Summers in Boothbay Harbor are plentiful with warm sunshine, delicious seafood, and great times. If you want to enjoy all 3 perks in one memorable excursion, we highly recommend traveling to Cabbage Island in Maine! This tranquil island, only accessible by ferry, is more than just one of Boothbay’s most historic sites. It is also the location for the Original Downeast Clambake of Boothbay Harbor! Cabbage Island is a fantastic destination that is the perfect little getaway for vacationers of all types, and we’re sure you’ll love it too.
Including Cabbage Island in Maine, there is so much to discover in Boothbay Harbor! Experience it all during your stay with us at Russell House Bed & Breakfast, your private getaway in Boothbay Harbor. For all of our favorite local recommendations, request access to our free Boothbay Harbor Vacation Guide!
History of Cabbage Island in Maine
In the late 1800’s, the Holbrook family was granted with several islands in Linekin Bay, including Cabbage Island. In 1901, Ezekiel Holbrook purchased the island from his father until it was purchased again in 1905 by a local dentist as his summer retreat. The island saw several owners throughout the years until it came under the care of Donald and Ruth Leavitt in 1948. For 23 summers, Ruth hosted a twice-daily clambake on the island and transported visitors to the event with 3 ferries. After Mrs. Leavitt sold the island again in 1983, it saw little activity and was eventually deemed abandoned.
In 1986, Mr. Wayne Moore purchased the island. It wasn’t long before local boat owners asked him to bring back the clambake tradition that the Leavitt family had made so popular. With the help of Boothbay boaters, his family, and even Mrs. Leavitt herself, Mr. Moore brought the clambakes back to Cabbage Island. Even today, the tradition is still running strong. Two clambakes are hosted each day, seven days a week in June through September.
What to Expect at the Cabbage Island Clambake
The journey begins with a scenic tour of Boothbay Harbor aboard the Bennie Alice. As soon as you step off the Cabbage Island ferry, the entire Moore family will warmly welcome you to one of the best clambakes in Maine. You will also be greeted with a succulent feast of fresh Maine lobster and clams made the “Downeast” way. This traditional cooking method requires the clams and lobster to be cooked in seaweed, covered with tarpaulins and rocks, and then steamed from top to bottom. This traps all of the flavor and sweetness inside, a true delight for your taste buds! Of course, no clambake is complete without a steaming cup of New England Fish Chowder and golden corn on the cob. Be sure you leave room for dessert, as Mrs. Leavitt’s famous Blueberry Cake is an absolute must!
After you enjoy your meal, you’ll want to explore the unparalleled beauty of Cabbage Island in Maine! The panoramic scenes and lovely foliage have attracted artists and those seeking a peaceful utopia for years. Take advantage of the island facilities such as horseshoes, volleyball, and badminton, or take a peaceful stroll along the shoreline. Whatever you decide to do, your excursion to Cabbage Island is sure to be one of the highlights of your Boothbay Harbor trip!
Fall in Love With Cabbage Island, Maine and Boothbay Harbor During Your Stay at Russell House
We invite you to discover your own private getaway in Boothbay Harbor. Our secluded and historic bed & breakfast inn places you outside of the hustle and bustle of downtown so you can enjoy peaceful relaxation just minutes from all of your favorite attractions. Our lovely, renovated guest rooms are perfect for hosting intimate getaways, celebrations, or just a simple weekend escape. Guests also enjoy a delicious homemade breakfast each morning with complimentary coffee, tea, and other tasty treats. Ready for the getaway of a lifetime? Book your favorite room at Russell House today and we look forward to welcoming you soon!