BOOTHBAY has about everything you could want when you think about the “rock-bound coast of Maine.” We are situated at the end of a long peninsula stretching into the ocean who’s fingers reach deep within the land in several places. Those who have lived here have always had a connection to the sea, be it for transportation, shipping (the word probably originates from this preferred method of sending goods), ship building, or various kinds of fishing.
Indians had a portage route from the Damariscotta River paddling their canoes through the area where the bridge is in East Boothbay next to the Post Office into what is now the Mill Pond, then carrying their canoes across the narrow
strip of land into the head of Linekin Bay. English fishermen inhabited the island of Damariscove, harvesting the bounty of the Gulf of Maine, long before the Pilgrims landed at Plymouth. You can still see vestiges of the early fishing industry in the plethora of lobster boats in all our harbors and an occasional dragger or net dory. Most of the gulf is fished out, but the lobster industry has been self-regulating and preserves its catch into the future. A curiosity is the seaweed boat, more like a floating vacuum, which sucks seaweed off the rocks into large floating bags to be loaded onto trucks and taken to a factory for fertilizer, and cosmetics. Other kinds of seaweed are havested for food.
The arts have always been a big part of the allure of Boothbay. Nature’s interaction at the place where land meets sea is intriguing if not dramatic, and coupled with the mellow Maine light inspires much creativity. At the end of the 19th century, beginning of the 20th people came by ship from Boston in the summertime to study with masters at several colonies or camps in and around Boothbay Harbor. These days you will find the area dotted with art studios including our own Paradise Studio. Currently Boothbay is honored with being named fifth place in the country in “America’s Top Twelve Small-Town ArtPlaces, (which) is a new annual ArtPlace initiative recognizing smaller communities in the country where the arts are central to creating the kinds of places where people want to live, work, and visit.” Performing arts at the Carousel Theater, the Boothbay Playhouse and our historic Opera House contribute greatly to this distinction.
Things to do in Boothbay!
When you are here, you can choose to sit and watch the play of light on the water and feel sequestered from the worldly hustle. Or beyond that you will be centered in Mid-Coast Maine at the hub of what goes on, which is not limited to the following:
*Boat excursions on commercial ships out of Boothbay Harbor or plan your own charter at http://www.hayvalcharters.com/Cruising.html, or bring your own boat to tie up at our dock if you are renting Seanook, or if you are at Paradise Cottage you may keep a small boat on our mooring in the cove. There it will be beached briefly at low tide.
*Kayaking by renting from Tidal Transit, http://www.kayakboothbay.com/, or by using yours or ours.
*Fishing on a commercial expedition, or do it yourself (Fishing licenses are required), https://www.informe.org/cgi-bin/online/moses2/index.pl.
*Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens, www.mainegardens.org beyond the beautiful stonework and plantings has a lunch restaurant and education center. These are Maine’s world class gardens and they are right here in Boothbay. You could spend the better part of a day or two here.
*Hiking on the many Boothbay Region Land Trust Trails, http://www.bbrlt.org/, well maintained trails, or right out the door;
*Go to Ocean Point, just two miles at the end of our peninsula. Sit on the rocks with a picnic, or go there to beach comb, relax and watch the boats go by and be lulled
by the sound of breaking waves.
*Go to the nearby East Boothbay General Store, http://www.ebgs.us/, for morning paper, coffee, scones, breakfast pizza, gourmet sandwiches, and specialty groceries as well as gifts;
*Golf at the Boothbay Country Club,http://www.boothbayharborcc.com/ , just call ahead for T-time;
*Antiquing is important in this whole area;
*Theater at our refurbished Opera House, Carousel Theater, and the Boothbay Playhouse and more;
*Take the cruise and Living Lighthouse Tour of Burnt Island Lighthouse, http://www.maine.gov/dmr/burntisland/tour.htm where guides in costume portray the last family to man the lighthouse station in 1952, followed by a nature walk.
*Visit the Aquarium ,http://www.maine.gov/dmr/rm/aquarium/, to find out what to search for when you come back to our beach at low tide!
*Gourmet dining, there are no better restaurants than right here in Boothbay. We especially recommend: Boathouse Bistro, Ports of Italy, Mine Oyster, Boothbay Wharf, Lobster Dock, Robinson’s Wharf, Whale’s Tale, Brown Brothers, Mike & Phil the Baker, and of course, The East Boothbay General Store which is famous for their breakfast pizza. Another good place for breakfast is the Wave across from the docks in the Harbor and Cod’s Head Fishhouse on the East Side of the Harbor, also a good place for barbecue dinner watching the sunset.
We are about an hour and a half by car from Portland International Jetport and three and a quarter hours from Boston. Amtrak connects Boston to Brunswick, or you can take a bus all the way from Boston to Wiscasset.
When to Visit
Although Boothbay Harbor itself is hopping in the summertime, with a year-round population of only 2,200, there is plenty of room on the peninsula for peace-and-quiet and relaxation when you get tucked into the woods. Seanook and Paradise Cottage are located at the head of Linekin Bay, the next bay downeast from the Harbor, yet only three miles away. We are close to everything you might want, yet secluded on our own quiet and longer finger of ocean and nestled in woods. Tide Walk is a short 5 minute stroll from our cove, and has trees on three sides. We think you will find this a delightful combination.
Summer is the most popular time to visit the Maine coast. We offer weekly vacations at lower rates for the first and last two weeks of summer. (See our Shoulder Season rates.) The days are long and provide plenty of time for observing wildlife. Outdoor activities are endless both on and off the water. Children of all ages enjoy exploring the beaches to discover different creatures that abound along the shore of the Gulf of Maine. Anglers can fish right off the dock, or it may be used to launch a day of exploring in your own boat or one that you rent. By signing our release you may have the use of our three sit-on-top kayaks and rowboat.
Fall is a fantastic season for partaking
of the splendors that surround us here. Days are mild and the night times are perfect for an evening by the fireplace. Fall foliage in the northeast is spectacular. Our peak color right here on the bay is usually the middle week in October but there is colorful foliage from the end of September right through October. Visit http://www.Mainefoliage.com for more info. Take advantage of our lower Fall and Spring rates and our two night minimum.
Winter – With our Winter Special: rent two nights and get a third night free, and our two night minimum our winter season rates make lodging at Seanook this time of year a real value. If you rent a whole week, you may have two extra nights free for a total of 9. Rent two weeks and get your choice of 4 extra nights or a 10% discount. We also have low monthly rates in Winter. Please see our “Rates” section.
To experience the height of a Maine winter come in January or February. Snug and toasty by the fire and surrounded by water on three sides, you can watch the storms sweep across the bay, the varying ice formations float back and forth, the seasmoke on some early mornings, the many varieties of ducks flying, floating and diving, the seagulls riding the updrafts, and an
occasional eagle. In Boothbay Harbor, just three miles away, the best restaurants are still open and there is plenty of parking; the pace is a little slower and the attention a little warmer.
Spring in Midcoast Maine can keep you guessing. Beginning in 2010 the trees leafed out in May instead of June. Warm temperatures for both air and water invite you to come soak
up the quiet awakening of nature
before the onslaught of summer crowds. Writers find Seanook a peaceful private retreat where they can work on their manuscripts. This is an ideal time of year to take advantage of our two night minimum if you prefer a quick getaway.