You have probably heard of Maine as one of the growing destinations for tourist travel in New England and the Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens is a huge part of visitor interest.
This gorgeous, walkable mix of the landscape and native plants makes the Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens an unforgettable experience of Maine’s nature.
Located in Boothbay, Maine, the Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens are on 300 acres of coastal Maine and open daily from May 1st through October 23rd.
The Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens then opens again for a limited period from mid-November through December 31st with the renowned Gardens Aglow event, which you’ll definitely want to learn about!
Maine is known for being one of the most friendly and beautiful tourist destinations — complete your trip with a memorable visit to this renowned Botanical Garden for a taste of Maine’s wilderness.
The Best Time to Visit Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens
The best time to visit the Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens is from late May through August, when the weather is agreeable and most of Maine’s flora is in full bloom.
However, each season has its own distinct flavor that attracts visitors from all over the world. When you visit these gorgeous gardens will depend on your personal weather preferences and what you want to experience.
Early spring in Maine can be muddy, but by the time the Gardens open in May, most of the ground has hardened. The 295 acres that make up these gardens feature coastal land and beaches that become warm and enjoyable by June.
High summer in Maine is the most popular tourist season because of the lush green foliage and gorgeous weather that is generally not too humid. In the evenings, the sea breeze can cool hot travelers.
For a quieter and more colorful trip, some prefer to travel to Maine for the “leaf-peeping” season. This brief time of year is beautiful, especially considering the great variety of trees that grow there.
Keep in mind that the season during which the leaves change can be brief and tricky to catch. Keep an eye on forecasts to see the best time to catch the leaves changing.
The annual Gardens Aglow event attracts thousands from both Maine and the world. Despite the size of this event, it only lasts for a short while from mid-November through the end of December.
During this event, workers decorate the entire garden with record-breaking numbers of lights and accompany this with a fireworks show. Locals know this as being one of the most beautiful events during Maine’s long winters.
Cheapest Time to Visit
The cheapest time of year to visit the Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens is later is the end of summer or early fall, when the tourism season slows significantly.
This is a nice dip in prices to take advantage of as traveling to Maine during the winter can cost a little more due to heating fuel costs.
While overall prices of traveling to Maine will be lower in autumn and winter, the ticket prices for the Gardens remain static throughout the year. Adults can expect to pay $22 per ticket, with seniors at a discount of $18.
Kids and student tickets range between $10 and $15, but if you plan on visiting frequently, you can purchase a membership for free access at any time. For better airfare prices, consider flying into Boston and driving up to Maine.
You can take the coastal Route 1 to familiarize yourself with the landscape and save money on your airplane ticket. Because airports in Portland and Bangor are smaller, plane ticket prices tend to be more expensive.
Least Busy Time to Visit
The least busy time to visit the Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens is either during May or in the early fall season. While winters are quiet for Maine tourism, the Gardens Aglow event attracts thousands of visitors and makes for big crowds.
The height of Maine’s tourist season kicks off in June when schools let out for the summer. Not only is May less busy, but the flora of Maine’s early spring is also uniquely beautiful.
This is a great opportunity for a clear view of the mile of coastline on the eastern edge of the Gardens. Things slow down again in late summer as families prepare to return their kids to school.
Maine is not called Vacationland for nothing — there are far fewer people during September and October, as well as an abundance of beautiful trees and plants. If you’re looking to enjoy the Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens to yourself, come in early fall.
Seventeen smaller gardens within the Gardens contain native species, as well as species that live happily in northeastern conditions. By visiting the Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens at different times of the year, you can experience various flora.
Worst Time to Visit
There is no bad time to visit the Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens. But, depending on what kind of weather you prefer, you can plan your trip accordingly.
For example, if you hate large crowds, you may want to avoid the Gardens Aglow event as well as during June and July when the tourist season is at its height.
Since the Gardens have experienced immense growth in visitation over the last several years, these times of year are likely to be busy. Maine is also known for being chilly. If brisk breezes aren’t for you, visiting during the height of summer in July and August is best.
The sun is warm all day and the cooler sea air balances the atmosphere out at night. September through December can come with frigid temperatures.
Snowstorms are common in the winter months and since Maine is a place where you’ll need to drive, you’ll want to keep an eye on the weather. If you can handle the cold, you can visit the Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens for a better price overall.
Things to Consider
Maine is a beloved destination for thousands and is a safe place to visit with friends, family, and small children. Like any travel destination, you’ll want to do your research and make sure you’ve got all the knowledge to make your trip a memorable dream.
For that to happen, here are the elements you’ll want to consider for your trip:
- Driving conditions
- Time of year
If you’ve never driven in the snow before but want to visit the Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens during the Gardens Aglow event, keep an eye on the weather preceding your trip.
There are plenty of safe places to “hunker down” and diligent plow drivers usually have the roads cleared by dawn. Since Maine has four distinct seasons, as well as two distinct tourist seasons, you’ll want to pay close attention to what time of year you plan your visit.
May and June are generally warm during the day with low morning and nighttime temperatures, as well as the months before the heaviest tourist season.
July and August are the warmest and best times for swimming and all-day outdoor activities — just remember to wear sunscreen! Attractions are another thing to think about before planning your trip.
Besides the Gardens Aglow event, the Gardens runs various events and educational courses for both adults and children throughout their open season. Boothbay is also a rich area of Maine with plenty of local events in addition to visiting the Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens.
If you don’t like crowds and would rather have a more intimate experience when visiting, try to plan your trip for late spring or early fall. This is when kids are in school and the Gardens are the least busy.
Frequently Asked Questions
Plan your trip to the Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens perfectly with all the knowledge you need. Here are answers to the most asked questions:
When is the best time to visit the Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens?
Late spring and early summer is the best time to visit the Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens because of the abundance of plants. However, no matter what time of year you visit this gorgeous place will have something to offer.
How long does it take to walk the Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens?
From the trailhead to several key destinations, the walk is approximately 40 minutes, so if you want to visit the entire park, you can spend anywhere from a few hours to the entire day. Certain areas of the park are accessible, but because of the rough landscape, there may not be accommodations on all trails.
How long should you spend at the Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens?
At least a full day and perhaps more is ideal for experiencing the Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens. This expansive 295 acres features more botanicals than you could possibly see in a day!
How big are the Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens?
The Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens is located on approximately 300 acres of Maine coastal land. The original vision of the park was half this size at 148 acres, but the Gardens have grown substantially since then.
When are Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens open?
The Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens are open for the season from May 1st through October 23rd, 2023. The gardens open again in mid-November for the special Gardens Aglow event where the trees and foliage are decorated with thousands of lights. Daily, the park is open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
When Should You Visit Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens?
Maine is a unique place growing in popularity as a tourist destination throughout the year, meaning the best time to visit the Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens is whichever season sounds most appealing to you.
Winter, Spring, Summer, and Fall all have distinct weather and temperatures that can influence your trip. Though every time of year has its attractions, high summer in July and August is perhaps the most beautiful time to visit.
This is when Maine’s flora is in full bloom and you have a great chance of spotting local animals. If you’re looking to have a less-crowded experience, Maine is worth visiting in late spring and early fall.
So, with so much to see and do, why wait — book your trip today!