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Your Guide to the Best of Maine’s Fall Foliage

Looking for a little getaway with a lot of fall foliage? We’ve got you covered. Here we’ve summarized the best and most beautiful ways to leaf-peep your way through an Opal Collection stay according to the Maine Foliage Report.

Just about anyone could warm up to the idea of cooler, crisper days of fall with a trip to Maine. Embrace sweater weather and experience the spectacular blaze of fall colors surrounding our coastal Maine destinations. Where and when exactly should you plan to see the best of Maine’s foliage display? Well, the Maine Foliage Report, a site dedicated to tracking and recording each year’s plumage, divides the state into seven foliage zones and estimates the timing and duration of peak season in each. Generally, starting in mid-September in the north where it’s coldest and moving southward through mid-October, the brightest colors travel their way through each zone for about a week of peak viewing. Our Opal destinations in Bar Harbor and Rockport will have you heading straight to Zones 1 and 2, where Maine’s southern and eastern coast keeps the foliage on the trees slightly longer than the other zones due to the warm air from the Atlantic. Making for a perfect October getaway to any of our Maine Opal destinations filled with stunning shorelines, parks, and scenic byways that could easily fill a week or two of prime viewing and pre-winter fun. To help you on your way, we’ve detailed a few seasonal stop-offs easily reachable from Samoset Resort and our Bar Harbor properties. Happy Leaf Peeping!

Foliage to Fall For: Bar Harbor, Maine

Pack the trunk in mid-October for a trip full of bright colors and blue ocean views. Bar Harbor (Zone 2) makes the perfect home base for scenic drives and fall stop-offs, not to mention you could be in leaf-peeping bliss just steps outside your hotel doors, with West Street and Harborside Hotel, Spa, & Marina each offering exquisite accommodations in the heart of Bar Harbor with incredible views of the coast and downtown.

Just a short drive from your stay in Bar Harbor, Acadia National Park offers a wealth of astounding natural beauty, it makes a perfect place for a fall foliage drive close to home. Take the 27-mile drive on Park Loop Road, which is a slow ride around Acadia’s eastern side of Mount Desert Island for an amazing day of color. 27 miles doesn’t sound like that much, but this loop could take three to four hours with stops for pictures well worth taking and snacking, of course! You can also choose to board the free shuttle from town and get on and off inside the park as you like. Stroll, hike, or bike ride among the leaves. The views are worth it.

Views You Won’t Beleaf: Camden/Rockport/Rockland, Maine

If you’re headed to Samoset Resort, enjoy a drive off the beaten path and off Route 1 by taking the smaller roads and byways inland to visit farm stands and orchards alike. It is a nice way to get away from it all. It will also undoubtedly lead to warm cider, cider donuts, a new friend or two, and other Maine delicacies and activities to enjoy. The beautiful back roads you’ll take getting to Camden and Rockport from mid-to-late October (Zone 1) for a stay at Samoset Resort will have you in great spirits before even checking in. With Route 1 hugging the coast from Brunswick to Canada and touted as quite possibly the most scenic drive in the country, not only will you witness the leaves, but you’ll feast your eyes on a plethora of islands and rugged coastal terrain made even more breathtaking by the colors. A short 20-minute drive from Samoset Resort will lead you to the beautiful Camden Hills State Park, where we recommend a hike up to the scenic vista high atop Mt. Battie, where on a clear day, you’ll actually see the movement of the leaves north to south. No matter the weather, though, you can count on brilliant views of Camden, Penobscot Bay, the surrounding islands, as well as Cadillac Mountain if you’re lucky. The state park is well-marked with hiking trails for all levels. This area abounds with forests, farms, and wildlife in addition to the sea, restaurants, and miscellaneous stops you’ll find too scenic to not stop and take a picture of. Don’t forget to pick up a few of the fallen leaves and press them in the pages of a scrapbook. And maybe even grab yourself a pumpkin spiced latte along the way.

Where to Stay | Harborside Hotel, Spa & Marina | Samoset Resort | West Street Hotel

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