Great Vacation Sites between Wiscasset Woods and Acadia National Park

There are so many great places to visit and things to do between our hotel in Wiscasset and Acadia National Park. So many people go straight to Bar Harbor and miss everything in between. We recommend giving yourself at least a full day to travel from our hotel to Acadia to have the time to enjoy all that midcoast Maine has to offer.

I list the stops in order from those closest to furthest away from Wiscasset Woods Lodge.

One of the places I strongly encourage all our guests to visit is Pemaquid Point Lighthouse. It’s one of the few light houses you can actually tour. The lighthouse is open every day during the summer, if you’ve always wanted go up inside a light house, this is your chance. Even if you don’t go into the lighthouse, you can’t help but love the view. Pemaquid Point is said to be the most photographed lighthouse in Maine. Part of this is because of the great rocks running form the lighthouse into the ocean. If you catch it at the right time you can explore the tidal pools in the rocks. There are also picnic tables if you want a great place to eat lunch. On your way to Pemaquid Point you’ll go through Damariscotta, a quintessential Maine town. All the shops are located on the Maine drag, so if you haven’t done all your gift shopping yet, this is a nice town to stroll around. If you’re looking for a seafood lunch after taking in the view at Pemaquid, stop by Shaw’s Fish and Lobster Wharf close by in New Harbor.


Owl’s Head Lighthouse and Owl’s Head Transportation Museum – outside of Rockland off Route 73

Owls Head Lighthouse (Photo by Bob Trapani, Jr.)

You reach Owl’s Head Lighthouse via a beautiful walk through the woods. As you stroll to the lighthouse you can often hear and see the surf breaking on the cliffs below. This is another chance to see inside a light house. According to Lighthouse Friends, Owl’s Head Lighthouse is open from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on weekends and holidays and 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. on Wednesdays from Memorial Day weekend to Columbus Day weekend. The keeper’s dwelling is home to the American Lighthouse Foundation’s interpretive center, which is open daily from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. from Memorial Day to Columbus Day.

Owl’s Head Transportation Museum

Nearby is the Owl’s Head Transportation Museum. “Home to a world-class operating collection, the Owls Head Transportation Museum features more than 150 antique automobiles, aircraft, motorcycles, bicycles, engines and more.” The museum has many special events, check our calendar for events for Midcoast Maine for special events you can catch during your trip. Owl’s Head also hosts rotating displays, 2020’s display is on the bicycle and “the countless ways bicycles have impacted the way people travel.


Rockland Breakwater Lighthouse –  Just outside downtown Rockland, Route 1 to Waldo Ave

From the Take Me 2 Camden, Maine website

To create a protected harbor in Rockland, a breakwater was built. Then to keep ships from running into the breakwater a lighthouse was built at the far end. The walk to the lighthouse is about 3/4 of a mile each direction on top huge, square granite blocks. While you can’t enter the lighthouse, it is a nice walk and often there are a variety of sealife to see on the way. This is not a walk to do in bad weather as in storms the water washed over the granite blocks. And there is no bathroom available anywhere, so plan accordingly. Rockland is also home to the Farnsworth Art Museum which displays paintings by Maine painter Andrew Wyeth as well as other artists.


Camden Hills State Park – on Route 1

Camden Harbor as seen from Mount Battie by Penbay Pilot

Camden Hills State Park is bisected by Route 1. “Camden Hills State Park signature location is the scenic vista high atop Mt. Battie where sweeping views of Camden, Penobscot Bay, and surrounding islands await.” The is Camden’s version of Cadillac Peak. To reach the peak you can hike one of the many park trails or drive to the top. This is Camden’s version of Acadia’s Mount Cadillac and far less crowded.


Belfast

We love the town of Belfast. The town itself isn’t too touristy and the historic city center is still vibrant with nice restaurants and shops, all withing walking distance of the water. This is a great place to have lunch or dinner and stretch your legs on one of their trails. The town has a working yacht yard and a waterfront walking path going right through the yacht yard before going over a footbridge crossing the Passagassawaukeag River (yes, there are a lot of tricky place names in Maine and don’t ask me how to pronounce this one). There is also a lovely rails-to-trails trail going inland along the river.


Fort Knox and the Penobscot Narrows Bridge and Observatory – on Route 1 at Bucksport

Penobscot Narrows Bridge

Not to be confused with the Kentucky Fort Knox, this historic site is a large stone fort still mostly in tact. It’s an interesting place to explore and stretch your legs. The fort shares the same parking lot as the Penobscot Narrows Bridge. The bridge is a suspension bridge with spires. One of the spires has an elevator you can ride to an observatory at the top of the spire. This provides a birds eye view of the surrounding countryside. I often recommend this to visitors here for the fall colors.


There are so many great places to visit in Midcoast Maine. While you can take just 3 hours to arrive at Acadia National Park form our hotel in Wiscasset, we recommend taking a few days to explore Midcoast Maine. We have lots of resources to help you plan your visit. Check out our blog, Wandering Around Midcoast Maine where we write about special events and interesting happenings in the midcoast area. Our Midcoast Maine Events Calendar provides a full list of activities and events. Our list of Midcoast Maine Attractions includes these site and even more museums, beaches, lighthouses and interesting locals.



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