Fall Daytrip Destinations

A Maine fall means crisp days, cool nights, and beautiful foliage. These nine nearby spots—from farms to beaches to lighthouses—will keep you active and outside, whether you’re exploring by foot, bike, or canoe.

The Arboretum at Fort Williams Park

Fort Williams Park is home to Portland Head Light as well as to this arboretum. After a 15-minute drive south from Portland, start at Cliffside, then follow the Cliff Walk along the coast and arrive at Lighthouse View. Along the way, you’ll spot native Virginia roses, red rose hips, and staghorn sumacs as well as blueberries, huckleberries, and chokeberries.

1000 Shore Rd. | Cape Elizabeth
fortwilliams.org

Back Cove

This estuary basin forms part of the peninsula’s perimeter. Whether it’s low or high tide, the basin provides a picturesque foreground to Portland’s skyline. Take a walk or bike ride along the three-and-a-half-mile trail that winds around the water. If you have children with you, stop off at Edward Payson Park, where there’s a playground and the fields are always full of baseball games.

Back Cove | Portland
trails.org

Portland Farmers' Market

Every Saturday, vendors from all over Maine set up shop in Deering Oaks Park. Among dozens of stands, you’ll find Balfour Farm’s organic cheese, Blue Hill Berry Company’s organic blueberries, and Meadowbrook Farm’s local apples. After chatting with local farmers, explore the park’s playground, tennis courts, and volleyball nets. The pond also features a duck house and a water fountain.

Deering Oaks Park | Portland
portlandmainefarmersmarket.org

Wolfe's Neck Farm

If animals are what you seek, seek out the barnyard, home to sheep, goats, rabbits, chickens, turkeys, and ducks. If you’re feeling active, rent kayaks and canoes and explore Casco Bay with a guided tour, or paddle around on your own, circling nearby islands and looking out for harbor seals and bald eagles. The Fall Festival on October 12 celebrates the autumn harvest with hay-bale climbing and pumpkin hayrides, as well as local food and live music. The farm is located about 30 minutes north of Portland.

184 Burnett Rd. | Freeport
wolfesneckfarm.org

Bradbury Mountain State Park

This 800-acre park, located a half hour from Portland, is filled with family-friendly hikes that reward with great views. On a clear day you can see Casco Bay’s Eagle Island from the summit. Also open to mountain biking and horseback riding, popular trails include the Summit Trail, which is three-tenths of a mile, and the Northern Loop, which is about one mile long.

528 Hallowell Rd. | Pownal
bradburymountain.com

Portland Breakwater Light

This elegant lighthouse, which is nicknamed Bug Light because of its tiny size, was built in 1875 to look like an ancient Greek monument. A nine-acre park neighbors the lighthouse, where visitors can fly a kite, pack a lunch, and take advantage of the saltwater breezes and the beautiful stretch of city skyline views located just ten minutes away.

Madison St. | South Portland
southportland.org

 

Freeport

Explore over 200 stores and outlets, which include the well-known L.L.Bean flagship as well as J. Crew, Gap, Banana Republic, Coach, and the North Face. After shopping at the major retailers, head to NOBO, an area north of Bow Street that is starting to gain some attention. You’ll find boutiques that feature locally made jewelry, art, and bath products. R.D. Allen Freeport Jewelers boasts the largest supply of tourmaline in Maine, and Edgecomb Potters is nearby, too. At the Fall Festival on October 4-5, Maine musicians, including Kenya Hall, Royal Hammer, and Gunther Brown, will take the L.L.Bean stage.

Main St. | Freeport
freeportusa.com  

Willard Beach

Just four miles south of the Old Port, this beach checks off all the boxes: kids can play on the nearby playground, dog owners will stop to meet others with their furry friends, and beach lovers will feel like they’ve discovered a hidden gem along the quiet side streets of South Portland.

Willow St. | South Portland
southportland.org

Diamond Cove

With limited roads, the best way to get around this island is by bicycle or golf cart. If this type of small-island life appeals to you, hop on a ferry for a 25-minute ride out of Portland to Diamond Cove. You’ll arrive at Diamond’s Edge Restaurant and Marina. Grab snacks at the Diamond Cove General Store, originally a blacksmith shop, or sit and enjoy lobster (rolls or steamed) provided by local lobstermen.

56 Commercial St. | Portland
cascobaylines.com

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