Thinking of visiting Maine in November? We’ve got you covered.
November is a delightful time to visit coastal Maine,an iconic and beautiful New England State. As Maine moves from fall foliage to holiday cheer and winter activities. Tourism is slower, so there are fewer crowds, the weather is still comfortable, and there are still plenty of things to do in Maine in November for families, couples and solo adventurers.
We love a good east coast road trip or vacation. After having lived on the east coast of Canada for 10 years we were lucky enough to have visited many beautiful places up and down the United States & Canada coasts in all seasons.
You’ll find all the best November activity ideas, find out where to stay, and all the weather tips you’ll need before you go.
Ready for some fall fun? Let’s go!
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Maine Weather in November
November in Maine straddles the fall and winter seasons, depending on when and where you go.
You’ll find average temperatures in the month of November range from the 30s to 40s Fahrenheit (-1°C to 4.5°C). November weather means it’s still comfortable to be outside without having to bundle up from head to toe in your extreme winter gear.
Higher elevations, Northern Maine and coastal areas will be on the cooler side.
Still, November is a great time to visit. Just be sure to bring layers, a jacket, sweater, light hat and warm clothes.
Check out the weather forecasts before you go.
BEST THINGS TO DO IN MAINE IN NOVEMBER
1. Visit Bar Harbor, Maine in November
Escape the crowds of peak season, and discover the charm of Bar Harbor, Maine in November. As the tourist crowds thin, both Bar Harbor and Acadia National Park on Mount Desert Island unveils a more serene spectacle of fall colors, perfect for unhurried hikes and quieter beach combing.
Harbourside Hotel and Spa is a great place to go for a Thanksgiving dinner with a view.
They offer a traditional Thanksgiving dinner and a prix fixe menu or select your favorites from their à la carte offering, all while enjoying amazing views of Frenchman Bay.
Enjoy the tastes of everything from an autumnal pumpkin bisque, to pan seared salmon, and of course herb butter turkey for a more traditional feast.
Many of the local restaurants are also open.
Early Bird Pajama Sale & Bed Races
Don’t forget to bring your adventurous spirit (and pajamas!) to participate in the quirky yet entertaining Early Bird Pajama Sale and Bed Races.
Experience a delightful morning shopping in your PJs, where local stores offer unique deals to those dressed in nightwear. Followed by the whimsical spectacle of teams racing beds down Main Street. This year it’s Saturday November 11th.
Then enjoy wandering downtown, taking in a lobster roll or two at Galyn’s, and visiting the Abbe Museum, which is open year round.
Here are a few other ideas of things to do in Bar Harbor in November:
- Enjoy a hard cider or their flagship Maine Coast IPA, from Fogtown. All ages are welcome to enjoy their tasty food, live music and events.
- Visit the Wendell Gilley Museum to see over 300 intricate designs made by renowned Maine bird carver Wendell Gilley.
- Pamper yourself with a spa day at Tree of Life Day Spa, or check with your hotel to see what they offer.
- Go for a leisurely stroll along the Bar Harbor Shore Path. Start at the Town Pier beside Agamont Park and head south along the coast for about 3/4 of a mile. Watch fishermen prepare their boats for the day, see gorgeous mansions, wild roses, and yachts in the harbor.
- Cross the Land Bridge to Bar Island
2. Enjoy Acadia National Park
Acadia National Park takes on a much quieter, more relaxed natural experience in November. The crisp autumn air brings with it vibrant fall foliage, transforming the park into a kaleidoscope of colors.
The best part is you can still enjoy a host of seasonal activities like fall hikes up Cadillac Mountain, carriage road cycling, and enjoy beautiful beaches and beach walks along Sand Beach.
Here are our top things to do in Acadia National Park in November :
- Rent E-Bikes and bike the many Carriage Roads (the easy way)
- Take sunrise photos at Boulder Beach
- Hike the Ocean Path Trail to see Thunder Hole
- Take the Ultimate Acadia National Park Self-Guided Driving Audio Tour – learn while you drive, from the comfort of your own car.
- Drive the scenic Park Loop Road or head out to the Schoodic Peninsula.
Visiting Acadia in Fall is one of the best things to do in Maine in November.
Don’t let a little rain dampen your spirit; we’ve put together our favorite fun rainy day Acadia activities that’ll make exploring Acadia in the rain a delightful experience.
And to ensure you savor the best of both Bar Harbor and Acadia, we’ve crafted an immersive four-day Acadia itinerary that showcases the year-round splendor of these destinations.
3. Visit Portland, Maine in November
Portland Maine is a great place to visit in November, as there are many activities and tours you can do almost year round.
Stroll the cobblestone sidewalks and shops of the Old Port District, and enjoy the offerings of any of Portland’s great “foodie” restaurants.
Bonus: there will be fewer waits in restaurants. And Christmas decorations will be in full swing before the end of the month.
It’s also a fantastic time to visit Fort Williams Park in Cape Elizabeth, home to Maine’s oldest lighthouse, Portland Head Light, more on that below.
Here are a few more favorite things to do in Portland, Maine in November:
- Take a downtown Portland, Maine City and Lighthouse land tour to see all the sites and learn the history behind it all.
- Taste the best of Portland Maine with an Old Port culinary walking tour, which visits up to 6 different eateries.
- Check out the latest art features at the Portland Museum of Art .
- Enjoy a concert or other performance at Merrill Auditorium
- Eat a donut from the famous The Holy Donut shop
- Give the kids some hands on exploration & family friendly theatre productions at the Children’s Museum & Theatre of Maine (closed Tuesdays).
4. Go Leaf Peeping with Fall Foliage Scenic Drives
While peak fall foliage runs from the middle of September until the end of October, you still may get a chance to watch the last of the fall colors leave the trees in November. Early November will be better.
Your best bet to still find lovely colors is to head south of Portland, the Sebago Lake region, as well as around, Kennebunkport, and midcoast Maine.
Here are a couple of Maine fall foliage drive ideas:
- Midcoast Drive: Start in coastal Brunswick and head down along Route 1, finishing in Camden. There are many possible detours to coastal towns along this route. Boothbay Harbor and Pemaquid Point for its famous lighthouse are great options. Stop in at the Farnsworth Museum in Rockland, and hike Mount Battie in Camden Hills State Park.
- Schoodic National Scenic Byway: Start in Hancock, the gateway to the Schoodic Byway, then head down along Route 1 to Route 186 ending at Prospect Harbor. Popular stops include Tidal Falls, Schoodic Point in Acadia National Park and Prospect Harbor Lighthouse.
For more info visit Maine’s website for more fall foliage drive ideas.
If taking your kids out of school, check your school’s policies on absences.
5. Enjoy Art at the Portland Museum of Art
Portland Museum of Art is a great spot to visit, especially on rainy days. Located right at 7 Congress Square in Portland, Maine, they’re open Wednesday through Sunday, from 10 AM to 6 PM, but on Fridays, they’re open until 8 PM.
Not only is it Maine’s oldest art institution, founded way back in 1892, but it’s also a real showcase for Maine’s deep artistic roots and cool modern art ideas.
You’ll get to see a whole range of art, from American and European, to contemporary pieces, and of course, awesome works from Maine itself. They’ve got everything, paintings, photography, sculptures, even film and more.
LOCAL TIP: Everyone aged 21 and under is free all the time & there is FREE admission every Friday from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m, thanks to generous sponsors.
6. Visit A Maine Lighthouse in November
If lighthouses are your thing, Maine is your go-to. There are over 60 of them scattered along the coast. You blink, and there’s another one.
Each lighthouse has its own cool backstory and plays a big part in Maine’s maritime history.
Here are a few suggestions to kickstart your November lighthouse tour:
- First up is Portland Head Light in Cape Elizabeth. This is Maine’s oldest and most visited lighthouse. Plus, it’s right next to Fort Williams Park, a 90-acre playground with old fort structures, perfect for letting the kids burn off some energy.
- Then there’s Pemaquid Lighthouse, up in mid-coast Maine. It’s not just famous for its killer views and the Fisherman’s Museum in the old Lightkeeper’s House. It’s also the first lighthouse ever featured on US currency. You’ll find it on Maine’s quarter.
- Finally, we’ve got the Cape Neddick (or Nubble) Lighthouse, sitting pretty on a tiny island off York. This one gets a lot of love from artists and photographers, so you know it’s going to be worth a visit.
WINTER SPORTS IN MAINE
Yes it does, making Maine ideal for winter sports. You can try everything from cross country skiing to tubing, skiing, dog sledding, snowshoeing, snowboarding and more.
Typically the season starts November to mid December, depending on how early the snow falls that year.
Enough snow isn’t guaranteed in November for some winter sports so if winter sports is your main focus, head to Maine starting in mid-December.
However we’ve listed a few options in case it’s a particularly snowy year.
Mainers have been skiing since the 1870’s and with the varied landscapes and generally good snow, it’s something not to miss in the winter months.
7. Cross Country Skiing
The Fort Kent Outdoor Center (non-members must pay a Daily Trail Fee for trail use) in Fort Kent offers miles of Nordic / cross-country skiing opportunities.
They also have miles of mountain biking, disc golf and orienteering trails so are now a year round facility, if snow isn’t in the forecast.
Or try the Nordic Heritage Center in Presque Isle, which has approx. 12.5 miles of trails along with more than 20 miles of mountain bike trails.
Then there’s the popular Sugarloaf Outdoor Center in the Carrabassett Valley with over 30 miles of well-groomed trails.
All offer comfortable lodges, groomed trails and ski rentals.
8. Biking, Fat Biking & Mountain Biking Oh My!
Maine is ideal for biking, and there are many trails with diverse scenery and terrains to try. Imagine biking along rugged coastline paths, through sweet coastal towns and along forested hillside & woodland trails.
If you are looking for bike trails we recommend the following:
- Forest City Trail – The Forest City Trail in Portland take you on a 10 mile journey through 9 trails, 5 school campuses, 2 nature preserves, an historic cemetery, and connecting sidewalks. A fun way to see Portland.
- Belfast Rail Line Trail – Follow the Belfast Rail Line Trail 2.2 miles (one way). As this flat bike path winds its way along the western bank of the Passagassawakeag River from Belfast in the south to City Point in the north.
- Downeast Sunrise Trail – The Downeast Sunrise Trail is a 96 mile (one-way) easy bike adventure that runs between Ellsworth and Pembroke Maine. Enjoy varied scenery from coastal mountains, forests, open wetlands, and blueberry barrens. As well as bike over twenty-eight bridges.
Use the Maine Trail Finder to look at all the over 200 options for biking, walking and hiking trails for more ideas. It’s easy to rent bikes in many towns in Maine.
Fat biking has become popular enough in recent years, that there are many Maine trail and rental options. Generally the fat biking season usually starts in December as well, but there are also plenty of mountain biking activities you can do if there isn’t snow.
Look for a well-groomed trail system. You’ll find great rides at Pineland in New Gloucester, where there’s over 5,000 acres of beautiful woodlands and fields that are open to the public for year-round outdoor activities.
Maine Huts & Trails in the Carrabassett Valley is another great option offering mountain biking, fat biking and bike to hut trails.
9. Dog Sledding
As one of North America’s oldest forms of winter travel, dog sledding, or dog mushing, has been practiced for hundreds of years.So bundle up and take an adventure of a lifetime.
Mahoosuc Guide Service offer everything from day trips to week long adventures, and trips to Canada’s arctic to dog sled with Inuit communities
The Ultimate Dog Sledding offer more variations for shorter dog sledding tours. They offer 1 and 2 hour trips, to half day intros to dog sledding where you can enjoy the thrill of learning how to mush.
LOCAL TIP: Dog sledding doesn’t usually don’t start until mid-December. As this is a frequently asked question, we’re putting it here so you know.
10. Ski Resorts for Skiing & Snowboarding
Love hitting the slopes?
Maine’s your winter ski wonderland from November through til April.
It’s got everything, from cute little hills for beginners to full-on, bring-it-on ski resorts like Sugarloaf Mountain, Sunday River and the newly jazzed-up Saddleback Mountain.
These places are massive, with all kinds of runs. But don’t worry if you’re not into the big guys. Maine’s got plenty of mid-size and smaller ski and snowboard mountains like Hermon and the Camden Snow Bowl that are heaps of fun.
And don’t pack up your gear when the sun goes down. Night skiing and snowboarding are kind of a big deal here. Folks love to squeeze in a few more runs after the sun sets.
You can do night skiing and riding at a bunch of places like Black Mountain in Rumford, Camden Snow Bowl in Camden, Lost Valley in Auburn, and Sunday River in Newry. So grab your gear and hit the slopes, day or night!
11. Belfast and Moosehead Railroad Train Rides
Santa is coming soon, so hop aboard the Santa Express and ride the Belfast and Moosehead Railroad.
Starting the end of November and December you and your family can ride the train with Santa, while sipping hot chocolate and eating cookies. As the train glides through the scenic countryside. Kids under 11 get a special gift from Santa’s helpers.
The Railroad also has seasonal events throughout the year including fall foliage rides, the lobster roll express, and the Pizza & Whoopie Pie Train to name a few.
12. Eat Lobster & Lobster Rolls
It’s always a good time to eat lobster and lobster rolls in Maine.
The lobster catching season ramps up in the fall, and the shells on the lobster harden, making for extra tasty morsels dipped in butter, before the season ends.
You can find almost any town in Maine has an option for fresh seafood and lobster. We’ve put together a list of just a few of the many options.
A few of the best restaurants to eat lobster and seafood in November:
- Red’s Eats in Wiscasset, ME is a famous lobster shack in the area. You must try their #1 in Maine Lobster Roll or Lobster plate.
- Eventide Oyster Co in Portland, ME for their oyster bar with many varieties, and their famed Brown Butter Lobster Roll lobster rolls.
- Federal Jack’s in Kennebunkport for their beer made on site, lobster and seafood dishes with a view. Try their Lobster Feast.
13. Visit Gardens Aglow in Boothbay, Maine
Boothbay Harbor is a delightful coastal town to visit in its own right.
But in November and December the Maine Botanical Gardens close by are all aglow with Christmas lights and festivities.
Gardens Aglow is an annual magical winter wonderland of lights not to miss. Each year has a different theme with over 750,000 lights lining 14 acres of their main pathways and gardens.
LOCAL TIP: You must buy your tickets in advance. It’s super popular so get them as soon as they come out.
14. Boothbay Lights
Continue the holiday celebrations with Boothbay Lights, a series of fun Holiday events in the mid-coast towns of Boothbay and Boothbay Harbor.
Running from mid November to December you can expect to see the lighted fire truck and lighted boat Christmas parades, story time with Santa, Gingerbread House, Early Bird Sales (shop in your PJs for discounts) and more.
If you’re visit takes you into December as well, the North Pole express train leaves from the Boothbay Railway Village Museum on weekends.
15. Visit Apple Orchards, Farm Markets & Cider Mills
November is past the apple picking season, but many apple orchards and Cider Mills are open almost year round. They sell their fruit, vegetables, and many food and non-food items produced in Maine in their farm markets & stores.
Here are just a few of many options you can try, for some delicious treats, and farm experiences:
- Lakeside Orchards in Manchester, Maine – This family-owned apple orchard with over 200 acres has a year round Farm Market selling a variety of their fruits and vegetables.
- Morrison Hill Orchard in Farmington, ME – Morrison Hill has been growing apples since 1944. They sell their regular and hard Ayuh Cider, made right on the farm.
- Sweetser’s Apple Barrel & Orchards – Their Farmstand is open daily, 9:00 am – 6:00 pm mid August through November 27. They offer apple, cider & local goods like honey, maple syrup, preserves, cider donuts & other baked goods, fresh fruits and vegetables.
16. Holiday Events for Maine in November
Of course November is full of the pre-Christmas rush and Thanksgiving. There are plenty of festive events throughout the state to get you in the spirit.
- Holiday Trail of Lights | The Kennebunks – The weekend following Thanksgiving is the annual tree lighting in downtown Kennebunk. Enjoy refreshments, sales at local businesses, caroling, horse-drawn carriage rides, and ice skating in Kennebunk’s Waterhouse Pavilion.
- Festival of Trees | Saco – Hosted by the Dyer Library & Saco Museum, visit dozens of decorated Christmas trees and wreaths, with a new theme picked each year.
- Nubble Lighthouse Lighting | York – Is it really Christmas time in Maine without the lights at Nubble Lighthouse? Witness their annual lighting the last weekend in November. Usually there is also music, hot cocoa, cookies, and of course, Santa.
- Old Fashioned Christmas | Bath – After Thanksgiving all the way into December, Bath, Maine, gets festive with its Old Fashioned Christmas. Enjoy the Community Christmas Tree LIghting, with visits from Santa. Plus there’s a ton more happening too – caroling, cookies, contests, live tunes, you name it. If you’re in the mood for some holiday cheer, you’ve got to check it out.
17. Visit Trains, Trolleys & Their Museums
Got a train or trolley enthusiast in the family? Then you can’t miss the Seashore Trolley Museum in Kennebunkport. It’s the oldest and biggest electric railway museum on the planet.
And for another fun option, check out the Maine Narrow Gauge Railway in Casco. They run 35-minute rides around Casco Bay on refurbished historic steam and diesel trains.
Both are in Southern Maine.
Talk about a blast from the past!
18. Kids Time At The Maine Discovery Museum in Bangor
The Maine Discovery Museum in Bangor, located in central Maine, is an awesome spot for kids.
It’s super interactive and spread out over three floors, where little ones can dive into everything from science and nature to geography, children’s books, music, art, and even anatomy.
And that’s not all, they’ve got daily STEAM (that’s science, technology, engineering, art, and math) activities too. So get ready to have a blast while everyone learns.
Final Thoughts: Visiting Maine in November
So there you have it, folks. Visiting Maine in November is the perfect time for family adventures.
From the peaceful beauty of Acadia National Park to crazy fun at the Early Bird Pajama Sale and Bed Races.
Top that off with an amazing Thanksgiving dinner in Bar Harbor, and you’ve got yourself a memorable trip.
And let’s not forget the unique attractions, like world-renowned museums and the lighthouse tours. Rain or shine, Maine’s got something for everyone. So grab your coats, pack those bags, and get ready for an unforgettable adventure in November in Maine.