What to do and see in Castine, United States: The Best Places and Tips

October 26, 2017 Kandra Bartel

Castine is a town in Hancock County in eastern Maine, USA, which served from 1670 to 1674 as the capital of Acadia. The population was 1,366 at the 2010 census. Castine is the home of Maine Maritime Academy, a four-year institution that graduates officers and engineers for the United States Merchant Marine and marine related industries. Approximately 1000 students are enrolled. During the French colonial period, Castine was the southern tip of Acadia and briefly served as the regional capital.
Restaurants in Castine

1. Holbrook Island Sanctuary

Brooksville, ME 04617 +1 207-326-4012
Excellent
63%
Good
34%
Satisfactory
3%
Poor
0%
Terrible
0%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 29 reviews

Holbrook Island Sanctuary

Reviewed By WilsonP - Lancaster, New Hampshire

We spent a few hours in November riding around, hiking and a visit to the beach.

Well maintained trails and a nice picnic area at the Holbrook Island Sanctuary headquarters with quite a few picnic tables and grills.

Check out the trail to the old cemetery and look in the root cellar along the Back Shore Trail. If you are into geocaching you may even find a treasure! Several old stone foundations and a few newer (but still old) cement foundations throughout the property.

Nice view of the beaver lodge from the road.

At the entrance/exit stop by the Goose Falls. The falls aren't much and located under the bridge but you get a good view of nearby Goose Pond & Callahan Mine on one side and lobster traps on a dock on Penobscot Bay on the other.

Check it out if you are near the area...it's worth the trip.

2. Penobscot Marine Museum

2 Church St, Searsport, ME 04974-3352 +1 207-548-2529
Excellent
55%
Good
41%
Satisfactory
2%
Poor
2%
Terrible
0%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 70 reviews

Penobscot Marine Museum

Made up of 13 buildings, this seafaring village is the oldest maritime museum in Maine. The museum has a vast collection of boats including commericial fishing boats and recreational watercraft.

Reviewed By Auroraam - Lincoln, Massachusetts

We came here from Rockport and we were so glad we did. Interesting to learn about the numbers of captains of merchant ships who came from Searsport. Incredible. And to see the beautiful objects they brought back from Japan and China, to see how they lived. We learned about Maine's role in the revolutionary war, about its liberation from MA--200th anniversary in 2020, saw lots of boats and fishing equipment through the ages, houses, the church. The exhibits were beautifully laid out in several buildings. Some hands on. And interesting and knowlegeable guides. Glad we went.

3. Guildive Cruises

Dennett's Wharf, 15 Sea Street, Castine, ME 04421
Excellent
98%
Good
0%
Satisfactory
2%
Poor
0%
Terrible
0%
Overall Ratings

5 based on 36 reviews

Guildive Cruises

There's no better way to experience the timeless beauty and history of Penobscot Bay than from the water! The daily 2-hour excursions, Sunset Sails and Specialty charters offer a historic perspective of Castine and Searsport from the water aboard the vintage yacht Guildive.

Reviewed By tom m - Haymarket, Virginia

Four friends went out on the sunset cruise and throughly enjoyed the time with our two USCG certified Captains Katie and Zander. We enjoyed Katie's knowledgeable history of Nautilus and Holbrook islands. We saw an Osprey and a group of seals beached on rocks. The best part was the spectacular golden light as the sun set. The sail boat is historic and comfortable. Highly recommended if you enjoy nature and the sea.

4. Moose Point State Park

310 W Main St, Searsport, ME 04974-3517 +1 207-548-2882
Excellent
67%
Good
28%
Satisfactory
4%
Poor
1%
Terrible
0%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 66 reviews

Moose Point State Park

Reviewed By Joan L - Westmore, Vermont

Was nice to get out for a nice walk with our dogs. It's $4 per person non resident, but a nice walk about. We have been several times and will go again.

5. Wilson Museum

120 Perkins Street, Castine, ME 04421 +1 207-326-9247
Excellent
63%
Good
31%
Satisfactory
4%
Poor
2%
Terrible
0%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 41 reviews

Wilson Museum

Outstanding collection on cultural development from prehistory to local history. Open May 27-September 30; Monday-Friday, 10am-5pm; Saturday & Sunday, 2-5pm. John Perkins House (historic home with guided tours) and Blacksmith Shop (working smithy); open July & August, Wednesdays & Sundays, 2-5pm.

Reviewed By HappyAsClams6

Too bad all small towns couldn't have an interesting little museum like this! Housed in a brick building with a beautiful vaulted wood ceiling right on the cliff's edge, it presents an eclectic and impressive anthropological collection from around the country (and globe) as well as an insightful look at local history. We had our four children (ages 4-8) with us, so it was hard to keep them from touching things - they were drawn to the downstairs area and loved all the rocks (my son and I played a matching game), especially the luminescent ones. My daughter stretched colorful bands on a small loom while the docent/volunteer talked on her cell phone. I was hoping to come away with a handmade potholder (LOL!) but no such luck. Our boys liked the displays of wooden tools and other things set up down there, though there wasn't much signage explaining what we were seeing. Of course we needed to use the bathrooms and it turned out my husband was not exaggerating when he said it was one of the nicest public bathrooms he'd ever been in - wow! These gems are housed across the street in a lovely new education building alongside a colorful dinghy, millstone, and small demonstration /vignette buildings all of which were closed except the mini antique fire station one - our kids loved ringing the bell! On a practical note, entry fee is by donation ($5 suggested per person) and parking is on the small, narrow, neighborhood street (though there may be more we didn't see) - despite high summer, we arrived after lunch on a gray day and parked right in front of the building.

6. Castine Kayak Adventures

15 Sea St, Castine, ME 04421-3014
Excellent
80%
Good
8%
Satisfactory
3%
Poor
6%
Terrible
3%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 61 reviews

Castine Kayak Adventures

Kayak tours, instruction, and sales

Reviewed By AlbertAlberta2012 - Gainesville, Florida

You know those moments that you have a magical experience while you're traveling and you remember them all your life ? This is one. Karen does a great job with novice and experienced kayakers exploring the waters of Castine Bay at night. Depending on the...MoreGlad to share such magical experiences!!! Keep noticing the magic!

7. Fort Point State Park

State Park Road, Stockton Springs, ME 04981 +1 207-941-4014
Excellent
34%
Good
33%
Satisfactory
33%
Poor
0%
Terrible
0%
Overall Ratings

4 based on 3 reviews

Fort Point State Park

Reviewed By Doris K - Cherry Hill, New Jersey

Didn't really know what to expect but a half hour visit was plenty. The lighthouse and fog bell were the highlights. We walked down to the water and it was nothing to mention. I wouldn't go out of my way to visit this park but if you have an open day, you may want to visit here. $16 to enter for four out of state adults.

8. Dyce Head Foot Path

Castine, ME
Excellent
43%
Good
40%
Satisfactory
12%
Poor
5%
Terrible
0%
Overall Ratings

4 based on 55 reviews

Dyce Head Foot Path

Short walking trail leading to a scenic and rugged rock.

Reviewed By Nancy-the-reader - Amherst

Go to Fort Madison instead (at the end of Perkins Street, just a footpath between two houses down to a lovely open space. From there you get a delightful view if sailboats out in the pretty harbor, & kids can run up & down the old earthworks of the fort. Great place for a picnic or stop on an around-the-town amble.

9. Castine Historical Society

17 School Street, Abbott School, Castine, ME 04421 +1 207-326-4118
Excellent
70%
Good
23%
Satisfactory
7%
Poor
0%
Terrible
0%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 26 reviews

Castine Historical Society

The exhibits at the Castine Historical Society help bring the rich history of Castine to life. The permanent collection includes "The Penobscot Expedition", a multi-media presentation and display about the 1779 naval battle between the British and Colonial forces. Learn about the battle's disastrous outcome for the Americans and the controversial role Paul Revere played during this battle. The Society also hosts temporary exhibits on topics of Castine history drawing from it's vast collections. Special town historic walking tours are held Saturday mornings in July and August or can be arranged for groups with pre-booking. The Society is open from early June - Columbus Day. Researchers may access the archives by appointment throughout the winter

Reviewed By 2013TravelinFool - Yuma, Arizona

This town is like opening a history book.... So much history up and down the streets and this circular drive. Enjoyed so much all the sites.

10. Main Street

Castine, ME
Excellent
52%
Good
36%
Satisfactory
12%
Poor
0%
Terrible
0%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 25 reviews

Main Street

Downtown Castine street features early 19th-century architecture as well as art galleries.

Reviewed By foodie1945 - Waterville, Maine

Main Street has a lot of charm. There are beautiful old homes, some with lovely gardens. A few were made into B&B's. Walking up and down the street the shops are very limited. The best part for me was the view at the end of the street. The beautiful harbor!

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