21 Best Things to Do in Castine, ME

Castine, ME
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Located to the east of Maine, the city of Castine offers exceptional chances to enjoy outdoor sports such as tennis, golf, parasailing, and kayaking.

You can also try visiting historical museums, beachside dining, and listening to bands on the town dock.

The natural splendor of the woods gives way to beautiful mountains that lead to the harbor in Castine, providing guests with the finest Maine experience.

Castine will give you great family vacation, or a private hideaway that everyone of all ages will love.

Discover the best things to do in Castine, Maine, and have a memorable trip!

Explore the Fort George State Park

Cannon at Fort George
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Fort George, also known as Fort Majabigwaduce, is a historic site in Castine.

Great Britain constructed these earthworks during the American Revolutionary War in 1779.

Located above the Bagaduce Peninsula, this fort protected the British forces during the Massachusetts-organized Penobscot expedition.

Beautiful fresh green lawn at Fort George State Park
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Today, Fort George has become a park.

You can check out the earthen construction around the perimeter, as well as a baseball diamond created inside the fence.

If you ever want to learn everything about Castine's history, this park is a wonderful place to start.

View of Fort George State Park
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Buy Fresh Food at Windmill Hill Gardens and Market

The Windmill Hill Gardens and Market, located at 5 Castine Rd, has it all.

To name a few, you can grab fresh fruit, greenhouse vegetables, groceries, booze, dairy, spices, and their superb ribs.

As a result, this market has become one of Castine's hidden gems.

If you prefer sustainable dining, the market offers a fantastic vegan option.

Explore the grounds to see all the vegetables grown on the premises.

Moreover, the personnel and owner are well-known for their friendliness and excellent service.

Admire Panoramic Views at the Castine Golf Club

Just as the nineteenth century faded into the twentieth, the Castine Golf Club had established its historic golf and tennis sections.

The golf club features 35 difficult, well-maintained hole-par courses that also offer various youth and adult activities.

Likewise, the entire area is lush with foliage and provides panoramic views of Blue Hill and Castine Harbor.

For its members and the general public, the Castine Golf Club offers a range of golf, tennis, and boat classes, competitions, and events.

Castine Golf Club is the place to go if you enjoy golf.

Stroll and Take a Photo of the Dyce Head Lighthouse

Far exterior view of Dyce Head Lighthouse
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The Dyce Head Lighthouse is historically significant, well-preserved, and incredibly attractive.

In 1829, construction finished on this lighthouse, which underwent rebuilding with a skeletal tower measuring 475 feet.

However, a severe storm devastated the area in 2007, which sparked efforts to revive the historic lighthouse.

Pretty white buildings with Dyce Head Lighthouse towering above them
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Bring your camera to take in the lighthouse's full splendor. It also easily connects to the woods, where you can enjoy the beautiful clear waters.

Unfortunately, the lighthouse is not open to the public. Tourists should respect the privacy of the house's occupants.

Facade of the Dyce Head Lighthouse
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If you enjoy art and would like to try art consulting, here is a place you should not miss.

For 25 years, the progressive art gallery in Castine has displayed over 30 world-renowned artists. It's open seasonally and by appointment.

Gallery B, located at 5 Main Street, is a sophisticated destination for one-of-a-kind and stunning items.

From magnificent artworks and gleaming jewelry items to attractive miniatures, the gallery's exhibits will make you feel optimistic and motivated.

All the featured artists have their own styles and skills, but one thing they all have in common is that they all create with love.

Buy a Drink at Danny Murphy's Pub

Whether you're searching for a relaxing night, a delicious lunch, or a refreshing drink, Danny Murphy's Pub has you covered.

This neighborhood bar offers a relaxed ambiance, excellent service, delicious food, and a wide range of beverages.

Danny Murphy’s Pub has a complete bar with a good assortment of beverages and a TV.

The owner has also gone to considerable lengths to revitalize the entire structure, including starting a good old-fashioned "do-over" of the underground area.

The blend of vintage brickwork and fixtures, as well as a few modern elements like LED glass blocks in the bar, creates a visual feast.

Take a Stroll on Backshore Beach

Backshore Beach during sunset
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Wadsworth Cove's boundary of beach, seashells, and pebbles offers a plethora of adventure opportunities.

This little length of rocks, sand, and shells on the outskirts of Wadsworth Cove is perfect for a refreshing ocean dip, a picnic lunch, a nap under the sun, or a low-tide trek around to Elephant Rock.

The stunning sunset adds to the allure of this beach, plus it's easy to launch kayaks and canoes from there.

Not to mention that it's also a favored destination for windsurfers.

Castine's swimming pool, which is more of a swimming "hole," brims with tidal water that's slightly warmer than the beach.

However, the pool is wide enough to bathe in, even if it not's quite as deep. A fantastic area for youngsters is also just over the road.

Come spend a summer vacation with your family, children, or friends at this exceptional tourist attraction.

Relax with Pastries at the Dyce Head Foot Path

Come here and enjoy the food from Markel's Bakehouse, including expertly prepared beet salads, smoked salmon, and quiche.

This café at 26 Water St serves delicious bagels, muffins, and berry pies to its customers.

If you enjoy exquisite wine, don't miss out on this cafe. You can also try excellent coffee.

The welcoming ambiance inside Markel's Bakehouse also helps customers unwind after a long day at work.

Visitors like the excellent service and its good meals at a reasonable price.

Rent a Kayak at Castine Kayak Adventures

Castine Kayak Adventures has earned a reputation as an excellent partner for any Castine adventure.

The tranquil and gorgeous Penobscot Bay is one of Maine's greatest offerings.

Try bioluminescent kayaking for a unique night adventure and watch the ocean light up.

What's the good news? You don't have to be in great shape to participate in this adventure.

Regardless of skill level, everyone can join the adventure, as long as you want to have a good time.

From top to bottom, this tour has you covered.

The program includes modern equipment (kayak rentals and pedals), protective gear, and an experienced tour leader.

Discover the World at the Wilson Museum

Sign board of Wilson Museum
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The well-known geologist Dr. John Howard Wilson's collections of items gathered from all over the world make up the intriguing Wilson Museum.

This magnificent museum takes you on a journey through time and shows you what life was like in many civilizations in history.

You can find ancient relics, 19th-century smithing materials, agricultural and household equipment, maritime models, and various historical objects inside the museum.

Stone sculpture in Wilson Museum
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The geologic era's rocks and minerals will astound you.

When you visit the magnificent exhibitions, you may learn about the rich culture of many countries throughout the world.

There is plenty to see and discover at the Wilson Museum, so include it in your itinerary.

Go Sightseeing at the Castine Harbor Tour

Admire the Maine shoreline while breathing in the fresh sea air.

Guildive Cruise takes you on a sea trip that you'll never regret, allowing you to enjoy the rush and bustle of the city.

You can charter the Guildive, a 56-foot motor yacht.

The boat is very well-built, following the highest standards, and it has sailed for almost seven decades.

The skillful and courteous skipper and crew add to the excitement of this voyage.

If you're curious, the skipper will share essential and historical details about Castine and its beautiful waterways throughout the one-and-a-half-hour trip.

If you're searching for a unique way to experience Penobscot Bay, want to unwind, or need a dose of vitamin sea, the Castine harbor trip has you loaded!

Take a Hike at Rene Henderson Natural Area

Rene Henderson Natural Area, near Castine, Maine, is one of the most popular hiking destinations.

It is a heavily frequented loop track with a length of around 1.6 miles and a beautiful woodland backdrop, situated at 210 The Shore Rd.

The route is open all year and offers a variety of activities such as hiking and walking.

Rene Henderson is ideal for hiking, ice skating in the winter, and hunting.

Explore the preserve's different ecosystems in search of animals and wild birds during their respective seasons.

What's the best feature? Dogs are invited to go as well.

Enjoy Seafood at the Captain's Catch

Front view of Captain's Catch
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At The Captain's Catch, the focus is on seafood.

This magnificent restaurant provides fresh seafood ranging from lobsters to shrimp tacos and clams to crab pies.

Certainly, you can enjoy classic favorites. You can munch on ice cream, specialty salads, hot dogs, and hamburgers.

It's a terrific spot with outside seating and a classic Maine seafood buffet that's mostly fried.

The entire establishment is warm and inviting, with a welcoming atmosphere for families and friendly personnel.

Come for a break and enjoy expertly prepared pies, crabs, and grilled cheese at this restaurant.

Check Out Unique Relics at the Castine Historical Society

In 1996, after significant repairs, the Abbott School reopened as the Castine Historical Society's new home, housing a large collection of Castine relics.

A patchwork commemorating Castine's bicentennial, showing the town's history from the first French tradesmen to the present, is particularly interesting.

The eight-yard-long quilt represents a whole winter's worth of labor from more than 40 local women.

The Castine Historical Society also hosts the Samuel P. Grindle House, the John Perkins House, and other historical sites.

Take advantage of this rare opportunity to see views of 18 Castine homes dating from the earlier Federalist to the Modern eras.

Visiting the Castine Historical Society might turn out to be an unforeseen highlight of your trip.

Drink a Cup of Coffee at the Compass Rose Books

Compass Rose Books is a famous and beautifully decorated bookstore that specializes in natural and marine history literature.

It also supports coastal Maine-based authors.

Pop inside to appreciate a nice book while sipping a lovely cup of steaming coffee.

Compass Rose Books is an independent bookstore and café that sells books, cards, journals, crosswords, and a carefully chosen selection of souvenirs and chocolates.

They also do their own baking and collaborate with local producers to provide a changing selection of sweet and savory snacks.

Likewise, the store offers lots of surprises, ranging from various types of notebooks to a collection of European chocolates, excellent chocolates, cut flowers, and other unusual and amusing products.

Visit the Fort Madison State Park

Fort Madison State Park is one of the most important historic sites in Castine, featuring amazing artillery guns, clay walls, and the US flag proudly waving in the breeze.

Only the grassy shelters remain from this fort constructed in the early 1800s.

However, its placement at the head of the harbor makes it the perfect site to watch boats come and go from the bay as you enjoy a picnic lunch.

It's also a wonderful place to start learning about Castine's early military history.

This park, located on Perkins Street, just off the Castine Harbor, is a great place to enjoy a meal with your friends or family members while seeing the gorgeous Penobscot Bay.

It offers spectacular sights of sunrise and sunset year-round, especially during the winter.

Do Landscape Photography at Starr and Virginia Lampson Preserve

Starr and Virginia Lampson Preserve is one of the most picturesque destinations in Castine, known for its rustic and raw beauty.

The nature trails here won’t require a lot of effort, as there are little challenges and the length is roughly over a mile only.

As you explore its trails, you’ll see gorgeous foliage, rock formations, and scenic wetlands all throughout.

Tons of different botanical life can be found here, including various fungi that grow along the base of the trees.

A haven for outdoor adventure and photography, Starr and Virginia Lampson Preserve can be located along Dunbar Road.

Have Some Quiet Time at Wadsworth Cove Beach

Wadsworth Cove Beach is a hidden spot in Castine, known for its rustic charm that makes it a great spot to do sunbathing or some quiet reading.

Because it’s a cove, this beach feels more like a lakefront than an oceanfront.

This lets you relax here without seeing any large waves, giving it a unique appeal for those looking for a different experience.

You won’t find any fine sand here, but the dark and rocky shorelines are beautiful in their own right and do not get in the way if you plan to swim a bit.

Wadsworth Cove Beach also has some of the best sunsets in Maine, so give this one a visit along its namesake road.

Go Trekking at Witherle Woods

Witherle Woods is one of the best spots to trek if you don’t want to venture far from the epicenter of Castine, found along Battle Avenue.

Located near Fort Madison State Park, Witherle Woods is another location where lots of history happened, especially during the British-American War.

As you explore this area, you’ll see some historical markers that tell a bit of the story of how Witherle Woods played a role during the war.

Today, you can experience the dense forests of Witherle Woods that change depending on the season you go.

It has a certain charm most prominently during winter, when its large trees and unpaved trails become overloaded with snow.

Take Oceanfront Photos at Town Dock

Boats docked at the Castine Town Dock
Ken Schulze / Shutterstock.com

If you want some of the best photo opportunities in Castine, you’d be hard-pressed to miss out on Town Dock—known primarily as a scenic marina in the town.

Full of maritime ships and smaller boats, Town Dock is a haven to capture the beautiful waterfront aesthetic of Castine.

There’s also a picturesque wooden board here that makes for a great spot to take group photos with friends or family.

Ships approaching towards the Town Dock
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One of the best times to visit here is during the late morning, when the sun intensifies and you can see the water glisten.

Town Dock can be conveniently found along Main Street, making this a no-brainer to see during your visit to Castine.

Visit the Castine Historical Society

Castine is a town brimming with tons of history dating as far back as the British-American War during the 1700s.

The best way to see the full picture of this town’s heritage and historical significance is through Castine Historical Society.

Castine Historical Society offers comprehensive tours and discussions on the town, from the 17th Century to present day Castine.

Their walking tour will take you to several historic buildings that you can find in Castine, but they also have exhibits found at Abbott School.

Their collection is robust, most of which are relics and documents that depict the significance of the town in shaping U.S. history.

You can visit Castine Historical Society along School Street, near Town Dock.

Final Thoughts

Castine will meet and exceed guests' expectations of the ideal coastal holiday destination.

The city is simply full of surprises; the journey there is truly a once-in-a-lifetime experience.

You can embark on adventures like sailing, kayaking, learning history, and partaking in delicious seafood meals.

Located in the heart of Maine, this city offers a delightful mix of local beaches and the state's natural wonders.

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