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Best Time To Visit Maine (Fall Colors & Delicious Seafood)

Explore the best times for fall colors and seafood in Maine, from summer whale watching to autumn's budget-friendly travel. Ideal for potential travelers.

Tobi Miles
July 2, 2022
Best Time To Visit Maine (Fall Colors & Delicious Seafood)

Maine is known for lobster, harbors, whales, and small towns full of personality. Home to over 20 million tourists per year, Maine is hospitable and full of unique destinations. So, what is the best time to visit Maine?

The best time to visit Maine is between June and August if you want to enjoy fresh lobster and watch whales. September and October are the cheapest times to visit Maine because it is right after prime tourism season dies down. Winter is skiing season in Maine but it’s the worst time to visit unless you hit the slopes.

You will find beautiful sights all over Maine whether you visit Bar Harbor or the Acadia National Park. Maine is home to mild temperatures year-round, and it’s one of the most unique states to visit. Follow along as we explore the best time to visit Maine and highlight the key events throughout the year.

When Should You Not go to Maine?

Credit: Paul VanDerWerf / Flickr

The worst time to visit Maine is between December and February. This only applies to tourists that don’t visit Maine to ski, but it is the best time for skiers. Late winter in Maine brings freezing and uncomfortable temperatures.

This can put a damper on your fun trip if you aren’t expecting brisk winter conditions. There are fewer festivities and outdoor events during this time which can make your trip less exciting.

The main downside of visiting Maine during the winter is that you won’t get to enjoy the harbor life and beautiful water that Maine is known for.

Cheapest Time to Travel to Maine

Credit: ingimage

The fall is the cheapest time to travel to Maine, especially if you visit in September. September and October are among the least popular months to visit Maine, and that helps with hotel rates. Maine is known to be expensive for tourists, but you can book a room for $90 a night or less between September and October.

You can currently book a round-trip flight to Maine in September for roughly $200. However, you can get the best deal on a flight to Maine in Autumn if you purchase your tickets early. Book your fall trip to Maine 3-4 months in advance to get the most savings.

Tourism is less popular during autumn in Maine because it falls between two important travel seasons. Summer is crowded in Maine because of the weather, seafood, and special events which increases the price of everything. Winter is also expensive because of the influx of tourism for the skiing season which is a big deal in Maine.

Related Read: 20 Romantic Getaways in Maine

Best Weather in Maine: Monthly Breakdown

January: Best Time to Visit for Skiing

Credit: ingimage

January is somewhat of a downtime when it comes to tourism in Maine. The cold temperatures can dissuade some tourists from visiting, but the snow also attracts many people. Skiing is popular throughout January in Maine and the weather is perfect for it.

Temperatures range between 12 and 30 degrees during January in Maine and snow is common. It can snow up to 24 inches or more throughout January which creates the perfect conditions for winter sports. Events like Snodeo and Snowfest celebrate the winter weather and snow with competitive and fun outdoor events.

January is known as the snowiest time in Maine followed by December and February. You won’t find high-quality seafood during January like you would during the spring and summer in Maine. With that said, January is still a great time to visit Maine as long as you don’t mind the cold.

  • New Year’s Polar Plunge
  • Snodeo
  • Snowfest
  • Skiing

February: Best Time to Visit in the Winter

Credit: ingimage

The winter sports continue throughout February in Maine with the Camden Snow Bowl. Locals and travelers alike come together to celebrate the US National Toboggan Championships in Maine. Snowing and sledding are quite popular throughout February before it gets too warm.

February is the last hoorah for winter sports in Maine before temperatures begin to rise in March. The Biddeford WinterFest is a great way to soak in the winter sights and traditions in Maine before spring comes around. This well-rounded event has everything from food vendors and sledding to comedy performances.

Events like Flavors of Freeport let you relax, enjoy a drink, and taste some of the best local food. You can expect temperatures between 15 and 34 degrees when you visit Maine in February. February is the best time to visit in the winter because it is slightly warmer but you can still enjoy winter sports.

  • US National Toboggan Championships
  • Camden Snow Bowl
  • Biddeford WinterFest
  • Flavors of Freeport

March: Best Time for Local Events

Credit: ingimage

The weather becomes less conducive to winter sports and more ideal for spring leisure in March. March is a great time to visit Maine as it comes out of the harsh winter and things begin to warm up. Temperatures typically fluctuate between 25 and 42 degrees during March in Maine.

Maine Restaurant Week may be the highlight of March because of the great deals you can get. It’s also an opportunity to support local businesses and try food that the state is known for. March may not quite be summer yet, but the Summer Sailing Across Maine event in March is a great time.

Events like Maine Maple Sunday on the fourth Sunday of the month each year are a fun local tradition. Maple syrup is a big deal in Maine and helps support the local economy.

  • Maine Maple Sunday
  • Maine Restaurant Week
  • Maine Science Festival
  • Summer Sailing Across Maine

Related Read: 11 Best Family Beaches in Maine

April: Best Time to Visit Maine in Spring

Credit: ingimage

April offers great food, comfortable temperatures, and many fun events and festivals. Hockey fans can catch a Maine Mariners game in April. The Maine Comics & Toy Con in April attracts fans of popular culture from throughout the state.

Warmer weather returns during April in Maine and temperatures stay between 34 and 53 degrees throughout the month. However, April isn’t the best time of the year to visit Maine if you want to eat lobster and see whales.

  • Maine Comics & Toy Con
  • Maine Mariners Games
  • Portland Youth Film Festival
  • BrickUniverse Maine

Related Read: 40 Best Things To Do Portland Maine

May: Best Time for Whale Watching

Credit: ingimage

Maine is among the best places to see whales in the United States, and May is the best time for whale watching. May marks the beginning of whale watching season in Maine and it’s your best chance to get the first peek. Visit Bar Harbor, Maine for some of the best whale-watching views that you can find throughout the state.

Some whale tours last up to 4 hours and offer a value that is unbeatable with memories you won’t ever forget. You can even embark on a puffin tour in May and see some of the most loveable animals you’ll find in the United States. May is also a great time to hike on one of the countless hiking trails in Maine that offer gorgeous views.

Acadia National Park is colorful, lively, and full of beautiful flowers and animals during May. May is the gateway from the spring to the summer chock-full of green foliage, unique wildlife, and excellent seafood. It can still get chilly throughout May in Maine, and temperatures fluctuate between 44 and 63 degrees.

  • Hiking
  • Whale Watching
  • Acadia National Park
  • Northern Threads

June: Best Time for Lobster

Credit: ingimage

Late June is the best time to visit Maine for lobster when it is at its most fresh and delicious. The lobster season continues until December, but nothing beats eating lobster right at the start of the season. June also marks the start of summer, and the Summer Kickoff event is the perfect way to ease your way into it.

The Kennebunk Festival is the perfect mixture of seafood, drinks, and art in Maine. Kennebunk is also home to LAUNCH: A Maritime Festival which is perfect for the whole family. Otherwise, you can simply head out into nature and enjoy the comfortable 52-72 degree temperature span throughout the month.

  • Lobster Season
  • Summer Kickoff
  • Kennebunk Festival
  • LAUNCH: A Maritime Festival

July: Best Time to Visit Maine in Summer

Credit: ingimage

Maine can get crowded during July, but it’s still the best time to visit during the summer. The 4th of July celebrations are hard to miss, and there’s no sight like fireworks over the water. Moxie Festival has gone on for over 40 years and celebrates Maine’s iconic soda that is cherished by locals.

The Yarmouth Clam Festival is right up your alley if you want to taste some authentic Maine cuisine and seafood. Yarmouth is one of the most relaxing destinations in Maine, and it’s never more crowded than during the festival. Competitive tourists will get a kick out of Paddle Battle where contestants race across the beautiful Kennebunk River.

Summer is arguably the best time to visit Maine and July specifically hosts the most diverse list of events. The Wells Annual Chili Fest is a great way to unwind after a day of kayaking and swimming when you visit at the end of August. You can expect temperatures between 56 and 77 degrees throughout August in Maine.

  • Paddle Battle
  • 4 of July


  • Moxie Festival
  • Yarmouth Clam Festival
  • Wells Annual Chili Fest

Related Read: 20 Cabin & Treehouse Rentals in Maine

August: Best Time to Visit for Seafood

Credit: ingimage

Not only is August the best time to visit Maine for seafood, but it’s the best time to be on the water. Enjoy great seafood and gorgeous views of the water at the Belfast Harbor Fest. Music and seafood go hand in hand in Maine, and the Biddeford River Jam Festival is the best example.

The Blue Hill Maritime Heritage Festival is a great chance for tourists to celebrate local culture with Maine natives. Temperatures hover around 68 degrees on average throughout August, but it can get up to 77 degrees. Lows rarely dip below 57 degrees which makes August one of the best times to be outside in Maine.

Families and single travelers alike can enjoy fun August events in Maine like the Winter Harbor Music Festival. Belfast Harbor Fest is another lively event that draws large crowds during August. Check out the Maine Antiques Fest in August for a calm change of pace.

  • Blue Hill Maritime Heritage Festival
  • Biddeford River Jam Festival
  • Winter Harbor Music Festival
  • Belfast Harbor Fest
  • Maine Antiques Festival

September: Best Time for Festivities

Credit: Maine Brew Fest / Facebook

September offers some of the most comfortable weather that you’ll experience throughout the year in Maine. The heat of the summer dies down to ease into Autumn in September without getting too cold. Temperatures fluctuate between 48 and 68 degrees throughout September in Maine.

The Springfield Fair is a long-running tradition in Springfield, Maine that is worth your time. Visit the Farmington Fair to sample food and drinks from many vendors and enjoy the great weather. Fairs and festivals are abundant throughout September, and the Cumberland County Fair is among the best.

Adults that visit Maine will enjoy the Maine Lakes Brew Fest. The Clinton Lions Agricultural Fair offers a nice change of pace and is great for adults and children alike.

  • Springfield Fair
  • Clinton Lions Agricultural Fair
  • Farmington Fair
  • Maine Lakes Brew Fest
  • Cumberland County Fair

October: Best Time for Fall Foliage

Credit: ingimage

Few places in the United States look as beautiful during the fall as Maine does during October. Maine in autumn is a wash of gold, yellow, and orange leaves all around you. October is the best time for fall foliage in Maine and it’s easy to get into the Halloween spirit.

Temperatures stay between 37 and 57 degrees throughout the month. This is the perfect weather to visit a pumpkin patch, take an autumn stroll, or visit a haunted house in Maine. The Haunted Walk Maine and Haunted Grandview Manor are perfect October destinations to celebrate Halloween.

Damariscotta Pumpkinfest & Regatta is a chance to take in the beauty of autumn in Maine. Visit York Harvest Fest to enjoy carnival rides and taste delicious local food. Oktoberfest is also big in Maine and it’s a perfect event for adults.

  • York Harvest Fest
  • Haunted Walk Maine
  • Haunted Grandview Manor
  • Farmington Fright Fest
  • Damariscotta Pumpkinfest & Regatta
  • Freeport Fall Festival

November: Best Time to Celebrate Local Culture

Credit: Belfast Harborfest / Facebook

November marks the beginning of cold temperatures in Maine that will continue to drop through February. You can expect temperatures between 24 and 48 degrees throughout November in Maine. Temperatures fluctuate based on your location, and Jackman is generally the coldest during November.

The cold temperatures don’t put a stop to the festivities in Maine, however. Harvest on the Harbor and Maine Harvest Festival are great opportunities to mingle with locals. The Sidewalk Art Show is a unique event in Maine worth attending as long as you dress warm enough.

Christmas festivities even begin towards the end of November in Maine. The Christmas Prelude in Kennebunkport is the perfect way to get into the holiday spirit before December.

  • Maine Harvest Festival
  • Harvest on the Harbor
  • Sidewalk Art Show
  • Christmas Prelude

December: Best Time to Celebrate the Holidays

Credit: Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens

It isn’t very difficult to get into the holiday spirit when you visit Maine. There is no shortage of Christmas celebrations across the state throughout December. Events such as Magic of Christmas and North Pole Express offer fun for the whole family.

The Holiday Variety Show is another example of Maine sparing no expense when it comes to Christmas celebrations. See some of the most unique holiday lights in the country at Gardens Aglow in Boothbay Harbor, Maine. Even simply driving around Maine during December is a great opportunity to see elaborate Christmas lights.

It gets quite cold during December in Maine and there is always a chance of snow. You can expect temperatures between 18 and 37 degrees throughout the month. It snows for an average of 6 days throughout December in Maine which only makes it easier to enjoy the holidays.

  • Magic of Christmas
  • Gardens Aglow
  • Holiday Variety Show
  • Sparkle Celebration
  • North Pole Express

Best Time to Visit Maine With Family

Credit: ingimage

The best time to visit Maine with family is from June through August. You can experience all of the Maine staples during the summer such as whale-watching, hiking, and eating lobster. There are endless festivals and events from the Summer Kickoff to Moxie Festival.

Summer temperatures are mild in Maine making it easy for a family to stay outside no matter what age the children are. Temperatures can get as low as 52 degrees at night and in the morning during the summer in Maine. You won’t have to worry about blistering high temperatures, and it rarely exceeds 80 degrees in the summer.

Best Time to Visit Maine Without Crowds

Credit: mmdurango / Flickr

Visit Maine anytime from September through November to avoid crowds. This is the shoulder season in Maine which makes it much easier to get into restaurants, bars, and hotels. You won’t have to navigate massive crowds during the fall in Maine which allows you to enjoy local destinations.

The most crowded time in Maine is from May to August when the warm weather attracts crowds. Sure, you will miss the peak of the lobster season when you visit Maine in autumn, but it’s worth it. You will still be able to get lobster anytime between September and December though and it’s your last chance for whale-watching.

Best Places to Visit in Maine

Credit: ingimage

Portland is among the best places to visit in Maine as it is an iconic city. There are countless tourist destinations in the city between the Portland Head Light and Peaks Island. Portland is also home to Maine’s most unique Arts District, restaurants, and culture.

Acadia National Park is a must-stop destination whether you’re a tourist or a Maine local. There are countless ways to appreciate Acadia between the trails, plants, views, and wildlife. You can experience the views whether you hike the trails or drive the paths at Acadia National Park.

Bar Harbor and Camden round out the best places to visit in Maine and take in the culture. Camden provides beautiful harbor views and restaurants to get a true Maine experience. Maine is known for many iconic small towns, but Bar Harbor takes the cake as the best example of seaside hospitality.

What is the Tourist Season in Maine?

Credit: Brianna Soukop / The Portland Press Herald

The tourist season in Maine lasts from June to September when it sharply declines towards the end of the month. Summer to early fall is so popular in Maine because of the great weather and abundant seafood. Most of the appealing draws for tourism occur during this period, and travelers all get the same idea.

Temperatures stay between 52 and 78 degrees in June-September and it’s the perfect time to travel there. You will have a hard time avoiding crowds during this time, however. Whale-watching, festivals, and lobster are in high demand during the summer and early fall in Maine which draws thousands of tourists.

Maine gets up to 22 million tourists per year, and they’ve gotten as many as 37 million in 2018. The ski season in the winter is nearly as big of a tourism boom in Maine. December through February and June through September are peak tourism months.

Tobi Miles
Article updated:
March 28, 2024
A nomadic wordsmith savoring the world's flavors and penning stories that turn every journey into an epic.
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