Boothbay Harbor residents will be the first to tell you how proud they are to be a part of such a quaint coastal town, that is bright in the summer has beautiful snowfall in the winter. Known as a perfect destination to relax and get away from the daily hustle and bustle, this New England town offers exquisite dining, world-class boat excursions, and tons of activities.
For easy access connecting both the East and West sides of the Harbor, visitors can use the 1,000-foot long footbridge to bounce from site to site. From captivating hiking tours (featuring beautiful coves and shores) to the numerous historic attractions and events, Boothbay Harbor has a plethora of activities that can keep all types of travelers engaged.
Whether you are headed to Boothbay Harbor to check out the local boutique shops, or to do some of the best sea kayaking in Maine, you’re definitely going to want to have your ‘where to eat’ list in tow as well.
Although the fare in Boothbay Harbor is similar to a lot of other seaside towns, it is certainly one of the most notable for its seafood offerings. Visitors can’t go wrong with a succulent lobster dinner, scallops, or mussels-just make sure to top it off with a sweet treat from one of Boothbay’s classic sweet shops or ice cream parlors.
NEW YORK CITY bagels, New England clam bake, Boston cream pies, Maine lobster rolls, maple syrup, johnnycakes, baked beans, seafood chowder, coffee milk, whoopie pies and blueberry everything who needs more reasons to spend time in the Northeast?Aside from the amazing cuisine and the obvious historical significance, there are many more incentives to visit. The diversity of culture and terrain, the changing seasons, the world's most dynamic cities surrounded by small villages striking in their simplicity all invite deeper exploration.Yachts escaping the southern heat, port-hop during the summer months between popular tourist spots and secluded anchorages along the coastline. From New York City to Bar Harbor, enjoy shopping, dining, sightseeing and breezy nights along the way.We put together an itinerary of destinations, with many top-notch marinas and facilities that can accommodate large yachts (more than 80 feet). Enjoy cruising the Northeast this summer!
The pages of a thesaurus would be worn ragged finding enough adjectives to describe New York City. It's anything and everything and no specific thing. Any description will be passÃ© by the next day in this dynamic environment, especially when it comes to restaurants. The variation in dining is staggering, and over the last few years the restaurant scene has undergone a seismic shift as Old World giants give way to more accessible food in casual atmospheres.Dockage is available in Manhattan at MarineMax at Chelsea Pier for vessels up to 320 feet (18-foot dock depth) or North Cove Marina, offering eight megayacht berths for vessels up to 175 feet (18-foot dock depth). Across the Hudson River in Jersey City is Liberty Landing Marina, accommodating vessels up to 200 feet (12-foot dock depth), and Newport Yacht Club and Marina which offers 12 berths for vessels up to 180 feet (10-foot dock depth).
Within easy access from the cacophony of Manhattan are the world-class beaches, seaside restaurants and upscale atmosphere of Long Island's Hamptons. En route, Brewer Capri Marina (can accommodate up to 150 feet) offers a great stop-over in beautiful Port Washington on the Long Island Sound. Farther east, Hamptons villages such as Sag Harbor, Southampton, and East Hampton offer not only favorite seaside resorts but some of the most luxurious and expensive real estate properties in the nation.A historic whaling town, Sag Harbor prides itself on being unHamptons. The Sag Harbor Whaling & Historical Museum promotes the area's rich culture. Foster Beach on Noyack Bay is a great place to unwind after a long day of fishing, clamming, or paddle-boarding in the harbor. Dockage is available at Sag Harbor Yacht Club for vessels up to 200 feet (12-foot dock depth), which is walking distance to town. There is an abundance of restaurants nearby, including the American Hotel, the Corner Bar, Dockside Bar & Grill, Nello Summertimes, and Cittanuova.
The site of world-class festivals music, seafood, tennis, polo and more. Steven Sullivan, a retired mega yacht captain and the manager of Newport Marina on Lee's Wharf, says docking in the city is a bargain given how much there is to see and do. Visit Cliff Walk, the 3.5-mile path that traces the edge of the sea, the famous mansions of the Gilded Age, and the storied Tennis Hall of Fame. Explore the Coastal Wine Trail, or visit Rhode Island's only operating rum distillery before dining on dishes made from ingredients from local farmers, foragers and fishermen at such places as Midtown Oyster Bar, Brick Alley Pub & Restaurant, Tallulah on Thames, and Pasta Beach.Dockage is available right in the heart of town at either Newport Marina accommodating vessels up to 140 feet (9-foot dock depth) or Newport Yachting Center for vessels up to 180 feet (22-foot dock depth).
Nantucket is noted for its dune-backed beaches and stunning shingled buildings. Steepled churches, designer boutiques and phenomenal eateries line the cobblestone streets and old wharves. Visiting yachts have many restaurant options, such as CRU and Slip 14.The centrally located Nantucket Boat Basin can handle boats up to 300 feet (12-foot dock depth). Grab a bicycle to explore the island or catch a cab to visit Cisco Brewers, Triple Eight Distillery and Nantucket Vineyard. Rent a 4x4 SUV for an off-road adventure along the 16 miles of sand roads and beach at Coskata Coatue Wildlife Refuge. En route to Provincetown, stop in Hyannis, Mass. at Hyannis Marina which can handle yachts up to 200 feet and is located within walking distance to town.
Located on the outermost tip of Cape Cod, Provincetown is a vibrant oceanfront community with walkable dunes and a thriving arts scene. Many stores offer exquisite, locally hand-crafted merchandise and unique finds acquired during winter buying trips. Stop for coffee and a homemade treat at the Wild Puppy, an award-winning European style espresso cafe, then head for the museum commemorating the pirate ship Whydah, which wrecked off the coast in 1717 with the riches from 50 plundered ships.In the center of town is Provincetown Marina, now open under new ownership, offering 60 slips for vessels up to 300 feet (15-foot dock depth), along with Long Point Marina accommodating vessels up to 140 feet.
Founded in 1630, Boston is a fascinating city where the historic and the futuristic are in ongoing conversations. Skyscrapers meet cobblestone streets, and the historic Freedom Trail passes trendy hotspots. The dining scene is equally eclectic, with ethnic eateries and traditional New England fare in abundance. Each neighborhood has its own unique character. Back Bay's ornate Victorian townhouses are a short distance from the college vibe of Cambridge and the narrow 17th-century North End streets, where red checkered tablecloths magically appear for Sunday sidewalk suppers.Constitution Marina on the Charles River accepts vessels up to 150 feet (20-foot dock depth), along with Charlestown Marina, handling yachts up to 500 feet (15-foot dock depth). Another option is Boston Yacht Haven, located in Boston's historic North End, which has dockage available for vessels up to 225 feet (25-foot dock depth).
Boasting more coastline than California, Maine deserves several stops over an extended period. The classic seacoast town of Portland has a cosmopolitan edge with museums, galleries, and the charming Old Port district. Historic buildings have been revitalized into boutiques, brewpubs and restaurants. Portland was recently voted America's Foodiest Small Town by Bon Appetit magazine. Try Boone's Fish House & Oyster Room, Liquid Riot Bottling Company, or David's Opus Ten. Dockage is available at DiMillo's Old Port Marina offering fuel and accommodating vessels up to 250 feet (25-foot dock depth).
With its stunning rocky coastline and quaint seaside village, Boothbay Harbor characterizes Maine's mid-coast. An abundance of mom-and-pop style stores and restaurants preserve the destination's small town charm. Discover excellent clam chowder, lobster stew, ice cream, chocolate oose (yes, moose) and salt water taffy. Some of the best can be found at the Lobster Dock.Hop on a harbor tour to explore nearby islands and have close encounters with puffins, seals and whales, or take to the water by kayak. The Maine State Aquarium and Boothbay Railway Village are both crowd pleasers.Located on the quiet side of the harbor within walking distance of downtown, Hodgdon Marina provides 750 linear feet of space on their new pier, (8 to 18-foot dock depth). Their service yard can haul boats up to 170 feet.
The mountains truly do meet the sea at Mt. Desert Island (MDI), one of the most spectacular settings on the entire East Coast. It's best known for Acadia National Park, the second most-visited national park in the U.S., with a landscape marked by woodlands, rocky beaches and glacierscoured granite peaks. Bar Harbor is the center of activity for visitors with its myriad shops and taverns. Check out Cabbage Island Clambakes, Bet's Famous Fish Fry, and Dunton's Doghouse.Dockage is available at Harborside Hotel, Spa and Marina for vessels up to 165 feet (9-foot dock depth). Northeast Harbor is a quiet enclave of the rich and famous and home to Northeast Harbor Marina (12-foot dock depth). Southwest Harbor, a town on the quiet side of the island, has maintained its maritime heritage and is home to Dysart's Great Harbor Marina, with slips for vessels up to 180 feet (15-foot dock depth). mlService Centers for Large Yachts
One of the most extraordinary benefits of cruising in Maine is the unique opportunity to explore the thousands of magnificent islands that the glaciers abandoned when they retreated many eons ago.
Curtis Rindlaub, in the introduction of the cruisers' bible A Cruising Guide to the Maine Coast, describes Maine this way: "On a chart, the coast of Maine is a Jackson Pollock painting. Rivers dribble to the sea, the coast is flung far with abandon, and the islands splatter the surface as if fallen from an overloaded brush."
It's the splattering of islands that can only be approached by boat that had great appeal to Peter and me during our short three-week cruise in Maine last summer. We believe Maine is best explored by water, experiencing the stunning beauty at every river turn or hidden harbor entrance, much the same way as our nation's early explorers first experienced it.
We'd learned from previous trips that Maine's vast coastline could not be explored in a lifetime, let alone three weeks, so on our second visit to Maine aboard our lobster cruising yacht Bee Weems, we narrowed our cruising area to the section between Portland and Mt. Desert Island. Our intention was to move at a slow pace and absorb the magic by seeking out the remote island anchorages that can only be explored by private boat. To help us along our way, we were armed with recommendations from fellow cruisers plus our two trusty guide books, the aforementioned A Cruising Guide to the Maine Coast and the Maine Island Trail Guide.
Our first anchorage, the Basin, a protected sanctuary on the New Meadows River, was highly recommended by a friend. The "bible" gave it a rating of four out of five stars. It was the perfect place to begin our Maine respite, completely sheltered, surrounded by evergreen trees, and with no signs of human life save the few sailboats anchored nearby. We took a collective deep breath, soaked in the natural beauty and released the tensions of our day-to-day life.
The following day we headed for Bath, but before leaving the New Meadows River we stopped to hike around Merritt Island, a small 28-acre wooded site with a loop trail. We would not have visited this island if I hadn't studied the small spiral-bound book published annually by the Maine Island Trail Association (MITA) for its members. This useful guide offers descriptions and maps designating hiking trails and campsites for more than 200 islands along a 375-mile water route.
MITA is a nonprofit conservation organization formed in 1988 to provide a model of "thoughtful use and volunteer stewardship for the Maine Islands." The supporting members of this group maintain a string of state-owned and private islands that are available to members and the public for overnight camping, picnicking and hiking. The number of islands under their stewardship has grown from 30 to 212 over their 27-year history.
About half the 3,000 islands dotting Maine's coastline are owned by federal, state or conservation agencies. The other half are privately owned, but by acreage 94 percent are privately owned. Every island has its own fascinating story and they come in all shapes and sizes, from heavily wooded to massive granite slabs with no hints of plant life. Some were homesteaded, some became fishing communities or artists' colonies, some were left alone to breeding bird colonies or clear-cut for wood.
In modern times, changes have occurred quickly and not always for the better. Conservation groups are doing their best to protect the islands and teach good stewardship. MITA is one of these groups, and I was eager to become a member to support their mission. As cruisers we have a great privilege and responsibility to be mindful of the impact we have on these storied treasures. A great way to show appreciation is to get to know the islands better. As with people, the more you make an effort to know them, the more you develop an appreciation for them and therefore the better you treat them.
The best way to learn about the islands is to talk to local Mainers, but it's also helpful to read stories from conservation- group websites, blogs, cruising guides and the myriad of books written by those who want to share their love for these amazing natural wonders.
Merritt Island is owned by Bowdoin College and open to the public for hiking and camping in two locations during the summer months. Our exploration of this little gem was so much fun that it became my mission to plot our course from island to island with brief interludes at more conventional tourist attractions in between.
We continued south along the New Meadow River toward the ocean and eventually headed up the Kennebec River, stopping briefly in Bath to visit the Maine Maritime Museum. From Bath, we continued 22 miles west up the Kennebec.
Heading inland to find shelter from the high winds seemed wise, but the real reason for this out-of-the-way side trip was my intrigue with another island I discovered in the MITA cruising guide: Swan Island, originally named Swango or Island of the Eagles by the Native Americans, was so far up river that our electronic chart plotter had no charts for the area. Maybe that's why we saw no other boats as we slowly meandered upstream. Swan Island's initial appeal to me was its rich heritage as a Native American fishing village and stopover site for early explorers and historic figures such as John Smith, Benedict Arnold and Aaron Burr. In much the same way, today's visitors arrive by kayak, canoe or via the small foot-passenger ferry that runs across the river to the small town of Richmond three times a day. The island is now owned and managed by the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife, and it's also on the National Register of Historic Places.
We docked Bee Weems at the Richmond town landing and waited for the ferry to come across the short distance from the island to pick us up. Our young ferry captain was also the on-duty ranger in charge of assigning campsites and giving historic island tours. There were only three of us on the ferry, so this enthusiastic college student invited us to sit in the back of the pickup truck, the only wheeled vehicle on the island, as he drove to the other end and back, stopping along the way to let us get out and visit the old graveyard and the ruins of early dwellings. Grand vistas of rice paddies surrounded the island.
Annabella's Bakery & Cafe, across the green from the town dock, was just the spot for a scrumptious breakfast before cruising back downstream toward Boothbay. The wind had subsided and the infamous fog swirled toward us as we approached the ocean. I lost all sense of time and space as we cautiously navigated the still grayness. I was melting into the wild beauty of the Maine coast. Unfortunately, my hopes of experiencing more island gems were squelched for several days as the fog swallowed them from sight.
We spent three days in Camden, waiting out the fog and making necessary boat repairs. When the fog finally dissipated we made a dash for the Barred Islands: Butter, Escargo and Bartender, all owned by the Cabot family. Our protected anchorage among this island grouping provided us with privacy and pristine beaches.
McGlathery Island was the culmination of our Maine-island wilderness exploration. Although the fog had returned, we didn't want to pass it by because of its fabulous reputation. Beloved for its sheltered anchorages, sandy beaches, granite ledges, and wooded interior, McGlathery is one of the largest of the 30-plus granite islands that dot the seascape of Merchant Row. Its history is similar to that of many others: settled in the 1800s by a family that eventually succumbed to the harsh elements of year round living; bought by a sea captain for grazing sheep; eventually purchased by Friends of Nature, a conservation organization, to protect it from clear-cutting.
Washed-up lobster buoys and bits of line marked the walking trail that led us into the woodsy interior and then out again to a sandy beach flanked on each side by granite slabs. Through the fog I could hear the eerie sound of lobster boat engines so close to shore that I was sure they would come aground.
Making friends with just a few islands along the lengthy Maine Island Trail was a great way to develop an appreciation for all of them. And with this appreciation has come a desire to protect and defend their wild beauty so that others can enjoy them.
1. Portland --- DiMillo's Old Port Marina
2. Freeport --- Brewer South Freeport Marine
3. Anchorage --- New Meadow River, The Basin
4. Anchorage --- Merritt Island
5. Bath --- Maine Maritime Museum
6. Richmond --- Richmond Town Landing
7. Boothbay --- Boothbay Harbor Marina
8. Camden --- Lyman-Morse at Wayfarer Marine
9. Anchorage --- The Barred Islands
10. Anchorage --- Stonington
11. Anchorage --- McGlathery Island