Take A Coastal New England Vacation To This Underrated Town

If you're a traveler who is drawn to rocky shorelines, beautiful beaches, historic lighthouses, and great seafood, it's hard to find anything more appealing than a coastal New England getaway. A particularly popular vacation destination for coastal enthusiasts is the state of Maine, which welcomed 15.3 million visitors in 2022. Destinations like Portland and Kennebunkport are top tourist stops year after year, but it might just be the quieter coastal destination of Boothbay Harbor that proves to be truly unforgettable for travelers.

When you're looking for a coastal vacation destination in Maine that you can enjoy far from the crowds, Boothbay Harbor is sure to inspire a great stay. With just over 1,100 residents, Boothbay Harbor gives visitors plenty of room to roam, relax, and relish the moment at their own pace. This alluring locale sits in the heart of Lincoln County and is just over 58 miles from Portland.

While the size of Boothbay Harbor promises quaint coastal charm, it's also home to an impressive boating harbor. When you make time to visit Boothbay Harbor, you'll enjoy strolling through town admiring the colorful cottages and boathouses that adorn the landscape. The picture-perfect scenery on land is delightful, but it's equally rivaled by incredible opportunities to get out on the water and explore.

Water activities to round out your coastal adventure

The combination of quiet coves and rocky cliffs make Boothbay Harbor irresistible for scenery seekers. Land-based vantage points are beautiful, but it's the boat tours that provide priceless views. During the warm-weather months of the year, local outfitters typically run their tours daily from sunrise to sunset.

If you're looking to sail in luxury and style, you can hop aboard one of the Boothbay Harbor schooners and enjoy a two-hour journey at sea. Day sailings, sunset sails, and private charters are offered with options for guests to help hoist the sails and enjoy wildlife-watching experiences as bald eagles and ospreys soar overhead. Balmy Days Cruises is another great choice when you're planning to spend time out on the water. It offers sailing excursions, narrated outings with a focus on lighthouses, and chartered fishing.

While sailing can be a treat, you're free to explore at your own pace when you rent a kayak or paddleboard from the team over at Tidal Transit. They have a fleet of kayaks on hand that can be rented for two-hour trips or multi-day stays. Each rental comes with a life jacket, paddles, and instructions so you feel comfortable with the basics before exploring. While kayaking is a great way to get a close-up look at the many islands located near Boothbay Harbor, it's also an opportunity to potentially spot the rich wildlife that call the surrounding waters home.

Capture the moment on land in Boothbay Harbor

Once you're back on land, Boothbay Harbor is brimming over with coastal activities that elevate your fun even further. If you're a fan of scenic drives, driving down Route 96 is a must. This route leads to Ocean Point, which is a popular place for picnics, lighthouse viewing, and impressive sunsets.

Hiking is another wonderful way to admire the coastal landscapes that make up the greater Boothbay Harbor area. Head over to the Penny Lake Preserve, and you'll be able to enjoy time on a half-mile trail that can accommodate walkers, hikers, and runners alike. This trail showcases wetlands and woodlands and, depending on the season you arrive, you might be lucky enough to see an occasional moose wander through.

If you're a traveler who can't imagine a vacation without at least one tee time on the lineup, you can always play a round of golf with seaside views at the Boothbay Harbor Country Club. This championship-level course is as scenic as it is challenging. The course hosts an innovative design, a luxury clubhouse, and convenient caddie services. When that coastal golf game leads to cravings, Boothbay Harbor has fantastic seafood stops to savor. When you're in the mood for lobster, calamari, and fried shrimp, Boothbay Lobster Wharf has it all. Shannon's Unshelled is also ideal for a lobster roll at lunch and has a quaint patio for guests.