Eastport Maine
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The ULTIMATE Guide to Eastport Maine Activities This Year

Nestled on the easternmost tip of the United States, Eastport Maine is a picturesque coastal town that offers an authentic taste of New England charm. With a rich history, stunning natural landscapes, a vibrant arts scene, and delectable culinary offerings, Eastport is the perfect destination for a relaxing getaway.

If you plan on visiting this area, explore the history of Eastport, exciting outdoor and indoor activities, the top restaurants, and the best places to stay.

Shackford Head State Park-Eastport
Shackford Head State Park | photo via wanderandwildthings

Outdoor Things to Do in Eastport Maine

Eastport Maine boasts a stunning coastal landscape and a wide range of outdoor activities that cater to all interests and abilities. From whale watching and hiking to exploring tidal pools and fishing, there is no shortage of adventures waiting to be had in this picturesque coastal town.

Whale Watching

Embark on an unforgettable adventure by joining a whale-watching tour. The waters surrounding Eastport are teeming with marine life, including humpback, finback, and minke whales.

Tours typically run from June through September and offer an unparalleled opportunity to witness these majestic creatures up close. Knowledgeable guides will provide fascinating insights into the whales’ behavior, migration patterns, and conservation efforts, making for an educational and awe-inspiring experience.

Shackford Head State Park

Take a hike through Shackford Head State Park, a 90-acre coastal park that features a network of trails offering breathtaking views of Cobscook Bay and the surrounding islands. The park is ideal for hiking, picnicking, and bird-watching, with a diverse range of habitats supporting a wide variety of wildlife.

The trails vary in difficulty, making them suitable for all skill levels. Along the way, you’ll encounter rocky shorelines, dense forests, and sweeping vistas that showcase the natural beauty of the region.

Old Sow Whirlpool

Witness the largest tidal whirlpool in the Western Hemisphere, the Old Sow Whirlpool, which forms off the coast of Eastport between Deer Island and Moose Island. The whirlpool is easy to spot from land during high tide, or you can check out its powerful currents on a local boat tour.

This awe-inspiring natural phenomenon offers a unique opportunity to learn about the area’s tidal forces and geological history while taking in the incredible sight of swirling waters.

Kayaking-Eastport
Kayaking | photo via girlpaddlers

Kayaking & Canoeing

Explore Eastport’s rugged coastline and abundant wildlife by paddling through the tranquil waters of Cobscook Bay. Local outfitters offer kayak and canoe rentals, as well as guided tours for all skill levels.

Paddle through serene bays, navigate narrow inlets, and discover hidden coves as you soak in the breathtaking scenery that surrounds you.

Explore Local Ecosystems

Discover the fascinating marine life that inhabits the tide pools along Eastport’s rocky shoreline. The intertidal zone is home to a diverse array of creatures, such as sea stars, crabs, sea urchins, and various species of seaweed.

Low tide is the best time to explore these captivating ecosystems, offering a hands-on learning experience for visitors of all ages.

Fishing

Anglers will delight in the abundant fishing opportunities available in and around Eastport. Cast your line from the town’s public pier, charter a fishing boat, or venture out on your own to experience the thrill of reeling in a variety of fish species, including striped bass, mackerel, and pollock.

MAINE: Don’t forget to obtain a Maine fishing license before you head out.

Moosehorn National Wildlife Refuge-Eastport
Moosehorn National Wildlife Refuge | photo via timjdunn

Bird-watching

Eastport and the surrounding area provide exceptional bird-watching opportunities, with a diverse range of seabirds, shorebirds, and songbirds inhabiting the region.

Visit the nearby Moosehorn National Wildlife Refuge or explore the town’s many parks and nature preserves to spot species such as bald eagles, ospreys, great blue herons, and various species of ducks and warblers.

Join a guided bird-watching tour or venture out on your own with a pair of binoculars and a bird identification guide.

Sailing & Boat Tours

Experience the beauty of Eastport’s coastal waters on a sailing adventure or scenic boat tour. Several tour boat companies and sailboats offer a variety of trips — ranging from relaxing sunset cruises to exhilarating windjammer excursions.

For those interested in the area’s rich maritime history, consider joining a guided lighthouse tour or a historical boat tour that explores the region’s fascinating past.

Beachcombing & Photography

Stroll along Eastport’s beautiful beaches — such as Carrying Place Cove or Dog Island — and indulge in some beachcombing. Discover hidden treasures like seashells, sea glass, and driftwood while capturing the stunning coastal scenery with your camera.

The dramatic landscapes and ever-changing light conditions make Eastport Maine a photographer’s paradise, providing countless opportunities for capturing memorable images.

Quoddy Head State Park-Eastport
Quoddy Head State Park | photo via adventurelyfe927

Quoddy Head State Park

A short drive from Eastport, you’ll find Quoddy Head State Park, which is home to the iconic West Quoddy Head Lighthouse. The park offers numerous hiking trails, scenic vistas, and opportunities to spot wildlife.

Explore the diverse landscape — which includes coastal forests, peat bogs, and rocky cliffs — while enjoying views of the Bay of Fundy and the Grand Manan Channel.

Biking

Explore Eastport’s scenic surroundings on two wheels by renting a bike from a local outfitter or bringing your own.

The area offers a mix of paved roads and off-road trails suitable for all skill levels, providing a fun and active way to experience the region’s natural beauty. Cycle along the waterfront or through charming neighborhoods, or venture out to nearby parks and nature reserves.

Tides Institute & Museum of Art-Eastport
Tides Institute & Museum of Art | photo via theo_blue

Indoor Things to Do in Eastport Maine

While Eastport Maine is well known for its stunning coastal landscapes and outdoor activities, the town offers a wealth of indoor attractions that cater to a variety of interests.

From art and history museums to creative workshops and live performances, there is no shortage of experiences waiting to be had in this picturesque coastal town.

Tides Institute & Museum of Art

Discover the region’s rich artistic heritage at the Tides Institute & Museum of Art. This contemporary museum showcases works by local and regional artists, hosts rotating exhibits, and offers educational programs and workshops.

Visitors can explore the museum’s extensive collection — which includes paintings, sculptures, photographs, and more — while learning about the unique artistic traditions and cultural history of Eastport and the surrounding area.

Raye’s Mustard Mill Museum

Visit Raye’s Mustard Mill Museum to learn about the history of mustard-making in Eastport. Tour the historic mill, which dates back to 1900 and is still in operation today, and discover the traditional stone grinding techniques used to create their signature gourmet mustards.

Sample a variety of flavors and take home a delicious souvenir from the gift shop, which offers a wide selection of mustard varieties, condiments, and other locally made products.

Eastport Arts Center

Experience the vibrant local arts scene at the Eastport Arts Center, a hub for art, music, theater, and education. Attend a gallery opening, take a workshop, or enjoy a live performance in this dynamic creative space.

With a diverse range of programming — including art classes, concerts, film screenings, and community events — the Eastport Arts Center offers something for everyone, fostering a thriving cultural community within the town.

Eastport Arts Center-Eastport
Eastport Arts Center | photo via eastportgallery

Breakwater Gallery

Immerse yourself in the works of local artists at the Breakwater Gallery, a fine art gallery that features a curated collection of paintings, sculptures, and other art forms created by artists from Eastport and the surrounding region.

Browse the gallery’s diverse selection of artwork, which often focuses on themes of coastal life, nature, and the unique beauty of Downeast Maine. Also, it provides a wonderful opportunity to take home a one-of-a-kind piece of art as a memento of your visit to Eastport.

Eastport Historic Walking Tour

Explore Eastport’s rich history with a self-guided historic walking tour. While this activity involves some time outdoors, many of the tour’s highlights are the historic buildings and sites that can be admired from the inside.

Learn about the town’s architectural history, maritime heritage, and the fascinating stories of the people who have called Eastport Maine home throughout the centuries.

The walking tour is a perfect way to combine an appreciation for history and architecture with the enjoyment of Eastport’s charming streets and waterfront views.

Sip & Paint Events

Unleash your inner artist by attending a sip-and-paint event at one of Eastport’s local galleries or art centers. These popular events offer a fun and social environment where you can create your own masterpiece under the guidance of a skilled instructor while enjoying a glass of wine or other beverage.

The good news is that you do not need to have any experience painting at all. Even if you do not have a lot of creative ability, you can still sign up for one of these events. Of course, your painting may evolve depending on how much wine you consume!

Border Historical Society

Dive into the intriguing history of Eastport and its connection to the international border between the United States and Canada at the Border Historical Society.

Located in the heart of Eastport, this local museum features exhibits about the area’s past, including its role in the War of 1812, the 19th-century sardine industry, and the development of the region’s unique culture.

A visit to the Border Historical Society will enrich your understanding of Eastport’s historical significance and provide a deeper appreciation for this charming coastal town.

Local Theater and Performances

Catch a live performance by the talented actors, musicians, and performers who call Eastport Maine home. The Stage East theater company — a part of the Eastport Arts Center — offers a range of productions throughout the year, including plays, musicals, and original works by local playwrights.

Additionally, the town’s historic Sutherland Amphitheater occasionally hosts indoor concerts and events, showcasing the musical talents of the region. These shows tend to fill up quickly, so keep your eye on the calendar and reserve your seats ahead of time.

These are just a few of the many top indoor activities in the local area. Remember that the offerings could change depending on the season, so try to keep watch on the local calendar.

The Happy Crab-Eastport
The Happy Crab | photo via sherriepassanisi

Top Eastport Maine Restaurants

There are plenty of delicious restaurants for you to explore in Eastport Maine. Here are some of the top options that you may want to consider.

The Happy Crab

Enjoy fresh seafood and waterfront dining at The Happy Crab. This casual eatery is known for its delicious lobster rolls, clam chowder, and friendly atmosphere. Dine on the outdoor deck for stunning views of the harbor.

Phoenix Fine Wines

If you are looking for a nice wine and cocktail bar to try, you may want to swing by The Phoenix on Water Street. It has a wide selection of white and red wines, and the sommeliers are knowledgeable about various pairings and recommendations.

Beau’s Creamery

When you are in the mood for a delicious dessert, do not forget to check out Beau’s Creamery. One of the new ice cream shops in the local area, this is the perfect place to cool off and satiate your sweet tooth, particularly during the summer. It has rotating flavors as well, so ask about the specials.

Rossport Lodging-Eastport
Rossport Lodging | photo via altonpm

Where to Stay in Eastport Maine

Of course, you’ll need to find a place to stay in Eastport if you plan to explore everything that this town has to offer. Below are a few of our favorites.

Milliken House Bed & Breakfast

Stay in a beautifully restored Victorian home at Milliken House Bed & Breakfast. This charming B&B offers elegantly appointed rooms, a delicious homemade breakfast, and warm hospitality from the innkeepers.

Kilby House Inn

Experience a taste of Eastport’s maritime history at The Kilby House Inn, a boutique inn that features unique rooms that pay homage to the town’s seafaring history. With comfortable amenities and a perfect location, this is one of the most popular lodging options in the local area.

Rossport Lodging & Retreat

Reconnect with nature at Rossport By The Sea Lodging & Retreat, a rustic seaside lodge that offers cozy cabins, a private beach, and stunning views of Passamaquoddy Bay. It’s perfect for a romantic getaway or a family vacation.

Seal-Eastport-ME
Eastport | photo via matthewhuntley1985

History of Eastport Maine

The storied history of Eastport Maine can be traced back thousands of years to when the Passamaquoddy Tribe inhabited the area, thriving on the abundant natural resources and pristine landscape.

European Arrival

It wasn’t until the late 18th century that European settlers began to arrive in the region, welcomed by the indigenous people who recognized the potential for growth and prosperity through trade and cooperation.

Several years later, Eastport was officially incorporated as a town at the end of the 18th century, marking the beginning of a new chapter in its storied past.

Industry & Population Growth

In its early years, Eastport quickly emerged as an important center for shipbuilding, fishing, and trade, capitalizing on its strategic location along the easternmost coast of the United States.

This growth was facilitated by the construction of a deep-water port, which attracted a diverse array of merchants, sailors, and fishermen from around the world. As the town’s prominence in the maritime industry grew, so too did its population.

Cultural Renaissance

During the 19th century, Eastport was known for not only its bustling port and thriving maritime industries but also its robust cultural scene, which attracted artists, writers, and musicians from across the country.

This cultural renaissance was further enhanced by the development of the town’s educational institutions, which provided residents with access to quality education and helped foster a sense of community pride and civic engagement.

Resilient Community

Despite the numerous challenges Eastport faced throughout the 20th century — including economic downturns and the decline of the maritime industry — the town has remained resilient and determined to preserve its unique heritage.

Current Day Eastport

Today, the spirit of the town’s historic past lives on through well-preserved nostalgic buildings, charming streets, and proud local community.

Visitors to Eastport can explore the town’s fascinating history through a variety of attractions that showcase works by local and regional artists while also offering a glimpse into the town’s industrial past.

Additionally, tours are available for those who wish to learn more about Eastport’s historic past, taking visitors on a journey through time as they stroll along the town’s beautiful streets and waterfront.

Eastport Maine is a testament to the resilience and determination of its residents, who have managed to preserve the town’s unique charm too.

With a distinct cultural past, stunning coastal location, and a strong sense of community, the city remains a cherished destination for travelers seeking an authentic New England experience.

Eastport
Eastport | photo via robertsworldphotography

Frequently Asked Questions About Eastport Maine

When is the best time of year to visit Eastport?

The best time to visit Eastport Maine largely depends on your personal preferences and the activities you’re interested in.

Summer (June to August) is the most popular time for tourists with warm temperatures and plenty of outdoor activities, such as whale watching, hiking, and kayaking.

Fall (September and October) offers cooler temperatures and beautiful foliage, making it ideal for scenic drives and outdoor exploration.

Winter (November to February) is generally quiet and can be quite cold, but it’s perfect for those who enjoy a peaceful, snowy atmosphere.

How do I get to Eastport Maine?

The most common way to reach Eastport Maine is by car. The nearest major airport is Bangor International Airport, which is approximately a two-hour drive away.

If you are coming from farther away, you can fly into Portland International Jetport, which is about a four-hour drive away.

If you prefer not to drive, you could take a bus from Bangor or Portland to nearby towns, such as Machias or Calais, and then arrange for a taxi or rental car to reach Eastport.

Are there any annual events or festivals in Eastport?

Yes, Eastport is home to several annual events and festivals that celebrate the town’s rich history and vibrant community.

Two popular events include the Eastport Pirate Festival in the fall — which features pirate-themed activities, live music, and a parade — and the Fourth of July celebration — which boasts the largest Independence Day parade in Maine.

Additionally, seafood festivals throughout the year showcase the region’s culinary delights with food vendors, cooking demonstrations, and live entertainment.

What is the Old Sow Whirlpool, and how can I see it in Eastport?

The Old Sow Whirlpool is the most expansive tidal whirlpool in the Western Hemisphere, located off the coast of Eastport Maine near Deer Island and Moose Island.

The whirlpool is caused by the unique underwater topography and powerful tidal currents in the area.

To see the Old Sow Whirlpool, you can either view it from land during high tide or join a guided boat tour that takes you closer to the whirlpool’s powerful currents.

What type of wildlife can I expect to see in Eastport?

Eastport Maine is home to a diverse array of wildlife on land and in the water. Common marine life includes seals, porpoises, and various species of whales — such as humpback, finback, and minke whales.

The area is also a birdwatcher’s paradise, with numerous species of seabirds, shorebirds, and songbirds inhabiting the region. On land, you might encounter white-tailed deer, moose, and various small mammals, like squirrels and raccoons.

Eastport
Eastport | photo via elyssacohenphotog

Plan Your Trip to Eastport Maine Today

Eastport Maine is a captivating coastal gem that offers visitors a unique blend of history, outdoor adventure, and cultural experiences.

From exploring the town’s rich maritime past to savoring delicious local cuisine, there is something for everyone in this charming New England destination. Book your trip today and discover the enchanting allure of Eastport Maine.

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