Cruising Boothbay Harbor, ME
Boothbay or Bust!
It’s no wonder that Maine’s Boothbay Harbor is high on the list of pleasure boaters in New England. The harbor itself is accessible and well-protected with some excellent anchoring spots, there are plenty of hotel-marinas where mariners can pick up a slip or a mooring for the night, the fishing just offshore and in and around the rocky Maine islands near the harbor is always excellent, the town itself is made for wandering and almost every restaurant in town offers some variation on the theme of lobsters!
Boothbay is roughly 35 miles north of Portland and 40 miles south of Camden. The entrances to the harbor are well-marked and navigation is easy. In addition to the Boothbay Town Dock (3-hour tie-ups allocated on a first-come basis) there are six marinas in the town, most with gas and pump-out service. Call the harbormaster at (207) 633-5281, or hail on VHF 16 for information. Brown’s Wharfand Topside Inn are good choices for boaters wishing to spend a night ashore.
Boaters preferring to anchor will find some good spots in Linekin Bay, just to the east of Boothbay Harbor, with other spots in Townsend Gut, McKown Point or Tumbler Island.
In addition to wandering around town, stopping in at the many fine art galleries, jewelry stores and gift shops, Boothbay offers live music performances at the grand old Opera House, the Maine Aquarium at McKown Point, the Botanical Gardens on 120 acres, and the Boothbay Railway Villagejust outside town. A trolley bus makes the rounds of these and other spots in town, so getting around is easy,
When you get hungry, Boothbay is ready! Try the Thistle Inn, with lovely waterfront views, Kaler’sfor dockside dining, or the Boothbay Lobster Wharf or The Lobster Dock for all things Homarus americanus (lobster).
Boothbay is quintessential Maine, and after a day or so exploring you’ll understand why this has been a huge tourist destination since the Gilded Age of the 1880s.