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9 Greatest Issues to do in Boothbay Harbor, Maine within the Summer season


Boothbay Harbor has lengthy been a favourite cease on Maine’s midcoast after we are taking a Maine coastal street journey. First settled within the 1600s, the naturally-protected waters of Boothbay Harbor have seen a wealthy historical past in shipbuilding and fishing. At this time, guests are drawn to this charming seaside city as a result of it’s sufficiently small to take care of its quaint character, however presents sufficient issues to do in Boothbay Harbor to fulfill a variety of pursuits.

Every time I go to I uncover one thing new, from the native artisans to the close by oysters farms. It has all the time been well-known for whale watching nevertheless it took me till lately to understand I may see puffins close to Boothbay! Whereas it’s tempting to simply cease for the evening, there are such a lot of issues to do in and round Boothbay Harbor — each on the water, by the coast, and inland, that you just actually ought to keep for at the very least a weekend, if not longer.

Boats on the water in Boothbay Harbor at sunset

When to go to boothbay harbor

Visiting Boothbay Harbor is very enjoyable in the event you can time your journey to coincide with one of many city’s annual occasions, like April’s Fishermen’s Pageant, or the extra well-known Windjammer Days in June. A visiting fleet of historic windjammer ships sail into Boothbay Harbor for 2 days of enjoyable from parades (each avenue and boat), to excursions and dwell leisure, culminating in a fireworks extravaganza. (Be taught what it’s wish to take a crusing vacation on a Maine Windjammer Cruise.)

Spring additionally brings 35,000 tulips in bloom on the Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens. Whereas winter is ushered in by the Boothbay Lights Pageant, that includes a ship parade and fireworks, together with different festivities.

Whereas there could also be one thing happening yr spherical in Boothbay, Boothbay Harbor, and Southport, most guests choose to go to in the summertime. Summer season season begins entering into gear round Memorial Day, though you should still see some extra restricted hours through the week till later in June. The season quiets down after mid-October when boat excursions and different locations start to close down for the yr.

Boats on water and island in Boothbay Harbor Maine

Issues to do in Boothbay Harbor

Be aware: This put up could include affiliate hyperlinks. For those who click on a hyperlink and make a purchase order, I could obtain a small fee. All opinions are my very own.

Regardless of the season, you’ll discover loads of issues to do in Boothbay Harbor, however these are the highest sights and actions to not miss, particularly in the summertime.

Hop on One in all Cap’n Fish’s Cruises

2 puffins swimming in the water

Cap’n Fish presents harbor excursions, whale watching excursions, and even puffin cruises aboard its fleet of ships docked in Boothbay Harbor. There’s a selection of excursions to choose from, relying on how a lot time you have got and what you need to see (seals? whales? puffins? lighthouses?). These cruise previous close by islands and make an amazing day journey (or half day) choice across the nice Boothbay Harbor area.

On my final go to, I joined a 2.5 hour cruise out to Japanese Egg Rock to search for puffins. Whereas I’ve loved seeing puffins in Iceland, the novelty of seeing them in my residence nation was a giant draw.

Atlantic puffin colonies have been reestablished off the coast of Maine, by the laborious work of the Audubon Society and Challenge Puffin. These cute little creatures are actually flourishing, though needless to say they’re much smaller than you may anticipate and difficult to see from the boat. You’ll want to convey alongside a strong pair of binoculars or an amazing zoom digital camera lens. We have been fortunate sufficient to see dolphin, tons of of puffin, and another hard-to-spy birds together with razorbills.

Just a few suggestions:

  • Arrive early to line as much as board so that you could get a first-rate viewing spot
  • Deliver one thing heat to put on as it’s all the time colder on the water
  • Be ready in the event you get movement illness
  • Go away the hat at residence until you are ready to lose it
  • Don’t neglect these binoculars!
  • Put on sunscreen because the reflection off the water could be robust and convey sun shades (ideally ones which have a strap so that you don’t lose them.)

Be taught to Shuck at Glidden Level Oyster Farm

Woman shucking oysters at Glidden Point Oyster Farm

In case you are a fan of oysters, or simply need to be taught extra about this space’s lengthy oystering historical past, plan to cease at Glidden Level Oyster Farm, only a brief drive (20 minutes) away in Edgecomb. You’ll be able to e-book a 30-minute strolling tour of the oyster farm and be taught all in regards to the oystering course of. Belief me, it’s eye-opening and offers you a better appreciation for these mollusks.

Glidden Level additionally has a retail storefront and a patio picnic space so you may select a couple of oysters to strive, together with a choice of beer, wine, and different native snacks. Simply be ready to learn to shuck in the event you haven’t already mastered this talent! I’ve since gotten even higher at shucking after a visit to Prince Edward Island.

Go Procuring in City

hand holding cup of ice cream in front of Down East Ice Cream Factory

Top-of-the-line issues to do is to spend a while simply strolling round Downtown Boothbay Harbor. One can find some basic Maine buying locations, like Maine Sea Luggage and Sherman’s Maine Coast Ebook Retailer (Maine’s Oldest Bookstore). There are your typical memento retailers, like Coastal Maine Items and Gimbel & Sons Nation Retailer, however it’s also possible to discover some extra eclectic retailers with residence decor and handicrafts, like Candy Bay and Mung Bean.

Boothbay Harbor additionally attracts many artisans and there are many galleries to browse for pottery, glass, and high quality arts. For those who work up an urge for food, an amazing place to seize a snack is the Coastal Maine Popcorn Firm for some enjoyable flavored-popcorn or ice cream (I’d suggest the blueberry!) at Downeast Ice Cream Manufacturing unit.

Eat Contemporary Seafood

Fried clams from Boothbay Lobster Wharf

There are many Boothbay Harbor eating places to select from to get a lobster roll or nice seafood, however one of the crucial genuine is the Boothbay Lobster Wharf. You’ll be able to both stroll throughout the footbridge from downtown or drive to this informal waterfront restaurant on a working wharf. Right here you may seize a picnic desk by the water and benefit from the view whereas sampling some scrumptious seafood.

For oysters, I’d suggest Mine Oyster within the coronary heart of downtown Boothbay Harbor. Another well-liked eating places embody Ports of Italy or Ports Pizzeria for Italian, Kaler’s, Boathouse Bistro, and Shannon’s Unshelled.

Stroll throughout the Pedestrian Footbridge

Pedestrian bridge in Boothbay Harbor

The city of Boothbay Harbor is wrapped across the harbor and the 2 sides are linked by a pedestrian footbridge. You may get some nice views by strolling throughout the bridge, particularly at sundown when the bridge is twinkling with shiny lights and the boats and buildings are mirrored within the nonetheless waters.

Go to the Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens

Thomas Dambo troll in Kentucky
Thomas Dambo troll in KY

The Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens is one among Maine’s prime sights. The Gardens provide over 300 acres of decorative and themed gardens, mature forests, wetlands, and tidal shoreline with interpretative trails.

At present, the principle exhibit is the Guardians of the Seeds, an exhibit of big troll sculptures constituted of recycled wooden by Danish artist Thomas Dambo. Children will completely love seeing these trolls and discovering their secret message. This exhibit is included in admission however remember to get your tickets upfront!

Remember to test the web site calendar for particular occasions and displays.

Cease on the Boothbay Railway Village

The Boothbay Railway Village is a dwelling historical past museum that offers guests a style of what life was like within the mid-Nineteenth to mid-Twentieth centuries in rural Maine. You’ll be able to discover 35 acres of historic Maine buildings, which have been preserved in a recreated village of aged and classic buildings that have been assembled from throughout Maine. There’s a still-functioning City Corridor, a chapel nonetheless used for weddings, retail retailers, homes, and a preserved railway practice station.

Guests may also experience the rails behind a classic steam or diesel locomotive or view a set of 60 vintage autos. Artisan Days embody demonstrations from woodworkers, blacksmiths, stone carving, weaving, and even lace making.

Discover the Maine State Aquarium

The Maine State Aquarium continues to be closed for renovations, however is predicted to reopen in 2023. Operated by the Maine Division of Marine Sources, this aquarium features a assortment of regional fish and invertebrates that may be seen throughout the rocky shore setting.

A preferred attraction is the 20 foot-long contact tank that homes a large number of sea life together with sea stars, sea urchins, sea cucumbers, and scallops. For those who pack a picnic, you may get pleasure from lunch within the picnic space overlooking the water. 

Go to Close by Lighthouses

Pemaquid Point Lighthouse
Pemaquid Level Lighthouse

The Maine Coast is dotted with scenic lighthouses and fairly a couple of are situated inside a brief driving distance from Boothbay Harbor. Simply quarter-hour aways, the Burnt Island Lighthouse is a well-liked spot. Inbuilt 1821, it’s the second oldest lighthouse within the state of Maine. For the reason that lighthouse is situated on an island, you’ll want to take a 15-minute ferry boat to get there. Excursions are solely supplied on restricted days so you’ll want to pre-book with Balmy Day Excursions upfront.

If that doesn’t work out, you may drive to Pemaquid Level Lighthouse in about 45 minutes from downtown Boothbay Harbor. Pemaquid Level Lighthouse Park is open day by day from 9 am to five pm from mid-Could to mid-to-late October for a small entrance price. Within the park you may take a tour of the Lighthouse Tower, go to the Fishermen’s Museum within the Keeper’s Home, or view work of native artists within the Artwork Gallery. There are picnic tables on web site and room to stroll and see the lighthouse from a number of angles. Simply watch out and keep off the rocks as they are often slippery and harmful.

The place to Keep in Boothbay Harbor

There are numerous choices in and round Boothbay Harbor relying on what you might be searching for (resort environment, mattress and breakfast, family-friendly inn, or trip rental.)

Harborage Inn on the Oceanfront

The Harborage Inn in Boothbay Harbor Maine

Situated on Townsend Avenue, one of many fundamental thoroughfares into city, the Harborage Inn on the Oceanfront was my selection for my final go to to Boothbay Harbor. Situated only a five-minute stroll to the middle of city, this Victorian-style mattress and breakfast supplied every part I used to be searching for on my latest keep. First, there’s off-street parking to make it straightforward to reach after which discover on foot. The placement was extraordinarily handy, with stunning water views from the Adirondack chairs on the garden and dock behind the resort. Some rooms are even oceanfront suites with water views.

The rooms have been lately renovated to have a contemporary, trendy but coastal attraction. A gourmand breakfast is included, delivered proper to your door on the requested time. And whereas I used to be within the entrance of the constructing, the road noise and lightweight was minimal and didn’t disturb my keep.

Spruce Level Inn Resort & Spa

In case you are staying for a couple of days and need to have the house to chill out and luxuriate in your downtime in your trip, the Spruce Level Inn Resort and Spa is a perfect selection. With 55 acres of shoreline outlined by spruce woodlands, the Spruce Level Inn presents kayaks, paddleboards and bicycles for visitors’ use, together with croquet, shuffleboard and a sport room full with basic arcade video games for leisure.

When it’s time to chill out, there are two swimming pools and full service spa, together with three eating choices. Simply needless to say it’s a few 10 minute drive to get into city.

Tugboat Inn

Tugboat Inn in Boothbay Harbor maine

The Tugboat Inn is a Boothbay basic. Situated proper on the water on the town, the handy location (with free parking) and budget-friendly pricing make this resort well-liked with households. Whereas the decor and facilities are extra fundamental, I stayed right here on my first visits to Boothbay Harbor and I’ve fond reminiscences of these journeys.

Boothbay Harbor is usually a stand-alone vacation spot, or a cease in your Maine coast street journey.

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