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10 Best Things to Do in Boothbay Harbor, ME

Sunset on the Harbor, where you can enjoy some of the best things to do in Boothbay Harbor

Maine is an ideal destination for romantic getaways and family retreats, and that's never been more true when you involve a town as cute as Boothbay Harbor. Of course, there are plenty of things to do in Boothbay Harbor, but beyond that, there's something special about spending warm afternoons on Maine's rocky coast. 

The charming town of Boothbay Harbor, situated along its namesake harbor, is a spectacular destination. One of the most popular things to do in Boothbay Harbor is to take to the water for kayaking, sailing, and yachting. The charming town is also filled to the brim with fantastic boutiques, great restaurants, breweries, and all the fresh seafood you could want. In short, a visit to Boothbay Harbor in the is quintessential Maine.

Boothbay Harbor is also a fantastic destination for artists and art lovers. There are great performances at the Lincoln Arts Festival and the Pythian Opera House, along with great art galleries spread throughout the town. With so much inspiring natural beauty, it's easy to see why the arts thrive up here. 

All this and more is just about 2.5 hours north of Boston and a little over an hour north of Portland, Maine. It's the perfect getaway in Midcoast, Maine. Take your getaway to the next level by staying at our Boothbay Harbor Bed and Breakfast, one of Select Registry's many fantastic Maine getaways worth visiting. Get ready to join us for the best things to do in Boothbay Harbor!

A beautiful fall afternoon on the harbor, which is one of the best things to do in Boothbay Harbor

Best Things to Do in Boothbay Harbor

There's no shortage of fantastic and fun things to do in Boothbay Harbor. It starts, of course, with the breathtaking views you'll enjoy of the harbor itself, but this town has so much more to offer than grand views. It truly offers visitors the best of Midcoast Maine!

Whether you're an avid sailor, photographer, outdoor enthusiast, seafood lover, or even if you're just looking for a quiet few days on the Maine Coast, you'll find plenty of things to do in Boothbay Harbor. You don't have to do much while you're here, but you'll have options when you want to have a little fun. Below, find a list of our ten favorite things to do in Boothbay Harbor. 

  1. Boothbay Harbor is known to have some of the best seacoast kayaking in Maine, and this is easily one of the most popular things to do in Boothbay Harbor. Tidal Transit offers rentals, or you can take tours with Maine Kayak.
  2. If kayaking isn't for you, you can also take a sunset cruise aboard local schooners. Setting sail on these fabled waters is one of the best things to do in Boothbay Harbor, and we recommend setting sail on the Schooner Eastwind
  3. One of the best parts about Maine is enjoying incredible sunrises and sunsets - and our favorite place to do that is by driving the Ocean Point loop. Take a picnic and get ready to enjoy breathtaking coastal views, lighthouses, and passing sailboats. 
  4. Take an afternoon to visit Monhegan Island, accessed via ferry and something we'll cover in more detail below. Once you get to Ocean Point, don't miss the Ocean Point Preserve.  
  5. Visiting lighthouses is a popular activity in Maine, so it's no surprise that lighthouses feature prominently as one of the best things to do in Boothbay Harbor, too. There are three lighthouses in Boothbay Harbor, including Burnt Island Light, Ram Island Light, and the Cuckolds Light
  6. If you want to take a break from the water or the busy downtown of Boothbay Harbor, there are some great hiking trails. The Boothbay Region Land Trust owns and maintains over 20 miles of hiking trails.
  7. Visit the Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens, which features 250 acres of gorgeous landscapes and gardens. 
  8. Walk across the impressive 1,000-foot Boothbay Footbridge, which connects one side of the harbor to the other. The historic wooden walkway was built in 1901! You'll enjoy beautiful views of the harbor from here, too. 
  9. Step back in time at the Boothbay Railway Village. It's a recreated village that's home to several preserved historic buildings and vintage automobiles, and you can also enjoy rides on the authentic steam locomotive. 
  10. Finally, one of our favorite things to do in Boothbay Harbor is to feast on local seafood. There's no shortage of great Boothbay Harbor restaurants to enjoy. Top spots include Osprey Restaurant, Ports of Italy, Watershed Tavern, Boathouse Bistro, and the Boothbay Lobster Wharf.  
A beautiful view of the shoreline on Monhegan Island, one of the top things to do in Boothbay Harbor

Visit Monhegan Island

Visiting Monhegan Island, just off the coast of the mainland, is one of the best things to do in Boothbay Harbor. The island is located 10 miles off the coast and is only accessible by ferry. There are no paved roads or cars on the island and a minimal number of shops and other attractions, but that is its appeal. 

Monhegan Island is the perfect place to relax, unwind, and leave behind crowded and busy city streets. It's ideal for nature lovers, too, as there are 17 miles of hiking trails to explore out here. 

Aside from spending a few contemplative hours walking the trails on Monhegan Island, there's also a beautiful lighthouse to visit. The Monhegan Island Lighthouse was built in 1824 and is still an active beacon today. Views of Boothbay Harbor from the Monhegan Island Lighthouse are exceptional. 

To get to Monhegan Island, you'll need to take a ferry. Several ferries service Monhegan Island, but the only one leaving from Boothbay Harbor is the Balmy Days II. The trip takes 1.5 hours each way, but it's a spectacularly beautiful trip filled with great views and plenty of wildlife viewing. It departs from the Boothbay Harbor at 9:30 am and arrives back at 4:15 pm, which gives you around 3 hours to enjoy Monhegan Island. 

With so many incredible things to do in Boothbay Harbor, it's time you start planning your trip. Book a room at our Select Registry Bed and Breakfast in Maine today!

Best Place to Stay in Boothbay Harbor

Topside Inn

Set atop McKown Hill at the highest point in town, this 19th-century sea captain’s home is joined by two classic guesthouses and offers stylish, modern accommodations and amenities just steps from a charming coastal village you won’t soon forget. Water views greet you in every direction and our front lawn provides a grandstand seat to observe harbor activity throughout the day and the lights of the sky at night.

Start your day with a delicious full breakfast, locally sourced and prepared to order by your hosts and chefs Mark & Buzz. Guests enjoy great local coffee or tea, fresh fruit, tasty homemade granola, yogurt, baked goods, juices and more. The daily entree often features produce from our vegetable and herb gardens and offerings from the local farmers market. Lobster, locally harvested mushrooms, fingerling potatoes and fresh cheeses are just a few of the regions freshest ingredients that have been enjoyed by our guests. We are happy to accommodate special requests including vegetarian, vegan and gluten free. Enjoy a cocktail or small bite in our private posh Bar One before heading out to one of the many local restaurants for dinner.

Boothbay Harbor is a classic Maine seacoast vacation destination. Enjoy Topside Inn’s convenient in-town location, just a short walk to restaurants, shops, and art galleries in the waterfront coastal village. On the water, boat excursions depart at the foot of the hill for bird and whale watching, sightseeing, lighthouse tours, schooner sails, fishing, kayaking and more. On land, the spectacular beauty of the peninsula awaits on the Land Trust hiking trails, at the Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens, or just around the next turn on a seaside country road. We’ll help you find it all!

Learn More

Best Places to Stay in Boothbay Harbor

Topside Inn Exterior at Dusk
Topside Inn Lawn Chairs
sitting room
Topside Inn Lobster Trap
Topside Inn Guest Room
Topside Inn Lobster Gnocchi
topside view
deviled eggs
salmon eggs
creole soup
plate of food

Topside Inn

Boothbay Harbor, ME

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