Every year, 37 million people visit the American state of Maine, the furthest state in the North East of the country. It is known for its rich maritime history, its rugged, rocky coastline and, of course, lobsters. It is the perfect destination for a relaxing boating holiday, particularly in the summer months where the horizon seems to meet the sky a million miles away, and the sunsets are always spectacular. There are some incredible boating destinations in Maine for you to explore, and you can always pick up a lobster roll or two on the way.
Selecting the right boat
Whilst you’re in Maine, there are hundreds of boat dealers where you can rent or buy a touring vessel, like the Zodiac or the Scout 235. These kinds of boats are perfect for a small party if you’re planning to go sailing for the day. Many dealers also offer larger tourers like the Grady-White Canyon 306 – perfect for a boating trip with family and friends, or an extended nautical vacation. Make sure you know the kind of boat you need, and choose a craft that also has an external outboard engine, if you’re planning on launching from one of the many small harbors in Maine.
Bar Harbor is a small port retreat that is home to just over 5,000 people. From the town harbor, you can tour the coastline, and also head to the popular Acadia National Park. Sailing out from the town, you can see the looming Thunder Hole Cliffs, Great Head and also the impressive Cadillac and Sargeant Mountains. The landscape is why Bar Harbor has been such a popular boating retreat since the mid 1800s. When you come back into land, even more impressive is that every single one of Bar Harbor’s 75 eating establishments serve lobster rolls.
If you’re indulging in a bit of yacht sailing, then Kennebunkport Harbor is a great place for a tour, followed by a little lunch at either Kennebunkport or Chicks Marina (where President George H.W. Bush famously kept his powerboat). There are two resort complexes – The Yachtsman and Nonantum Resort, as well as two private yacht clubs, if you’re planning on mooring for a while. From the water, there is the opportunity to see some amazing wildlife, like the blue herons that fly through the marshes out into the ocean.
A cruise in your boat around Swan’s Island is a must if you’re visiting the Maine coastline. This isn’t a place of hustle and bustle – it is all about peace and tranquility. Even in the summer months, you can get away from it all. For a real treat, anchor for the day and pay a visit to Fine Sand Beach, which is located on the south side of the island, next to Burnt Coat Harbor. Whilst you’re out sailing, look out for the seals, which happily play in the waters and are also known to follow the lobster boats, hoping to be thrown some spare seafood.
Four miles east of Belfast is the scenic cove of Searsport. It is quieter than Penobscot Bay, and offers free moorings for dinghies if you want to tie up and explore the antique shops. This hidden gem is perfect for a day trip, especially if you’re hoping to catch the breeze for a more exciting sail. The rugged coast is very picturesque, and from the coastline, you can enjoy views of the town pier and the surrounding pine forests.
Maine is the perfect destination for a sailing holiday, especially in the summer months when the weather is beautiful. There are some beautiful locations to moor, perfect beaches and lots of delicious seafood to sample.