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Things to Do in York, Maine in October

Planning a visit to York, Maine, this fall? If your travel dates are in October, you’re in for a treat. Like many New England towns, York has a special magic during the fall, and spending time there during this season can be very memorable in many ways.

The key to making the most of your York vacation is creating an itinerary of places to see and events to attend. Take a look at eight of the best things to do in York, Maine, in October.

  1. Attend the Lighting of the Pumpkins
  2. Spot Some Whales
  3. Visit York Harvestfest
  4. Check Out Old York’s Museums
  5. Explore Nearby Lighthouses
  6. Go Apple Picking at an Orchard
  7. Take a Chilly State Park Hike
  8. Visit Freeport’s L. L. Bean Flagship Store

Attend the Lighting of the Pumpkins

The Lighting of the Pumpkins is a must-attend event if you visit York on or near Halloween. The crisp autumn air, spooky decorations, and pumpkins galore are sure to get you in a festive mood.

The Lighting of the Pumpkins usually takes place on the Saturday before Halloween, with the lighting itself scheduled around sundown. Visitors are encouraged to bring their own pumpkins to the festivities. And kids can enjoy trick-or-treating among the many historic buildings in Old York.

Spot Some Whales

Did you know that late summer is the best time of year to spot whales off the coast of York, Maine? This includes the month of October, after which whale season typically comes to a close.

Don’t let your vacation pass by without spending some time on the coast and viewing these majestic creatures. You could even book a whale-watching tour to make sure you get the best possible view and know exactly which whale species you’re looking at.

Visit York Harvestfest

York Harvestfest is a long-standing York tradition that takes place each October. This free, all-ages festival is held on the beach, lasts all day, and continues no matter the weather, making it one of the most accessible and family-friendly things to do in York, Maine, in October.

At Harvestfest, visitors can find delicious eats from local vendors, artisans selling their wares, live music, and more. And for the little ones, Kidsfest is a special area of Harvestfest that features face painting, interactive activities, and storytelling. You’ll get an authentic taste of local York culture and make some great memories.

Check Out Old York’s Museums

Old York boasts a rich history, and you can learn some of that history firsthand by visiting some of the town’s historic buildings and museums. Many of these institutions offer tours, and some even allow visitors to explore the grounds on a self-guided expedition.

Some of the most well-known historic buildings include the Emerson-Wilcox House, the Old Schoolhouse, Jefferds’ Tavern, and the Old Gaol. Many of these buildings date back to the 18th century and are fascinating to learn about.

Explore Nearby Lighthouses

If you’ve ever spent time in Maine, you know lighthouses are all along the shore (See: Best Lighthouses in Maine). Each lighthouse has its own unique history and connection with the nearby town, and York is no exception.

Southern Maine is home to several lighthouses, but some of the most convenient to York are the Goat Island Light, the Nubble Light, and the Wood Island Light. You could visit each one, enjoy the stunning ocean views, and learn more about their significance.

Go Apple Picking at an Orchard

There’s nothing more delicious than an apple fresh from the tree in the fall. If you’re looking for fun things to do in York, Maine, in October, there are many opportunities to pick apples this time of year.

Southern Maine is home to many popular orchards, such as Snell Family Farm, Giles Family Farm at Notre Dame, and the Orchard at Chase Farms. You’ll enjoy the fun and rewarding process of picking your own apples while taking in the lovely sights and sounds of local Maine farms.

Take a Chilly State Park Hike

October may not be the best month for camping in Maine’s state parks, but it can still be a great time of year to visit them. Maine is home to 32 different state parks that all have their own unique features.

If you love the way the leaves change color in the fall in New England, you won’t want to miss a day of hiking, mountain biking, or picnicking in one of the state parks near York. Nearby, you’ll find Bradbury Mountain State Park, Ferry Beach State Park, and Scarborough Beach State Park, among others.

Visit Freeport’s L. L. Bean Flagship Store

In need of some cozy new flannel for the fall season? Plan a trip to nearby Freeport to visit the flagship store of L. L. Bean, a long-standing purveyor of fall and winter clothing on the East Coast. Any pieces you find there are sure to last for many autumns and winters to come.

Enjoy Harvest Season in York

As you can see, there are so many things to do in York, Maine, in October. You won’t regret planning a trip to this unique town during such a special season.

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