It might still be warm during the day in Maine, but there’s a decidedly chilly snap to the morning air. We love the summer, but we’re not exactly mad that it’s about to get extremely cozy and quaint here in Vacationland. Pull out your sweaters, get your boots lined up and let’s get this fall started! If you’re like us and want to maximize every weekend before the snow starts, use this list as your guide to planning the perfect fall season. From towns to pass through and road trips to take, we’ve got you covered.
1. Visit Sweetser's Apple Barrel and Orchards in Cumberland.
Sweetser's orchard might be the oldest in Maine, if not the world! The family farm has been in operation since 1812 (they celebrated their 200th anniversary in 2012) and they support nearly 1,000 apple trees now. They've got apples aplenty, as well as apple cider, apple butter, decorative apples, gourds, ornamental corn, dried beans, and lots of other fruits and vegetables. Visit them at: 19 Blanchard Road in Cumberland / (207) 829-6599
2. Drive from Bath to Georgetown on Route 127.
This colorful coastal jaunt through Sagadahoc County will take you right by the Doubling Point Lighthouse for a double dose of Maine flavor. Speaking of Maine flavor, this trip ends at Five Islands Lobster. If you hurry, you might be able to catch them before they close for the season in mid-October.
3. Go to the Damariscotta Pumpkin Festival and Regatta in Damariscotta on October 7th.
This festival is the thing that reality shows are made of! Of all the things that make us proud of Maine, this could just be number one! On Columbus Day Weekend, head to Damariscotta for the best celebration of pumpkins you've ever seen. Events include the annual Official "Giant Pumpkin Parade," The Pumpkinboat Regatta and The Giant Pumpkin Drop. Yes, folks, this is real. And you'd be crazy to miss it!
4. Visit Fort Knox State Park in Prospect.
Fort Knox, Maine's largest historic fort, features military architecture and master granite craftsmanship. But, the true beauty could be considered its riverside Autumn view. Constructed between 1844 and 1864 by master craftsmen and never fully completed, it is an unaltered example of a large mid-19th century granite coastal fortification.
5. Attend the Fall Family Festival at Farnsworth Art Museum on October 14th.
This event is a wonderful one for families. Head to the museum sculpture garden for pumpkin carving, face painting, crafts, and live music. Then, watch the parade march down Main Street. Or, even better, participate in it by wearing costumes and masks. The day will conclude with a beautiful pumpkin lighting in the sculpture garden at sunset.
6. Hike or drive up Camden Hills State Park in Camden.
Camden Hills State Park's signature location is the scenic vista high atop Mt. Battie where sweeping Autumn views of Camden, Penobscot Bay, and surrounding islands await. On a clear day, visitors can see Cadillac Mountain at Acadia National Park. Mt. Megunticook, the highest of the Camden Hills — and highest peak on the mainland — is a moderate climb by foot trail.
7. Spend the Day at the Trails End Festival in Millinocket September 15th to 17th.
While it may seem like a typical festival (whatever that is) this one is sure to please those looking for something different. Look no further than the rubber ducky race. You'll also be treated to concerts, including Maine favorites, The Mallett Brothers Band, a chili cook-off, as well as canoe and kayak excursions, the Katahdin Parade, a pie and cake auction, and the Trails End Festival Dance.
8. Visit Pietree Orchard in Sweden.
Pietree is great for tons of homegrown goodies. Located in Western Maine, they're dedicated to providing visitors with the best local food. In addition to apples, they grow peaches, strawberries, blueberries, and fresh vegetables. While you can pick your own here, if you'd prefer to have someone handle that for you, they've got it all for sale in the shop.
9. See the Sunday River Bridge in Newry.
Built in 1872, the Sunday River Bridge is also known as "Artist's Bridge" due to its common use in photographs and art. It's easy to see why! in 1958 it was closed to traffic when another bridge was built nearby, but it's still worth a sightseeing visit with the changing foliage surrounding it.
10. Enjoy an autumn trip to the Rose Eden Cottages in Bar Harbor.
Rose Eden is hidden away in the woods away from the tourist scene of downtown Bar Harbor, but is close enough to Acadia Park to make it the perfect home base. It's also within 5 minutes of a beautiful oceanfront beach. The grounds are family friendly and feature a small playground, picnic, barbecue, and fire pit area. During the summer, you can purchase takeout lobster right on site, which allows you to cook up your own lobster feast. Visit them at 864 ME-3, Bar Harbor / 207-288-3038.
11. Drive along the Park Loop Road in Acadia National Park.
No fall season is complete without a leisurely trip down the 27-mile road that snakes along the craggy coast and lush inland areas of the crown jewel of Maine's park system.