Visiting Maine in spring sounds like a genius plan — you’re past the winter doldrums, but you’re going to skip the insane summer crowds. It’s a beautiful time to explore a new part of the state, but where do you start? We hope this list of the best places to visit in Maine in the spring will help you decide.
Freeport is the home of everything L.L. Bean, and the campus is home to the flagship store (open 24 hours). You can plan an adventure with the best outdoor experts in the state through L.L. Bean Outdoor Discovery Programs.
The town is also home to the Freeport Village Station outlets. When it comes to events, Spring Studio Saturday showcases local artists and crafters, while outdoor lovers shouldn’t miss Feathers Over Freeport with guided bird-watching and nature events.
It’s hard to count the accolades of Portland — earning Top 10 Place to Live from U.S. News to one of the Best Cities for Foodies from Sperling’s Best Places.
All of that is stacked with the charm of Old Port’s seaside village, captivating water views on the Eastern Promenade, and boat tours of the Casco Bay Islands. Also, niche walking tours are available throughout the historic districts, and you can walk among the crowds at the Portland Observatory.
This is an inclusive and family-friendly community with a Spring Break vibe on Maine Street. With numerous businesses either staying open or reopening in spring, Ogunquit makes sure that every seasonal traveler has places to stay and restaurants for dining.
Outdoor lovers and anglers will be lured to Casco for the spring amenities of Sebago Lake State Park. Since “spring” can mean spring weather or winter weather, you have the option to do both at Sebago. You’ll also avoid the snarled traffic on Route 302 with a spring visit.
No question goes unanswered with hiking, fishing, camping, snowshoeing, and skiing readily available. Check out the Songo Lock and Veteran’s Fishing Pier.
Presque Isle is where the largest 3D model of the solar system begins, and the coincidence that it’s one of the cities in the path of totality for the 2024 solar eclipse isn’t lost on anyone. Spring is also maple season, and The Maple Moose is one of the top vendors in the state.
You have all of Aroostook County to explore, with places like Aroostook State Park and its spring ski trails and Aroostook Valley Country Club, which is an international golf course that’s half in the United States and half in Canada.
NOTE: Keep in mind that the April 2024 total solar eclipse will bring more Maine visitors than ever as it passes over the interior section of the state. Start planning to see it now because some cities are already selling out.
As Acadia National Park crowds keep growing (4 million in 2022), it’s worth considering a spring visit, including nearby Bar Harbor. You won’t even miss the delicate carriage roads that are closed when it’s too muddy because you’ll still see wildflowers spring to life and animals slip from their winter slumber.
The scenic loop around the Schoodic Peninsula is open year-round, and the park loop on Mt. Desert Island opens in mid-April. Don’t forget to pick up a Cool as a Moose shirt or Bark Harbor treats for your favorite pup.
Kittery might be the oldest town in Maine, but it has one of the newest downtown renovations in a small neighborhood known as the Foreside. Places like The Wallingford Dram and Rudders Public House helped turn around this part of the city.
Plus, you have Portsmouth New Hampshire (and tax-free shopping) as soon as you pass over the Piscataqua River.
This coastal Camelot is a four-season destination, and spring is one of the best seasons to visit Museum in the Streets. You can pair it with a trip on the Boothbay Harbor Sculpture Trail. The Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens opens in early May, showcasing 300 acres of coastal charm.
And, the great outdoors spans 30 miles of protected Boothbay Region Land Trust trails, including Damariscove Island Preserve.
Going inland doesn’t mean water views stop. Bangor is along the beautiful Penobscot River, offering plenty of parks, riverside trails, and dining with water views. Casino activities and amenities are found at the Hollywood Casino Bangor, and you could hit the natural jackpot at one of the Bangor Land Trust Preserves.
The state capital offers educational experiences and places to explore during spring. The legislature is in session, and tours of the Maine State House are available.
The Maine State Museum is another showstopper in this city of leaders, and the Fort Western Living History Museum opens in late May. The free Viles Arboretum thrives each season, and the Kennebec Land Trust offers plenty of trials and preserves to explore.
Cape Elizabeth is close to Portland but feels like a world away. The famously photographed Portland Head Light and Fort Williams Park draw big summer crowds, which you’ll avoid in spring. Visitors get a trifecta of state parks, too, with Two Lights, Kettle Cove, and Crescent Beach open year-round.
You can get stunning views and some of the freshest seafood at Lobster Shack Two Lights. And, hikers shouldn’t miss the chance to explore secluded options throughout the 9,000 acres of the Cape Land Trust.
Experience the magic of Millinocket, nicknamed the “Magic City” for how fast it grew in this remote region. The big draw is the Katahdin Wood and Waters National Monument, where nightlife takes a whole new meaning with some of the darkest skies this side of the Mississippi River.
Go chasing waterfalls at Walton Park in Falmouth and the popular (yet less congested in spring) Presumpscot Falls Park as melting snow turns the park into its own show.
Skip the summer bugs at the salt marsh, and explore the Gilsland Farm Audubon Center, which has a nature farm, store, and children’s discovery room.
Stop at the Town Landing to watch the boaters, or enjoy a Dockside Grill view. In addition, you can drive to Mackworth Island, which features 100 acres of wooded views and a stunning skyline of Portland Maine.
A Note About Mud Season
There are just three letters in your way of enjoying spring: M-U-D. Ask any Mainer, and they’ll tell you the season after winter is not spring: It’s mud season. Even the Maine Bureau of Parks & Lands has mud season safety advice.
In fact, spring in Maine might not be the spring you think of on the calendar. Even the National Weather Service has explained that springtime in Maine can start anywhere from mid-March to late May. For what it’s worth, Maine considers summer to be July 4 through Labor Day.
Fortunately, your itinerary is easily adjusted to find the best spring stops in Vacationland, and that includes Seaweed Week in Orono Maine for the culinarily curious and the timeless tradition of Maine Maple Sunday Weekend across the state. Let’s look at the cities in Maine that are more fun than mud come “springtime.”
Discover More About the Best Towns to Visit in Maine in Spring
Maine’s shoulder season weather has the beauty of winter and the excitement of summer without the crowds. You’ll have more time to explore and better availability for tickets and tours. Maine spring skiing is some of the best in the country too, being the longest possible season.
Exploring the best towns to visit in Maine in spring will make you want to come back for every season to see the transitions of Vacationland. You’ll even find more than a handful of things to do during spring break.