Make the Cold Easy to Love: Things to do in Maine in the Winter
If you’re not a native New-Englander, you may be wondering: what are the great things to do in Maine in the winter? We’re here to tell you that no matter the weather, vacationing Down East is great at anytime of year. As long as you know where you’re headed and have your warm clothes packed, a winter adventure is easily accessible. We have a few great ideas for cold weather fun in Maine.
Outdoor Adventure: Ski, Snowshoe, and Ride
This state has downhill ski resorts with all kinds of terrain. One of the best places to ski Maine is Shawnee Peak, a modest mountain with plenty of trails, and lower lift ticket prices than you’re likely to find at the big resorts.
If cross-country is more your style, Harris Farm in Dayton has 30 kilometers of groomed trails running through their farmlands, and a heated lodge to boot!
Just want a simple escape to the woods? Then strap on some snowshoes and go deep into the snowy landscape. Maine Huts and Trails offers guided and independent snowshoeing treks from hut to hut. These “huts” are stylish and comfortable, and really more like well-stocked ski cabins with all meals provided and full bathrooms—go ahead add them to your list of things to do this winter.
One of the most unusual things to do in Maine in the winter: biking on the snow! Yes, even that is possible in Maine. These bikes, whose wheels look like they could roam the moon, are available to rent at many outdoors stores, including Gorham Bike and Ski with locations in Portland and Saco (for Saco, reserve the bikes over the phone with Portland store and they will transport the bikes down to you!). Make the curb look like an anthill when you take them for a spin around town, or bring them out to the Gambo/Shaw Park in Windham, Maine, to hit the trail.
See sleepy seaside towns light up for the Holidays
Ogunquit is widely known as one of the best small towns in America to experience Christmas. The town’s Christmas by the Sea festival presents lots of special events for all ages and every year, residents and visitors gather by the shore to watch Santa arrive by boat: that’s surely one thing to do in Maine in the winter that you won’t see everywhere.
Not to be outdone, Kennebunkport’s Christmas Prelude helped the town earn the title of America’s #2 town for Christmas by HGTV. Food, music, artisan crafts, and something delightful known as “a hot chocolate service” bring revelers from all over.
If you’re up for a trip, just north of Acadia’s Mt. Desert Island sits the fabled coastal hamlet of Winter Harbor. This town was named for its small port which often stays unfrozen during harsh winters, allowing lobster boats to keep working. Right on the rocky coast, Winter Harbor gets especially cozy in the cold months. At the heart of its bright downtown sits Schoodic Arts for All, a buzzing cultural center where you can browse exhibits or catch a musical performance.
Grab some heart-warming grub fresh from a farm
One of our personal favorite things to do in Maine in the winter? Eat! There’s really nothing like a hot plate of fresh food to warm and restore you after a day of outdoor adventure. Luckily, Maine’s farms and fisheries don’t slow down in winter so you can still get a taste of the state on your trip. Sip rich, warm, coffee or tea out of a handmade mug at the Pottery Cafe in Portland, or indulge in scallops with cranberry relish at the Velveteen Habit in Cape Neddick.
Shop Superior Maine Brands (Things to Buy in Maine in the Winter)
Need some rugged boots or extra fleecy layers before you head into the wilderness? Stop at the L.L. Bean Flagship store in Freeport (only about an hour away from The Dunes) to stock up on great gear and warmwear from Maine’s signature clothing company.
Need something sturdy to carry your new Bean wear and all your other vacation supplies? Port Canvas of Kennebunkport makes their canvas totes in Maine for customers all over the world. Stop by their store for bags, and other useful carry-alls of all sizes. A classic New England fabric, canvas stands up to any weather and is near-impossible to rip.
Since our resort is closed in the winter, you might see us out on the slopes, or strolling the shops right alongside you. When the weather turns arounds in May you can find us–and a sun-filled cottage–right back in our favorite perch on the Ogunquit Tidal River.