Maine’s tourist seasons fall into three main categories:
High Season: June to August
Shoulder Seasons: May to June and September to October
Low Season: November to April
Here are the best times to visit Maine for every type of traveler.
Best Times to Visit Maine for Smaller Crowds
Maine’s high season begins around Memorial Day and lasts through Labor Day. Within that time frame, June is a slower month as the weather is generally still mild but can be too cold or rainy to enjoy a beach day. Late August and September offer temperatures that are still warm enough to enjoy the coast without the peak summer crowds. “I find May, early June, and October are the best times to visit Maine. During these times, the weather remains splendid and the tourists are fewer, allowing travelers to get the full small-town allure that Maine has to offer,” Daniel Braun, manager of The White Barn Inn in Kennebunk, told Travel + Leisure.
September and October are relatively quiet in comparison to the bustling summer season. Autumn is perfect for drives to enjoy quintessential New England fall foliage and apple picking at local farms.
The weather begins to warm up at the start of May, with average temperatures in the 60s. Even in the peak of summer, it’s rare to experience more than a handful of days reaching over 90 degrees. If you want to visit when the weather is warmest, July and August are the best, albeit busiest, times for a trip. However, September is not far behind and offers a balance of fantastic weather and fewer crowds. “There’s really no bad time to come to Maine, but I think my favorite time is late September,” says Ben Conniff, co-founder of Luke’s Lobster. “It’s still warm, some days as warm as summer. But the tourist traffic has slowed down so it’s easier to get around and the parks, restaurants, and other attractions aren’t so packed. It’s basically summer vacation without the stress of dealing with everyone else who’s on summer vacation.”
While Maine is best known for its signature shellfish, the state offers more than just lobster. Bluefin tuna, halibut, and dayboat scallops are just a sampling of some of Maine’s best locally sourced seafood.
For visitors looking to plan their trip around lobster season, Conniff echoes that fall is the time to arrive, saying “Late September is also a great time for seafood because it’s the peak of the new-shell lobster season.”