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17 Best Things to do in Boothbay Harbor Maine

Ready to experience the pure wonder that is Boothbay Harbor, Maine? Heck yeah, you are – especially if you have this super snazzy list of the best things to do in Boothbay Harbor, Maine in your hot little hand.

After all, I used to visit Boothbay Harbor EVERY single year with my family. And you know what? It’s an absolutely stunning harbor-side town that has the added benefit of being pretty dang close to Freeport (about an hour away) and Portland (about an hour and fifteen minutes away).

So, yes my friend, you can take day trips aplenty after experiencing all of the very best things to do in Boothbay Harbor, ME. And trust me, there are a lot of them since this formerly quiet, sea-faring village is now routinely inundated with eager tourists throughout the busy summer season (think May June early September).

Yeah, they like to walk along the town’s charming, narrow streets and experience the magic of Baoothbay’ss vast harbor front – which is lined with stunning Victorian houses and has a wicked awesome wooden bridge that you can use to walk across the harbor.

However, if you’re not a huge fan of masses of tourists, do try to visit at either the end of September or early October so that you can skip the crowds (and the high prices too) and have the place all to yourself.

So, if you’re ready and rarin’ to go, let’s cannonball into this bad boy of the post, which reveals all of the very best things to do in Boothbay Harbor, Maine.

FYI, you’ll also get sweet, sweet tips on where to stay, what to do, and more. This way, you can take all the stress out of trip planning so that you can actually enjoy your vacation.

This post may contain affiliate links. Please see my disclosure for more information. As an Amazon Associate, I earn a small commission from qualifying purchases.

⏰ Haven’t booked your accommodation in Boothbay Harbor yet? I recommend Tugboat Inn. It’s a snazzy place and kids under 12 stay for free!! ⏰

Contents show

Where Should I Stay in Boothbay Harbor?

Boats in the harbor in Boothbay Harbor Maine

Ahh yes, this is the $1 million question. Welp, since I have been to Boothbay Harbor more times than I can count (i.e. basically every year since I was born. And yes, that was over thirty years ago), I’m gonna share all my fave hotel picks with you.

You know supremely wonderful, well-located hotels that will make the perfect home base while you check out all of the best things to do in Boothbay Harbor, ME, and plan the perfect Boothbay Harbor Maine itinerary.

And don’t worry, there will be options available for every budget. This way, you can still enjoy all the top things to do in Boothbay Harbor, ME – even if you’re broke like a joke like me!

Days Inn by Wyndham (Brunswick, budget)

⭐️ Rating: 7.5/10 (334 Reviews) Price: $100 per night 📍Location: 224 Bath Road, Brunswick, ME Details: Read more on now!

Yeah, I’m not gonna lie to you. There really aren’t a TON of amazing budget hotels in Boothbay Harbor. But, the Days Inn by Wyndham has all the basics you need for a comfy stay.

So, you’ll get clean rooms with all your standard hotel amenities. Plus, you’re only a short, 10-minute drive from Boothbay Harbor, which will only be a slight issue if you visit during the summer and the roads are packed with cars.

“Bed was comfy. Staff was friendly. Rooms were nice and renovated. Parking was easy. Its a standard hotel for a couple of days stay. It’s maybe nothing fancy, but its’s a nice and solid hotel on the points that matter.

It is close to many attractions in the area between Portland and Acadia park. The price cant be beat. Its nice to get this kind of hotel that is convenient to the highway, and doesn’t cost 3x to 4x as much.”

Greg (read more reviews now!)

You’ll also get a free continental breakfast (with waffles) and can make use of the on-site gym, just in case you want to work off all those aforementioned waffles.

Linekin Bay Resort (Mid Range, Boothbay Harbor)

⭐️ Rating: 8.5/10 (258 Reviews) Price: $165 per night 📍Location: 92 Wall Point Rd, Boothbay Harbor, ME 04538, United States Details: Read more on now!

I have to admit that Linekin Bay Resort is a little more on the pricey side compared to many of the accommodations that we have talked about but if you book it early, you can really get a steal as far as the price is concerned.

The resort offers some epic views of the sea, pool or the garden so you really can’t go wrong with any room. Oh and speaking about a pool, the Linekin Bay Resort has a free outdoor (albeit seasonal) pool that you can jump into while you stay here.

“The room was beautiful with the ocean view. The breakfast was very good with many choices and even the dinner we had in the resort restaurant was very good”

Ina (read more reviews now!)

Worried about the distance from the city because you don’t have a car? No worries there either because they provide a free shuttle service to and fro. And as if that was not enough, there are also free bicycle rentals that you can take.

All in all when you consider what you get for the price you pay, I honestly think that it is totally worthwhile

Tugboat Inn (mid-range, Boothbay Harbor)

⭐️ Rating: 8/10 (579 Reviews) Price: $119 per night 📍Location: 80 Commercial St, Boothbay Harbor, ME 04538, United States Details: Read more on now!

Located smack dab in the middle of Boothbay Harbor is this supremely snazzy place. It’s spread across five different buildings – all of which sit right on the water – and features well-appointed rooms that even include Keurig brand coffeemakers.

“An oasis in December, an open hotel and restaurant that accepts pets. excellent!”

Pamela (Read more reviews now!)

Children 12 and under also stay for free and guests can enjoy a meal at a nautical-themed restaurant that sits right inside an old tugboat. Add in a marina, deck, and hot tub for guests to use and you have the perfect place to stay in Boothbay Harbor.

Captain Sawyer’s Bed and Breakfast (luxury, Boothbay Harbor)

⭐️ Rating: 9.2/10 (91 Reviews) Price: $200 per night 📍Location: 55 COMMERCIAL ST, Boothbay Harbor, ME, 04538 Details: Read more on now!

Get ready to live the extreme luxe life at this swank AF hotel which sits inside a stunning, Victorian-era home with sweeping views of Boothbay Harbor.

Rooms here are also all individually outfitted with vinatge decor that matches the overall feel of the historic home. So yes, you’ll find four-poster beds, whirlpool tubs, flat-screen TVs, and private balconies in almost every room.

“It was well located in the center of the town. Breakfast was very good. The room was small, but it was advertised as such. The #1 restaurant in the town was located adjacent to the property. Tour and sail boats were located within easy walking distance. It is an interesting and unique town to visit.”

Francis (read more reviews now)

Breakfast is also served daily in their cozy dining room, making this a great place to get away from it all while you’re in Maine.

Book Your Room Now!

Spruce Point Inn (luxury, Boothbay Harbor)

⭐️ Rating: 8/10 (157 Reviews) Price: $276 per night 📍Location: 88 Grandview Avenue, Boothbay Harbor, ME Details: Read more on now!

Tucked away on a vast wooded estate is this luxurious resort with chic rooms that increase in size all the way up to 3-bedroom townhouses. All are extremely luxe and include high-end amenities like iPod docks, Keurig coffeemakers, private balconies, soaking tubs, and fireplaces/wood-burning stoves.

“Our stay was stress free, relaxing and very enjoyable. I wouldn’t have asked for a better weekend.”

Lisa (read more reviews now!)

You’ll also love that there are, count em’, three different on-site restaurants, a bar, two outdoor pools, tennis courts, a gym, a hot tub, and a spa (for an additional fee of course).

Yup, everything you need to relax after enjoying some of the best things to do in Boothbay Harbor, Maine.

17 Best Things to do in Boothbay Harbor, Maine

1. Walk Across the Footbridge Over the Harbor

One of the best things to do in Boothbay Harbor Maine is to walk along this footbridge and since this historic house.
Image sourced from Matt Guzzo on

One of the first and best things to do in Boothbay Harbor Maine is to cross the harbor on this scenic footbridge.

I mean, there’s a lot of history here since the footbridge was originally built in 1901, by local construction figure Luther Maddox, who designed this wooden bridge to cross the full width of the harbor.

Plus, back in the day, there was even a hand-operated crank here that opened the bridge up so that boats could pass through. As a result, a historic bridge house still sits right in the middle of the bridge, which was built a year after the bridge was, in 1902.

So, walking along these wooden planks, taking in the history of it all, feeling the sea breeze on your face, and looking out at the water, with the sailboats bobbing up and down,is easily one of the best things to do in Boothbay Harbor ME.

After all, you get peak harbor town vibes here y’all!. Plus,  If you’re staying the night, or late into the evening, the bridge is especially gorgeous to look at after the sun goes down.

That’s why plenty of visitors flock to Boothbay Harbor every year to make the crossing and take pictures. But this bridge is not just picturesque, it’s also practical. Because without the bridge, it’d be a solid mile walk around the edge of the harbor!

And although the footbridge was originally 1,000 feet long, it was shortened by 300 feet to add parking lots at either end. Like I said: picturesque and practical!

2. Abacus Gallery

Storefronts and shop signs in Boothbay Harbor Maine.

Boothbay might be one of the best beach towns in Maine, but like everywhere else in New England it can be really rainy or miserable some days. Or, just downright cold in the winters.

That’s why I love awesome indoor alternatives like the Abacus Gallery!

That having been said, this is one of the most unique and best things to do in Boothbay Harbor Maine all year-round, regardless of the weather.

After all, The Abacus Gallery has been sharing cool art with enthusiastic visitors for well over 45 years. And while it was originally established in Boothbay Harbor, they now have locations in several Maine towns.

However, the Boothbay location is an institution and a must-visit while you’re in town.

Because in addition to fun art, this gallery also sells beautiful jewelry and household items like globes, lamps, and clocks. Of course, you can always just browse around or order something from their online shop once you get back home.

Plus, every year the Abacus Gallery releases a monthly calendar full of stunning, vintage-style artwork. All the images are Maine-themed (lots of boats, lighthouses, and New England homes), and come together to make an all-around awesome holiday gift.

I know my family has personally bought a ton of them throughout the years and they’ve always served as a fantastic reminder of this idyllic town in Maine.

Address: 12 McKown St, Boothbay Harbor, ME 04538

Hours: Open daily from 10:00 am to 6:00 pm.

Price: Free to visit but varies by item purchased.

3. Boothbay Railway Village

Vintage green train coming down the track at Boothbay Railway Village.

Trains, especially steam locomotives, are a super important part of American history. And I love learning about them! Which is why. of course, I’ve been visiting this place since I was a kid.

So, if you’re a big history nerd like me then you’ll love the Boothbay Railway Village! It’s easy to spend a whole day here with the family, or even solo.

Visitors to the museum can spend the day learning about steam locomotives, check out their impressive collection of over 60 antique automobiles, and, who knows, you might even be able to snag a ride on one.

There is also a model railroad here, created by Ron Spinney, that has been heralded as “one of the best model railroads”. And, no joke? It really is.

But, most importantly, you can ride in style on a real vintage coach that sits behind a 100-year-old locomotive!

That’s why, The Railway Village is easily one of the coolest things to do in Boothbay Harbor., ME. Because regardless of how old you are, you’llll find something to enjoy about this place.

It’s also perfect for romantic getaways in Maine since you can book the entire place out for a wedding!

Address: 586 Wiscasset Rd, Boothbay, ME 04537

Hours: Open Tuesday through Sunday from 10:00 am to 5:00 pm.

Price: $15 for adults, $8 for children 3-18, $12 for seniors 65 and older, and free for children under 3.

4. Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens

One of my favorite places to visit in Boothbay Harbor is the Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens.

Because this place really does have everything. I mean, there’s even a treehouse! Need I say more?

I could also spend hours exploring this beautiful space, and quite literally stopped to smell the flowers at least a dozen times.

Alternatively, you could wear a super cute dress and be an insta model in their beyond gorgeous orchard.

It’s also easily one of the best things to do in Boothbay Harbor, Maine with kids since have so many fond memories of visiting this place growing up, and it’s only gotten cooler with time!

Families can hang out with chickens at the chicken coop, get “lost” in the maze lawn (not really it’s a flat maze), and learn about the importance of composting. There’s even a “backwoods” where you can go exploring and discover caves and a magical fairy village!

Of course, seeing as botanical gardens aren’t all that picturesque year-round, it is only open from May to mid-October each year. So, If you want to visit (and I can’t stress enough how much you should!) make sure to factor that in when you’re considering the best time to visit Maine.

Address: 105 Botanical Gardens Dr, Boothbay, ME 04537

Hours: Open May through mid-October from 9:00 am to 5:00 pm.

Price: $22 for adults, $10 for kids 3-17, $18 for seniors 65+, and free for children under 3.

5. Gregory Hiking Trail

View of Barters Island from the Gregory Hiking Trail.

I’ll admit it. I’m not exactly the most athletic or outdoorsy person at the best of times. But this is one of the best things to do in Boothbay Harbor for a reason!

For one, the views are STUNNING!

The trail is also an easy, less than a mile-long loop. So yeah, even I can do it with relative ease. The trail also winds around a beautiful, heavily wooded area near the Black River, offering stunning views of Barters Island and Boothbay.

Trust me, nature lovers will get a lot out of this short hike as there are plenty of opportunities to see different animals such as deer and fireflies. And for bird watchers, in particular, many different species can be found along the trail.

And, added bonus? This trail can be hiked all year long. Just be extra careful in the winter as it can get a bit slippery in the snow. However, seeing the landscape covered in snow is worth braving the cold for.

And if you’re looking for a longer, more challenging hike, then head over to the Ovens Mouth Preserve, which is less than 5 miles away (so about a 10-minute drive). Here you’ll find multiple hiking trails for every level that easily make some of the best hikes in Maine.

The preserve is spread out over 146 acres and offers visitors some of the best views in Maine. So, even if you don’t have time for a full hike, I’d still highly recommend including this area in any scenic drives you take through Maine.

Address: 2 Sawyer’s Island Rd, Boothbay, ME 04537

Hours: Open all day, every day.

Price: Free!

6. Take a Scenic Harbor Cruise

Local cruise ship speeding through Boothbay Harbor.

One of the most romantic things to do in Boothbay Harbor is to go for a scenic cruise around the harbor. Although, truth be told, you definitely don’t need to be partnered up to enjoy a cruise here!

That’s because these cruises are always led by a local expert who will take you around the harbor and do their best to ensure you enjoy as much of the coastal wildlife, fauna, and sightseeing spots as possible.

It’s also a great way to learn some of the local history of the area. I mean, even though I’ve been visiting Boothbay Harbor since I was a kid, I still learn a ton of interesting facts on my tour every time I visit!

And depending on the time of day, you might be lucky enough to see whales, seals, or even some bald eagles. So, be sure to have your camera at the ready or a pair of binoculars might be handy too.

Another amazing spot you might recognize is Hendrick’s Head Lighthouse (see further down), one of three lighthouses along the coast of Boothbay Harbor.

I took this tour, which lasted around 2 hours, and it was worth every penny.

Pro Tip: If you want to save some money and do an awesome boat tour of the area then head down to the harbor and hop aboard the mail boat. It’s a local commuter ship (so a lot cheaper than a sightseeing cruise) and will take you to all of the islands that lie just of the coast as they deliver the mail!

Address: Departs from either Pier 1 or Pier 7 in Boothbay Harbor.

Hours: 2-hour cruise that departs most days at either 9:00 am or 10:00 am.

Price: $31.80 per person.

7. Maine State Aquarium

Blue Lobster in a tank at the Maine State Aquarium

I try to go to the Maine State Aquarium every time I visit Boothbay Harbor, and there’s always some amazing new aquatic creature swimming around to marvel at. The staff are also incredibly friendly and knowledgeable, too, and patiently answer my endless questions.

That’s why this is definitely one of the most fun things to do in Boothbay Harbor, Maine for kids (or adults who are kids at heart and love marine life).

It’s also exceptionally great for kids since they can learn all about sea creatures at the touch tanks or use interactive, educational touch screens/informational tablets to learn about local ocean life.

And yes, I DID say touch tanks! Brave visitors can touch a skate (like a manta ray) or even a baby shark. And don’t worry, it’s perfectly safe, I promise. I used to pet the sharks all the time as a kid and it was one of the true highlights of my visit.

But, if that’s too much, why not try petting one of the different types of crabs or lobsters instead?

Plus, kids can also take time to learn all about the function of different creatures’ shells, what their coloring means, and even watch them being fed!

So, yeah, anyone who loves marine wildlife NEEDS to put this at the top of their bucket list for Boothbay Harbor.

Please Note: The aquarium is closed this year for renovations and will open again next year.

Address: McKown Point Rd, West Boothbay Harbor, ME 04575

Hours: Open seasonally, May through September, on Saturday and Sunday from 10:00 am to 5:00 pm.

Price: $7 for adults, $5 for seniors, and $3 for children.

8. See Hendrick’s Head Lighthouse from Hendrick’s Head Beach

A view of Hendrick's Head Lighthouse from the water.

After you see the Hendrick’s Head Lighthouse from your scenic harbor cruise, you might want to get a closer look, and I recommend you do so! Unfortunately, there is no public access to the lighthouse itself.

But, luckily for you, you can get a good view from the nearby beach – or, as mentioned above, go on a cruise of the harbor.

See, this super picturesque lighthouse station was first built in 1829 – although, most of the current structure only dates back to 1875. But, I still think that’s pretty impressive!

However, what’s even more impressive is that in 1891 a report listed this lighthouse as having a 1,200-pound bell! Yeah, I have no idea if it’s still there, but it’s hard to imagine this small structure housing such a giant bell.

And while you can’t actually step inside the lighthouse to see the interior of the structure itself, you can walk along the beach and enjoy the lighthouse from afar.

It’s quiet and serene and just a great way to spend an afternoon in Boothbay Harbor, Maine. And it’s definitely great for a romantic day out.

9. Penny Lake Preserve

Pong and ever-green forests of Penny Lake Preserve in Boothbay Harbor.
Image sourced from MWMS1919 on

Penny Lake Preserve is another one of the best things to do in Boothbay Harbor, Maine for outdoorsy folks. After all, the trail here is a mile long and goes through pristine woods, as well as freshwater wetlands. It’s also an easy, low-impact hiking trail that most everyone can manage..

However, one of the coolest things about the Penny Lake Preserve is that half of it is 100% handicap accessible. This means that it’s a place that everyone can enjoy – including wheelchair users and people with strollers.

The preserve is also home to a diverse array of wildlife that includes everything from turtles to moose (although you’re unlikely to see the latter).

And as with most other nearby nature areas, it’s great for birdwatchers as there are many migratory and nesting birds that land here, depending upon when you visit.

The only downside is that dogs aren’t allowed into the preserve. Which is understandable as it’s a delicate ecosystem. But, that also does mean you can’t take your dog out for a scenic run while enjoying some of the best things to do in Boothbay Harbor, Maine.

Address: 196 Townsend Ave, Boothbay Harbor, ME 04538

Hours: Open all day, every day.

Price: Free!

10. Barrett Park

View of the water and a picnic table at Barett Park in Boothbay Harbor.

Ok, so Barrett Park is not that big. In fact, you can easily see all the way from one end to the other. But, this hidden gem is so cute I just HAVE to mention it on this list of the best things to do in Boothbay Harbor, ME!

After all, this is one of the mostIinstagrammable things to do in Boothbay Harbor, Maine. Plus, whether you want to take a relaxing walk, have a picnic, or just sit and read, this little slice of paradise is where it’s at!

Whatever you do, you’ll be able to enjoy the amazing views you get from this south-facing waterside park. There are also plenty of benches to sit on, a cute little gazebo, and even a tree swing to enjoy.

And one group of people that Barrett Park seems to attract is artists. It’s not hard to see why! Whichever way you look, the view is hella picturesque, so you may well see an easel or two during your visit!

Also, depending on the tide, there’s even a little beach here with super clear water – great for cooling your feet after a day of hiking and exploring!

It may be small, but there’s still plenty of space for kids and dogs to play in. That’s why, I prefer to think of Barrett Park as always leaving the public wanting more!

Pro Tip: This place is perfect for families and anyone who bought a dog on their travels!

Address: 131 Lobster Cove Rd, Boothbay Harbor, ME 04538

Hours: Open all day, every day.

Price: Free!

11. Go Whale Watching

Crowds watching a whale sink beneath the water,

Not gonna lie, I have really fond memories of whale-watching in Boothbay Harbor. I mean, not only is it an activity that everyone can enjoy, but you’ll get to see some pretty dang cool whale species along the way, including humpback whales, pilot whales, minke whales, and finback whales.

Just be sure to time it for the right season since whales usually arrive in the area around mid-April and then head back south around mid-October.

You also may want to bring some Dramamine with your for the trip (or any other anti-nausea medicine) since you’ll probably head a couple of miles out off the coast.

And once the captain finally spots some uber-cute whales of awesome, he or she will then park the boat so that you can grab your camera and get some supremely awesome photo ops.

Which is great, except that when the boat stops, it rocks back and forth…a lot – something that has made me sick more times than I can count.

So, don’t be like me and come prepared. You also can’t really miss whale-watching here since Maine is easily one of the best places for whale-watching in the entire USA.

And while there are many great whale-watching companies in Boothbay Harbor, I like Cap’n Fish’s Cruises. Not only do they offer a great whale watching tour that provides you with detailed information about the whales in front of you, but the staff is just super friendly and go out of their way to make the experience extra special.

Pro tip: Make sure you set sail on a clear day when planing out all the best things to do in Boothbay Harbor, ME. After all, Maine is known for its wicked awful fog, and nothing ruins a fun day out on the sea faster than a huge cloud of fog. Womp, womp, womp.

Address: 42 Commerical Street, Boothbay Harbor, ME, 04538

Hours: Cruises are 3.5 hours long and depart daily at 9:30 am and sometimes at 1:30 pm too.

Price: $65 per person (You can also combine it with a puffin cruise for $85 per person)

12. Cabbage Island Clambakes

Blueberry cake, lobster, clams, and melted butter from a New England Clam Bake.

You can’t really leave Maine without eating copious amounts of seafood – clams included. That’s why, one of the best things to do in Boothbay Harbor, Maine is to do a Cabbage Island Clambake!

So, join the Moore family aboard the RMS Titanic, I mean the Bennie Alice, and enjoy a fully narrated cruise to a private island! Just keep your eyes peeled because along the way you’ll see some seals, gorgeous lighthouses, and maybe even a whale or two.

Once there, you’ll be treated to the best dang clam bake of your life and can enjoy divine, Maine foodie favorites like Lobster, chowder, clams, blueberry cake, baked potatoes, boiled egg, and corn on the cob.

And once you’ve eaten until you can eat no more, feel free to sit back and marvel at the stunning scenery with a nice, cold, adult beverage in hand. Or, you could mingle with some of the other guests and try and your hand at some fun lawn games.

Pro Tip: Try to call in advance to make a reservation (207-633-7200) since this is one of the best things to do in Boothbay Harbor, ME that is REALLY popular. Also, try to arrive about an hour before your cruise departs since they only accept cash and you’ll need to pay for your tickets upon arrival.

Address; Departs daily from Pier 6 in Boothbay Harbor.

Hours: Every day from late June through Labor Day, Cruises depart Monday through Friday at 12:30 pm (return 4:30 pm), Saturday at 12:30 pm (return 4:30 pm) and 5:00 pm (return 8:45 pm), and Sunday at 11:00 am (return 3:00 pm) and 1:30 pm (return 5:30 pm).

Price: $76.50 per person for adults and $33.25 for children.

13. Visit the Opera House at Boothbay Harbor

Pale yellow exterior of the Boothbay Opera House.

First built in ye olde 1894, this historic structure is a great place to go if you want to step back into yesteryear and enjoy some local culture.

After all, this opulent building is brimming over with stunning crown molding, vibrant antique lights, and various other architectural details that make this place more than a little special.

In fact, this place is so lovely that a whopping 100+ community events are held here annually, including theatrical performances, jazz concerts, and comedy shows, just to name a few.

It’s also located right in the heart of Boothbay Harbor – so it’s pretty easy to find – and even features a bar on both the first and second floors where you can get your drinky drank on if you should feel so inclined.

Although, if you’re here for a performance, they typically only open the upstairs bar area.

Pro Tip: Check their website for a calendar of events since shows here are held semi-sporadically. And if you really like community theater, you can check out the Carousel Music Theater too! You’ll get to eat a fabulous, three-course dinner while watching a live performance in the heart of Boothbay Harbor.

Address: 86 Townsend Avenue Boothbay Harbor, ME 04538

Hours: Most shows are held in the evening around 7:00/7:30 pm.

Price:  Tickets are usually between $20 and $45 each.

14. Visit Burnt Island Lighthouse

Burnt Island Lighthouse near Boothbay Harbor Maine

You know what I always say, the more lighthouses you see in Maine, the better! And that’s why, one of the best things to do in Boothbay Harbor, ME is marvel at the one and only, Burnt Island Lighthouse.

I mean, not only is it super cute but this place was actually first built way back in 1821, making it the second oldest lighthouse in the entire state.

I also not-so-low-key love that you can actually see the inside by taking a living history lighthouse tour of this place. Just be sure to admire the view from the top before walking through the grounds of this 5-acre island, which is also home to an exceptional recreation and educational facility too.

Heck, there’s even a tire swing, several great fishing spots, and various hiking trails that you can go for a leisurely stroll on.

But, because it’s on an island, you will obviously have to take a boat to get here. The lighthouse is also currently being renovated and will hopefully (fingers and toes crossed) be open to non-virtual visitors soon, aka some time in 2022.

Address: Pier 8, 42 Commerical Street

Hours: Open daily 10:00 am to 5:00 pm. Boats usually depart from Pier 8 at 1:45 pm and return at 4:45 pm.

Price: Tickets are $28.00 for adults, $18.00 for kids 3-11, and free for kids 2 and under.

15. Get Some Fresh Steamed Lobster at Boothbay Lobster Wharf

Maine steamed lobster on a cardboard tray with melted butter, chips, and corn.

You are 100% forbidden from visiting Boothbay Harbor without eating at least one freshly steamed, whole Maine lobster – except if you’re allergic to seafood. Then, of course, feel free to skip this item on this list of the best things to do in Boothbay Harbor, Maine.

Anyway, what I love dining at an actual wharf – as opposed to a restaurant – is that it’s super informal and literally right on the ocean. So, you’ll be able to see real, live lobstermen (and women) hauling their lobsters in after a long day of fishing.

However, that does mean you’ll have to be on the lookout for extra pesky seagulls who will want to separate you from your newly acquired lobster dinner – unless of course, you decide to dine inside.

Now, at a place like this, you’ll typically pick out your lobster right from the tank and it will then be streamed for you and served with any two sides you like, including salad, coleslaw, corn on the cob, baked potato, and potato salad.

Although, truth be told, the fried seafood, lobster rolls, clam chowder, and lobster mac and cheese are all really good too.

However, if you’re not a fan of the lobster-y goodness (insert gasps of horror here) then you can always choose from a variety of other menu items like quesadillas, burgers, steak, etc.

Also, just as a friendly FYI, some other local eateries you might want to try include:

  • Wannawaf – Huge portions of great ice cream, waffles, and specialty hot dogs. They need to hire more staff though since wait times can be quite long
  • Ports of Italy – The Italian food here is pretty good since they use nothing but locally sourced ingredients. They also serve delicious, totally homemade pasta, ravioli, bread, and desserts.
  • Kaler’s Restaurant – This is the place to go if you want to try uber-fab local seafood with stunning waterside views all around you. And while most things here are good, I’d of course opt for the lobster roll and chowder.  Also check out their gumball machine because if you get a gumball with a lobster on it, you’ll win a free dinner!
  • Mine Oyster – This place is right on the water and features a raw bar on the ground floor and a dining room/bar on the second floor. All the seafood is good but the oysters (duh) and lobster rolls are total fan faves.
  • Boathouse Bistro – This lovely little tapas place is one of the few eateries in the area with great vegan/vegetarian options. They also have an extensive wine list that you should 100% take advantage of while you’re here.

Address: 97 Atlantic Ave, Boothbay Harbor, ME 04538

Hours: Open daily from 11:30 am to 9:00 pm.

Price: Most dinners start at $20.00 each but you’ll pay more (market price) for lobster.

16. Go Shopping In The Oldest Bookstore In Maine

If you are a voracious reader then you will fall in love with Sherman’s Maine Coast Book shop. Sure it has six locations across coastal Maine but the one in Boothbay Harbor just so happens to be the oldest bookstore in Maine.

The store has a large collection of books both old and new. In addition to this it also has marine and nautical books, maps, charts, curios, souvenirs, games, etc. It is one of the best places to visit when you are Downtown. It is also one of the most recommended places to go souvenir shopping while you are in Boothbay Harbor.

Me… I prefer to pick up a good book and head out to some place with good food and a view. What better way is there to spend time in Boothbay Harbor than with the company of a book?

Address: 5 Commercial St, Boothbay Harbor, ME 04538, United States

Hours: Open every day from 9am to 6 pm

17. Eat And Listen To Music At Carousel Music Theater

The Carousel Music Theater is something really cool to try out. You know how Boothbay Harbor is famous for its food right? I mean it is hard to drag me away from any place that is serving up a meal which is why I absolutely love the Carousel Music Theater.

The community theater allows you to catch a meal while watching a show. Now I don’t mean like a bag of fries. No! I’m talking about a whole three course meal! Sounds perfect right?

So check out what shows are playing while you are in town and book your tickets. Trust me, this is really something that you should not miss!

Address: 196 Townsend Ave, Boothbay Harbor, ME 04538, United States

Things To Do In Boothbay Harbor FAQ

Does Boothbay Harbor Have A Downtown?

Yes! Boothbay has an amazing downton area. In fact, this is one of the places that should be on your list of things to do in Boothbay Harbor. Packed with loads of shops and restaurants, this is a great place to wander around and take in the vibe of the place.

I guess almost every tourist and local makes their way to this area at some point or the other because this is where the souvenir shopping is. If you want some great Boothbay Harbor seafood then you can pretty much pick out any restaurant here!

Which Is Better Boothbay Harbor Or Bar Harbor Maine?

Honestly, I’ve spent time in both Boothbay Harbor and Bar Harbor. They are both famous coastal towns in Maine and it is really hard to decide between the two. If you can visit both. 

Note that Bar Harbor is more touristy so if you want to pick a quieter location then head to Boothbay harbor. On the other hand if you love national parks and the great outdoors then Acadia National park is super close to Bar Harbor. Tough choice!

Is Boothbay Harbor Crowded?

Boothbay Harbor is always crowded. It is bustling in summer when the weather is great and everyone comes to enjoy the numerous events and festivals that are held every year. Autumn is another time when people head here. This is because it has some of the best fall foliage in Maine!

⏰ Haven’t booked your accommodation in Boothbay Harbor yet? I recommend Tugboat Inn. It’s a snazzy place and kids under 12 stay for free!! ⏰

Map of the Best Things to do in Boothbay Harbor, Maine

Map of the best things to do in Boothbay Harbor, Maine.
Click here for the full map.

Additional Maine Resources You’ll Love

Well Maine fans, that just about concludes this guide to the 15 best things to do in Boothbay Harbor, Maine. Tell me, did your favie fave activities make the list?

If not then let me know in the comments below and I’ll be sure to check them out.

And if you found this post useful, join our email list and then pin this post now so that you can read it again later!


Wednesday 30th of March 2022

You left out the Thistle Inn. This is a fabulous place to eat in the harbor.Check it out.


Wednesday 30th of March 2022

Thanks so much for the tip Pattty. I sure will.

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