18 Fun Things to Do in Boothbay Harbor Maine

Things to Do in Boothbay Harbor Maine

Boothbay Harbor is one of the best small towns to visit on your trip to Maine. Whether you’re looking to use Boothbay as a base to explore the beautiful coastline or just want a relaxing spot to spend a few days, it’s the perfect place to add to your itinerary! Here’s the best things to do in Boothbay Harbor Maine and all about our experience in this charming New England town.

How Long Do You Need in Boothbay Harbor Maine? 

If you’re just in the starting phases of planning your trip your probably wondering how long you need in this iconic small town. We recently visited Boothbay Maine for a wedding and had five days to enjoy the area.

The coastal town of Boothbay Harbor is totally the type of place that you can pop into for a night as part of a longer Maine road trip itinerary. However, it’s so much fun that you could spend more days like we did and visit some of the surrounding towns.

If you’re planning to visit Boothbay Harbor then we recommend having at least two nights to truly experience it. Something we loved about Boothbay Harbor ME is it’s an extremely walkable town, especially if you’re staying in the center.

Our accommodation was just a 10 minute walk from all the shops and activities. One of our favorite things to do in Boothbay was simply strolling through the quaint village, and grabbing a cup of coffee overlooking the water.

Boothbay Harbor in Maine

How to Get to Boothbay Harbor Maine

While Boothbay Maine is extremely walkable, you will want to rent a car to see the surrounding sights. This part of New England is full of so many beautiful small towns, nature trails, and delicious seafood restaurants.  

If you’re planning to use public transportation to get around the state your best option would be to stay in Portland Maine. There are daily bus connections available from Boston Massachusetts.

It’s easy enough to pick up a vehicle in Portland or rent a car in Boston to explore. These are both the two most popular hubs that bring travelers to Boothbay Harbor Maine.

Flying directly into Portland will save you time, but typically the international flights and rental cars out of Boston are much more inexpensive.

We always use this website when booking our rental cars to compare the different companies and rates. Really, it depends on how much you want to do and see with your own itinerary!

Car Rental Portland Maine: 10 Easy Ways to Save Money

How to get to Boothbay Harbor Maine

Where to Stay in Boothbay Maine 

For us, having the right location and place to stay makes a huge difference in our trip. Tugboat Inn, Boothbay Harbor Inn, and Fisherman’s Wharf Inn are just a few of our top recommended hotels based on location and other travelers recommendations.

If you are looking for a house or apartment instead then websites like Airbnb have some great options around town. Make sure to check out our post on the best places to stay in Boothbay Harbor Maine below. These hotels are all near the downtown area and highly rated!

12 Best Boothbay Harbor Hotels and Inns For Your Maine Escape

Boothbay Maine Best Things to Do

Quick Tips For Visiting Boothbay ME 

Hotels: Book your accommodation in advance, especially in the busy summer and fall months (check the current prices here). The tiny town of Boothbay Harbor Maine welcomes more and more visitors every year and the hotels and inns go fast.

Activities: One of the best things to do in Boothbay Maine is jump on one of the many tours available. We will talk about these more later, but just make sure you take into account the time of year of your visit. Pack for sun, wind, or whatever weather you might come across. 

Mid-Week Visit: If possible, consider the day of the week you’re heading to Boothbay Harbor. In high season many people make a trip up from all over New England for a weekend getaway. If your schedule allows for a mid-week visit this will be a much more ideal with less crowds.

Summer & Fall: Summer and Fall are the two busiest times to visit Boothbay Maine. Plan your trip out well in advance! This area of Maine is also known as one of the most beautiful for fall foliage. 

Boothbay Harbor ME

18 Best Things to Do in Boothbay Harbor Maine

Ready for all the best things to do in Boothbay Harbor Maine? Our list is a mix of famous spots, can’t miss outdoor adventures, great restaurants, and a few of our own personal favorite activities. Let’s jump right in and start out with some of the most delicious spots to eat… Because enjoying the great food is a must on your trip to Maine’s coast!

1. Breakfast at Blue Moon Boothbay Harbor 

This small cafe not only serves scrumptious food, but hands-down has the best breakfast view in town. If you weren’t aware Maine is well known for its abundance of blueberries.

Blue Moon has several popular blueberry dishes such as their homemade blueberry pancakes, blueberry pies, and of course blueberry muffins. 

You’ll wanna get there early to get a seat outside overlooking the ocean. Also, they are only open in the summer months so double check the hours if you are planning a visit during the off-season.

2. Lunch at Bet’s Fish Fry 

This is honestly a meal that we will be dreaming about for years to come. Bet’s Fish Fry is located inland just a quick five minute drive from the Boothbay Harbor Center. This small take out stand is the perfect spot if you’re looking for a quick and delicious fish sandwich. 

Know that there are literally only two options on the menu which is a haddock sandwich or the fish on its own with a side of fries. Yet, the simple meal will absolutely rock your taste buds! The portions are huge in each fish sandwich can easily feed two people. 

Boothbay Harbor Food

3. Grab Dinner at Boothbay Lobster Wharf 

We had an early dinner at Boothbay Lobster Warf and thought it was one of the coolest places to eat in town. You’ll want to come here when it’s still light out for the stunning views over the harbor.

This casual restaurant has a walk-up window and fresh seafood stands where you can order local specialties. As you can imagine from the name, one of the best things to order is Boothbay Maine lobster! We also highly recommend the mussels and calamari.

Check out the summer specials for happy hours and even live music on the weekends. Boothbay Lobster Wharf is a great place to both enjoy local seafood and have a fun time with family and friends.

Boothbay Lobster Wharf 

4. Explore Downtown Boothbay Harbor 

One of the best things to do in Boothbay Harbor is to walk through the cute town center. We loved spending the afternoon popping into shops, enjoying some ice cream, and taking in the views of town.

This is where you’ll likely find yourself multiple times a day on your visit. As we mentioned, you should try and stay as close to the center of Boothbay Harbor when searching for accommodations. Whether you’re getting a quick meal or jumping on your next boat trip, downtown is the place to be.

Fun Things to do in Boothbay Harbor 

5. Take a Nautical Photo 

On the corner of Commercial street and Wharf is a little shop that has a large display outside with everything nautical. This is one of the most fantastic photo spots in Boothbay Harbor and somewhere you’ll want to have your camera ready. It’s really right in the middle of town so you’ll easily come across it without going out of your way in Boothbay Maine. 

Boothbay Maine

6. Walk Across the Boothbay Harbor Footbridge 

There is a small walking footbridge that cuts across the bay and connects one side to the other. Not only does it save you a lot of time, but it is one of the best things to do in Boothbay Harbor for the views. 

About halfway down you’ll find a small walkway to a dock this is right before the historic Boothbay Bridge house. We loved hanging out here and watching all the boats cruise past. 

Best Things to do in Boothbay Harbor Footbridge 

7. Go Kayaking Around Boothbay Maine

One of our favorite things to do in Boothbay Harbor is to rent a kayak. On our visit in early September the water was completely calm and made for a perfect outdoor adventure. Our house had kayaks that came with it, but you can also rent them in town from Tidal Transit Kayak Co

Explore the harbor and surrounding bays, as there are tons of small little inlets to enjoy. We spent two hours kayaking and saw so much of the incredible Boothbay Harbor coastline, rocky shores, and natural beauty of the area. 

Best things to do in Boothbay Harbor Maine Kayak 

8. Jump on a Boothbay Harbor Cruise 

Another fun way to get out on the water is to take a Boothbay Harbor cruise. This activity is one of the most popular things to do in Boothbay ME as it takes you to so many different areas.

While there are multiple companies offering separate experiences, one of the most highly rated is Cap’n Fish’s Cruises. This hour and a half Boothbay Harbor boat trip will take you past the many lighthouses, and you might even see seals! Try and book your boat cruise in advance if you’re heading to Boothbay Maine in the popular summer months.

Boothbay Harbor Cruise 

9. Go Sailing on Schooner Apple Jack

Another great boat trip to consider is sailing with Schooner Apple Jack. They offer an epic two-hour trip on Boothbay’s oldest wind jammer

It will take you along the coast of Maine and to some of the peaceful and quiet coves. This is certainly one of the more special things to do in Boothbay Harbor, and an experience you won’t ever forget!

Top Fun Things to do in Boothbay Harbor Maine

10. Visit the Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens 

Just a quick drive from town are the Costal Maine Botanical Gardens. This has long been praised as one of the most beautiful botanical gardens in New England, and somewhere to definitely include in your Boothbay Maine itinerary.

One of the coolest features of the Coastal Maine botanical gardens is the gigantic trolls! This fun art installation can actually be found in places all of the world, and Maine is one of those spots. 

Give yourself a few hours, if not an entire afternoon to dive into these botanical gardens as there is so much to see and do. You can even take a picnic and find a relaxing spot to enjoy your lunch during your visit.

Boothbay Maine Botanical Gardens 

11. Drive to the Scenic Ocean Point 

Sitting at the end of Route 96 in East Boothbay, is one of the most lovely lookout points in all of Maine. Not only will you be able to see the islands and lighthouses in the distance, but it’s also the perfect destination for animal lovers. 

This part of Maine is recognized as an amazing place to go bird watching and you may even spot seals playing on the rocks. Ocean Point is only 10 minutes from downtown Boothbay Harbor and the entire drive is very scenic. After reading some of the best things to do in Boothbay, it’s easy to see why you’d want to rent a car for your Maine trip!

What to do Boothbay Harbor ME

12.  Hit the Boothbay Harbor Hiking Trails

In addition to scenic drives and boat tours, there are also some great hiking trails in Boothbay Maine. Many of them go along the coastline or through the forest around ponds and marshes. 

One of our favorites is the Lobster Cove Meadow and Appalachee Preserve Loop. Here you can park at the Lobster Cove lot and make your way around the 3.2 mile loop.

Penny Lake also holds several trails that nature lovers and bird watchers will enjoy. The best part about hiking near Boothbay Harbor Maine is that most of the paths are flat and great for all ages.

Boothbay Harbor Things to do

13. Visit the Boothbay Railway Village Museum

Once you make it to Boothbay Harbor ME you’ll see it’s a town with a rich history and chalked full of historic sites. English settlers first came here in the 17th century and were drawn in by the farmlands and fishing. However, in the 1860’s the steam engine train would change life in this region of the United States.

Today, you can visit the Boothbay Railway Village Museum where you can learn all about the history and even take a vintage train ride!

The museum is also home to over 60 antique automobiles, making it a unique experience for the whole family. History buffs will  love a trip to the Boothbay Region Historical Society as well.

14. Day Trip to Monhegan Island

Just off the coast of Boothbay Harbor lies one of the most beautiful islands in Maine. Monhegan Island can be accessed by ferry boat year round (check here for times), but it is particularly nice to visit in the summer.

Walk the main road through town, grab a cold drink, and check out the quaint local shops and interesting art scene. There are also 9 miles of hiking trails to explore if you have time.

Best things to do Boothbay Maine

15. Fun Cabbage Island Clambake

Up to visit another incredible island from Boothbay Maine? Sail the Bennie Alice from Pier 6 in Boothbay Harbor to the shores of Cabbage Island. While here you will be served a traditional Downeast clambake by the Moore Family.

This is such a great switch up from all the lobster rolls you’re likely to be scarfing down in Boothbay. When you add in the scenic boat ride and seafood meal served by this family-run business, you’re sure to have a blast!

The tours run from mid-june through Labor Day and you can book directly on their website to include this in your Boothbay Harbor itinerary.

Boothbay Maine Things to Do

16. Boothbay Harbor Seasonal Festivals 

The small harbor town of Boothbay is also known for having some awesome annual events! These are not only popular with locals, but they bring in travelers from all over New England. Below are a few of the most popular events if you want plan your visit around one of them.

Windjammer Days: Fun festival running at the end of June to celebrate the maritime history of Maine. Windjammer Days has pirates, cod fish races, fireworks, and much more live entertainment!

Fall Foliage Festival: A great activity if you’re visiting Boothbay Maine in early October. It takes place at the Boothbay Railway Village, displaying the antique cars, steam engine trains, and everything fall.

Gardens Aglow: Planning a trip to Boothbay Harbor ME in the wintertime? Then you’ll love the Gardens Aglow lights festival during holiday season! Running from mid-November to the end of the year, over 750,000 LED lights illuminate 14 acres inside the Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens.  

Best things to do in Boothbay Harbor Festivals 

17. Have a Pint at FootBridge Brewery 

Just near the entrance to the walking bridge is the Footbridge Brewery of Boothbay Harbor Maine. Craft breweries have gained popularity over the years in the United States and New England is certainly is no exception. 

This is a great place to stop into while waiting for one of the boat tours to take off, or a spot to hang out inside if you don’t have the best weather. It actually rained one afternoon during our own trip and that’s when we found ourselves at the Footbridge Brewery for a drink. Our favorite beer that we had was the blueberry so make sure to try that on your visit!

Boothbay Harbor FootBridge Brewery

18 . Grab Cocktails Overlooking Boothbay Harbor Maine

Speaking of drinks… After full day of exploring, one of the most fun things to do in Boothbay Harbor is to grab a cocktail, sit back, relax, and take in the views. Some of the best places in town to have a drink are Tugboat Restaurant and the Boathouse Bistro. 

Top Things to do in Boothbay Harbor Maine

Is Boothbay Harbor Worth Visiting?

Absolutely! As you can see, there are so many fun activities to enjoy and get your quintessential Maine experience in Boothbay Harbor. From world-class boat excursions to botanical gardens and endless seafood restaurants, there’s no shortage of great things to do in Boothbay Harbor ME. 

We recommend planning your visit out in advance during the peak summer and fall seasons. However, there is something for everyone to enjoy year round in this coastal New England town. 

Is Boothbay Harbor Worth Visiting

Have any questions about this article or want to share your own favorite things to do in Boothbay Harbor Maine? Let us know in the comments below. 

Safe Travels,
Brigitte & Jake

 Where in the world are we? Follow our daily adventures on Instagram @nothingfamiliar

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Boothbay

Maine Travel Tips

 Flights: We always find great flights using Skyscanner and Kayak. This way you can plan your trip around the cheapest and most direct routes.

 Accommodation: Compare multiple sites to get to the best deal such as Booking.com and Agoda! Also, Hostelworld can be your go-to source if you’re traveling on a budget. 

Rental Car: We use Discover Cars when traveling. Consider renting a car in one city and dropping it off in another for an epic New England road trip! 

Tours: Check out Get Your Guide for activities all around Maine. Book a Portland trolley ride, take a historical walking tour in Kennebunkport, or go on a scenic cruise in Boothbay!! 

 Travel Insurance: Never travel abroad without being covered! We’ve been using SafetyWing for the last few years and they are there when we need them.

 Packing Lists: Find all the inspiration you need with our Amazon packing lists. Including our electronics and camera gear, must-have medical items, and long flight essentials

Maine Travel

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8 Comments

  1. January 31, 2024 / 10:26 am

    I am overdue to visit family in Portland, so I’ll definitely have to build a day or two in to our itinerary to visit Boothbay Harbor! This area sounds absolutely lovely, and I already want to try all the food you mentioned here. Plus, the Costal Maine Botanical Gardens are calling my name! Thanks for the tips!

    • Brigitte & Jake
      Author
      January 31, 2024 / 11:09 am

      Glad you found our tips useful! Boothbay Harbor is definitely worth the trip from Portland. Hope you have a blast!

  2. Rowena
    January 30, 2024 / 2:20 am

    Thank you for sharing about your Boothbay Harbor adventure. Sounds like you had lots of fun. Considering a longer stay like you did, maybe 5 days. Also, planning to explore downtown and maybe pick up some lobster-themed souvenirs. Any recommendations for quirky shops?

    • Brigitte & Jake
      Author
      January 30, 2024 / 3:28 am

      Thanks for reading. 5 days if the perfect amount of time in Boothbay Harbor! Check out the Smiling Cow or Coastal Maine Gifts if you’re looking for some fun souvenirs (-:

  3. January 26, 2024 / 7:34 am

    Yes! I love Maine, and eating lobster is one of the main reasons why. The boats and lobster traps are pretty cool too!

    • Brigitte & Jake
      Author
      January 26, 2024 / 7:38 am

      Definitely! Maine Lobster is the best. Eating out is one of our favorite things to do in Boothbay Harbor (-:

  4. October 13, 2023 / 9:54 am

    oh Gosh this looks like such a fun place to see! I need to add this to my bucket list

    • Brigitte & Jake
      Author
      October 13, 2023 / 10:36 am

      Such a beautiful little town to explore in Maine! Definitely add it to the list if you’re heading to New England (-:

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