Family Vacations: Boothbay Harbor

Boothbay Harbor celebrates the age of sail each June with Windjammer Days.

Boothbay Harbor lies along Maine's mid-coast. It's often called the Boating Capital of New England and hosts a summer festival called "Windjammer Days." The harbor is a great place for watching whales and puffins, canoeing, kayaking, hiking, biking, mackerel fishing and camping. You can cruise to Monhegan Island or see sites such as the Maine Resources Aquarium, the Maine Maritime Museum or Burnt Island Light, a lighthouse built in 1821.

Boothbay Harbor was incorporated in 1764. Thereafter, the settlement became known for its saw and grist mills and for its shipbuilding industry--more than 500 boats and ships up to 180 feet long were built there. Over time, fishing became more important to the community, which helps explain why today the harbor's symbol is a two-masted fishing schooner, or "pinky." If you can handle some time away from modern luxuries, this rugged area remains one of Maine's most beautiful destinations.

An hour's drive from Brunswick, Boothbay Harbor is a village of about 2,300 with pleasant shops and boutiques. Its picturesque harbor is exactly how many people picture Maine: Fishers haul in lobster traps, and masts gently rock in the distance. The aroma of steamed mussels mixes with the salty ocean air. You can rent cove-side cottages, dine in fine restaurants, and browse quaint waterfront souvenir, antique and craft shops. It also pays to explore the neighborhoods inland from the harbor.

Boothbay Harbor Information

Address: Boothbay Harbor Region Chamber of Commerce

192 Townsend Ave.

Boothbay Harbor, ME

Telephone: 207/633-2353

To learn more about family vacation destinations, see:

  • Family Vacations: Learn about hundreds of family vacations in destinations all over North America.
  • Maine State Guide: Learn about Mobil Travel Guide-rated hotels and restaurants in Maine, as well as other recreational activities.
  • Scenic Drives: For those who think that getting there is half the fun, we have compiled more than 100 of the most scenic drives throughout the country.