Day Trip Itineraries
Below are a few ideas for day trips that include some of our favorite spots near Boothbay Harbor and also a bit farther afield. Please check back from time to time as we plan to expand this section little by little!
- Monhegan: See my post for information on a daytrip to this beautiful island 12 miles off the coast.
- Damariscotta: See Activities—Rainy Day Suggestions for ideas on spending even a not-so-nice day in the nearby picturesque town of Damariscotta.
- Wiscasset: You may not need to make a separate trip to Wiscasset as you are sure to drive through it on your way to or from Boothbay, but it is definitely worth a stop for its historical sites, cafes (don’t miss Sarah’s Cafe at its famous soup bar), shops (the Old General Store at 48 Water Street being at the top of my list, and the numerous antiques shops) and photo-worthy architecture that inspires the town to claim it’s the “Prettiest Village in Maine”.
- The Georgetown Peninsula: visit Reid State Park, Georgetown Pottery and more! See more details here.
- Bath: We used to drive through Bath without stopping but recently we’ve started to make it a frequent stop on our way to or from Boothbay, or en route to Popham Beach State Park. Admire the classic architecture and the picturesque town green or stock up on those kitchen gadgets you didn’t know existed but now must have at Now You’re Cooking. There’s also another location of Renys “A Maine Adventure” department store in the historic downtown (though I prefer the Damariscotta location), and we recommend eating at Mae’s Cafe & Bakery.
- Camden: with its beautiful waterfront and Camden Hills State Park – is described in all the guide books and is easily reached by going up to Route 1 north. Be sure to take the Route 90 cutoff north of Waldoboro for a faster and more scenic way there. See my post on hiking Mt. Megunticook in the Camden Hills.
- Freeport: It’s only an hour south to Freeport if you want to hit L.L. Bean (open 24 hours a day!) and the outlets for a day. And if you are looking for more than just shopping, take a side trip to Wolfe’s Neck Woods State Park and its five miles of hiking trails.
- Gardiner, Hallowell, and Augusta are all on the Kennebec River, an easy day trip going north on Route 27 to Wiscasset and heading inland – still on Route 27. These river towns are all less than an hour away. A nice loop is then east on Route 17 just past the state capitol building and south on Route 32 to Waldoboro (with a stop of course for some comfort food at Moody’s Diner dating from 1934). If you have extra time, take a side trip north on Route 1 from Waldoboro to the state prison shop in Thomaston, famous for its unfinished furniture. Take Route 1 south to Route 27 to return to Boothbay. See my post on Hallowell and the Kennebec River Rail Trail.
- Another Waldoboro option starts with Morse’s Sauerkraut and European Deli, then head to the inland town of Union for its lovely historic common and two scenic wineries, Savage Oakes and Sweetgrass.
- Rockland and its Farnsworth Museum, and Rockport and see my post on Christina’s World and Andrew Wyeth’s Maine.
- Portland: The thriving seaport city of Portland with its fine dining, shops and cobblestone streets is only about 1 hour 15 minutes from Boothbay. If you are lucky enough to get a reservation at Street & Co. or Fore Street, it’s a dining experience you will not soon forget. You can also visit the iconic Portland Head Light in nearby Cape Elizabeth.
- See also Beaches for some more day trip ideas within an hour of Boothbay, such as Popham Beach State Park, Pemaquid Beach Park and Colonial Pemaquid, and Reid State Park.
The coast near Portland Head Light
Scenes from Castine
- Acadia National Park: I would recommend spending a few days in Acadia before or after your stay in Boothbay, but for those of you who have been before or to get just a first taste of the park, a day trip is doable (it’s just under a 3-hour drive from Boothbay Harbor to Bar Harbor).
- Vinalhaven: This island visit is best as an overnight (if not several nights). See my post for details!
- Fall Foliage Drives: Check Downeast and Yankee Magazines for their latest fall foliage driving tours to see the best of Maine’s colorful leaves.
Eagle Lake, Acadia