bare tree branches against a gray sky in maine in november.

It’s Maine in November: Are There Still Things To Do?

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Maine in November is an ideal time to get away from it all and enjoy some of the great natural beauty that is Maine. November is when we transition from crisp fall foliage to the glow of holiday lights.

The November weather in Maine is generally in the 40s during the day, and still comfortable to be outside without having to be covered from head to toe with winter gear.

In addition to its many outdoor activities, Maine offers a vast array of activities to take advantage of in this awkward month. Whether you want to catch a concert, tour a brewery, or shop till you drop, there’s something for everyone this month.

In this post you’ll find some great things to do in November in Maine.  At the end of the post, we’re going to tell you about a couple of cool winter festivals in Maine that you can put on your to-do list as well!

Maine coast in November.

Drive The Coast

In November you won’t have to worry about summer crowds on the coast. All the lighthouses and rugged coastlines are still here. Boats are still in harbors. And, because we are the Pine Tree State, you’ll still see some green trees.

There is a stark beauty along the coast that you can only see in Maine in November.

Go Biking

You can bike almost anywhere in Maine, whether it’s on a paved path, a back road, or a natural trail. Maine in November is a great time to ride. The tourists have gone home, and the cool weather makes for a much more comfortable ride.

The state of Maine has a remarkably diverse range of terrains and scenery for bike riding. The coastline, for instance, is home to picturesque seaside towns, unique natural habitats, granite cliffs, and the gorgeous Atlantic Ocean. You’ll be biking on paved roads or established paths and trails.

Moving inland, there are a lot of scenic roads and paths to ride in the vast woodlands of the state, as well as in the mountains and rugged highlands of Mt. Katahdin, the highest peak in the state of Maine, and where the Appalachian Trail ends.

Here are a few well-loved bike trails to get started with:

✔️ The Downeast Rail Trail covers 110 miles of remote forests, fields, and coastline in Downeast Maine.

✔️ The Medway Bicycle Trail is a 30-mile trail that connects mills and towns in mid-Maine.

✔️ The Coastal Bicycle Trail is a 49-mile trail that runs from Southern Maine to Northern Maine.

Check out Explore Maine for self-guided bike tours.

Take a Three-Hour Bike Tour and See Three Lighthouses!

A lighthouse representing the lighthouse bike tour you can do in Maine in November.

Explore the lighthouses of the South Portland Greenbelt Pathway by bicycle with this guided tour. You’ll visit Bug Light, Point Ledge Light, and Portland Head Light with a local guide.

You’ll also have the chance to stop at a local food truck for a lunch of lobster rolls before returning to your starting point.

~Bicycles are provided~
~Small group sizes keep this tour intimate~

👉Book This Three Hour Portland Bike Tour To See Lighthouses

Go Hiking

There is something extremely invigorating about cold weather hiking, not that you’ll be really cold. Dressing in layers. A cool wool hat. The quiet on the trails that you only get when the tourists have gone home . . .

Pick out any mountain in Maine and you are sure to find an incredible number of hiking trails to suit every experience level.

Take A Ride On The Santa Express Train

The Belfast and Moosehead Railroad offers special Santa train rides starting at the end of November. If you are visiting with kids, this could be a fun afternoon.

Gardens Aglow christmas lights at the Maine Botanical Gardens.

Visit Gardens Aglow

Gardens Aglow is an amazing display of lights at the Maine Botanical Gardens in Boothbay. It is like a magical wonderland that changes each year. It’s truly incredible. The picture does not do it justice. The lights, the cold weather, the hot chocolate.

Here is an entire post about visiting Gardens Aglow in November or December, because you’ll only see this if you’re in Maine in November or December.

Visit A Craft Brewery

Get in some of the other activities in the morning, and head over to a local craft brewery to check out the beer scene in Maine. For more breweries, visit the Maine Brewers’ Guild for a comprehensive list of your options.

Allagash Brewing Company is in Portland, and they offer tours that are pretty interesting–then again, I guess all brewery tours would be!

Cushnoc Brewing Co. has a few locations depending on whether you are heading to the tasting room, brewery, or restaurant. I’ve only visited the restaurant, but you can get a flight there plus some awesome food. The restaurant is located in Augusta, Maine.

Baxter Brewing is another pretty famous brewery in Maine, and you can likely find their beer on any restaurant or bar menu. They are located in Lewiston, Maine and have a pretty cool pub there.

The Liberal Cup Public House & Brewery is one of my favorites. The owners wanted to create an English pub feel, and they pulled it off. It’s located in Hallowell, Maine on one of the coolest streets you’ll find outside of Portland.

Marshall Wharf Brewing Company is located in Belfast, Maine, one of the many really cool cities/towns in Maine. There’s nothing more to say than they have a beer atrium!

Sea Dog Brewing Company is pretty famous, and you can easily find their beer everywhere. They also have restaurants scattered all over Maine.

Sebago Brewing has several brewpubs, but their brewery is located in Gorham, Maine. You can take a free tour of the brewery, then stop into the tasting room where they have all their classic, as well as whatever the seasonal, beer on tap.

Take A Guided Tour Of Portland Craft Breweries!

  • Sample some of Portland’s well-known beers, flavorful cocktails, and ciders
  • Explore some of the best local breweries in Portland, Maine
  • Learn about the area’s brewing history and culture from locals
  • Enjoy reserved access at each location and transportation throughout the trip
  • Get a taste of local flavors with included local snacks and an optional lunch

👉 Book A Guided Tour Of Portland Craft Breweries!

You could also scrap all the driving around and head to Waterville where, on a short stretch of downtown, you are sure to find beer from all these great craft breweries. Check out our post on 10 Great Bars Waterville and stay right in town so you don’t have to drive.

The Nubble LIghthouse in Maine.

See The Lighting Of The Nubble Lighthouse

This can draw as many as 10,000 people! It’s crazy. They couldn’t do it during COVID, and in 2021 there were some logistical problems so it wasn’t held again. Keep an eye on their website to see if they will be doing a public lighting this year.

Visit a Thanksgiving Parade

If you’re in the area, you may as well see a Thanksgiving parade. Depending on where you are in Maine, a parade may have a Thanksgiving theme or may simply be a community celebration. Regardless of the theme, there are few things more fun than joining in with a Thanksgiving parade.

Explore Some Great Museums

Since Maine in November means that the crowds are gone, the world is your oyster when it comes to museums.

For those who want to get more out of their visit to a museum, there are a number of great things to do in November at a museum. Some museums offer special exhibits or free days in November. Below is a list of museums in different regions of the state.

map of maine regions.

Southern Maine

✅ The Museum at Bates College is a great museum and it’s free to the public.

Center for Maine Contemporary Art in Rockland, Maine is focused on, as the title says, contemporary art in Maine. They also do workshops and have Free on Friday events.

✅ The Portland Museum of Art offers a cafe, sculpture garden, and activities for kids. There is an admission fee, but if you go between 4 pm and 8 pm on Friday nights admission is free.

✅ The Maine Narrow Gauge Railway offers 35-minute rides on restored historic steam and diesel trains. Your ride will take you around Casco Bay.

✅ The Seashore Trolley Museum in Kennebunkport proudly claims to be the largest and oldest museum dedicated to electric railways in the world. The museum focuses on the role of public transportation in daily life, and, of course, you can take a trolley ride.

✅ Maine has an actual Umbrella Cover Museum on Peaks Island! The collection started by happenstance, and now boasts thousands of umbrella covers. You can take the Casco Bay Ferry out to Peaks Island to visit the museum.

✅ Maine has the only International Cryptozoology Museum in the world in Portland! If you want to visit a museum that is truly one-of-a-kind, this is the museum for you. It’s also just really cool, and a really unique thing to do in Maine.

✅ Portland’s Victoria Mansion is a national historic site and is just spectacular. You’ll step back in time to see what life was like for the super-rich back in the 1800s (this was actually someone’s summer home!).

Paintings hanging in a museum.

Central Maine

✅ The Zillman Art Museum in Bangor is part of the University of Maine/Orono, is surprisingly nice, and is free. It’s definitely worth a visit if you are in the area.

Bowdoin College Museum of Art in Bowdoin and the Colby College Museum of Art in Waterville are great museums that are free to the public.

✅ At first, the Cole Land Transportation Museum in Bangor might not seem like it would be too interesting, but it is surprisingly fun. There are so many cool, old vehicles of all types representing the state of Maine, as well as old military vehicles.

✅ The Owl’s Head Transportation Museum specializes in pre-1940s vehicles of all types and they have an educational focus.

✅ The Redington Museum in Waterville is a historic house built in 1814 that demonstrates what life was like ‘back in the day’. It is also one of the stops on the Museum of the Streets/Waterville. There are several Museum of the Streets location throughout Maine.

✅ The Penobscot Marine Museum tells Maine’s maritime history. It includes an entire campus of buildings and is located in the great little town of Searsport.

✅ The Maine Discovery Museum in Bangor just keeps getting bigger and better all the time. This is an amazing museum for kids. When I’ve been there, most kids’ favorite spot was the beaver lodge, but there is so much for kids to do that it’s worth setting aside the time to visit.

Here are some other great things to do with kids if you are in Bangor.

✅ The Dorr Museum of Natural History, located at College of the Atlantic, in Bar Harbor is dedicated to the natural world found in Maine. One of the things kids love is the tidal pool tank.

✅ The Maine State Museum in Augusta, Maine’s capital city, tells the story of Maine in a way no other museum does. It is full of artifacts showing daily life and work throughout the *centuries* in Maine. I was fascinated by the logging tools, especially the history of the peavy.

✅ The Maine Lighthouse Museum is located in Rockland, Maine, and is obviously dedicated to lighthouses. However, it also focuses on the Coast Guard, and how that combination has been lifesaving to so many people throughout history.

✅ The Peary-McMillian Arctic Museum is located at Bowdoin College. Famous Arctic explorers Robert E. Peary and Donald B. MacMillan both attended Bowdoin College, hence the amazing museum full of incredible Arctic Artifacts.

Local music is a great thing to get out and do in Maine in November.

Enjoy Some Local Music

Whether it’s the Portland Symphony Orchestra or a local band playing at a bar, there is sooo much music going on in Maine. It would take an entire book to list all the bars, clubs, opera houses, theaters, and concert venues available to you in the state.

Actually, Maine in November is a great time for music. It’s after all of the fairs and festivals, but before people get too busy in December. You are sure to find something that suits your taste wherever you happen to be in Maine.

Go Skiing

That’s right. The ski resorts open in November. Our major ski resorts are in the western part of the state, and include Sugarloaf, Saddleback, Sunday River, and Shawnee Peak. We also have smaller mountains, like Hermon and the Camden Snow Bowl.

You might be able to get in some early season skiing before the hills get too crowded. Maine has also upped its snow tubing game, so that might be an option, too.

Shop ’til You Drop`

If you’re visiting in the fall, you may be in the mood to shop before the holiday crowds show up in December. Instead of getting lost in a maze of aisles at the nearest big-box store check out Freeport.

Freeport is a cute little town all on its own, but, of course, it’s home to some amazing shopping as well. The flagship L.L. Bean store (or campus, as they call it) is open 24/7. You’ll find outlets for brands like North Face and Patagonia in Freeport as well.

Can’t make it in November? In December Freeport has the Sparkle Celebration which will make your shopping experience even more delightful.

There are also unique local shops and plenty of places to grab a quick lunch to keep you going.

Enjoy One Of Maine’s Many Amazing Restaurants

For those who want to explore local foods and cuisine, November is a great month to visit Maine. While summer may be the season for Maine lobster, it’s available all year long.

The November weather might put you in the mood for some comfort food. If so, check out one of these classic diners along your travels in Maine.

Along with the lobster, this month sees the emergence of local apples, corn, and squash.

Portland is really a foodie heaven. Your options will range from dumpling houses to Ethiopian to seafood. Here are some other places around Maine where you can experience some fine dining in November when the crowds are gone.

Apple cider and apples.

Visit A Cider Mil

If you’re lucky enough to be near a cider mill in November, be sure to try a flight of cider. This will give you the chance to try a variety of Maine ciders. The apple orchards below all sell cider, and some will offer tours of the cider mill.

Most of these businesses close at some point in November, so check before you go!

Cayford Orchards in Skowhegan

Pietree Orchard in Sweden

Randall Orchards in Standish

The Apple Farm in Fairfield 

Biscay Orchards in Damariscotta 

Hooper’s Orchard in Monroe

Morrison Hill Orchard in Farmington

Here are some great winter festivals in Maine that you won’t want to miss.

The Boothbay Festival of Lights: The entire town becomes magical. The highlight is the lighted boat parade!

Carnavale in Portland: Portland goes all out for this 10-day celebration of all things winter!

See more information on these festivals, as well as the entire list of 15+ Winter Festivals in Maine here.

Maine In November: Where To Go, What To Do

So it’s not summer, and it’s not yet a winter wonderland, but Maine in November is still worth visiting.

All those great chefs are still around, cooking their hearts out.

You’ll have space to take in all the art at our museums without being interrupted by a horde of visitors.

Accommodations are so much more affordable during the off-season.

Sure, visiting Maine in November was probably not your first thought, but take another look at some of the things there are to do–some of them that you can *only* do in November–and I think you’ll see that Maine in November is worth visiting after all.

Take a look at things to do in December.