Apr 27, 2020 at 8:00 AM by
One of the benefits of being practically surrounded by water in the Boothbay Harbor Region is that many of the restaurants here offer terrific waterfront dining replete with extraordinary views. Most of these establishments–at least those open year round–also afford pleasing views from their interiors for those days when it’s best to sit inside with a bowl of chowder and a glass of wine. McSeagulls, Fisherman’s Wharf Inn & Restaurant, Kaler’s Waterfront Restaurant and Brown’s Wharf figure among the best-loved in Boothbay Harbor. If you’re looking for a waterfront restaurant that will roll out the red carpet–or at least a dog bowl–for your pup, go to the Big Dog Bar at Brady’s at the head of the harbor.
For a sophisticated dining experience in Boothbay Harbor, go to the Harborside Tavern at the far end of the footbridge. If their food, craft cocktails, or views of this iconic bridge don’t woo you, their live music surely will.
In Wiscasset, Sarah’s Café & Twin Schooner Pub has been a local’s favorite for many years. The 1820 House Restaurant at Smuggler’s Cove Inn in East Boothbay Harbor also serves up oceanfront views with their fine cuisine. In Southport, Robinson’s Wharf Restaurant, Tug’s Pub & Seafood Market figure among “the places to be.” At the south end of Southport Island, you can enjoy a truly exclusive experience at the Newagen Inn Seaside Inn & Restaurant. The setting in their restaurant, The Pub, overlooking the property’s expansive lawn that stretches into the sea, is idyllic for a romantic dinner or a special gathering with family and friends.
While on beautiful Southport Island, stop into Southport General Store & Gifts where there has been a store on the premises since 1882. Very much a fixture within this community of just over 700 strong, you can pick up sandwiches and knickknacks at this little outpost, served with a smile and a generous slice of history. East Boothbay General Store & Café, another institution in these parts, is just as cute. Keep in mind that back in the day–and still very much today–you didn’t find big grocery stores within this part of Maine. So folks have to pick up many of their provisions the old fashioned way–that’s to say not in bulk in big box stores.
Visiting places of interest and significance is also a must when in the region. You can embark upon your own lighthouse tour–by land or by water–or just cruise around the little villages on a scenic drive. Whatever you do, make time for a visit to the Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens, one of the premier attractions on the Boothbay Peninsula. They’re typically open mid April through the end of October and also from mid November through New Year’s for a festive display of lights. So many wonderful gardens are featured here along with a gardenshop, café and market, that you’ll likely want to spend the whole day.
You don’t have to be a railroad or automobile enthusiast to enjoy Boothbay Railway Village, a museum in Edgecomb comprised of vintage model trains and antique cars against a backdrop of historic buildings. Coming here is like stepping back in time to a sweeter, gentler era in Maine where people lived more simple lives. It’s all quite beautiful; they, too, are open mainly throughout the season although they also showcase a North Pole Express from the end of November until just before Christmas. All aboard!
Not far from here, also in Edgecomb, you can visit the Colby Wildlife Preserve, a marvelous spot of nature devoted to the preservation of coastal wetlands and other fragile outdoor environments. Pick one of the many trails and allow your senses to take you on a marvelous journey through this special land.
You may have noticed that there aren’t a whole lot of sandy beaches in this part of Maine. No, the coast is far too dramatic for that! Pemaquid Beach, however, is a fine exception to that norm. Located on the Pemaquid River in Bristol, this sandy swath offers everything that beachgoers love: clear, clean water, sand that’s groomed daily, changing rooms and a shower to rinse off and a community room inside the beach pavilion. There’s even a Beach Shop stocked with all the fun and colorful paraphernalia you need and want to complete a successful visit to the beach. How wonderful! Keep in mind that the water here is rather chilly, so make sure you have a warm beach towel at the ready. In any event, since it’s the Boothbay region of Maine, there’s always a pub nearby where you can order a hot toddy to warm up. In this case, it’s The Contented Sole, another delightful restaurant in the area that specializes in fish and seafood and, of course, provides lovely waterfront views for its diners.