Maine in the Summer

The summer in Maine offers a respite from scorching temperatures elsewhere while immersing you in stunning natural beauty. From the breathtaking views at Acadia National Park to the charming coastal towns, there’s something for everyone.

The serenity coupled with the vibrancy of local cultures makes coastal Maine a summer destination like no other.

As a seasoned visitor, with numerous summer trips to Maine under my belt, I’ve experienced firsthand the enchantment of this state in the summer months.

Remember to follow our tips below and pack right for the variable weather. Now, you’re in for an unforgettable experience.

Maine Guides and Best Hotels in the Summer

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 to coastal Maine.

Tip: Check out the best hotel deals in Maine (save your preferred hotels), via booking.com:

Summer Tour Tips

Check out at least one of the three activities (see above), that are available. We have done them all and loved the sailing excursions. Unforgettable!

Weather Overview

Summers in coastal Maine are characterized by a pleasant weather spectrum with average high temperatures ranging from 63°F to 79°F (17°C-26°C) across June, July, and August.

As the summer progresses, the temperatures tend to rise, peaking in July before slightly tapering off in late August. Rainfall is typically moderate, with an average of 3 inches in July, the driest month, and scattered rainy days throughout June and August.

Month-by-Month Comparison

June is a transition into the Maine summer. Starting with mild temperatures in the 60s, the month sees a gradual warming trend, particularly in southern Maine. Rainfall is relatively frequent with 8-10 days of rain throughout the month. While water temperatures ranging from 50°F to 56°F might not be inviting for extended ocean swims, the relatively cool ocean breeze makes June an ideal time for seaside hikes and exploration.

July marks the peak of Maine’s summer with temperatures often hitting 79°F, particularly in Ogunquit. This is the driest month, with a mere 3 inches of rainfall. The ocean starts to warm up as well, hitting between 63°F and 68°F, making it feasible for short, refreshing dips. For longer swims, freshwater lakes like Echo Lake in Acadia National Park offer warmer options.

August continues the warm trend, albeit with a slight dip in temperatures as the month progresses. Rainfall is minimal with just a few rainy days scattered throughout the month. Late August is the best time for ocean swims as the water hits its warmest temperatures, ranging from 62°F to 68°F.

💡 Find more details for each month below in our tips for June, July, and August!

What to Wear and Pack

In June, a mix of t-shirts, shorts for the warmer afternoons, along with a jacket, sweater, and long pants for cooler mornings and evenings is advisable. It’s wise to pack a windbreaker too, as the oceanfront winds can be strong on the coast.

As the temperature rises in July, relaxed, comfortable clothing is key. Shorts, t-shirts, and long-sleeved shirts will serve you well during the day, while a few extra layers will keep you comfortable as the sun goes down. Don’t forget your wetsuit or bathing suit for those inviting water temperatures!

For August, similar to July, your suitcase should contain t-shirts, shorts, jeans, and summer tops. Despite the daytime heat, mornings and evenings can still be cool, making a fleece or light sweater a smart addition to your packing list.

Crowds and Busy Times

Summer is the peak season in Maine, attracting tourists who appreciate the exquisite beauty of its coastline. Popular towns such as Portland, Bar Harbor, and Ogunquit typically witness an influx of visitors during this period. While the increased population can make these locations busier, it also brings an unparalleled vibrancy that characterizes the Maine summer.

Portland, the most populous city in Maine, teems with activity during the summer. Its cultural scene blossoms, with various events and outdoor festivals taking place. Bar Harbor, another tourist hotspot, sees a surge in the number of visitors, especially those drawn to the mesmerizing beauty of the adjacent Acadia National Park.

Despite the bustle, avoiding crowds in coastal Maine is manageable. Smaller, less known towns offer serene, beautiful landscapes without the hustle and bustle. Consider visiting towns such as Rockland and Wells, which, while less busy, still provide a quintessential Maine experience.

5 Things to Do in the Summer

Hiking

If you are looking to explore Acadia National Park and other regions along Maine’s coast via hiking, summer is an ideal time.

Take advantage of the miles of hiking paths in Boothbay Harbor and other coastal areas. Hiking in this beautiful area is exciting. The natural beauty of here continuously reveals new discoveries.

For an enhanced experience, consider embarking on a guided hike. Local guides can provide insights into the region’s unique flora and fauna, and historical context, and share hidden gems along the paths. Remember to bring enough water, and perhaps a picnic lunch, to enjoy amidst the stunning landscape.

Park Loop Road, Acadia

An absolute must when visiting Acadia National Park is the Park Loop Road, which is open in the summer.  This 27-mile drive takes you to the park’s best attractions and outlooks. Marvel at the crashing waves of Thunderhole, take a stroll around stunning Jordan Pond, and enjoy the scenery.

Consider renting a bicycle for a more immersive experience. There are numerous bike rental services in the area, and cycling can be a wonderful way to enjoy the park’s scenic roads and trails. Don’t forget to plan for regular stops at the many overlooks to take in the breathtaking views and capture some memorable photos.

Portland Head Light, Portland

Located just outside the city is one of Maine’s most iconic lighthouses. Accessible in the summer (it’s usually 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.

If you can, aim to visit Portland Head Light at sunrise or sunset for awe-inspiring views. Also, nearby is the charming Fort Williams Park, where you can explore the historic fort, picnic amidst stunning vistas, and enjoy a casual stroll along the rocky shoreline.

Brewery Hopping, Portland

Besides lobster and ocean views, Portland in Maine 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.

Make sure to research ahead of time and perhaps reserve a spot on a brewery tour. These tours often include tastings, and you’ll learn a lot about the brewing process. Additionally, many breweries also offer local food pairings that perfectly complement their beer selection.

Whale Watching

The whale watching season in Maine runs from mid-spring to late October. Each summer month is a great time to see these amazing creatures. You may spot Northern Humpback Whales, Minke Whales, and Northern Fin Whales. Maybe even a North Atlantic Right Whale, an endangered species with a very low population.

Invest in a pair of binoculars for the best whale watching experience. It can be thrilling to spot these majestic creatures up close.

Which Businesses Are Open in the Summer?

Plenty of family-owned, small businesses in Maine come to life during the summer months. Some establishments may operate unusual Independence Day hours, but most businesses, including liquor stores and supermarkets, are open throughout the summer.

Lobster Shacks and Restaurants

Some lobster shacks are open seasonally, and others serve customers all year. Peak lobster season is between June and December, so you’ll have plenty of choices if you travel to Maine in the summer.

Please find below our lobster shack tips and their opening times (subject to change):

  • Lobster Shack at Two Lights: Cape Elizabeth, Maine.
    Hours: Open 7 days a week from 11 am to 8 pm
    Season: from April 1st to late October
  • The Lobster Shack: Ogunquit, Perkins Cove, Maine
    Hours: Open 7 days a week from 10 am to 8 pm
    Season: from early April to late October.
  • The Clam Shack: Kennebunkport, Maine.
    Hours: Open 7 days a week from 11 am to 8 pm
    Season: from May 1st to October 31st.
  • Parson’s Lobster: Bar Harbor, Maine.
    Hours: Open 7 days a week from 11 am to 8 pm
    Season: from May 1st to October 31st.

Tip: From the famous Maine lobster rolls to classic boiled lobster, there is no better way to experience this delicious seafood than directly from a lobster shack.

Sailing Excursions

Almost every sailing excursions are operational in the summer month, so you can embark on a breathtaking sailing excursion along the rugged coastline of Maine.

Don’t miss this opportunity! We highly recommend the Portland Schooner Tall Ship Cruise on Casco Bay (check availability) Their crew is awesome! You will have the time of your life!

It’s such a great experience to be where the Atlantic Ocean’s waves meet a symphony of towering lighthouses and lush, untouched islands. With each gust of wind, you’ll be immersed in the rich maritime history and diverse wildlife of this picturesque region, all while savoring the taste of the salty sea air.

💡 Now, find weather details and clothing advice for each summer month below:

 June Weather

The weather in June is mild with some possible fog

While Coastal Maine certainly warms up during this month, the temperatures are still relatively cool compared to the rest of the country.

The weather in coastal Maine is mainly pleasant now, especially in the second half of the month. The average high temperatures range from 63°F (17°C) to 69°F (20°C). There are only 8-10 days of rainfall on average throughout the month.

Good to know: Always keep in mind that the temperatures are lower if you go up the coast, with Bar Harbor being about 5º F cooler than Ogunquit.

If you like more tips and weather details about other months in Maine, read our full guide: The Best Time to Visit Maine [Weather, Crowds, Towns].

Early vs. Late June | Coastal Town Temperatures

Ogunquit

  • Early June: 69°F (20°C)
  • Mid-June: 72°F (22°C)
  • Late June: 77°F (25°C)

Portland:

  • Early June: 67°F (20°C)
  • Mid-June: 71°F (21°C)
  • Late June: 75°F (24°C)

Bar Harbor (Acadia National Park):

  • Early June: 63°F (17°C)
  • Mid-June: 66°F (19°C)
  • Late June: 71°F (21°C)

As days get increasingly more sunlight, the temperature rises rather quickly throughout the month. In southern Maine, temperatures go from the high 60s early in the month, all the way to high 70s at the end of the month.

It’s summer weather in June and can be warm and pleasant until the sea breeze will undoubtedly kick it. The ocean breeze draws the cool air off the water and brings it to the island. It will get down into the 40s during some nights earlier in the month.

June Day to Night Temperatures
Milky Way viewing in Maine

Typical June daily temperature progression in Rockland (Maine):

  • Early Morning (7 AM): 59°F
  • Afternoon (2 PM): 70°F
  • Night (11:30 PM): 59°F

Especially as you go further north, you should know that night and early morning temperatures are much cooler than during the daytime. Acadia and Bar Harbor might feel more like fall than summer in June, with morning and evening temperatures dipping well into the 50s.

Water Temperature

The water in Maine is too cold for most people. The ocean temperature ranges from 50°F (Bar Harbor) to 56°F (Portland) throughout the month.

What to Wear in June

Even though it’s technically summertime, you’ll still want to bring a lot of layers in June.

During this month you wear T-shirts and shorts on the warmer afternoons. Pack a jacket or a sweater and long pants for early June and the cooler mornings and evenings. Windbreakers are a must, as oceanfront winds can be very strong on the coast.

💡 Visitor Tip: ‘ Every time we visit in June, I wish I had brought another sweater for the evening or a long-sleeve shirt for an early hike. Don’t underestimate how chilly it can get in June during the night.’

Mornings/Evenings: Be prepared for the cooler temperatures in the morning and evening. It’s best to wear pants and a slightly heavier jacket if you are out early or late. At least bring a sweatshirt or fleece for early mornings and when being on the water if you plan to do any boat trips.

Packing for Hiking

June is a perfect time to hike, especially in Acadia National Park, so bring a few trail essentials. Hiking boots, or at least sturdy shoes, are a must. Trails can be uneven, and boots will keep you from slipping.

Bring a jacket for layering, as well. While parts of the trail will get a bit warm, the shadier areas can still be rather chilly. For hiking, it’s always best to be overprepared.

Is Everything Open in June?

McLoons Lobster Shack in Sprucehead Island – Google Maps Location 

In June, all restaurants, shops, and seasonal hotels in the coastal towns of Maine are open.

Restaurants/Lobster Shacks: Everything is open, so you have a wide range of restaurants and lobster shacks to choose from. Additionally, outside decks with beautiful ocean views will be available.

Hotels: Even the seasonal hotels often closed until April (sometimes May) are open now.

Boat Tours: In June, you definitely should get on the water for some time! There are multiple tours to choose from with a variety of vessels. We highly recommend trying a sailing tour. Check the coastal town tips below for suggestions.

 

Black Flies and Mosquitoes

By the third week of June, blackflies are usually gone. The temperature and rainfalls in the previous weeks in spring determine the severity and duration. However, black flies are typically not an issue along the coast.

Mosquitoes are most active about an hour after sun-up when things warm up and about an hour before sun-down. Additionally, Mosquitoes are more of a problem in lakes and rivers. They aren’t as bothersome along the coast.

July Weather

The temperatures in this month are the hottest you’ll experience when visiting Maine. We love taking a stroll on the beach or hopping on a boat for a day trip in July. Bar Harbor is one of our favorite places to sip iced coffee and watch the lobster boats.

Average high temperatures during this month range from 71°F to 79°F (22°C-26°C). Summer evenings are cooler, so visitors can relax without rushing for a blanket or thick coat when the sun goes down. Most days in July are dry. The average rainfall is about 3 inches.

Pack plenty of sunscreen and stay hydrated to maximize your stay.

Early vs. Late July Coastal Town Temperatures

Average High Temperatures in Ogunquit

  • Early July: 77°F (25°C)
  • Mid-July: 79°F (26°C)
  • Late July: 79°F (26°C)

Average High Temperatures in Portland

  • Early July: 76°F (24°C)
  • Mid-July: 77°F (25°C)
  • Late July: 78°F (26°C)

Average High Temperatures in Bar Harbor (Acadia National Park)

  • Early July: 71°F (22°C)
  • Mid-July: 72°F (22°C)
  • Late July: 73°F (23°C)
Day to Night Temperatures

Typical June daily temperature progression in Rockland (Maine):

  • Early Morning (7 AM): 63°F (17°C)
  • Afternoon (2 PM): 73°F (22°C)
  • Night (11:30 PM): 63°F (17°C)

Especially as you go further north, be aware that night and early morning temperatures are much cooler than during the daytime. Acadia and Bar Harbor are typically noticeably cooler, with morning and evening temperatures dipping into the high 50s.

Average Rainfall in Maine

The summer in Maine is typically dry, with a few rainy days dispersed throughout the month of July. Rainfall is moderate, with an average of 3 inches of precipitation, depending on the area.

Although rain is unlikely, it’s best to pack your wardrobe accordingly to prepare for a few rainy days. Wet weather comes in various forms, including fog and occasional thundershowers. If you ask locals, we would say that rain is unlikely during your July vacation in Maine.

Swimming in July | Water Temperature

The water temperature on the coast in Maine can be a little too chilly for swimming. If you’re ever going to swim in Maine, July is the best time to do it. Our advice is to avoid dipping your toes if you’re used to the heat of an indoor swimming pool.

Many of us have enjoyed a short swim to cool off from the high temperatures in June, July, and August along the coast of Maine. The water temperature is often between 63°F and 68°F (17°C to 20°C), sometimes even lower, so you should wear a wetsuit if you want to swim for longer.

Swimming in a lake or pond is more comfortable. Echo Lake, in Acadia National Park, and one of the few freshwater locations that permit swimming may have a comfortable temperature.

What To Wear in July

The warm summer temperatures and cool evenings by the campfire can be difficult to plan for when packing your suitcase. Having some options for warm and slightly cooler weather during the night is the best way to prepare for the fluctuating temperatures in Maine.

During this month wear relaxed, comfortable clothing and a windbreaker if you’re on the coast. Pack shorts and long pants, t-shirts, and long-sleeved shirts. This month is generally warm during the day, so you should only need a few extra layers to keep you toasty as the sun goes down.

Here are our essential packing suggestions for your trip in July:

  • Pants, but bring a mix of shorts and long pants
  • Sandals
  • Hiking boots or trainers
  • Formal/closed shoe option
  • Long-sleeved shirt
  • T-shirts
  • Wetsuit or bathing suit
  • Jeans
  • Summer tops
  • Cardigan or sweatshirt
  • Day bag or tote for sightseeing
  • Rain jacket or windbreaker
  • Pajamas (long and short)
  • Sun hat
Sun Protection

Although Maine can be a mixed bag of weather, it can get hot. Packing high-SPF sunscreen and wearing protective clothing is a good idea if you spend lots of time outdoors. Throw on your shades, slather on sunscreen, and drink plenty of water.

August Weather

You can still expect the odd rainy day during this month but the weather is the best you will experience all summer.

The average high temperatures along the coastal region range from 70°F to 79°F (21°C-26°C). It is typically a dry month with a only handful of rainy days. There are normally 8 hours of sunshine each day in popular locations such as Portland, Bar Harbor, and Bangor.

Early vs. Late August l Coastal Town Temperatures

Ogunquit

  • Early August: 79°F (26°C)
  • Mid-August: 78°F (26°C)
  • Late August: 75°F (24°C)

Portland:

  • Early August: 78°F (25°C)
  • Mid-August: 77°F (25°C)
  • Late August: 74°F (23°C)

Bar Harbor (Acadia National Park):

  • Early August: 73°F (23°C)
  • Mid-August: 73°F (23°C)
  • Late August: 70°F (21°C)
Day to Night Temperatures

Typical August Daily Temperature Progression in Rockland (Maine):

  • Early Morning (7:30 AM): 59°F (15°C)
  • Afternoon (3 PM): 70°F (21°C)
  • Night (10 PM): 60°F (15.6°C)

August is often the best weather you’ll experience all summer in Maine. Air temperature can vary and the water can still feel a little chilly if you aren’t used to outdoor swimming.

Afternoons can feel very hot, so make sure you drink plenty of water and wear sun protection.

Average Rainfall in Maine

This is a dry month in Maine with a handful of rainy days which makes it the ideal month to visit Maine. It is wise to bring an umbrella on your vacation, but it will more than likely remain in your suitcase.

The weather in Maine can be unpredictable, so it is a good idea to pack waterproof and windproof clothing just in case. Inland locations are warmer than areas on the coast. A light jacket or sweater tied around your waist will keep you prepared for the ever-changing Maine weather.

💡 More clothing tips later!

Swimming in August | Water Temperature

There are plenty of amazing swimming spots to take advantage of in August. Lake swimming is often warmer than the ocean, so you may enjoy hiking to one of Maine’s beautiful wild swimming spots.

One of our favorite places to swim is along Ogunquit Beach which is known for stunning views and beautiful white sand. The water temperature is between 62°F and 68°F (16°C-20°C), which is still cold, of course. D

The water is at its warmest in late August. Besides Ogunquit, our second favorite beach is Short Sands in York right near Nubble Light and Wells Beach (check out our coastal town tips below).

Alternatively, you can enjoy the water from the warmth of a lobster cruise or sailboat. By the way: A sailboat along coastal Maine is an unforgettable experience! More about that later in the ‘things to do’ section.

What To Wear in August

During this month you wear t-shirts, shorts, jeans, and summer tops. The weather is mostly hot and dry, but the mornings and evenings can be cool. Packing a fleece or light sweater is a good idea if you want to enjoy your morning coffee on the porch.

You may notice that locals wear jackets and pants in August but you can still wear shorts and a t-shirt. The temperature can fluctuate so often that we advise visitors to bring a mixture of warm and cold weather clothing. During our trip to Bar Harbor last year, we encountered both rainy and sunny days.

Here are some packing suggestions for your trip to Maine in August:

  • Pants (bring a mix of shorts and long pants)
  • Sandals
  • Hiking boots or trainers
  • Formal/closed shoe option
  • Long-sleeved shirt
  • T-shirts
  • Wetsuit or bathing suit
  • Towels
  • Jeans
  • Summer tops
  • Cardigan or sweatshirt
  • Day bag or tote for sightseeing
  • Rain jacket or windbreaker
  • Pajamas (long and short)
  • Camera
  • Chargers for laptops, phones, and tablets
  • Sun hat
Sun Protection

The weather can change hour by hour in Maine. However, the temperatures can climb into the 70s and 80s. You’ll need to bring sun protection, sunglasses, and a hat if you want to go sailing or spend time on the beach.

10 Best Coastal Towns to Visit in the Summer

In the summer, coastal Maine is bustling with activity and everything is open. This provides you with an extensive selection of restaurants, shops, and tours to explore in the coastal towns. You may be asking yourself: Which coastal town is the perfect fit for you?

We got you covered and offer unique insider tips for the 10 best coastal towns:

1. York

Maine

York is the southernmost coastal town in Maine we suggest visiting. That means, coming from Boston, you don’t have to travel that far if you’d like to see a typical seaside town. It’s an hour’s drive: Google Maps Route: Boston > York. Travelers describe York as a fun-filled, family-oriented summer resort town. While definitely not as big as Portland, York is one of the slightly larger towns along Maine’s coast.

Long Sands Beach & Nubble Lighthouse: While not as impressive as the golden sand beaches in Ogunquit (see below), the gray sand beaches in York are still great. A walk on Long Sands Beach leads you to a view of the remarkable Nubble Lighthouse at Cape Neddick. Not as iconic as the Portland Head Light (see below) but still one of the most photographed lighthouses in Maine.

Short Sands Beach is located downtown, with restaurants and shops right there. Plus, it’s perfect for a fun time with kids: York Wild Kingdom Zoo and Fun Park are at Short Sands Beach, as well as a bowling alley overlooking the ocean. Locals say York has a sort of carnival atmosphere with arcades at the beach and the amusement park area.

Special Food Tip: Visit Dunn’s Ice Cream Stand at Nubble Lighthouse at least once! We had one of the tastiest homemade ice creams we ever tried. Our recommendation: The blueberry ice cream.

Lobster Shack Tip: Drive the 10 minutes to Kittery and eat a lobster roll at one of the best shacks. Bob’s Clam Hut is open in the summer: Bob’s Clam Hut in Kittery – Route from York

Top Tip: Don’t forget to visit the popular outlets in Kittery. They are also open throughout the year, and some offer nice discounts in the wintertime.

2. Ogunquit

Maine

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 year-round 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 is worth visiting any time of the year.

Every restaurant, hotel, and shop is open in the summer!

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) during August 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.

Visiting Tip: Ogunquit Beach gets quite busy in the peak season. Tip: Stay there one night, so you can get up early enough to avoid the crowds and parking hassle. Also, check the tide times for low tide, as it’s much more relaxed during low tide. At high tide, the beach can feel extremely crowded.

Stay One Night: We highly recommend 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).

3. Wells

Maine

Wells is located midway between Ogunquit (see above) and Kennebunkport (see below) and is only a very short 10-12 minutes drive from both towns. It’s smaller, without a nice downtown area, fewer shops, fewer restaurants, and fewer hotels. While the beaches are beautiful in Wells, locals say that Ogunquit is definitely better as far as impressive beaches go.

Wells in a Nutshell:

  • Nearby Ogunquit and Kennebunkport but smaller
  • Smaller and less touristy than Kennebunkport and Ogunquit
  • Fewer restaurants, shops, and hotels but cheaper rates
  • Great beaches but not as gorgeous as in Ogunquit

Best Lobster Rolls: We recommend driving a few minutes to Kennebunkport and eating at the excellent ‘Clam Shack’ (see below).

Pizza Tip: In case you already had enough lobster rolls, try the best pizza in Wells at Seacoast Pizza and Pasta

Tip: The best place to stay in the town is the Village by the Sea (via booking.com with price match). Their beautiful indoor pool and hot tub are perfect for relaxation after a walk at the beach.

4. Kennebunkport

Maine

Just a 20 minutes drive from Ogunquit and a half an hour drive from Portland, you’ll find this historic town with the typical New England charm.

Activity Tips: The 15 best things to do in Kennebunkport via TripAdvisor

Kennebunkport vs. Ogunquit: Kennebunkport is located very close to Ogunquit (north of it) and offers similar beautiful beaches, also a great downtown area, shops, seafood restaurants, and the famous ‘Clam Shack,’ known as the best lobster shack on our planet, for quite a while. Locals say that Kennebunkport is classier while Ogunquit still has the ‘younger vibe.’

5. Portland

Portland is Maine’s cultural center and a vibrant city throughout the year. There is something to do in Portland every season. Visit captivating museums, explore attractions downtown, the brewery scene, and eat lobster in the best restaurants.

Maine

Great Base: Portland is the best base if you want to enjoy food, shopping tours, and see the magnificent coastal scenery. It doesn’t offer as many outdoor and hiking options as other places along the coast.

Day Trips: Portland is also the perfect location for day trips to gorgeous coastal towns like Kennebunkport, Ogunquit, or Camden, as they are just nearby via a short drive (35-45 minutes).

Islands via Ferry: The ferry is an iconic and inexpensive way to visit the nearby Casco Islands, or just to view the stunning coastal scenery is a must-do activity. Check Casco Bay Lines for the schedule. They are operating in the summer.

Food Tip & Lighthouse: The restaurant with the tastiest lobster roll is Eventide! And don’t forget to see the historic and iconic lighthouse Portland Head Light in Cape Elizabeth, which is probably the most photographed lighthouse in the whole world!

6. Boothbay Harbor

Maine

Summer is one of the best times to visit Boothbay Harbor. However, it’s a year-round town, and there are still restaurants and hotels open in the previous months.

Boothbay Harbor is one of the tinier and less touristy coastal towns:

  • A beautiful harbor
  • No beach
  • Fewer crowds in peak season
  • Not as busy as Camden, Ogunquit, Kennebunkport, etc.
  • It has a downtown area but not as big as other coastal towns with those dozens of shops and galleries.

Must-Do Things:

Best Lobster: Visit Kaler’s Lobster directly in Boothbay Harbor (open in the summer, but closed in winter until mid-May)! However, we also recommend that you either walk half an hour or drive the 6 minutes over to Robinson’s Wharf in Southport (open year-round, no winter closures). They offer excellent lobster and a great outdoor opportunity to watch the boats while eating.

7. Rockland

Maine

Rockland is located alongside Penobscot Bay. The best period to visit is from spring to fall, with the summer months being a great time.

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.

8. Rockport

Maine

Rockport is situated right between Rockland and Camden (10 or 5 minutes drive to each town) and home to the historic coastal Samoset Resort. Rockport is smaller and less touristy. There are also fewer activities being offered.

Best Time: Summer is a great time to visit the smaller town of Rockport as everything is open and in full swing.

Activity Tip: Since Rockport belongs to the Rockland/Rockport/Camden area, you’ll find at least one excellent sailing tour operator here: Schooner Yach Heron (an unforgettable sailing experience!)

9. Camden

Maine

Camden is a larger coastal town in Maine and can be visited year-round. However, summer is an excellent time: You will ll find plenty of opportunities for eating and lodging.

Views and Shops: You’ll find truly captivating scenic views of the bay in Camden Hills State Park’s overlooks and in Camden itself along the coastline at any time of the year. 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 gorgeous landscape design and a beautiful panoramic view of the harbor.

Special Tip: Visit Camden Library and take a stroll around it. It’s a beautiful building with an impressive 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.

Sailing Tour Tip: Take a schooner sailing tour. They are available in ths summer and are a must-do activity in Camden. Experience the magnificent coastline in such a unique way. View the islands, wildlife, and views of Camden Hills, and other coastal mountains from a historic schooner. Penobscot Bay / Camden: Historic Schooner Day Sailing Trip starts at Peter Ott’s restaurant (see above).

10. Bar Harbor

Maine

Bar Harbor is the gateway for all your explorations in Acadia National Park. Additionally, you can do so many things right in Bar Harbor: Eat fresh and tasty seafood, discover all sorts of shops and even art galleries, and explore the village environment.

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