Aside from exuding a charming vibe from the popular television series of Murder She Wrote, Maine is home to tranquil small coastal towns for those looking for a peaceful seaside escape.
KENNEBUNKPORT, MAINE, USA
Located only one hour and 30 minutes north of Boston, and just 40 minutes from Portland, Kennebunkport is the perfect starting point on any Maine coastal road trip. This vibrant Southern Maine town of surrounded by local craft stores, elegant ship captains’ homes, and a quaint harbor along with beautiful beaches that are perfect spots of relaxation.
Traveling to this town, you can take part in active experiences including fishing, whale watching, kayaking, paddleboarding, surfing, and sailing. For adventuring enthusiasts, the Rachel Carson National Wildlife Refuge with some awesome walking trails and incredible views will definitely blow your mind. Do not miss the Seashore Trolley Museum – the largest and oldest one of its kind in the world for gallery hopping, shopping, and dining. Having a good reputation as a foodies’ paradise, Kennebunkport is home to great boutique shopping and dining in town that you do not want to miss. Take a wander around Dock Square and you will be spoiled for choice of fresh, local seafood such as fried clams or lobster.
CASTINE, MAINE, USA
Once the capital of Acadia, the historic town of Castine has tantalizing slogan — ‘Under the Elms and by the Sea’. Located on a peninsula in Penobscot Bay about 250 miles from Boston and 140 miles from Portland, the small town intrigues visitors with the beauty of its old homes and grand inns like the 19th-century Pentagöet Inn along with the alluring beaches, ancient lighthouses, and historic sites.
Travelling to the town, take a cruise to admire archaic lighthouses, including Acadia National Park’s famous Bass Harbor Lighthouse and relish the fresh sea air that everyone raves about. And if you want to add a touch of culture to your trip, Maine’s oldest town of Castine on the National Historic Register with 1884 Fort Knox nearby is worth a visit. As the tallest public bridge observatory in the world, the Penobscot Narrows Bridge and Observatory is a great attraction for taking in the spectacular views that you do not want to miss.
VINALHAVEN, MAINE, USA
If you want to escape from the bustle and hustle of daily life, leave the mainland behind and visit the island of Vinalhaven. Located in Penobscot Bay, you need to hop on the ferry in Rockland to get to the town and indulge in the tranquil pace of life of the pretty coastal village with about 1,200 permanent inhabitants.
The town of Vinalhaven is home to many parks and preserves with over 17 miles of trail to hike. Located only eight miles away from the village, Browns Head Lighthouse on the northwest side of the island is a must-visit attraction for a true Maine experience. Vinalhaven is famous for the main industry of lobster fishing with the top lobster landing port in the state that seafood lovers can not definitely miss. Treat yourself to a delicious lunch with lobsters and crab rolls before leaving this pretty coastal town.
MACHIAS, MAINE, USA
Located only 30 miles from the Canadian border in New Brunswick, Machias is over three and a half hours away from Portland and over five hours away from Boston. While other coastal towns in Maine are lobster and crab crazy, Machias has a good reputation for blueberries and a summer festival dedicated to this small fruit that has been going on for 45 years.
Besides, visiting this town, do not miss historic sites like the still-functioning octagonal lighthouse and the local fauna that intrigues a large number of visitors to explore. If you are a nature- and bird-lover, take a boat to Machias Seal Island in the lower Bay of Fundy – an island shared by the US and Canada to get the chance to explore a migratory bird sanctuary and admire Atlantic puffins, Arctic terns, razorbills and over 100 other species. You should avoid visiting the island in June and July as it is closed to visitors to protect the nesting birds.
BOOTHBAY HARBOR, MAINE, USA
Surrounded by craggy shorelines and traditional lighthouses, Boothbay Harbor which is about one hour from Portland and less than three hours from Boston is a Mid Coast magnet for fishing, sailing and cruising. For a perfect trip to this small town, take a boat excursion leaving the harbor and getting nearby Burnt Island for a tour of the lighthouse or an experience with more than 20 miles of nature trails and a visit to stunning botanical gardens. You can also drop on in the art galleries, unique shops, theaters and arts and crafts markets.
If you a maritime history and tradition buff, do not miss the opportunity to get involved in the Windjammer Days that take place in June every year to see some of the most beautiful ships in this corner of the Atlantic Ocean. A stroll across the Boothbay Footbridge – the longest wooden footbridge in the country also gives you a fantastic experience while exploring the small town of Boothbay Harbor.
OGUNQUIT, MAINE, USA
Lying on the southern Maine coast, just 50 minutes southwest of Portland and only one hour and 20 minutes from Boston, Ogunquit is the go-to summer retreat for travelers who prefer soft, sandy beaches to the rocky stretches that characterise many other coastal Maine towns. You will not want to miss the picture-perfect lobstering village of Perkins Cove offering amazing views that is connected with Ogunquit by the coastal walking path of Marginal Way. If you are keen to get in the water, the Ogunquit Rivermouth is ideal for surfing and the Ogunquit River is perfect for an afternoon of kayaking.
Aside from being a seaside destination for seeing lighthouses, whales or going fishing, Ogunquit is also very artsy. Check out the Ogunquit Museum of American Art and attend a performance at the highly acclaimed Ogunquit Playhouse before leaving this pretty town.
CAMDEN, MAINE, USA
Dubbed as ‘Jewel of the Coast’, the Mid-Coast harbor town of Camden is located on Penobscot Bay and tucked where mountains reach down to the sea. The picturesque town of Camden is a stunning destination to go foliage-peeping and enjoy the red, orange, and yellow hues with a hike Mount Battie in Camden Hills State Park. From there, You can also take the breathtaking views of the town, Penobscot Bay, and the surrounding hills that will blow your mind.
If you would rather enjoy the scenery from the water, rent a sea kayak to admire the jaw-dropping scenery or take part in a tour that will take you around nearby Curtis Island. And do not leave this beautiful town without strolling around the town center, visiting the beautiful 1928 public library and checking out ancient lighthouses for a perfect coastal Maine experience.