. Yup, foodie nirvana found.
Dolphin Marina & Restaurant (Harpswell) – Okay, I know everyone thinks of clam chowder when they visit Maine, but haddock chowdah reigns supreme since this mild, flakey fish perfectly compliments the soup’s rich and creamy broth.
And this immortal restaurant is the perfect place to try a bowl since it’s made fresh daily with onion, potato, clam, cream, and haddock.
It also comes with a fresh blueberry muffin on the side to make this dish totally Maine-erific.
Jeannie’s Great Maine Breakfast (Bar Harbor) – This place serves bangin’ – with a capital “B” – fresh blueberry pancakes. The portions are also exceptionally large so you’ll definitely leave satisfied. Just try and come right when they open (like at 6:00 am) since there’s usually a wait.
Holy Donut (multiple locations around Portland) – No trip to Portland (and Maine in the fall) would be complete without a stop at Holy Donut. Because these decadent and delicious Maine potato donuts are delicious, not overly sweet/greasy, and are totally satisfying.
They’re also big AF so you could definitely share flavors like maple and chocolate sea salt (awesome and I don’t even like chocolate all that much).
Maine In The Fall FAQ
Is Maine A Good Place To Visit In Fall?
Maine is gorgeous. There is no denying it. Honestly, you could go there in any season and still have a ball of a time. That’s why it is always on traveler’s bucket lists. Maine in fall is certainly one of the best seasons to visit because it has some of the best fall foliage in the country.
Plus, there are a lot of outdoor activities that you can indulge in despite the cold. Oh and that is not even considering all the cool fall festivals that are celebrated here every year.
Is It Better To Visit Maine In September Or In October?
This really depends on you. If you want the best fall foliage then the first two weeks of October are the peak season.
If you want to avoid the crowds and tourists then I recommend visiting in September. The weather is also so much better at this time. In fact, plan your visit after Labor day. That’s when the crowds really thin out.
Oh and did I mention that the temperatures are still warm enough for you to enjoy the ocean? Well… Warm enough for some. I’ve seen people indulging in watersports here. It is much to cold for me but hey you do you!
September is also when the fair seasons start. These fairs are really a highlight about Maine in the fall. It is great for people who love crafts.
Can You See The Northern Lights From Maine In October?
Maine is one of the best places for stargazing enthusiasts. It is also a great place to catch a glimpse of the Northern lights. The peak season for this is between August and October which falls smack in the fall season.
The best place to catch a glimpse of this natural night time show is in the northern most parts of Down East Acadia.
Make sure to check the weather before heading out. If the forecast says cloudy skies then don’t bother. This is because the clouds will hide the Aurora Borealis.
⏰ In a hurry and not sure what to do in Maine in the Fall? Book the Acadia National Park self-guided driving tour. You can explore the gorgeous park at your own pace! 🏞️
Additional Resources for Maine in the Fall
- Best Things to do in Rockland, Maine
- The Best Time to Visit Maine
- 15 Stunning Beach Towns in Maine
- 13 Best Breweries in Portland Maine
- The Best Ever Road Trip to Maine
- Best Things to do in Bar Harbor Maine
- Best Places to See Fall Foliage in New York
- Best Things to do in Boothbay Harbor