Essential Packing Tips for a Maine Fall Foliage Tour

by: tw Timothy Webb

The frost is almost on the pumpkin and Halloween is on the horizon. If you’re looking for a visually stunning adventure, consider Maine. But, you’ll want to be prepared and fill your suitcase with the right essential clothing, fashion and gear. There’s many spots in Maine to view some of the country’s best fall foliage. But one of the most popular fall color tours is near Portland. Here are some packing tips to get you started.

Maine has some of the country’s most pristine forests. Because of that, it is one of the most popular destinations for viewing fall colors.  You’ll want to make the most of your tour and adventures. Maine is the Northernmost State in the U.S. and can be damp and chilly. Here are some of the wardrobe essentials and packing tips that you will need:

What to Pack?

To answer this question you need to think about what your trip will be like. What are you planning to do? What types of attractions are you planning to visit? Museums? Galleries? Local Artisan Shops? While taking in the beauty of the fall colors is the main goal, there’s lots of other distractions to keep you busy in Maine. There’s hiking trails, biking, whale watching, light house tours and a thriving microbrewery scene around Portland.

Travel Wear

Whether flying into Portland International Jetway or driving, you’ll want comfort clothes. Traveling can take a lot out of you so you’ll want to be dressed for comfort. But just because, you’re en route doesn’t mean you can’t be stylish. Here are some packing tips to get you started. Yoga pants and a casual top partnered with a light sweater is great for the ladies. Jeans and a dressy pullover works for the guys. Nobody wants to check into their hotel or bed and breakfast looking travel worn and dumpy.


For driving around and checking out the foliage you’ll mostly just want to be comfortable. The key packing tip is layers. Bring long sleeve t-shirts, light turtle necks, sweater vests, cardigans and a light water resistant windbreaker. Comfortable shoes are important because chances are you’ll be driving Getting in and out of the car to enjoy vantage points for selfie opportunities will be better in sneakers.

There are lots of shopping opportunities on your journey as well. In Kittery, is the Stonewall Kitchen and Company Cafe which offers delicious local fare and gifts. You will also discover many local artisan craft stores on your tour. This is the perfect chance to find those souvenirs for the folks back home. Besides shopping, the coast of Maine is littered with beautiful and historic lighthouses. One such famously photographed lighthouse is the Nubble Lighthouse. All this touring will make you glad you brought a comfortable pair of sneakers. Lighthouses are terrific backdrops for your social media selfies and Instagram.


Also, you’ll want to be sure to enjoy some of the tasty treats that the Northeast has to offer along the the way. So you need some outfits appropriate for restaurants. On this New England trip, there’ll be lots of touristy shops for saltwater taffy, fudge, and other diet busters. But being on the coast, you’ll want to sample some Maine Lobster and other seafood that local restaurants specialize in.

Local craft beer will be found on tap at many of the local restaurants along the way. For dinners out, it’s nice for guys to be in a collared shirt or even a dressier cardigan or casual corduroy jacket. Ladies will want dressy casual tops and sweaters. New England nights can be chilly. Ladies bring along one pair of dress shoes or pumps for dinners. Men can get by with one pair of dressy slip-ons or three-quarter dress boots.

Fall Activities

When packing, consider that you may try some new unexpected things. And, you may experience weather you didn’t plan on. Without a water-resistant windbreaker, an unexpected rainy day can be miserable. Besides foliage gazing,  you may decide to go on a whale watching tour.  Once you’re on board the boat, it’s going to cool way down. So, that windbreaker is an essential packing tip on this trip. This will also keep the ocean spray from soaking your clothes. And, help keep you warm.


You’ll need to pack a pair of comfortable hiking boots. There are many good hiking trails within an hour of Portland that will allow you a firsthand view of falls’ golden and rust color explosion. Pleasant Mountain, Douglas Mountain, Rattlesnake Mountain and Bradbury Mountain State Park all offer terrific hiking and beautiful scenic vistas.

Along with your boots, you’ll want a map, compass, insect repellant and most importantly water for your hike. You want to make sure your cell phone is fully charged, even though cell coverage may be spotty. It’s important to have nice thick socks to keep your feet from getting blisters and a hat. Light water resistant pants are a good choice for hiking. They will help keep you warm and the mosquitos at bay. Light colors are less interesting to these pests.


Even though it’s fall, you may get lucky and get an unseasonably warm day and be able to rent bicycles. You’ll need a nice comfy pair of tennis shoes, shorts, or sweatpants for that. You may want to bring a brightly colored top (so motorists can see you). This is another activity where your windbreaker could come in handy just in case you run into a bit of rain.

Taking Inventory

Before you close that suitcase, make sure you’re wardrobe is complete. You are going to need a water resistant windbreaker, long sleeve t-shirts, collared shirts and light turtlenecks. Cardigans, jackets, and knit hoodies can dress up your outfits for dinners. You’ll need jeans, hiking boots, light pants and shorts for adventuring. As for accessories, thick socks, lots of undies and both a dressy and casual belt. Another packing tip to complete your looks, is that you’ll want a pair of comfortable shoes, dressy shoes or boots. And, of course, you’ll need hiking boots. Don’t forget to charge your phone so you can take lots of pictures.



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Essential Packing Tips for a Maine Fall Foliage Tour
This article explores what items to pack for a trip to Maine to view the fall foliage.

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