From Lighthouses to Lobsters: Your Family's Summer Guide to the Boothbay Harbor Area

Advisor - Audra White
Curated By

Audra White

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  • Maine

  • Family Travel

  • Off-the-Beaten-Path Travel

  • Outdoors

  • Sightseeing

  • Relaxation

Advisor - From Lighthouses to Lobsters: Your Family's Summer Guide to the Boothbay Harbor Area
Curator’s statement

My family and I have eagerly anticipated the arrival of summer every year, knowing it would bring us back to the charming haven that is The Boothbay Harbor Area. It's a quintessential Maine town, offering an array of treasures waiting to be explored. From quaint shops to delicious restaurants, historic lighthouses to exciting harbor cruises, thrilling whale watches to playful seals and even sailing lessons for the adventurous, this destination has it all. Don't miss the chance to experience its unique charm for yourself!

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Where to stay in Maine

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Linekin Bay Resort East

A charming coastal retreat nestled on Linekin Bay, offering waterfront cabins and classic Maine hospitality.

Newagen Resort Southport Harbor

A historic coastal resort on Southport Island, providing stunning oceanfront settings and timeless Maine hospitality.

Topside Inn Boothbay Harbor

A boutique B&B boasting panoramic harbor views, elegant accommodations, and a warm, welcoming atmosphere.

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Things to do in Maine

rocky coast

Hendricks Head Beach in Southport: Explore one of Maine's rare "sandy" beaches and hidden gems! Plan your visit according to the tide chart, as the beach varies with the tide. During high tide, take the plunge off the notable rock and during low tide, go for a dip or try your hand at clamming. Grab a sandwich from the Southport General Store and make it an unforgettable beach day!

Boothbay Harbor Footbridge: Grab an ice cream at Harbor Treats and Stroll across the iconic footbridge connecting the east and west sides of Boothbay Harbor. Enjoy harbor views and read up on the history of the footbridge at the “footbridge house”.

Burnt Island Lighthouse: Take a boat tour out to visit this historic lighthouse. Enjoy a guided tour, have fun on the pirate ship or climb to the top of the lighthouse. A sure way to captivate the kids' interest while immersing them in the history of this maritime beacon.

Shopping in Boothbay: Explore the charming boutiques and shops along Boothbay Harbor's waterfront and downtown area. Boothbay's shopping scene offers a delightful mix of coastal charm and artisanal craftsmanship, making it the perfect place to find memorable keepsakes and gifts.

Boothbay Railway Village: Step back in time and explore vintage trains, cars and village exhibits. Fun for all ages!

Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens: Stroll through lush gardens, featuring breathtaking floral displays and scenic waterfront views.

Boothbay Cruises: Enjoy scenic boat tours, including harbor cruises and whale-watching or puffin adventures.

Barrett Park: Bring a picnic lunch and relax at this waterfront park with cozy swimming areas.

Maine State Aquarium: Discover marine life through interactive exhibits and touch tanks, a great rainy day activity with the kids!

Kayaking and Paddleboarding: Explore the coastal waters of Maine. You may even be lucky enough to see a seal or porpoise along the way!

Places to eat & drink in Maine

An outdoor cafe at daytime.

The Boothbay Harbor Area offers a wide range of restaurants, many of which are accessible by both boat and car. Keep in mind that most establishments don't accept reservations during the busy season, so be ready for a wait. Use the time wisely by enjoying the scenic views, sipping on a cocktail or taking a leisurely stroll downtown as you look forward to a delightful dining experience.

East Boothbay General Store: Discover a hidden gem in East Boothbay. This welcoming store offers a taste of local life, with a variety of essentials, snacks, and homemade treats. Start your day with a delicious breakfast, including what may be the best breakfast pizza you'll ever taste! Be sure to check their operating hours and for added convenience, consider placing an advance order for your pizza by phone.

Pier 1 Pizza: Satisfy your pizza cravings at Pier 1 Pizza in Boothbay. Whether you're enjoying a quick slice or a whole pie, savor it while sitting outdoors, soaking in the downtown Boothbay atmosphere with scenic harbor views and some people-watching.

Tugboat Inn Roof-Top Deck: Casual dining with tasty cocktails and a panoramic view of the entire harbor. For a laid-back happy hour, aim for the cozy couches – the perfect spot to unwind and take in the scenery!

The Deck Bar & Grill at Linekin Bay Resort: Perched overlooking the pool and ocean, this is the perfect spot for sipping specialty seasonal drinks. One of the few restaurants in the area that offers reservations, so be sure to call ahead and if you have to wait, grab a seat at the bar railing overlooking the bay with some of the best views. You may even prefer this over a table!

Boothbay Lobster Wharf: Experience a genuine working lobster dock, where you can dine while witnessing lobster fishermen unload their daily haul! Order a complete lobster dinner from the relaxed takeout windows. Indulge in Buck-A-Shuck oysters every Friday and Saturday until they run out and secure a picnic table for your party while enjoying live bands on the weekends.

Robinson's Wharf Southport: Enjoy casual dining on a waterfront deck. This cherished Boothbay seafood eatery has been a local favorite for more than 40 years. Summertime weekends bring live music and cornhole on the deck while you await a table or enjoy the tunes.

Cozy’s Dockside Southport: Tucked away in the serene Cozy Harbor, find a relaxed coastal dining spot. Sip a cocktail and savor appetizers while watching boats come and go. For a delightful lunch or dinner, don't miss the must-try lobster mac and cheese. If you're not hungry for a full meal, satisfy your sweet tooth with a sundae from the ice cream window!

Cabbage Island Clambakes: Experience an authentic Maine clambake adventure on Cabbage Island. Enjoy a boat ride over to the island and a feast of fresh seafood, including lobsters, clams and more. Explore the island's natural beauty and partake in a cherished coastal tradition.

Downeast Ice Cream Factory: Indulge in a variety of creamy, handcrafted ice creams and frozen delights, perfect for satisfying your sweet cravings while exploring Boothbay Harbor.

For a more upscale dining experience, consider these options:

 Ports of Italy - Italian Restaurant in Boothbay Harbor, Maine. — Ports of Italy: Delight in Italian cuisine with fresh, local ingredients and an extensive wine list.

Whiteclover Restaurant at Spruce Point Inn: Experience gourmet dining with a focus on seasonal and locally sourced ingredients, all while enjoying picturesque coastal views and a refined atmosphere.

Coastal Prime Restaurant at Boothbay Harbor Resort: Indulge in fine cuisine, featuring fresh seafood and prime cuts, all while taking in captivating coastal views. Choose to dine indoors or on the seaside deck by the cozy fire pits.

Need to Know

For more travel tips, check out this guide by Fora Advisor Amy Barraclough: Guide to a Girl's Getaway in Portland, Maine.

Advisor - Audra White

Travel Advisor

Audra White

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This guide is part of our ongoing series on travel to Maine.