Most boaters set their course for bustling Boothbay Harbor for mooring or dock space, or a boatman’s holiday. But just beyond Boothbay is a magical setting that truly captures the beauty of Maine – best reached by boat.
As you enter the Damariscotta River, the next inlet heading east just beyond Boothbay and Linekin Bay, the scenery becomes more calm and less trafficked by fellow boaters. Christmas Cove, named for Captain John Smith’s anchorage here in December 1614, is a delightful place to spend a night tor two aboard your boat, in summer – not Christmas time (a bit cold on the boat in December).
For boaters, power or sailboat, Christmas Cove offers excellent protection and truly picturesque landscape. While Christmas Cove is not very expansive, it has plentiful moorings and a few dock spaces, where most are reserved through Coveside Marina, so simply call ahead. While you are confirming space for your boat, reserve dinner at their wonderful Coveside Restaurant which is quite popular with locals and visitors to this town of South Bristol which includes Walpole and Rutherford Island.
Pretty sailboats and pleasure crafters dot the harbor and brightly colored cabin and cottage rentals line the shores of Christmas Cove. It’s the kind of setting that inspires artists – you can launch your dinghy and tour around, or just sit in the sun on your boat deck and enjoy the setting. It’s like Christmas in July (if you will pardon the namesake reference) where every day is a gift in Christmas Cove wrapped in a painter’s canvas. Paddle boarders, kayaks and canoes ply the waters, boats come and go from moorings, but it’s quiet and peaceful come evening and night.
The Coveside Inn, part of the marina’s red buildings, is open for lunch and dinner with a deck, ideal for pleasant weather, and a fun bar that has live entertainment certain summer weekends.
Christmas Cove is a great destination for yachters as part of your east west passage in Maine’s Midcoast, on your way between Boothbay and Pemaquid Point. Another wonderful nearby harbor, besides the obvious popular seaside village of Boothbay Harbor, is Robinhood Cove off the western shore of Sheepscot River heading through Goose Rocks Passage.
These Maine boating harbor and anchorage tips are by no means meant for navigational purposes, just for your pleasure as you plan where to sail or boat in Boothbay Harbor and the Midcoast of Maine.