Southern Maine (Zone 1)
Covers Mid-Coast and South Coastal Maine, including Camden, Portland, Kennebunkport and Kittery
Peak Week: Mid to Late October
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- Tourism Driving Tour: Antiques & Boutiques in Southern Maine
This tour circles from Kittery up the coast to Portland, then west through the Sebago Lakes Region, and south again to Kittery.
- Midcoast Ramble
This drive starts in coastal Brunswick and heads Downeast along Route 1. There are countless possibilities for detours down the "fingers" of coastline. One takes visitors to Boothbay Harbor, where the 4th annual Claw Down on September 17 will attract 19 stellar Maine chefs to a friendly lobster bites competition. Or, head down to bucolic Pemaquid Point and its famous lighthouse. Visitors can amble down the back roads past saltwater farms to the scenic harbor at Friendship or to Wyeth country in Cushing. Back on Route 1, it's time to carry on through to Rockland, where the full range of the artistic genius of the Wyeth family can be seen at the Wyeth Center at the Farnsworth Museum. Finish the drive in Camden, and ascend to the 800-foot summit of Mount Battie, where spectacular views are enhanced by the foliage that runs right down to the harbor.
- The North Loop Trail at Wolfe's Neck Woods State Park in Freeport presents an exceptionally bright yellow display that normally peaks in mid-October.
- Bradbury Mountain State Park in Pownal provides views of surrounding forests and Casco Bay's Calendar Islands. The foliage color peaks usually occur in late September to mid-October. The park is a popular place to observe migrating hawks in September.
- The park trails at Ferry Beach State Park in Saco offer a view of the park's tupelo or blackgum trees which are uncommon in Maine. The tupelo trees turn a bright crimson and normally reach peak coloration in late September or early October.
- Camden Hills State Park provides spectacular views of fall foliage are available from the auto road to the top of Mt. Battie, as well as from hiking trails on Mt. Megunticook and Bald Rock Mountain.
1. From Mountaintop to the Sea
Travel through MidCoast Maine for views of fall foliage from mountain-top to the sea as your vista spans from Mount Battie or the summits of Camden Hills State Park.
2. Country Roads and Apples
Veer off the beaten path down a country road inland to Hope, Appleton, or Union where there are pick-your-own orchards abound! The Common Ground Fair draws people from all over New England to Unity Maine for one special weekend, September 23-25. The drive there is spectacular.
3. Explore a New Peninsula
Travel down the Port Clyde, Boothbay or Pemaquid peninsulas, where vistas vibrant with red, gold, orange, and pine green will be interrupted by delicious seafood and secret beaches.
4. Education by the Sea
At the Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens, celebrate the changing colors of fall with miles of walking trails and an educational experience for the whole family. In Belfast, you also have an opportunity to sail the Penobscot on a cruise.
5. Kayak Adventure
To enjoy the autumn foliage from the ocean, including the many vibrant islands of Penobscot Bay, you can rent a kayak for a few hours or an entire day! Stop at Treats in Wiscasset for a perfect to-go lunch for your adventure.
6. Try a Corn Maze
In Warren, challenge yourself to a corn maze that was featured in Downeast Magazine at Beth’s Farm Market.
8. Get Spooked
The Red Cloak Haunted History Tours unveil the spooky side of Rockland, Camden, Bath, Damariscotta, Wiscasset, Boothbay Harbor, and Newcastle. Explore the beauty of the region against a backdrop of history and a healthy dose of fright.
9. Up And At ‘Em!
Rise above the region for leaf peeping from a chairlift at Camden Snow Bowl following their special Sunday morning Pankcake Breakfasts, Sundays in October. From here, you can enjoy 360 degrees of MidCoast Maine foliage, and even see how the leaves are turning on the islands in the distance.
Celebrate autumn with a quintessential New England festival, the Damariscotta Pumpkinfest, where giant pumpkins steal the show against a beautiful autumn backdrop in this small town. Or head over to the Harvest Fest in Belfast
- More about visiting the Portland and Casco Bay area
- More about visiting the Southern Maine Coast region