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Found in the New England region, Maine is one of the top tourist spots in the U.S. known for its scenic beauty, coastal lifestyle, and rich culture. It’s a fantastic place to go to any time of the year. But if it’s your first time visiting this beautiful state, you probably want to have an unforgettable experience. Before you even book your travel and accommodation, you need to know how to make the most of your visit. So, when is the best time to visit Maine?
Well, it’s not easy to answer that thousand-dollar question. There are so many things to explore and factors to consider. But to help you decide your maiden trip to this spectacular destination, here are some places to visit, things to do, and food to enjoy during key times of the year.
Summer (July To August)
If an unforgettable vacation for you means spending time outdoors, then the best time of year to visit Maine is during the summer months. Here are the reasons why:
- Ideal Weather
Summer is considered the peak season in Maine mainly because of the fantastic weather. During these months, you can enjoy almost everything the state has to offer because the weather is warm enough for you to bask in the sun, enjoy the beach, and swim in the lakes.
- Plenty Of Outdoor Recreational Activities To Enjoy
The summer months are also the best time to bring the whole family on vacation. Here, a family doesn’t only include children and seniors, but your beloved pets as well. On the list of the most pet-friendly states in the U.S., Maine is on top because several resorts, hotels, and other types of lodgings located in the state can accommodate your furry friends, too.
Blessed with lush woodlands, scenic mountains, vast coastlines, and fantastic bodies of water, Maine can offer you a myriad of activities that you can do with your family. These include:
Maine is great for two-wheeled vehicles. You can find different bike trails both for off-road adventures and idyllic travels along the long coastline.
- Hiking and Mountain Climbing
The state boasts thousands of acres of mountains and scenic routes wherever you plan to explore.
Whether you want to rough it out, drive an RV, or even just spend time with nature while still enjoying the luxuries of life, you’ll find campsites, state parks, and backcountry wilderness glamping areas perfect for the whole family.
Maine has about 3,500 shorelines, so you’ll indeed find your private beach paradise.
- Freshwater Adventure
If you love fishing or other water activities, Maine is a perfect place during summer because it has various inland bodies of water ideal for the best outdoor adventures. Aside from fishing, you can enjoy paddling at Penobscot River and Allagash Waterway or go canoeing and kayaking at the Katahdin Woods and Water Monuments.
- Lobster Season
Many food lovers visit Maine during summer because it’s the lobster season. It’s a great time to enjoy soft, sweet, and succulent soft-shelled lobster casually on the beach or in fancy hotels and high-end restaurants. You can also join lobster boat tours if you want to experience lobstering firsthand.
- Summer Fairs And Festivities
There are several fairs during the summer months. But if you’re staying in the city and are curious about the agricultural fair, you can visit the long-running Presque Isle’s Northern Maine Fair, celebrated in the first week of August.
Autumn (September To November)
To experience the best of Maine without the madding crowd, you could visit New England in the fall. The weather is reasonably good during September and October, so you can still enjoy many fun outdoor activities. Besides, the lobster season stretches up to October, so you can still get your hands on and enjoy the iconic Maine lobsters. Below are some things you can do and enjoy in Maine during the autumn season:
- Foliage Road Trips
You can have stunning drives on Maine’s beautiful byways to enjoy the state’s extraordinary fall color change. Visit lighthouses, national parks, and even museums along the way. Some of the famous byways to experience are:
- Visit historical sights and learn more about local culture and tradition along the St. John Valley Cultural Byway or the Fish River Scenic Byway.
- The Acadia All-American Road is a 40-mile road that leads you to the Bar Harbor town, Mt. Desert Island, and the best Acadia National Park areas.
To ensure that you’ll not miss out on Maine’s fabulous fall scene, you can visit the website of the State of Maine because they provide a foliage tracker.
- Exciting Alternative Food Experience
Aside from the iconic lobster, Maine is also known for its vast apple orchards. You can experience apple picking activities during the fall season if you visit the Kennebec Valley. Some apple varieties you can sample include the Northern Spy, Red, McIntosh, and Golden Delicious.
You can also enjoy the state’s famous bivalve by visiting the Maine Oyster Trail, which has been newly improved. You can spend time on farms and enjoy an oyster feast in raw bars that pepper the trail.
- Experience Art And Culture
Without a doubt, Maine can be considered one of the best spots in the U.S. when it comes to landscapes. But if you visit this tourist destination during the off-peak season, you can also drop by museums or art and craft stores in case the weather doesn’t allow you to enjoy the beach and the hiking trails.
If you’re curious about Maine’s Native Wabanaki people, visit the Abbe Museum in Bar Harbor or Acadia National Park. Suppose you find yourself vacationing during the first weekend of the month. In that case, you can drop by the First Friday Artwalk in downtown Portland.
- Autumn Fairs And Festivities
If you love cotton candy, baby animals, kettle corn, and traditional games and rides, you’ll surely want to get a glimpse of New England’s autumn fairs and festivities in Maine. If you’re going to experience a traditional fair on the coast, then the Blue Hill Fair celebrated over Labor Day Weekend is ideal for you.
The Bottom Line
Undoubtedly, the summer months are the best time of the year to visit Maine because the weather allows you to enjoy all that the destination can offer. But if you want a more laid-back vacation with less crowd, then visit Maine in the fall. During the autumn months, you can feast your eyes on Maine’s spectacular fall foliage and, if you’re lucky, you may still enjoy good weather for outdoor recreational activities and water fun trips.