Boothbay Harbor, Maine
Vacation Hotel and Lodging Guide
Boothbay Harbor is a perfect Maine destination. Between its rich history, quaint local shops and boutiques, delicious dining and world-class boat excursions, there are all kinds of fun things to see and do in Boothbay. A 1,000-foot long footbridge connects the east and west sides of Harbor, allowing easy access for visitors to enjoy a plethora of fun activities. You will be captivated by the quiet coves, rocky shores, and island lighthouses and by the warmth and friendliness of the locals who pride themselves in turning strangers in to friends.
Boothbay Harbor has been referred to as the Boating Capital of New England. With over 25 daily boat excursions leaving right from the bustling harbor, there is an adventure waiting for travellers of all ages! Harbor tours are a great way to explore the area and see nearby islands, like Burnt Island and further out to sea Monhegan Island. There are also many excursions that offer up close and personal encounters with Maine wildlife like puffins, seals and even whales! Enjoy a romantic sunset schooner or speeding windjammer ride led by captains who have sailed all over the world. Visitors can also check out local boat yards to see the tradition of world-class boat building that is still alive today.
Boothbay Harbor is recognized for having some of the best sea kayaking in Maine. With water ranging from open seas to more calm and protected rivers and inlets, there are plenty of opportunities for kayakers of all ages and skill levels. You can bring your own kayak or get a rental at one of the many nearby shops. These rental shops also offer guided tours of the area, for kayakers to explore nearby islands or just paddle around the harbor at their leisure.
If you are staying in Boothbay Harbor and have some extra time, a trip to nearby Monhegan Island may be worth your while. Monhegan is a small rocky island approximately ten miles off the coast of Boothbay Harbor, accessible by ferry. With no paved roads, cars or streetlights and limited shops and inns, Monhegan is a unique escape from bustling towns. The wooded Island is blessed with 17 miles of beautiful walking trails for any nature-lover to enjoy; but paths can be rough and rocky so remember to wear sensible shoes and consult local trail maps before setting off. The Lighthouse on Monhegan was built in 1824 and is still actively shining. Views from the Lighthouse site are incredible, as one can see the entire village, harbor, mainland and nearby islands. The former lighthouse keeper's house is now a museum focusing on the history and culture of the island.
Boothbay itself is also home to over a dozen stunning nature trails. The Boothbay Region Land Trust preserves over 20 miles of hiking trails for visitors to enjoy year-round. Trails range from easy to challenging and are suitable for visitors of all ages. Trek through scenic meadowlands, forests, wetlands and rocky coastline that all make up beautiful Boothbay - you may even encounter some real Maine wildlife! Barrett Park on Linekin Bay is great for swimming or picnicking and also has a playground for kids.
Do not miss the incredible Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens, with 250 acres of gardens and grounds to explore. From pristinely cared for flowers to waterfalls and stonework, the Gardens are beautiful to explore year-round. There are several nearby lighthouses that visitors to Boothbay Harbor can enjoy. Take a ferry to Burnt Island Lighthouse, where innkeepers will give you a tour of their house and even take you up the spiral staircase to the light room! Ram Island Lighthouse is not accessible to the public, but may be viewed on many boat trips and excursions leaving Boothbay Harbor. Kids and adults will all enjoy a visit to the Boothbay Railway Village, celebrating over 100 years of operation. The Railway village has a large collection of over 60 antique autos, historic buildings and a narrow gauge railway ride. Also check out the historic Opera House where local plays, concerts and productions are hosted each summer in a lovely historic setting just steps from downtown Boothbay. A visit the Maine State Aquarium is a must for sea lovers, oceanographers or just curious kids, where the largest lobsters come in all colors - white blue and even calico. The Boothbay Aquarium even has a petting tank where kids can touch live lobster and starfish. Golfers visiting Boothbay will want to try out Boothbay Country Club's world-class golf course.
Boothbay Harbor also serves a great place to stay during your Maine vacation as you day trip along the Maine Coast. One scenic drive from Boothbay Harbor is out to Ocean Point, to see the sunrise and sunset - drive the Ocean Point loop, bring a picnic to savor on the rocks and enjoy the passing sailboats and views of lighthouses.
Boothbay Harbor is great to visit year-round for its annual events. In April, Boothbay celebrates the annual Fishermen's Festival, which includes fun activities like the Miss Shrimp Contest, lobster trap hauling, an old-fashioned fish fry, boat parade and much more! In June, the annual Windjammer's Day is a local and tourist favorite with a fantastic fleet of ships under sail. Watch beautiful windjammers sail in to Boothbay Harbor and friendly pirates invade the town. Sailboat races, boat parades, fireworks, kids programs, concerts and more are all part of the fun of Boothbay's Windjammer Festival.
Dining in Boothbay Harbor is typical of many seaside towns in Maine, but still equally delicious. Visit a dockside restaurant and savor steamed clams and mussels, and other seafood treats. Or enjoy a succulent lobster dinner overlooking the beautiful harbor. Boothbay Harbor restaurants serve up some of the freshest local catches like fish, scallops, shrimp and oysters! If seafood is not your thing, don't worry - restaurants serve up a variety of other delicious treats sure to please any appetite. Boothbay Harbor is also home to classic sweet shops and Maine made ice cream parlors.
A visit to Boothbay Harbor can be whatever you want it to be - a peaceful time to unwind and relax by the ocean, an active vacation full of hiking, kayaking, biking and other ocean adventures, or a family getaway that will create memories to last a lifetime. Regardless of when you come or how long you'll stay, we're certain that you will find the Boothbay Harbor area is truly the Soul of the coast.