Maine is absolutely gorgeous during Christmastime with snowcapped trees, coastal winter sunsets, numerous Christmas tree farms, and cozy, idyllic towns — quite a few of which are perfect to get you in the holiday spirit!
We’ve put together a list of the best, most festive Christmas towns in Maine for you and your family to enjoy this Christmas season. Happy holidays!
Freeport is one of the top Christmas towns in Maine. It’s well known across the state for its annual Sparkle Celebration.
This holiday festival starts with the Celebration Parade of Lights on Main Street and is followed by various family-friendly events, including the lighting of the talking (yes, talking!) community Christmas tree by Santa Claus, the Frosty Frolic, giveaways, decorating contests, and seasonal sales.
Freeport Maine is also home to the L.L. Bean flagship store. It hosts the Northern Lights winter festival, which includes a life-size snow globe, free ice skating at Discovery Park, the Twinkle Light Tunnel, and so much more!
There’s a reason why Freeport was named one of “The Most Charming Small Towns to Visit During the Christmas Season” by MarthaStewart.com.
Boothbay Harbor Maine
This quaint and cozy historic harbor town will stir up warm feelings of Christmas nostalgia — not only does the town already feel like a Hallmark Christmas movie, but it also goes all out for the holidays!
In December, the harbor and town are decorated with thousands of dazzling lights during the Boothbay Festival of Lights. This holiday festival includes the Gingerbread Spectacular contest and local favorite Gardens Aglow, for which the Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens twinkle with more than 750,000 holiday lights.
The Boothbay Railway Village Museum also hosts the North Pole Express, which features scenic train rides in a 1904 caboose or a cozy passenger car. Get ready to meet Santa at the North Pole in Boothbay Harbor Maine!
Portland is not only the state’s largest city but also one of the best Christmas towns in Maine. There are so many events to celebrate the holiday season, including:
- Sledding the Eastern Promenade, which has stunning views of Portland Harbor and Casco Bay
- The sparkling Portland Harbor Christmas Boat Parade of Lights
- The SantaCon bar crawl, where hundreds of Santas and other festively costumed adults have a night out at various stops
- Playing pond hockey at Deering Oaks Park
- Christmas shopping events, like Downtown’s late-night shopping spree with libations, Merry Madness, and the Annual Holiday Arts and Crafts Show
- The Nutcracker! Magical Christmas Ballet, featuring exquisite costumes, fantastical puppets, and stars from the Ukraine ballet
- Christmas at Victoria Mansion, in which the Italian villa-style mansion is decorated with Victorian-inspired, classic holiday decorations
This annual holiday festival includes Santa’s arrival by lobster boat and other festivities — a Hat Parade and Pooch Parade, two different Christmas tree lightings (one tree is decorated in lobster traps!), Candlelight Caroling, fireworks, stories with Santa, and more!
Other seasonal festivities include lobster bakes, wine tastings, and seashore holiday trolley rides. Plus, many of the town’s charming inns and bed-and-breakfasts offer lodging specials around this time.
The event features street caroling and caroling from trolleys, a tree-lighting ceremony, holiday concerts, Christmas window decorating contests, letters to Santa, and late-night shopping with live music.
You can also enjoy ice skating at Goddard’s Pond, where there’s an on-site concession stand and cozy warming hut!
Camden’s annual Christmas By The Sea celebration, which is now also held in the nearby towns of Lincolnville and Rockport, is a lovely holiday festival. It also features the classic Maine tradition of Santa coming ashore by lobster boat and other holiday activities like a community bonfire, holiday sales and dining specials, a Christmas parade, and a tree-lighting ceremony.
The yearly lighting of Sohier Park’s beloved Nubble Lighthouse is an important community event that marks the beginning of the holiday season. It takes place each year during the final weekend of November. Enjoy cookies and hot cocoa, visits with Santa, and holiday music during the celebration.
York also hosts quite a few other holiday events, making it one of the best Christmas towns in Maine. The picturesque town holds a Winter Community Concert and a Festival of Lights, the latter of which includes breakfast with none other than Santa himself, a festive parade, ornament painting, and rides on the Polar Express!
Kringleville, aka Waterville, is one of the top Christmas towns in Maine. It has been a local tradition each year since 1969 for downtown Waterville to transform into a hub for all things Christmas, with the whole town adorning twinkling holiday lights. Kringleville officially runs from Thanksgiving to Christmas.
You can bring your little one to visit Santa Claus and take plenty of memorable family photos — not just with Santa but also with some of the creative holiday decorations, including a miniature gingerbread house, a mini ice skating rink, and little arctic animals.
If you’re up for some outdoor winter fun, head to the Quarry Road Trails for snowshoeing, Nordic skiing, skiing, and more.
The charming town of Wells hosts an annual Christmas Parade, with 2022 being the 37th year! The parade has featured unique groups and performers like costumed mascots, unicyclists, Mr. and Mrs. Claus, elves, marching bands, horse-drawn carriages, and more!
The town itself is lovely during the winter, with holiday lights and beautiful scenery. Bundle up and enjoy walking along snow-covered beaches with scenic views of the ocean. Vacation in Wells to revel in the Christmas spirit, and see why it’s one of our favorite Christmas towns in Maine!
Downtown Belfast is home to both a yearly Holiday Tree Lighting and Menorah Lighting ceremony, the latter of which is held at sundown on the first evening of Hanukkah and includes music and community readings. The Holiday Tree Lighting is held the same day as the Early Bird Sale, so you can enjoy great deals on holiday shopping.
You can also help spread Christmas cheer by sponsoring a holiday wreath. Belfast Maine is decorated each year with more than 60 evergreen wreaths, adorned with sparkling lights and velvet bows that create a festive ambiance for all to enjoy.
Newry is a resort town home to Sunday River, a fantastic destination for skiing, snowboarding, Nordic skiing, snowshoeing, and more.
In celebration of the beginning of the Christmas season, it hosts the annual Santa Sunday event with hundreds of fully costumed Santas hitting the slopes. If you’re not up to skiing or boarding, you can still watch the event at South Ridge!
Toward the end of December, the resort also holds Winterfest Weekend, which includes twilight skiing, a torchlight parade, and meetings with Santa. While you’re in town, enjoy the idyllic winter scenery surrounding one of the most known, picturesque bridges in Maine — the historic Sunday River Covered Bridge.
Bangor is known for its annual holiday festivities, such as the Santa Scavenger Hunt downtown, holiday arts and crafts like the Bangor Mall Holiday Craft Fair, visits with Mr. and Mrs. Claus at Santa’s Workshop, holiday cookie decorating, the Festival of Lights Parade, the City Tree Lighting, Windswept Gardens annual Winter Market, and more!
If you’re a theatre fan, head to The Gracie Theatre for seasonal productions like the comedic “3 Redneck Tenors Christmas Spec-Tac-Yule-Ar” and live musical performances during “Christmas Chronicles with Cellophane Flowers.”
FAQs About Christmas Towns in Maine
What Christmas towns in Maine are on the coast?
Many of the most festive Christmas towns in Maine are nestled by the seaside. Portland, Kennebunkport, Camden, Freeport, and Belfast are coastal towns to name a few.
Which city in Maine has the most Christmas cheer?
We can’t say that just one Maine town has the most Christmas cheer because so many charming towns in Maine go all out with Christmas celebrations and decorations!
Portland is Maine’s largest city, so although all Christmas towns in Maine are extremely festive, you may be able to find the most diverse and most numerous selection of holiday things to do there.
Celebrate the Season in the Best Christmas Towns in Maine
Enjoy exploring these charming Christmas towns in Maine as you celebrate the holiday season this year. The beautiful scenery of these towns and their festive seasonal cheer will not disappoint.
Discover more ways to celebrate the holiday season in Maine too — exploring Maine in winter, top Maine winter vacation destinations, Maine beach getaways in winter, and winter nature walks in Southern Maine.