The Perfect Fall Road Trip in Maine!
Every fall, thousands of people flock to the state of Maine in search of bright, colorful trees, and autumn delights. With seven distinct foliage regions, Maine has an array of yellows, oranges, and reds changing at different times of the season from September through October. The Maine Fall Foliage website tracks and reports the changing leaves so it’s best to check the website to plan the timing of your perfect fall road trip to view the incredible foliage. It’s some of the best in the world!
Skip the pumpkin spice lattes at the chain coffee shops and hit up one of the Coffee by Design cafes in Portland for some delicious locally roasted and brewed lattes. Their coffee is grown on small family estates or groups of small farms and roasted in-house at their Diamond Street Coffee Micro Roastery. For a little Maine flavor, try the Maine Wild Blueberry or Maine Maple Sundae coffee.
Kennebunkport is one of Maine’s most iconic coastal towns that attracts thousands of visitors throughout the year. The small village is home to the summer home of President George H.W. Bush and his wife as well as beautiful beaches, boutique shops, and tons of great restaurants. Take a stroll through Down Square and grab some homemade fudge at the Candy Man.
The Clam Shack is a Kennebunkport institution and the line for a lobster roll or fried clams is often as long as the bridge in the center of town during the summer months. With the mass of tourists gone in the Fall, you won’t have to wait long to order your fresh seafood delights. Choose from lobster rolls, fried haddock, clam cakes, and more. You can’t visit Maine without trying some fresh caught seafood!
Mount Agamenticus is a small mountain within the 10,000-acre Mount Agamenticus Conservation Region in York. Standing at only 692 feet, this former ski hill isn’t a hard climb, but it does offer great panoramic views overlooking the Atlantic Ocean, the Presidential Mountain Range in New Hampshire, and even the far-off skyscrapers in Boston on a very clear day. The park is home to several hiking trails that all connect to the summit and are open to both hikers and bikers. The Ring Trail is the longest trail at the base of the mountain at 1.5 miles long.
After spending a few hours hiking around Mount Agamenticus, you’ve probably worked up an appetite. It’s time for the perfect fall snack–apples! On your way to your next destination you can stop at the seventh generation family farm specializing in pick-your-own apples. You’ll find many traditional varieties like McIntosh and Cortland along with newer varieties like Blondee, Jonathan, and Honeycrisp.
Destination Haunt might be a bit of a detour from your road trip, but it is well worth the drive. Named as one of the “most haunted” places in Maine and New Hampshire, Destination Haunt has been scaring children and adults for almost a decade now. This outdoor haunted house features distinct areas like the Butcher and the Execution Center. Be prepared to scream and giggle in delight.
Let your nerves settle down after the big scare with a couple of drinks at Portland’s most popular speakeasy. Don’t worry, you won’t find any ghosts or goblins in this basement bar. The friendly bar tenders will pour you a stiff drink as you munch on some of gourmet bar snacks. Always check the specials board for the latest delicious cocktail.
Skip the chain hotels and stay at one of Portland’s best bed and breakfast inns in the historic West End. This shabby chic B&B is one-of-a-kind and offers a funky décor that will just soothe your soul for tomorrow’s adventures. There is always free Wi-Fi and many of the rooms have gas fireplaces so you’ll be plenty warm when the temperatures start to drop.
Get an early morning start up Maine’s mid-coast and have breakfast at Crissy’s Breakfast & Coffee Bar in Damariscotta. This much-loved local’s joint serves up a hearty breakfast that will keep you full all day long. You’ll find traditional favorites like Eggs Benedict, breakfast sandwiches, and other dishes like the gluten-free “Original” Rice Bowl and enchiladas and eggs.
If you’re short on time and can’t visit Acadia National Park or Baxter State Park, Camden Hills State Park is your next best option for incredible fall scenery in Maine without a spending most of the day in the car. The hike up Mount Battie is short and rewarding. Camden and neighboring Rockland is your quintessential Maine coastal village perfect for Instagram photos to make all your friends jealous. Of course, the drive up Route 1 is just as pretty.