The beautiful town of Lubec, Maine.

These Towns In Maine Come Alive In Spring

The Pine Tree State may not seem like a spring break destination. Sure, it lacks palm trees and year-long heat, but Maine still has beaches, bars, food, and festivals in spring. This is not just metro Maine, either. Rural Maine has all of the above attractions and quirky additions that draw out-of-towners and out-of-staters during chilly weather. Uncover seven of the best towns for spending March, April, and May in Maine.


West Quoddy Head Light, Lubec, Maine.
West Quoddy Head Light in Lubec, Maine. Image credit: Spence Means via

As a coastal state, Maine has a unique and spectacular nature. Lubec, a town of roughly 1,200 people in the Passamaquoddy Bay, is one of the best places to experience Maine's nature - especially during spring. Each Memorial Day Weekend, Lubec hosts the Downeast Spring Birding Festival, where visitors vie to view over 200 species of resident and migratory birds in one of the most important avian areas in America. After meeting puffins on Machias Seal Island and bald eagles at Head Harbor, attendees can see manmade attractions like the candy cane-colored West Quoddy Head Light, which is at the easternmost point of the continental United States, and Lubec Brewing Company, a year-round brewery that uses Maine-made grain, hops, honey, and even maple syrup.


Newfield, Maine.
Newfield, Maine. Image credit: Ofer Davidi via

Speaking of maple syrup, Maine produces about 500,000 gallons of that sweet, sticky substance each year. It is made across vast maple woods in cabins called "sugar shacks" and celebrated on the fourth Sunday of every March as Maine Maple Sunday. This Maine tradition is so popular that it is often celebrated for multiple days, such as Maine Maple Weekend. Newfield's Hilltop Boilers takes this even further by hosting three weekends of syrup-inspired events called Maine Maple Weekends. This year, the festivities are set to begin on Saturday, March 16, with samples, tours, ice carving, and an all-day pancake breakfast, culminate on Saturday and Sunday, March 23 and 24, with more food and syrup samples plus all-women logging shows and even alpacas, and conclude on Saturday, March 30, with more pancakes and alpacas plus live music.

Being a small, remote town in the Maine woods, Newfield neighbors other spring-enlivened attractions like Knox Mountain, Rock Haven Lake, and Waterboro Barrens Preserve.


The dock area in Kennebunk, Maine.
The dock area in Kennebunk, Maine. Image credit: Dominico Convertini via

By Maine standards, Kennebunk is a rather large town. This coastal community boasts over 10,000 permanent residents, but it draws quite a few temporary residents on the first Saturday of each May. For 20-plus years, Kennebunk has hosted May Day, a spring festival that mobilizes Mainers for an array of activities. These include crafts, games, music, a children’s fun zone, a farmers' market, and a parade. However, May Day is not the month's only attraction. The Rachel Carson National Wildlife Refuge has a very loud spring via blooming wildflowers and migratory birds, while First Chance Whale Watch in nearby Kennebunkport (similar name, different town) offers whale and lobster tours along the enchanting coast.

South Bristol

The charming town of South Bristol, Maine
The charming town of South Bristol, Maine.

While traveling to South Bristol in late spring, you may notice fuzzy purple flowers adding color to seaside fields. They are called bigleaf lupines and are not native to Maine. Their existence in the state is partially owed to Hilda Hamlin, AKA "Lupine Lady," who settled in South Bristol's Christmas Cove and secretly seeded the area with lupines. Her story eventually came out and was semi-fictionalized as the popular children's book Miss Rumphius, which is about a woman who shared Hilda's goal to "make the world more beautiful" (and unintentionally displace native plants).

You can make your vacation more beautiful with Hilda's lupines before overdosing on the lupines and thousands of other flowers at Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens. This 300ish-acre preserve lies just across the Damariscotta River in Boothbay and contains not only flowers but the Guardians of the Seeds, five giant trolls made out of recycled wood, the tallest of which stretches 30 feet. Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens is set to open for the season on May 1.

Carrabassett Valley

Carrabassett Valley, Maine.
Carrabassett Valley, Maine.

When thinking about Maine, the first thing that should come to mind is reggae. We are kidding, of course, unless you are a resident or frequent visitor of Carrabassett Valley. This interior Maine town hosts the Sugarloaf Reggae Festival, which is going into its 36th year at the base of Sugarloaf Mountain. It is scheduled to run from April 11 to 14 with headliners John Brown's Body and the Long Beach Dub All Stars.

If reggae is not your jam, climb the mountain for the last good bit of Maine skiing before the snow melts. Sugarloaf, the largest ski resort in the state, is projected to close its slopes in late April. Then, it becomes a hiking and mountain biking paradise with R&R available at The Widowmaker and Bullwinkle's Bistro.


Aerial view of Belfast, Maine.
Aerial view of Belfast, Maine.

Carrabassett Valley is not the only Maine community that has a spring music festival. Belfast, which is classified as a city despite having about 7,000 residents, is home to the All Roads Music Festival. Since 2015, All Roads has showcased over 150 local musicians in myriad genres. This year, the festival is to be held on Friday, May 17, and Saturday, May 18, at several venues, including Legion Hall and the Colonial Theatre. Before rocking out on Saturday night, you can spend the morning dallying around the United Farmers Market of Maine, which, though held year-round, is poetically located at 18 Spring Street. Spring break has two speeds in Belfast.


Perkins Cove in Ogunquit, Maine.
Perkins Cove in Ogunquit, Maine.

Ogunquit is hard to spell but easy to visit. Along with beautiful beaches and historic sites, Ogunquit sports three events that attract tourists during the milder months. In April/May, the town hosts Splash into Spring, a multi-week celebration of spring's arrival. For 2024, the festival is set to begin with the opening of the Ogunquit Museum of American Art and finish with the Southern Maine AIDS Walk. On the first weekend of June, Ogunquit hosts a multi-day Pride festival featuring flag raising, picnic, and live music, while the second weekend of June ushers in BonAire! A Celebration of Ogunquit with art and food. Ogunquit has too many attractions to quit.

Maine is not to be missed in spring. The Pine Tree State is not simply a forested fortress that opens for a couple of months in the middle of the year. It is an all-season wonderland with a spring that comes alive with flowers, fairs, seabirds, maple syrup, and even reggae. All those attractions can be found in and around small towns. Lubec, Newfield, Kennebunk, South Bristol, Carrabassett Valley, Belfast, and Ogunquit are the Maine places to be in spring.

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