The cheerful and welcoming harbor communities of Boothbay and Boothbay Harbor are bound by a long and vibrant maritime heritage. Many of Maine’s boatbuilders are found here still and the harbors are full of gorgeous boats of all varieties. Nearby Southport is an island at the tip of the Boothbay Peninsula, connected to the mainland by a historic swing bridge.
Things to Do in Boothbay, Boothbay Harbor and Southport
Every spring, Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens opens for the season with 35,000 tulips in bloom on the nearly 300 acres of walking trails and unique themed gardens. Each June, summer comes to Boothbay Harbor with the Windjammer Days festival, filled with events like the gathering of the fleet, a boat parade, fireworks and many family activities. There’s also the Boothbay Food & Music Festival in the fall and the beloved Harbor Lights Festival to usher in the winter holidays. Explore Linekin Bay and beyond on one of many boat tours in the area to see lighthouses, islands, seals, whales and puffins. You can watch live performances at the Boothbay Playhouse and The Opera House at Boothbay Harbor.
Enjoy the sea breeze as you golf at the Boothbay Harbor Country Club, walk along 138 acres of paths at the Linekin Preserve, or seek out Cuckolds Light at the tip of Southport Island. To learn more about Southport's history, visit the Hendrick’s Hill Museum, admission is free.
To see Maine’s incredible sea life up close, visit the Maine State Aquarium, which has two touch tanks featuring gentle sharks and tide pool inhabitants. You can also visit the Boothbay Harbor Region Sculpture Trail, a year-round, public art exhibit. The trail features 18 sculptures, all within walking distance of one another.
If you are visiting Mid-coast Maine and want to see whales, puffins, or the natural beauty of the Gulf of Maine, jump on one of Cap’n Fish’s Cruises. In business for over 80 years, Cap’n Fish’s Cruises is a great way to experience Boothbay Harbor’s whales, seabirds, marine wildlife, and lighthouses.
Or, enjoy a day at the shore at Pemaquid Beach, which is less than an hour from Boothbay Harbor. At the tip of the same peninsula is the famed Pemaquid Point Lighthouse – atop dramatically striated rocky cliffs.
Where to Stay in the Boothbay Region
From enjoying your own private island in a 19th century lighthouse to the plethora of fantastic bed & breakfasts, the Boothbay Harbor region has a wide variety of hotels, resorts and inns. From the Tugboat Inn on the waterfront and the Flagship Inn which is open year-round, to renting a luxury summer cottage at Boothbay Harbor Oceanside Golf Resort, your stay will be a delight. For a quiet escape, head to Southport’s Newagen Seaside Inn.
Restaurants in Boothbay, Boothbay Harbor and Southport
Deciding which Boothbay Harbor restaurant to enjoy is a fun part of the experience with great options for casual dining like the Boathouse Bistro Tapas Bar & Restaurant, Harborside Tavern or McSeagulls. The Southport General Store is just about as quaint as you can get – with a gift shop and enticing menu to boot.