Sebago Lake in fall
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Guide to Experiencing Fall in Maine | Fall Colors, Places, and Tips

Fall foliage in New England is spectacular. People come from all over the world to see the leaves change, and Maine has arguably the best foliage with bright orange, yellow and red leaves on maples, oak, elm and birch, in dramatic contrast against the blue waters of the Atlantic Ocean and the many fresh water lakes and rivers.

The best time to see fall foliage in Maine is late September until the week after Columbus Day Weekend. Traditionally, Columbus Day Weekend is Peak Fall Foliage. September and October the Maine weather is usually perfect for touring the coast or heading into the Maine lakes region and the mountains to see the spectacular birches, oaks, maples and other deciduous trees whose leaves turn gorgeous fall colors.

Maine’s fall foliage season is also a peak time to stay in Maine particularly on fall weekends. Fall foliage tours bring visitors to see the spectrum of colors, and Maine is host to many fall festivals. So you are well advised to book your lodging in Maine for a fall getaway in advance. You may also want to consider touring the coast with stops at several coastal towns, staying at a different bed and breakfast or Inn each night, then head inland Maine to see more beautiful foliage in the Mountains and Lakes Region. Like the rest of Maine, the autumn foliage is worth beholding in the Moosehead/Highlands RegionGolfing and kayaking are two fantastic fall activities as your surroundings lend themselves well to vibrant pastels of fall foliage against the deep blue of the sea.

Fall is harvest time and Farmers Market throughout Maine offer vegetables at the peak of freshness. You’re sure to find that perfect pumpkin for carving before Halloween. Maine’s cuisine, with delicious fresh farm vegetables, fruit and seafood, is the perfect accompaniment to a fall foliage trip. What could possible taste better than clam chowder or a fresh steamed lobster and blueberry pie after a fall hike in Maine?

Fall is a good time to visit some of Maine’s Haunted or Spirited Inns and Lighthouses

Fall Events in Maine

Guide to the Best Fall Foliage in Maine

Maine is world famous for its fall foliage. The brilliant display of colored leaves from bright red maples to orange oaks and golden birch, is generally peak late September to mid October with Columbus Day Weekend being prime (and a holiday weekend – hint hint).

But the kaleidoscope of colors starts in September and continues through the month of October. Visiting anytime in fall, you will surely fall for autumn in Maine – Vacationland!

There are certain must see’s in Maine during fall foliage season, see our list of activities and attractions for your Maine fall trip and enjoy your autumn activities in the Pine Tree State.

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1. Bring your camera, you will want to capture the colors of Maine’s foliage, for facebook and instagram posts, or for your friends back home… or to frame! 2.  Discover the simple pleasure of a bike ride down an old dirt road with the crisp autumn leaves crunching under your bicycle tires.

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3. Get out on the water, with a Maine charter boat, sail boat cruise or lobster boat tour, to see the contrast of the brilliant blue water with the autumn leaves.

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4. Keep off the grass, but enjoy a nature walk, Maine is resplendent with state parks, reserve and conservation trust land that is open to the public for the perfect fall foliage walk.  Remember, take only pictures, leave only your footprints! 

5. Enjoy the last Maine Lobster of the season…  see our favorite Maine waterfront restaurants for seafood, clams, or a fresh Maine lobster!

6. Paddle a canoe or kayak on a calm cool Maine river…

7. Shop for Maine made products and crafts at the many Maine fairs and festivals in fall

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8. Reserve a room at a romantic bed and breakfast or waterfront inn in Maine… fall is for falling in love in Maine!  You will love the scenery and serene B&Bs in Kennebunkport, Ogunquit, Camden and Boothbay Harbor for starts…

9. Pick the perfect Maine apples, pumpkin, and mums, to bring home as a reminder of your time in Maine! 10. Just enjoy the subtle serene surroundings of fall in Maine, you’ll be glad you came.  See our Maine lodging guide for where to stay, play and explore in Maine!

More Fall in Maine Activities and Events & Festivals

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What’s the most beautiful time of year in Maine? We love Fall on the southern Maine coast and in the Lakes & Mountains. You can still walk the beaches along the southern Maine Coast, kayak, bike and hike, golf, and explore. The summer beach crowds have diminished and the temperatures are ideal. Fall brings cool crisp evenings, while you still have warm sunny summer-like days. The temperatures in Maine in fall are splendid, 70-s by day and 50’s at night – perfect for sitting by a fireplace and sleeping under a down duvet at a cozy bed and breakfast.

Autumn gourd and pumpkin display in Maine
Fall in Maine

Fall in Maine brings a bounty of festival and events – and of course a harvest of delicious fresh Maine foods. Apple picking is a Maine tradition not to be missed. Farmer’s markets are abundant with squash, kale, pumpkins, and corn stalks for your Halloween decor.

Red maple leaves in Maine

Maine fairs are among the best in the world with the big daddy being The Fryeburg Fair now in its 167th year. This agricultural, carnival, farm, food, craft and music festival is early October, peak foliage. Don’t miss the hilarious Pig Scramble, Harness Racing, Tractor Pulls and and the Skillet Throw.

Columbus Day Weekend is typically the height of fall foliage colors in Maine. Its also the Fall Festival at Sunday River, a great time to peep leaves as you ride the Chairlift. This weekend at Sunday River also marks the 19th annual Wife Carrying Championships. See couples compete, as husbands carry their wives over obstacles, under logs, through the mud, to win their wife’s weight in beer! Yup, its down and dirty and a sure road to divorce or a full fridge or Budweiser. Sunday of Columbus Weekend is Sunday River’s 5th Annual New England Corn Hole Championship and a Blue Mountain Craft Fair plus Chondola Rides.

Acadia’s  Invitational Oktoberfest includes an  annual Wine tasting Festival and a Brewfest, part of a 10 day celebration in Southwest Harbor – the quiet side of Acadia National Park.

Boothbay Harbor celebrates its Fall Foliage Festival October 7-8. That same Columbus Weekend Sugarloaf hosts its Homecoming Weekend when skiers can get their season pass, see their ski buddies, buy ski gear at the CVA Used Ski Equipment Sale and compete in the Infamous Uphill Climb race, then enjoy the Maine Outdoor Film Festival.

October 14 in York is Harvestfest at York Beach with games, crafts, music and prime foliage near Nubble Light.

 Ogunquitfest is October 21-22 with the funny high heel race, pumpkin decorating, craft shows, wagon rides, culinary and wine tastings, and a classic car display.

Hay Roll Cat

Camp Sunshine’s Maine Pumpkin Festival is October 21, a tradition that started in Maine in 2003, takes place at LL Bean in Freeport with over 10,000 jack o lanterns illuminated for this important Maine charity provides sick children and their families a respite and vacation in Maine at Point Sebago Resort.

Portland’s best food and wine fest is Harvest on the Harbor October 17-22 where Maine’s best chefs compete for the top title and Maine wineries and breweries tap their best vintages for foodies at avenue overlooking Portland Harbor.

Fresh lobster dinner served with steamers

Of course shopping in Maine’s Freeport, Portland and Kennebunkport are great fall pastimes as you prepare for the upcoming holidays. Fall brings post-summer sales to Kittery Outlets and The Boothbay Harbor boutiques. What could be better than poking around the shops then lunching on Maine clam chowder or a Lobster Roll.

So plan your fall visit to Maine, and you are sure to fall in love with Vacationland and the beautiful foliage that blesses this beautiful state each season.

Three Dories and a scarecrow in Kennebunkport, ME

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