In April, Maine’s coastal region can be visited without the trouble of high-season crowds. While you may face somewhat chillier temperatures and some closures, you can make the most of this springtime adventure with a bit of planning and our tips.
This article will be your essential guide to the ins and outs of Maine in April. It also includes so many great tips that will help make your visit even more memorable.
Is April a Good Time to Visit Maine?
April serves as the tail-end of the off-season, and while it has a few drawbacks, you can get the best of both winter and summer.
April is a good time to visit Maine, as it’s pleasant enough for seasonal spring activities along the coast but still cold enough for ski resorts to remain open. You’ll also have some destinations all to yourself, as most tourists don’t start arriving until the summertime.
However, there are disadvantages regarding outdoor activities like hiking, as it is often muddy. Furthermore, some restaurants, hotels, shops, and tour operators are still closed in April, particularly in the first half of the month.
Weather in April
April in coastal Maine offers daytime temperatures between 47°F (8°C) and 57°F (14°C) with sometimes pleasant weather but also crisp, windy, and rainy days. The temperatures are lower in the north. For example, Bar Harbor is usually about 5 degrees cooler than Ogunquit in southern Maine.
- Early April: 49°F
- Mid-April: 54°F
- Late April: 59°F
- Early April: 47°F
- Mid-April: 52°F
- Late April: 57°F
Bar Harbor (Acadia National Park):
- Early April: 45°F
- Mid-April 49°F
- Late April: 54°F
Early vs. Late April
April also sees a dramatic increase in temperature as the month goes on, so the weather depends on when you visit. The beginning of April temperature looks more like late winter, with highs in the 40s. Mid-April increases into the low 50s and late April into the high 50s.
Day vs. Night
Another important thing to remember about Maine weather in spring is that temperatures can vary drastically from day to night, sometimes by up to twenty degrees.
Morning temperatures start in the low 40s and rise to the mid-50s in the afternoon but can reach near-freezing levels after dark. At any time in April, it’s important to come prepared for a variety of temperatures, as you don’t want to get caught out in the cold.
Average temps during a day in mid-April in Portland
- 8 AM: 44°F
- 2 PM: 52°F
- 6 PM: 48°F
Early April can see the occasional snowstorm, but you’ll more likely see rain. There are usually about 8-10 days of precipitation throughout the month. The snowmelt, however, does cause a lot of muddy terrains, which is important to keep in mind if you’re planning outdoor activities.
A local about April in Maine: We often get our last snowfall in late March or early April in Maine. After that, everything begins to dry out, the frost slowly leaves the ground, and the conditions improve throughout the month. A small downside: The trees don’t leaf out in April; this happens later in May.
Tip: If you consider visiting Main during other months, you might find extremely helpful tips in our complete guide about the best time to visit Maine. If you consider going later in the early summer, check out our Maine in June tips.
Skiing in April
While April is the tail-end of the season, you can still enjoy Maine’s excellent ski resorts. Your best bet is to visit in early April before temperatures rise. This is also a great time to enjoy the festivals at Sunday River and Sugarloaf, which take place in early April.
Plan Ahead: Of course, it can depend on the quality of the season. If there has been a lot of snowfall throughout the winter, ski resorts can stay open even into May. If not, resorts have to rely on artificial snow, which can shorten the ski season. Resorts often publish up-to-date projections for the season, so visit their websites to help your planning.
What to Wear in April
When visiting coastal Maine in the off-season, it’s best to come prepared for anything. Most Mainers still consider early to mid-April as part of winter, so be sure to make room for some layers. Heavy coats are also advised if you plan to be out past sundown in the first half of the month, as it’s not uncommon for temperatures to dip back below freezing.
For daytime escapades, pack your usual fall attire (long pants, jackets, warm socks, etc.). Windbreakers are also very useful at any time of year, as the coast is known to be very windy.
Good to know: Du to the ocean breeze in April, the temperature along the coast often feels colder than it actually is. Layering is key!
Last but not least, check the weather forecast before you pack. It’s even possible you may catch the last snowstorm of the season in early April, so don’t put away your boots just yet.
Maine Guides and Hotels
We highly suggest getting the Moon Coastal Maine Guide. Tip: Buy the paperback version if possible. It’s one must-have guide we always carry with us on our trips in coastal Maine.
Tip: Check out the best hotel deals in Maine for April (save your preferred hotels), via booking.com:
How Busy is Coastal Maine in April
April is not busy in Maine as the summer crowds haven’t arrived yet. It can get more active on weekends, especially around Easter, in Portland and some larger coastal towns, but this won’t spoil your trip.
It just makes braving the April weather worth it, with almost non-existent jam-packed areas. For example, Acadia sees not even 10 percent of the visitors you’ll find in the peak months of July and August. Coastal towns see a similar trend, with fewer visitors before most seasonal businesses reopen.
What is Open or Closed in April
In April, you will find several restaurants and storefronts in the coastal towns which are still closed. However, many shops and businesses start opening up, especially towards the end of the month.
Good to know: Enough businesses welcome visitors in April, as they stay open year-round. Besides Portland, as the largest town, you’ll find restaurants and shops open throughout the year in the slightly larger towns, especially in
- Bar Harbor
Restaurants/Lobster Shacks: In those towns (see above), you will have no trouble finding wonderful and open restaurants for lunch and dining. Just keep in mind that the outside decks with beautiful views are still closed for the season. Additionally, the famous lobster shacks, which locals prefer, are still closed in April.
Hotels: Various seasonal hotels often open in April and at much lower rates than in the high season.
Boat Tours: The downside of visiting in April is that almost all boat tours do not start service until mid-May. While you may not get a cruise, you can still enjoy gorgeous coastal views from the harborfront.
Ferry Ride: While a sailing tour is not an option, you can always take a ferry boat ride in Portland in April, as they operate throughout the year:
As Maine’s largest city, Portland doesn’t have the same seasonal schedule as the state’s smaller towns. Most businesses and restaurants remain open year-round. It’s also a great time to get out and enjoy the city’s parks and outdoor attractions.
Tip: You’ll even find open lobster shacks in Portland during April.
Acadia and Bar Harbor
It’s best to visit Acadia in mid-to-late April, as the Park Loop Road re-opens to cars on April 15, as well as the Hulls Cove Visitor Center in Bar Harbor.
Campgrounds, picnic areas, and some facilities until May. Trails are open year-round, although April is mud season, so conditions are not always ideal.
Additionally, some carriage roads in Acadia National Park will be closed until mid-to-late April.
The most important opening dates for Acadia National Park (for details, check NPS Acadia Operating Hours):
- Acadia Hulls Cove Visitor Center (Bar Harbor): Opens Mid-April
- Park Loop Road & Paved Roads: Opens April 15
- Unpaved Roads: Opens May 15 (closed in April)
- Picnic Areas: Fabbri, Sewall, and Frazer Point are open in April (year-round); others open between mid-May and late May
- Campgrounds: Closed. Start to open in May
In Bar Harbor, many shops and restaurants start to open again in mid-April, so you’ll still get the Bar Harbor experience. Once again, however, some businesses, and in particular, boat tour companies, will not start operating until mid-May.
What to Do in April in Coastal Maine
While you may miss out on a few seasonal activities, like boat tours, there is still plenty to experience in Coastal Maine in April. Below you’ll see the best activities and destinations, from Portland to Bar Harbor, and everywhere in between.
Hiking | Muddy Trails
If you are looking to explore Acadia National Park and other regions along Maine’s coast via hiking, April is considered not to be the best month. The main reason is the muddy trails. However, there are still two great options for hikers:
- There are lots of granite ledges in Acadia, which make hiking enjoyable in April. If there is no ice coverage, the granite makes good footing.
- Visit late April, as it is significantly less muddy than early April in Acadia and other parts of coastal Maine. The hiking conditions improve throughout the month.
Park Loop Road, Acadia
An absolute must when visiting Acadia National Park is the Park Loop Road, which opens April 15. This 27-mile drive takes you to the park’s best attractions and viewpoints. Marvel at the crashing waves of Thunderhole, take a stroll around stunning Jordan Pond, and enjoy Acadia’s gorgeous scenery.
Portland Head Light, Portland
Located just outside the city is one of Maine’s most iconic lighthouses. Open year-round, a visit to the Portland Head Light is a rite of passage for any Maine vacation. With a beautiful Atlantic backdrop, the lighthouse makes a perfect photo-op to begin your journey.
Brewery Hopping, Portland
Besides lobster and ocean views, Portland is also well-known for its incredible craft beer scene. With 16 breweries to choose from, you’ll have no shortage of beers to try. Some of the most well-known breweries include the Shipyard Brewing Company and Allagash Brewing, both located in the city proper.
Maine Art Museum Trail
While many hiking trails might be a bit too muddy in April, you can try a different kind of trail. Featuring seven year-round museums, the trail is a great way to see Maine’s artistic side. For pieces from Renoir to Warhol, stop at the Portland Museum of Art and the Bowdoin College Museum of Art in Brunswick. Another can’t miss stop is the Abbe Museum in Bar Harbor, which features Native American art from the Wabanaki Confederacy.
Maine Birding Trail
One of the best places in the country for birdwatching, the Maine Birding Trail offers dozens of coastal spots and hundreds of species to view. Spring is the perfect time to visit, as Maine is on the path for hundreds of migratory birds. Keep an eye out for colorful little ones like the Baltimore Oriole, majestic creatures like the Bald Eagle, and almost everything in between.
Puffins: It would be remiss not to mention Maine’s most famous bird, the puffin. These adorable birds are only on view for a few months, and luckily they first show in late April. If you get the chance to go on a puffin cruise, don’t pass it up!
Camden is one of the best places to see the state’s Atlantic coast, and mid-April is when the town slowly starts to come alive. Lobster boats bring in the fresh catch-of-the-day, the fly fishing season begins, and whales migrate into the bay in mid-April. If you can only make one stop between Portland and Bar Harbor, Camden is the perfect spot.
Visit Boothbay Harbor
Perhaps Maine’s most beautiful town, Boothbay Harbor offers a great chance to see a real workaday harbor. With year-round fishing operations, the harbor is bustling even during the off-season. With more seasonal businesses, there may be fewer restaurants and shops open, but for the ambience of a real harbor town, Boothbay can’t be beat.
Camden | Featured April Coastal Town
- North of Portland
- 1:40 hour drive from Portland – Google Maps Route
- Camden – Google Maps Location
- Camden Hotel Deals – via booking.com
Camden can be visited year-round and is a great destination in April. You’ll find enough places for eating and lodging during this month.
Crowds: The best time to avoid the crowds in Camden and already enjoy somewhat pleasant weather is in April without long lines or fighting for parking spaces.
Views and Shops: You’ll find truly gorgeous scenic views of the bay in Camden Hills State Park’s overlooks and in Camden itself along the coastline regardless of the month.
If you’re looking for uniquely crafted items, visit the gift shops on the main street downtown. A must-visit is Camden Harbor Park, with a marvelous landscape design and a beautiful panoramic view of the harbor.
Special Tip: Visit Camden Library and take a stroll around it. It’s a gorgeous building with an awesome view of the harbor.
Restaurants: Waterfront vs. Petter Otts? The Waterfront Restaurant is the perfect place for eating delicious burgers and, of course, lobster rolls. Tip: Wait for a table outside and enjoy the fantastic view while eating.
However, for lobster and other seafood, we recommend ‘Peter Otts on the water.’ It’s the perfect seaside restaurant, and the lobster is fantastic (first, eat a burger at Waterfront and then lobster at Peter Otts). Both restaurants offer lovely views. Visit Megunticook River Falls as well.
So, even in April, you don’t have to miss out on delicious Maine lobster!
Rockland | Featured April Coastal Town
- North of Portland
- 1 hr 40 minutes drive from Portland – Google Maps Route
- Rockland Google Maps Location
- Rockland Accommodations (via booking.com, price match!)
Rockland is located alongside Penobscot Bay. The best time to visit is from late spring to fall. However, especially if you’re looking for open restaurants, you’ll find plenty of them even in early April.
Like other mid-coast towns, Rockland is not known for its beaches, as the shoreline along this section of Maine’s coast is very rocky. That means you won’t find those beautiful long beaches here like in towns of Southern Maine. However, the views are just stunning!
Foodie Haven: Rockland is recognized as the one mid-coast town with the most restaurants, including the famous Primo: ‘A farm, with a restaurant at the edge of it’.
Things to Do: Visit the art museum, photograph the Rockland Breakwater Lighthouse, take a schooner (‘Windjammer’) sailing trip, and more: TripAdvisor – Best Things to Do in Rockland – Maine
Local Tip: Do something uniquely different: Visit the island of Vinalhaven with the Maine State Ferry Service in Rockland.
Ogunquit | Featured April Coastal Town
- South of Portland
- 45 minutes drive from Portland – Google Maps Route
- Ogunquit Google Maps Location
- Ogunquit Accommodations (via booking.com, price match!)
- Norseman Resort on the Beach in Ogunquit (Top Tip) Fantastic! It’s the only hotel located directly on Ogunquit Beach.
The best time to visit Ogunquit for great weather and almost endless activities is from late spring to fall, but it’s also a charming April destination.
The main attraction of this coastal town is the gorgeous beach with fluffy white sand. It is known as the most beautiful beach in New England and worth visiting any time of the year. Every restaurant, hotel, and shop is open from late spring to fall, but it also gets crowded in peak season during the summer months.
Open in April/Year-Round: The following links provide you with restaurants and shops which are open year-round, even in the off-season between November and March/April in Ogunquit. For hotels, check the booking.com link above.
Marginal Way Tips: This famous paved path is a must-do. It offers gorgeous scenic ocean and cliff views. There are dozens of benches if you’d like to rest. Get there early (around 9 AM) in peak season to avoid the crowds and to find a parking spot. We prefer Perkins Cove (Google Maps). The parking lots at Marginal Way fill up quickly between spring and fall. However, even in the summer, you can enjoy almost solitude by starting the walk around even earlier at 8 AM. Alternatively, get there in the late afternoon, when many visitors already left.
Stay One Night: We highly suggest staying at least one night in Ogunquit (in a gorgeous beachfront hotel or a resort) to dodge the crowds and explore the stunning beach and coastal area in solitude in the morning. Otherwise, it’s easy to day-trip Ogunquit from Portland (45 minutes drive).