About Boothbay

Shoreline of Ocean at Boothbay, ME
The spring shoreline from Seanook’s front lawn in late May

Boothbay has gourmet dining!  It is a foodie’s paradise!  There are no better restaurants than right here.   We especially recommend the Carriage House just around the corner from us, Boathouse Bistro, Ports of Italy, Mine Oyster, Boothbay Wharf, 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, gourmet lunches, and catering.  Other good places for breakfast are the Wave, across from the docks in the Harbor, and Mama D’s, and Cod’s Head Fishhouse on the East Side of the Harbor.  The latter is also a great spot for a fish or barbecue dinner while watching the sunset.  The Thistle Inn is over the top cuisine and service, rated among the top four Inns with Restaurants in the country!

Beyond the food, BOOTHBAY has about everything you could want when you think about the mid-coast “rock-bound coast of Maine.”  We are situated at the end of a long peninsula stretching into the ocean whose fingers reach deep within the land in many places because our coastline is a sunken mountain range!  Those who live 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), shipbuilding, 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

Lobster Boats on Lake in Maine
Lobster boats in sunset

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 harvested 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, artists 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 and our historic Opera House contribute greatly to this distinction. 

Things to do in Boothbay!

Botanical Gardens (1280x843)
At the Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens
Watering the flowers in the children's garden at CMBG
Watering the flowers in the children’s garden at CMBG

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 bring your own boat to tie up at our dock if you are renting Seanook.  If you are at Paradise Cottage you may keep a small boat on our mooring in the cove where it will be beached briefly at low tide, or use one of our boats to access yours on our mooring further out in the bay.

*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.

Wind sculptures at the Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens right here in Boothbay
Wind sculptures at the Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens right here in Boothbay

*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. 

The Gardens also put on a light show from the end of November through the beginning of January, when the town of Boothbay Harbor is also decorated, and all the restaurants are still open.  Get tickets for “Gardens Aglow” at the above website, and contact us to reserve Seanook or Paradise Cottage (two-night minimum).

*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

Ram and Fisherman's Islands off Ocean Point in summer
Ram and Fisherman’s Islands off Ocean Point in summer

by the sound of breaking waves.

*Go to the nearby East Boothbay General Store, http://www.ebgs.us/, for the 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, and Carousel Theater, 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!

How to Get Here

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.  You will need a car to enjoy your stay.

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 Boothbay Harbor, yet only three miles away.  We are close to everything you might want, yet secluded on our own quiet and longer finger of the ocean and nestled in woods.  We think you will find this a delightful combination.  

Seanook on the shore in summer at high tide
Seanook on the shore in Summer at high tide

Summer is the most popular time to visit the Maine coast.  We offer only weekly vacations in summer, Saturday to Saturday, with the first and last two weeks of summer at lower rates.  (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. The dock is for the use of Seanook guests only.  There anglers can fish right off the float, or it may be used to launch a day of exploring in your own boat or one that you rent.  By signing our release, guests at either cabin/cottage may have the use of our three sit-on-top kayaks and rowboat.

Jack Keegan's Fall color along the shoreline by Seanook
Jack Keegan’s Fall color along the shoreline by Seanook

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.

Snow and sunset at Paradise Cottage
Winter snow and sunset at Paradise Cottage (There is no longer a hot tub.)

Winter –   With our Winter Special: rent two nights and get a third night free, rent a week and get two free nights (total nine nights), or get a 10% discount off two weeks.  Our winter season rates make lodging at Seanook this time of year a real value.  If you rent two weeks, take your choice of 4 extra nights or the 10% discount.  We also have low monthly rates in Winter. These longer Winter stays are becoming increasingly popular at both Seanook and Paradise Cottage.  Please see our “Rates” section accessed by the drop-down menu at the top of each page by running your cursor over the name of the cabin. 

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 sea smoke on some early mornings, the many varieties of ducks flying, floating, and diving, the seagulls riding the updrafts, and an

Early May at Paradise Cottage
Early May at Paradise Cottage.  (There is no longer a hot tub.)

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.  You can “work from home” from either Seanook or Paradise Cottage.  Writers find this to be 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 and someone has not taken us up on our monthly rate.


Fall across Seanook's front lawn
Fall across Seanook’s front lawn from the sunroom window