Labor Day may be a “farewell” to summer—but up in the forests and tree-lined, rocky shores of Maine, it’s a “hello” to something even better: the splendor of fall.
The arrival of autumn is almost upon us, and few states do it up quite like Maine. Its state nickname is the “Pine Tree State,” after all, and it does that moniker justice, washing its abundance of pines and other foliage in a vibrant display of reds, oranges and yellows from the middle of September onward.
As one of the first New England states to transform every year, it makes for a fitting getaway—especially for those who crave a bit of fall brilliance early in the season!
Coming to Maine to see the colors in person—an activity lovingly known as “leaf peeping”—is, alone, worth the trip. But for travelers who make the trek north, there’s even more to discover—including a thriving culinary scene to boot.
Read on as we take a virtual vacation to Maine, just in time to see the leaves come alive in our favorite fall hues! Just pack your coat and take a look.
A road trip through New England may be ambitious—but it’s also one of the best ways to arrive at this gem of autumnal allure.
Leaf peeping by land affords travelers the chance to drive through some of Maine’s most scenic byways, stretches of road made specifically for the purpose of sightseers like yourself. The Acadia All-American Road is one such stretch, a 40-mile trip that takes you around vistas such as Mt. Desert Island and the gorgeous waters of Bar Harbor—surrounded by the changing leaves and rolling hills all the while.
For exploring the small-town side of Maine, a fall trek along the Schoodic National Scenic Byway is perfect for achieving a glimpse of the communities that shape the state—and decked out in their autumnal brilliance, they’ve never looked better.
Of course, for those who like to travel by foot, hiking opportunities abound in Maine. Trails that wind past such sights as the famous Bubble Rock, or the sweeping, rocky shore views of Gorham Mountain, offer you the chance to indulge in the serenity of nature and discover some seriously stellar colors along the way.
Prefer to experience Maine by water? While the water’s getting a bit cold for swimming, there are still plenty of ways to enjoy it this fall.
One of our favorites is, naturally, fishing. The fish are far from gone for the season—in fact, many Maine anglers prefer the early fall months for prime pond fishing in small, local haunts throughout the state.
For meandering around those famously rocky coasts—topped with warm-hued shrubs and trees—you can’t go wrong with a kayak adventure! Rent one at Acadia National Park to see the leaves from an all-new perspective.
There’s another big reason to hit the water this fall: whale watching! If you love animals, you’ll want to see one of these majestic mammals in action on the water. Whales can be spotted off the shores of Bar Harbor through October—plus, now that many summer crowds have flocked home, you’ll get to enjoy an even more tranquil experience on the water as you search for those famous tails.
For foodie fun…
We can’t forget about Maine’s thriving culinary scene! Lobster, perhaps the state’s most famous food, is still well in season—soft shells thrive through September, while hard shells last long into the fall, so whatever your lobster preference, you’ll find a fitting dinner here. Walk through the town of Bar Harbor—and get lost admiring its charming, colonial facades—to find a lobster meal that suits your fancy.
Maine natives know that nothing goes with a lobster dinner quite like the state’s favorite dessert: blueberry pie. The seasonal harvest wraps up in mid-September, so you’ll get to enjoy the tail end of this delicious annual tradition. (Of course, if you just can’t wait to get your blueberry fix, don’t hesitate to enjoy a plate of Peach Valley’s Lemonberry or Blueberry Pancakes before your trip!)
For locavores looking for Maine’s freshest, most delicious produce, it’s simply a matter of knowing what’s in season and where to find it! At this time of year, you’ll delight in farms sharing their peak-season picks of apples, winter squash, grapes and more—stick around through October and you’ll get to enjoy cranberries and pumpkin, too, two must-have fall delights.
Whether you’re here to take a hike among the leaves, or curl up by a fire while enjoying some delicious seasonal eats, Maine makes for a dream getaway—an inspiring one, too, especially for us foodies! Just check a local leaf peeping calendar to see when (and where) you’ll spot the most vivid fall hues.
We hope today’s virtual tour inspires your fall adventures, this month and beyond.