It's that time of year that you didn't know you were excited about until after reading this well-written article. It's puffin season! June and July are the easiest months to head out to sea to witness this rare seabird.


I actually heard someone ask what is with my obsession with puffins? I can only answer that absurd question with another question. Why are you not obsessed with trying to see a puffin when they are only located in Maine on the contiguous United States?!

So where can you see a puffin? More importantly, HOW can you see a puffin? We are about to go on that journey of finding answers together.

Where To See a Puffin in Maine

So, here's the thing, as most Mainers are aware, puffins don't fly to shore. They stay on the islands off the coast of Maine.

Matinicus Rock
Google Maps

It's a cold, long swim, but 23 miles off the coast of Rockland is Matinicus Rock where it is supposedly a great place to watch puffins. While there, you can also see one of eleven of Maine's seacoast lights. Matinicus Rock Light was established in 1827! Take a photo for the Gram and add that fun fact to wow your followers.

Eastern Egg Rock was Host of a Restoration Effort to Increase Puffins in Maine

Eastern Egg Rock
Google Maps

Eastern Egg Rock is not only a great place to see puffins, but it is also the location of Project Puffin. In 1973, there were only two islands where puffins were nesting. The aforementioned Matinicus Rock was one of them.

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Project Puffin was a success (obviously), and efforts continue to this day to increase the population of this unique seabird.

Seal Island National Wildlife Refuge
Google Maps

Seal Island National Wildlife Refuge is Another Hotspot in Maine for Puffins

Seal Island National Wildlife Refuge is a mile long, 65-acre island that plays home to seals, puffins, and many other seabirds. It was once the largest Atlantic puffin colony. It is closed to public access, but tour boats can get you close enough to enjoy all the wildlife, which is a good segue way into HOW we see the puffins.

Best Time to See Puffins In Maine is June and July

Pictures of puffins to get you excited for this summer's puffin season.

Gallery Credit: David

HOW Do We See Puffins in Maine

Fishing trawler and great white shark

Well, you could swim, but that is not recommended because even Michael Phelps wouldn't be able to swim the distance to these islands that host puffins, and I've heard there are sharks in the Atlantic. Time to find a friend with a boat, especially one with money so you don't have to pitch in for fuel, beer, cleaning, etc. It can be a hassle.

Read More: Where Can You See Puffins in Maine

If that's not an option, or maybe you are an introvert, fret not. There is another way.

Take a Tour Boat from Maine Coastal Towns to See Puffins

Environmental Groups Challenge Navy's Use Of Sonar In West Coast Training Exercises
Getty Images/David McNew

Most tour boats run puffin enthusiasts out to the islands in June and July, and looking at the calendar, we are almost there. Almost every area along the coast of Maine offers tours from their coastal towns. The Seabird Institute in Maine has partnered with these reputable tour boat companies.

Acadian Boat Tours is also convenient to book and get to as they depart from Bar Harbor. Regardless of who you book with, expect at least 3.5 hours out at sea, and to SEE a lot of puffins and other Maine sea life!

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