There’s a reason Maine is called Vacationland… there is so much to “sea” and do in the northeasternmost state. It’s also nicknamed “the way life should be.”
So a Maine vacation is a must, and Maine’s best weather is in summer. The only remaining question is, what to pack for summer vacation in Maine?
Here is our guide to packing for a Maine summer vacation:
1. Pack layers.
They say in Maine “if you don’t like the weather in Maine, wait a minute.” Summer in Maine, temps can vary from 40’s at night to high 80’s in the day – see our weather and tides page. Sun, rain and fog can brighten and dampen your spirits, often all in one day. Especially on the Maine coast, fog banks can roll in bringing cool raw air (we call that “chowdah weatha”), but the sun can beam in making for a perfect beach day. The only question is “whether” you are prepared? Dress in layers, have a waterproof shell, and a fleece.
2. Comfy shoes are key…
…as you visit rugged lighthouses, walk the cobblestone streets of the Old Port in Portland, and walk beaches that range from sandy stretches like Old Orchard Beach and Ogunquit to rocky beaches of Colony Beach in Kennebunkport and the midcoast.
3. Bring sunscreen.
Just because Maine is far north, 43 degrees latitude, doesn’t mean the UV index doesn’t come after you. You don’t want to look like a cooked Maine lobster on vacation.
Particularly on the water, the refraction from the sun’s rays is intense – but you might not sense it with the cool sea breeze on your face. Cover up or you could get burned to a crisp.
4. “Sweatah weathah”…
…is a Maine expression for the cool summer evenings when the sun sets and the air cools. You’ll want to be reaching for a “sweatah”, a shall y’all, or even bettah – a fleece from the aforementioned LL Beanah.
See our guide to Maine expression and slang so you can sound “local.”
5. Outfits don’t need to be matchy-matchy like in The City.
Maine has its own sense of style, or lack thereof. If you look to fancy, that might freak the local folks out. Prepare yourself for the Maine culture with these fun Maine facts instead.
6. Or buy a tacky t-shirt to flaunt that you “ain’t from around here”.
A Bah Harbah t-shirt or a “Vacation like a President” Bush #41 or #43 from Kennebunkport are perfect identifiers that you’re “From Away.” This way locals will know they should treat you “special.” Now you can pay extra for that lobster roll or private fishing chartah.
…you may not have the courage to stick your toe in the Atlantic, never mind actually “swim” in the ocean – but bring a swimsuit along anyways. You may encounter a nice ocean-view hot tub like the one overlooking Kennebunk Beach at the Seaside Inn or the Cliff House Resort and Spa in Ogunquit perched over picturesque Bald Head Cliff.
If you didn’t pack properly, no worries – just make a trip to the Beaner… LL Bean is open 24/7/365 and sells everything you could possibly need for hunting, fishing, boating, the beach, biking, kayaking or just looking casual and crisp in the Signature wear Maine style.
LL Bean is in Freeport, a century-old staple, along with other factory outlet stores. In Kittery you have the Kittery Trading Post loaded with similar outdoor wear.
9. Backpacks and duffle luggage are better than rollie suitcases.
You look like a city slicker rolling in with your black carry-on bag with wheels, bumping along the salty old streets of Portland or Boothbay.
10. A Camera, iPhone – whatever.
Take lots of Maine selfies to make your friends at home jealous. Maine has so many gorgeously scenic settings, hundreds of beaches, seventy lighthouses, over 3,000 miles of coastline, beautiful lakes, rivers, and mountains.