Things to Do in Downtown Boothbay Harbor, Maine
Whether you are planning a much-needed getaway or want to stay for a couple of days after a business meeting, there are so many remarkable destinations in Boothbay Harbor to explore. This classic Maine town has a rocky coastline and an abundance of outdoor activities to enjoy. Here at The Russell House, our innkeeper and staff want to make you feel welcome and at home during your stay. We are excited to share our expert knowledge about how to spend your time in Boothbay Harbor.
Browse below for a brief overview of things to do in Boothbay Harbor. Then, request a copy of our FREE Vacation Guide for an even more indepth look at everything you can experience in beautiful Midcoast Maine.
Explore Downtown Boothbay Harbor when you stay with us at Russell House Bed & Breakfast. Our convenient location offers the kind of getaway you won’t soon forget. We’re a quick drive or walk to downtown where you can explore local activities and attractions or grow your sea legs and set sail on a boating or fishing tour. With miles of hiking trails, beautiful ocean vistas and seafood restaurants, you’ll be happy you chose Boothbay Harbor for your getaway.
There is never a shortage of things to do in downtown Boothbay Harbor and there is an attraction for every type of traveler. Enjoy golf? There are plenty of golf courses nearby. Want a little retail therapy? Visit the local shops to find handcrafted products and souvenirs. Boothbay Harbor is a boater’s paradise, so rent a boat or go kayaking. Enjoy a day at the beach or explore the beautiful rocky Maine coast.
For more information on all things to see and do in Boothbay Harbor browse our Blog page!
Boothbay Harbor Activities
Parks and Beaches
reid state park
375 Sequinland Road, Georgetown | maine.gov/reid | $5-7
Reid State Park bears the distinct honor of being Maine’s first State-owned Saltwater Beach. Today, thousands of visitors enjoy the park’s long, wide sand beaches which are rare in Maine. The beaches are also essential nesting areas for endangered least terns and piping plovers and resting and feeding areas for other shorebirds. From the top of Griffith Head, a rocky headland overlooking the park, visitors can view sweeping seascapes and spot the lighthouses in our surrounding areas.
10 Perkins Farm Lane, Phippsburg | maine.gov/pophambeach | $6-8
Located at the tip of the Phippsburg peninsula near Bath, Popham is a popular spot for locals and visitors. Picnic tables, charcoal pits, a bathhouse with toilets, and freshwater showers are available in the wooded section of the park. The rolling Atlantic surf draws thousands of swimmers and surfers alike, and shell collecting is a pastime of many seaside strollers. Lifeguards are on duty during the summer months, but beachgoers should note that this is a strong surf beach with undertows and occasional rip tides. Fort Popham, built during the Civil War but never finished, is located two miles farther down Rt 209. Fun Fact—the movie Message in a Bottle starring Kevin Costner was filmed at Popham Beach!
3115 Bristol Road, New Harbor | bristolparks.org | $2
Pemaquid Point, with its dramatic streaks of granite reaching to the sea, would be a fascinating place to visit even without its pretty white lighthouse. The spot is one of the most visited attractions of the Maine coast, receiving about 100,000 visitors each year. The picket fence, which is a work of art, is worth the trip alone. The lightkeeper’s house is now a museum, and there is an art gallery at the park, but the best part of this trip is climbing around on the point itself, enjoying the spectacular scenery and taking the inevitable photo of the light reflected in a tidal pool.
586 Wiscasset Road (Rt 27), Boothbay | railwayvillage.org | $5-10
The Boothbay Railway Village is a non-profit organization that operates a narrow gauge coal-fired steam train in a recreated historic village composed of locally significant structures. The thirty acre setting includes more than two dozen buildings many of which are filled with displays of artifacts related to Maine’s railroading history, the advent of the automobile and the everyday life of Mainers from the mid-eighteenth through the mid-nineteenth centuries. Additionally, the museum exhibits one of the finest presentations of antique vehicles in New England.
Museums and Gardens
Boothbay Harbor aquarium
194 McKown Point Road, Boothbay Harbor | maine.gov/dmr/education/aquarium | $3-7
The Maine State Aquarium features extraordinary lobsters of all sizes and colors. The giants (up to 23 lbs!) like to show off their mammoth claws. Colorful marine life, including red sea anemones and purple sunstars, can be seen in the “Downeast” tank. At center stage is an 850 gallon tank that is filled with sharks and skates. Experience the thrill of petting a live shark and discover the roughness of a skate’s skin. A special attraction is the 20’ touch tank that houses a multitude of invertebrates. Feel the spiny skin of a sea star or sea urchin and get squirted by a sea cucumber or scallop. Watch the moon snail pull in its enormous “gooey” foot and be fascinated by the sea star retracting its stomach.
243 Washington Street, Bath | mainemaritimemuseum.org | $10-15
Founded in 1962, the Maine Maritime Museum collects, preserves and interprets materials relating to the maritime history of Maine. Maine’s maritime history is told here daily through gallery exhibits, a historic shipyard, educational programs and narrated boat cruises to points of historic significance and natural beauty. Located on the banks of the Kennebec River and just south of Bath Iron Works, home of “The World’s Greatest Shipbuilders,” the Museum welcomes over 65,000 visitors annually.
owl’s head transportation museum
177 Museum Street, Owl’s Head | owlshead.org | Open daily 10:00am-5:00pm | $12
The Owl’s Head Transportation Museum has one of the finest collections of pioneer-era aircraft and automobiles in the world. More than 100 historic aircraft, automobiles, bicycles, carriages and engines are on permanent display. The Aircraft Collection contains replicas and originals representing the first century of flight, from Cayley’s unmanned glider (1804) to the legendary Curtiss Jenny of the barnstorming era. An outstanding collection of automobiles spans the late 19th Century and early 20th century, and includes the 1963 Prototype Mustang and a 1935 Stout Scarab (called the world’s first mini-van, one of only six ever made).
16 Museum Street, Rockland | farnsworthmuseum.org | Open daily | $15
The Farnsworth Art Museum houses the nation’s second-largest collection of works by premier 20th-century sculptor Louise Nevelson and has opened four new galleries to showcase contemporary art. Its Wyeth Center exclusively features works of Andrew, N.C., and Jamie Wyeth—America’s first family of artists. The Farnsworth also owns two other buildings open to the public. The Farnsworth Homestead, located behind the museum, offers a glimpse into the life of prosperous coastal Victorians. A 25-minute drive away in the village of Cushing is the Olson House, perhaps Maine’s most famous home, which was immortalized in Andrew Wyeth’s noted painting Christina’s World. Ask at the museum for directions and information.
coastal maine botanical gardens
132 Botanical Gardens Dr., Boothbay | mainegardens.org | Open daily 9:00am–5:00pm, $8-16
Discover stunning ornamental gardens and exceptional natural beauty, waterfalls, and incomparable stonework and sculpture. Miles of trails allow you to experience waterfront and woodlands that are quintessentially Maine. The Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens has become one of Maine’s top attractions and one of the most distinguished botanical destinations in the country. Its exquisite gardens, dramatic and compelling natural landscape, stunning Visitor Center, and waterfront make it unique, charming and totally captivating! Don’t miss the Garden of the Five Senses, Kitchen Garden Cafe and the spectacular Children’s Garden.
72 Oak Street, Boothbay Harbor | boothbayhistorical.org | Open Thursday-Saturday, 10:00am–2:00pm
The Boothbay Region Historical Society is located at the 1874 home of Elizabeth F. Reed and its grounds, Fullerton Park. Browse six rooms of artifacts, photographs, maps, and memorabilia. Our collections of town records, local newspapers, family histories, account books, and more are available for those wishing to delve into our colonial and coastal heritage. Whether you visit in search of family roots, or simply enjoy learning about local history, we invite you to enjoy a local treasure!
the old jail
133 Federal St., Wiscasset | lincolncountyhistory.org | Open June 2–Oct 6, Saturday and Sunday noon–4:00pm | $5
The 1811 Old Lincoln County Jail in Wiscasset, with attached 1839 Jailer’s House, offers visitors a rare view into an earlier criminal justice system and the lives of the people who enforced and endured it. Visitors leave with a real sense of the hard work that came with being the jailer’s family, the hard life of the prisoners and the odd juxtaposition of family life and criminal incarceration. Trained docents conduct tours throughout the summer.
156 Gardiner Road, Wiscasset | morrisfarm.org
The Morris Farm Trust promotes the values of sustainable agriculture and stewardship of the earth through education, demonstration, and community involvement. The Morris Farm is open to the community. They welcome people to freely roam the pastures, gardens, and forest nature trails. Visit the farm store and check their website for special events.
22 Commercial St., Boothbay Harbor | cabbageislandclambakes.com | Daily, June 18-September 11, $62
Your Downeast Clambake adventure begins with a scenic tour of Boothbay Harbor aboard the Bennie Alice, en route to Cabbage Island. There a succulent feast of Maine lobsters and clams with all the traditional fixins await you. Cabbage Island is 5-1/2 acres of unparalleled beauty in the heart of Linekin Bay. From any compass point, there are panoramic scenes to delight artists as well as those folks craving quiet and relaxation. Island activities include fishing from the dock, horseshoes, volleyball, badminton, or relaxing along the shoreline watching the fishermen haul in their traps. You are free to explore every inch of the island. In rain or fog, enjoy the stone fireplace inside the island lodge.
20 Commercial Street, Boothbay Harbor | Schooner Eastwind | $25-39
Your two-hour voyage aboard Boothbay Harbor’s largest charter schooner gives you time to relax and see the Maine coastline. Lighthouses, fishing lobstermen, wildlife, and remote islands accessible only by boat dot the seascape. Herb and Doris Smith sailed around the world twice with their three children on schooners they built by hand. They are authors of two books about their world voyages: Sailing Three Oceans and Dreams of Natural Places.
bbh country club
33 Country Club Rd., Boothbay | boothbayharborcc.com | Open 10:30am–9:00pm $75-125
Boothbay Harbor Country Club opened its first 9 holes in 1921. Playing the course immediately became a favorite pastime for the vacationers to the area. The 9-hole gem designed by Stiles and Van Kleek expanded to 18 holes in 1999 and has recently gone through a complete redesign by renowned course architect Bruce Hepner as part of a multi-million dollar renovation by new owner Paul Coulombe. Players will find climate controlled restrooms and water-filled refrigerators 4 times per round. Take confidence in your yardage and pace of play with the incredibly accurate Visage GPS unit in each cart. There is also a full turf practice facility with full complement of practice tools to improve your swing.
42 Commercial Street, Boothbay Harbor | boothbayboattrips.com | $32-54
Cap’n Fish’s Whale Watch has been whale watching longer than anyone in the region. Their ships are the newest and fastest in the region, and carry the latest whale tracking equipment—to let you spend more time with the whales. The galley carries a large selection of food and snacks as well as a full bar. Cap’n Fish’s on-board naturalists are whale experts and have decades of experience as the top rated naturalists in the state of Maine. Cap’n Fish also runs puffin cruises, lobster trap hauling, music cruises, scenic boat tours and seal watch trips.
42 Commercial Street, Boothbay Harbor | balmydayscruises.com | Mondays and Thursdays in July and August, 1:45pm | $15-25
Burnt Island is a beautiful five-acre island owned by the Maine Department of Marine Resources. The historic buildings at this active lighthouse station have been carefully restored and transformed into an exceptional educational facility. Hop aboard the Novelty for a 15 minute boat ride to the island. Enjoy a lighthouse tour where keeper Joseph Muise and his family will acquaint you with lighthouse living as it was in the 1950’s. Visit their home and climb the spiral staircase into the lantern room. Learn about Maine’s fisheries, flora and fauna on your picturesque hike around the 5-acre island.
18 Granary Way, Boothbay Harbor | kayakboothbay.com | 8:30am–9:00pm
In a state known for the richness of its coastline, the Boothbay Region stands out as one of the best destinations for sea kayaking, with water ranging from the open seas to calm, protected rivers. The Harbor is also home to three historic lighthouses and many public islands that can be yours for an afternoon of exploring or peaceful picnicking. Whether it be on a guided tour, in one of their rental boats or if you simply want to drop by the shop for an idea on where to paddle on your own, the staff of Tidal Transit will happily get you set up to make the most out of your vacation. Stand up paddleboards and bicycles also available for rent.
Boothbay Harbor | sweetactioncharters.com | June-September | $360/4 hours
With over 30 years of experience on the rivers of Maine, Captain Dan Wolotsky will lead you to his favorite spots in the Kennebec watershed, home of world class light tackle Striper fishing. Wildlife abounds, as eagle, deer, seals, otter, and osprey are all commonly seen. Few feel the affects of seasickness in this shallow water environment that resembles a lake or a river more than the ocean where we begin. Sweet Action, a 21’ center console made by Parker Marine, offers maximum comfort in a boat of its size with its 8’6” beam. Expert fishermen will delight in the fast paced fishing, while beginners will be put at ease by Captain Wolotsky’s calm demeanor and coaching.
monkey c monkey do
698 Bath Rd (Rt 1), Wiscasset | monkeycmonkeydo.com
Open daily 10:00am–6:00pm | $25-40 Maine’s premiere high-flying family adventure park with zip lines!!!! Navigate through over 60 obstacles from 12 to 50 feet in the air then zoom along one of the 8 zip lines or the giant swing and do it all over again! This uniquely designed course offers multiple levels of difficulty, so no matter where your “comfort level” lies, you are sure to have an experience you won’t soon forget!
196 Townsend Avenue, Boothbay Harbor | carouselmusictheater.org | Tuesday-Sunday 6:30pm | $45
Have a drink and browse the selections of soups and deli sandwiches. While you are being served, your talented, charming and friendly servers entertain the audience with a lively cabaret featuring the best music from Broadway, composers such as Irving Berlin, Noel Coward and Howard Arlen, or marvelous singers of the 1920s-1960s, such as Frank Sinatra, Judy Garland, Patsy Cline or the Andrews Sisters. Then, with a cup of coffee and a fresh baked dessert in front of you, watch as the curtain goes up and the cast of young performers sings and dances in an original review created just for you.
86 Townsend Avenue, Boothbay Harbor | boothbayoperahouse.com
The Opera House, now in its second century as a mid-coast Maine landmark, has played many roles. From school gym to an indoor minimall and many things in between, the Opera House has seen both good times and bad. It was saved and preserved in 2002 by a group of committed citizens, volunteers and donors. Just a few years later, the Opera House is an exciting and well-known destination for Maine arts and cultural activities. 2017 shows include Jim Messina, Tom Rush, April Verch, and the Bob Milne Ragtime Piano Master.
Fitness and Wellness
crow point yoga
24 West Street, Boothbay Harbor | crowpointyoga.com
Crow Point Yoga is a community studio offering classes for everyone, including hot power yoga, yoga over 60, yoga for men, kids yoga, tai chi and restorative. The studio is tranquil and relaxing, committed to whole body wellness. Therapeutic massage and bodywork also available.