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The Best & Worst Times to Visit Portland, Maine in 2024

The Best & Worst Times to Visit Portland, Maine in 2024

What's the best time to visit Portland, Maine?

The best time to visit Portland, Maine, is in the summer, perfect for warm weather and numerous festivals and outdoor activities. For fewer crowds but pleasant conditions, early June or September are ideal. The best time for a unique but colder experience is winter, though it’s less suitable for extensive exploration due to the chill.

Portland is a gorgeous little city in Maine that is perfect for a weekend getaway. The beautiful surrounding nature, historic harbor, and quirky town culture attract plenty of visitors annually.

It’s one of the most quintessential New England towns, from its historic Old Port to its famous Portland Head Light. The modern town is a center for culture, from more traditional establishments such as the Wadsworth-Longfellow House to quirkier places such as breweries.

The city is also a great base for exploring the wonderful nature that Maine has to offer. But if you’re still figuring out when to visit Portland, Maine, keep reading this guide to help you plan your trip.

Overall Best Time to Visit Portland, Maine

Picturesque view of the Portland Head Light House in Portland during the summer, the overall best time to visit


The best time to visit Portland, Maine is during the summer, when temperatures are warm and pleasant, and you can make the most out of both the town and the surrounding nature.

Maine is a state infamous for its cold weather, but that is actually not the case all year round. Summers can get warm and some days are even hot. However, don’t expect ideal beach weather since the ocean never fully warms up.

According to U.S. Climate Data, Portland’s high temperatures in the summer are in the high 70s. It’s warm enough to walk outside without a jacket and spend all day outdoors, but it’s never going to be so hot that you’ll be sweating.

Summer is also the season with the least precipitation (although it’s fairly rainy all year round). With such good weather, it would be a mistake to limit your trip to just Portland.

Many people use this time to visit the city and use it as a base to explore surrounding national parks, and you should too. It’s the perfect season for hiking, kayaking, and other activities.

There’s another good reason to visit Portland in the summer, and that’s blueberry season. Between late July and early September, the state is covered in rich blueberry fields. Portland’s cafes take advantage of this season to serve plenty of blueberry desserts.

The city comes alive with the warm weather, so you can expect plenty of fun festivals and events in the summer. The most hyped is Resurgam, an art and music festival held in June, which replaced the much-beloved Old Port Festival.

Other popular festivals include:

Besides these big festivals, expect plenty of other events such as outdoor movie nights, free concerts, art walks, and more. Plus, it’s the perfect weather for leisurely browsing a flea market or sipping a coffee on a terrace, both activities that are very popular in Portland in the summer!

Cheapest Time to Visit Portland, Maine

Fore Street in Portland, Maine pictured with empty streets on either side of the road with trees still bare from the winter cold

JLC Photo Images/Shutterstock

The cheapest time to visit Portland, Maine is the late winter and early spring, when there are fewer visitors and you can get discounts on a lot of offers.

Winter and early spring in Portland isn’t very popular among visitors because it can get quite cold. The average high temperature in January is just over 30 degrees, while low temperatures are often in the teens. Cold temperatures and wet weather last well into April.

Many hotels offer discounts and special packages to visitors who come during the off-season. Between February and April, you can find lower rates even on many popular hotels, as well as resorts located just outside of Portland.

After the holiday rush is over in early-mid January, you can also find good discounts on flights as well. Many airlines have their lowest prices in January, but if your travel plans are flexible, you can shop around and see when the rates are best.

Just be sure to avoid traveling around Christmas. December is actually the most popular month for visitors outside of the summer season and prices rise accordingly. Hotels take advantage of this rush to increase their rates.

That being said, Portland is very charming during the holiday season. The city twinkles with thousands of lights during events such as the Sparkle Celebration. If you don’t mind paying a bit extra, it’s a good opportunity to experience the quintessential New England Christmas.

Least Busy Time to Visit Portland, Maine

Photo of boats floating on the water in the fall, one of the least busy times to visit Portland, Maine

PORTLAND, ME, USA, AUGUST 10, 2015: Scenic view of working fishing ships and boats, dockside in Portland Maine’s harbor/James Mattil/Shutterstock

The least busy time to visit Portland is the spring, and the best time to visit for a combination of good weather and few crowds is late spring or early fall.

Spring is actually the least busy time in Portland due to the unpredictable weather. Some days may be beautiful, but others are chilly and rainy and it’s hard to know what your vacation will look like.

While this unpredictable weather may chase many other potential visitors away, those who decide to risk it will be rewarded with more of Portland to themselves.

Spring is a good time to take in the flowers. Portland has many gardens and flower beds, and as they slowly come alive in late April and early May, the city looks beautiful. This season is a good time to go hiking around Portland and watch the countryside come alive.

Just remember to pack waterproof gear. If you want better weather but still want to avoid the high season crowds, then late spring or early fall is the best time to visit. Late May, June, and September don’t have as many visitors as peak season, but you can still have reasonably good chances of warm, sunny days.

The fall has another benefit besides lower crowds, and that’s the seafood. Fall is peak season for fish and seafood in Maine, so you can try delicacies that the state is famous for.

Harvest on the Harbor, which celebrates lobster and other local specialties, usually happens in October each year. Plus, fall is the best time of year if you were hoping to go fishing off the coast of Portland.

Worst Time to Visit Portland, Maine

Winter sunrise on the snowy and cold Portland Fish Pier pictured under the winter sky during the overall worst time to visit Portland, Maine

Portland, Maine / United States – Jan 20 2020: A winter sunrise on snowy and cold Portland Fish Pier/Gregory Szymbor/Shutterstock

The worst time to visit Portland is in the winter, when the weather really does make it cold to explore much of the town. Make no mistake — winters in Portland are bitterly cold.

Because of the high humidity, they often feel even colder than the mercury in the thermometer indicates. However, there is some charm to bundling up and strolling by the port as the winds blow, then warming up with a hot drink by the fire.

This charm feels even more special around Christmas. Some people may disagree that winter is the worst time to visit Portland. If you hate crowds, then the worst time to visit is definitely the summer.

In July and August, the town’s population swells, tourists crowd the streets, and lines stretch out the door at popular local restaurants and attractions. Come just before or just after the season to experience the best of Portland but without the worst of the crowds.

Portland, Maine by Month: Climate & Activities

Unique photo of the main streets of Old Port pictured during the overall best time to visit Portland, Maine, with cars lining the street on a nice clear day

Portland, ME – Oct. 24, 2014: Corner of Fore & Market Sts. of Historical Old Port, a district of Portland, Maine, known for its cobblestone streets, 19th century brick buildings and fishing piers/Jejim/Shutterstock

Still unsure about the best time to visit Portland, Maine? Take a look at our summary of the weather and climate by month below:


January in Portland, with temperatures usually between 13 to 31°F (-11 to -1°C), offers a serene winter atmosphere. It’s a perfect time for cozy dining experiences in the city’s renowned restaurants, ice skating at the Thompson’s Point rink, and exploring the Portland Museum of Art.


February continues with the winter charm, ideal for joining in the fun at the Portland Winter Festival, strolling through the Old Port’s cobblestone streets for unique shopping experiences, and enjoying the vibrant local music scene.


As hints of spring appear, March temperatures range from 24 to 40°F (-4 to 4°C). Enjoy early spring walks along the Eastern Promenade, visit the historic Victoria Mansion, and explore the local craft breweries that Portland is famous for.


April’s milder weather, with temperatures between 34 to 53°F (1 to 12°C), beckons for visits to the Portland Observatory, exploring the blooming landscapes at the Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens, and enjoying the city’s First Friday Art Walk.


May brings warmer days, from 44 to 63°F (7 to 17°C), perfect for ferry trips to the nearby Casco Bay Islands, exploring the Old Port’s bustling streets, and attending the annual Maine Comic Arts Festival.


June, with temperatures between 54 to 73°F (12 to 23°C), ushers in summer. It’s an ideal time for beach outings to nearby beaches like Old Orchard Beach, enjoying the Portland Rose Festival, and exploring the Portland Head Light and Fort Williams Park.


July’s warmth, ranging from 60 to 78°F (16 to 26°C), is all about outdoor dining on the waterfront, attending the Maine Brewers’ Guild Summer Session beer festival, and enjoying concerts at the Maine State Pier.


In August, with temperatures of 59 to 77°F (15 to 25°C), savor the local seafood at the Maine Lobster Festival, explore the art and culture at the Portland Arts Festival, and enjoy kayaking along the serene Maine coast.


Welcoming fall, September, with temperatures from 52 to 70°F (11 to 21°C), is perfect for witnessing the spectacular fall foliage, visiting the Portland Farmers Market, and attending the annual Harvest on the Harbor festival.


October’s cooler days, from 40 to 59°F (4 to 15°C), are ideal for Halloween-themed events in the city, exploring the historic Eastern Cemetery, and taking scenic drives to appreciate New England’s autumn beauty.


November, as the air turns crisp, temperatures from 30 to 48°F (-1 to 9°C), is a time for exploring the indoor arts and culture scene, enjoying the city’s vibrant coffee shops, and experiencing the start of the holiday season with festive lights and decorations.


December brings a festive and cozy atmosphere, with temperatures ranging from 19 to 37°F (-7 to 3°C). Enjoy the holiday spirit with the Portland Tree Lighting, shopping for unique gifts in local boutiques, and taking part in the Old Port’s Merry Madness shopping event.

Frequently Asked Questions

Neat view in the middle of summer, the overall best time to visit Portland, Maine, pictured with gorgeous rays of light streaking up high above the bay

Sean Pavone/Shutterstock

Still have questions about the best and worst times to visit Portland, Maine? These answers may help:

What are the best months to visit Maine?

June, July, and August are the best months to visit anywhere in Maine, not just Portland. The weather is warm and mild, perfect for spending plenty of time outdoors.

What is a good month to visit Portland?

Any of the summer months of June, July, and August are good months to visit Portland. September is also great because temperatures tend to stay warm until then.

How many days do you need in Portland, Maine?

Three days is enough for the fairly small city of Portland itself. However, if you want to do day trips to surrounding nature, plan to spend at least five days in town.

Is August a good time to visit Portland, Maine?

August is a good time to visit Portland in terms of weather, but it gets very crowded. If you visit the last week of the month, you can avoid the worst of the crowds.

What are the rainy months in Portland?

Portland is fairly rainy all year round, but March and April are the rainiest months.

So, What’s the Best Time to Visit Portland, Maine?

The best time to visit Portland, Maine is in the summer, when there’s glorious warm weather, vibrant nature, and plenty of festivals and events. They do get quite crowded, so if you want to beat the crowds visit in early June or September.

However, the city is beautiful year-round with plenty to see and do, so any time you visit is sure to result in a good time. So, so many amazing times to visit, what are you waiting for — book your trip today!