Portland, ME Travel Guide

USA  #1 in Best Places to Visit in Maine
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Courtesy of Joe Potato Photo/Getty Images

Best Times to Visit Portland, ME

The best time to visit Portland is from June to August. Although summer is peak tourist season, the season's cool temperatures – with highs seldom climbing above 80 degrees – are hard to beat. What's more, Maine experiences quite a bit of rainfall, and summer is the only time of the year that the amount of precipitation dips to its lowest numbers. Plus, Portland's social calendar hits an all-time high during the summer, offering more festivals and events than any other season in the year. If you're not one for crowds, spring and fall are also great times to visit, especially if you want to peep seasonal flowers and autumn foliage. But considering Portland's placement on the tip of the northeastern coast, lows during those seasons – between 25 and 50 degrees – resemble that of an average winter elsewhere.

Weather in Portland, ME

Switch to Celsius/MM
Average Temperature (°F)
31.2
13.4
34.6
16.4
42.1
24.9
53.3
34.7
63.5
44.2
73.2
53.6
78.8
59.4
77.7
58.2
70
50.3
58.7
38.9
48
30.9
37.3
20.4
Jan
Feb
Mar
Apr
May
Jun
Jul
Aug
Sep
Oct
Nov
Dec
Average Precipitation (in)
3.38
3.25
4.24
4.32
4.01
3.79
3.61
3.14
3.69
4.87
4.93
4.02
Jan
Feb
Mar
Apr
May
Jun
Jul
Aug
Sep
Oct
Nov
Dec

Data sourced from the National Climatic Data Center

June-August

Summers in Portland tend to be cool. The highs range around the mid- to high 70s, while the lows are brisk – hovering in the low to high 50s come nightfall. Aside from the comfortable beach temperatures, there's not much rain during this period. In August, the city sees a little more than 3 inches of precipitation on average. Thanks to the lack of rain and cold northeastern temperatures, there are hundreds of events and festivals available. The Old Port Festival, an annual music and arts festival, is not only the city's biggest event but considered one of the most popular in all of Maine, with more than 50,000 attendees every year. Just be prepared to pay a premium in lodging rates during these months.

Key Events:

September-November

Once the summer traffic clears, Portland becomes a lot quieter – making fall a great option for travelers who don't want to battle the crowds. September highs can reach 70 degrees, but once October hits, highs hover in the 50s before dipping to the 40s come early November. Lows stay in the 50s in September before falling to the 30-degree range in October and November. The payoff to withstanding these cooler temperatures, however, is the stunning northeastern fall foliage. Airfare and hotel rates also tend to fall now that peak tourist season is over. Foodies in particular will enjoy an autumn visit for the two of the city's premier culinary events, Harvest on the Harbor and Portland Beer Week. The only caveat: Portland's peak precipitation occurs during October and November, with nearly 5 inches of precipitation on average expected during both months.

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December-February

Although Portland's winter temperatures don't rival that of other northern states around the country, the 30-degree highs and low teens will still send a chill down the spines of even the hardiest winter travelers. Snow is to be expected, so make sure to bring the proper gear. Luckily, Portland residents embrace the icy temps with cross-country skiing, ice skating and sledding. Sebago Lake, about 30 miles northwest of Portland, is a popular spot for winter activities, especially ice fishing.

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March-May

After a long winter, spring is a breath of fresh air for Portland residents – but it doesn't really kick into gear until May. March sees highs in the 40s; April temps hover in the low 50s. You'll still want to pack warm clothes; the mercury can dip to the 20s or 30s during those two months. May's highs tend to be in the low 60s, with the lowest temperatures in the 40s. Like autumn, spring also sees notable precipitation, with a little more than 4 inches of rainfall on average per month. April showers, however, do bring many May flowers. Beautiful varieties bloom across Portland, making this charming coastal city even lovelier. Peep the blooms at the Maine Flower Show, held in downtown Portland.

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