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Area Activities and Mid-coast Maine Attractions

Mid-coast Maine attractions include things to do for every taste and energy level. There are, first of all, a number of pleasant ways to spend your time here at Coveside Bed & Breakfast and the immediate area of Five Islands. There are three hybrid mountain bikes for complimentary guest use to explore Georgetown’s quiet back roads or the trails at Reid State Park. Guests are also invited to use our five kayaks (4 singles and 1 tandem) to paddle to the nearby town dock and the Five Islands Lobster Company, or to inlets along the Sheepscot River. There is always the short walk to the picturesque village of Five Islands and the rocks, surf, and forest of the Nature Conservancy’s Ledgewood Preserve.

This page contains various area activities: the short drive or bike ride to Reid State Park with its spectacular beaches and headlands, kayaking around MacMahan Island or across the Sheepscot to our favorite picnic island, trips to nearby lighthouses or lobster wharfs, exploring the coastal towns of Boothbay Harbor, Camden, Freeport and Portland, or visiting the many area museums and the extraordinary Maine Coastal Botanical Gardens. No matter the length of your visit, you are unlikely to run out of interesting and exciting things to do in our area.

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Kayaking & Canoeing

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Kayaking in Maine’s mid-coast is a favorite activity of Coveside Bed & Breakfast guests. We have five recreational kayaks available for guest use for the short paddle to Five Islands, perhaps with a stop for a lobster roll at the Five Islands Lobster Company, or for a leisurely trip among the sailboats and lobster boats in the Sheepscot River.

The range of Maine kayaking adventures available in our area is among the most extensive on the Maine coast. Kayaking is available for those of all levels of experience. There are sheltered, short trips to Five Islands and its protected harbor, or around nearby Turnip Island, to open-water adventures to Southport Island and Boothbay Harbor for more experienced paddlers. We are a short distance from several stops on the Maine Island Trail, a network of islands open to paddlers for picnics and camping. One of our favorite trips is the paddle around nearby MacMahan Island. Longer paddles to the Appalachian Mountain Club’s Beale Island Preserve or a circle of Barter’s Island on the east side of the Sheepscot are also possible.

If you don’t have your own kayak, you can arrange a rental to be delivered to Coveside Bed & Breakfast through Seaspray Kayaking in Bath. Individual kayaks may be stored next to our dock for a convenient put-in. Seaspray and other area outfitters — such as H2Outfitters in Harpswell and Lincoln Canoe & Kayak in Freeport — can also arrange guided kayak trips and lessons, either from Coveside Bed & Breakfast or at other area locations.

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Lobster at Five Islands

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A high point of many visits to Maine is enjoying a lobster or two at Five Islands, just around the Corner from Coveside Bed & Breakfast. The dock for the Georgetown Fishermen’s Co-op is located directly across our cove and the comings and goings of the lobster boats can be watched from your room or from the terrace.

But a short walk or, if you are feeling adventurous, canoe paddle from Coveside Bed & Breakfast is the village of Five Islands, one of the most beautiful seaside villages in Maine. It is home to the iconic Five Islands Lobster Company — written up in the Wall Street Journal, and in virtually every published list of the “Best Lobster Shacks in Maine,” including Yankee MagazineTravel & Leisure, and Food and Wine. Lunch or dinner on the Five Islands wharf is an unforgettable experience.

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Parks & Preserves

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Mid-coast Maine contains numerous parks and preserves, set aside for hiking, picnicking, and contemplating nature’s beauty. Foremost among these is Reid State Park, just a five-minute drive (or 15-minute bike ride) from Coveside Bed & Breakfast. The park — one of the most popular in Maine — is a spectacular meeting of land and sea, with miles of sandy beaches, rocky headlands, meadows, estuaries, and forests.

In addition to soaking up the sun on the beach, activities include swimming, fishing, hiking, tide pooling, picnicking, and mountain biking. Georgetown also contains a number of woodland preserves, described on this brochure (Trails Map). Among them are the Nature Conservancy’s Ledgewood Preserve — a short stroll from Coveside Bed & Breakfast, featuring a forest walk with paths to a rocky shoreline — and the Josephine Newman Preserve, a network of trails along Robinhood Cove, maintained by the National Audubon Society.

A bit further away is another popular beach park in the state system, Popham Beach State Park, on the Phippsburg peninsula. Our favorite park in Phippsburg is the Morse Mountain Preserve, a 600-acre park where an easy two-mile hike through forests and over scenic Morse “Mountain” takes you to pristine Seawall Beach, populated only by those who chose to take the hike.

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Shopping & Antiques

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There are plenty of options for a day of shopping in the Mid-coast area. The shopping mecca is Freeport, home of L.L. Bean, and a center for all the national retail outlets. For those looking for a more local vibe, Front Street in Bath has won awards for its small town atmosphere populated by locally owned and operated galleries, shops, and restaurants.

Other nearby towns with attractive shopping districts include Boothbay Harbor, Brunswick, Portland, and Damariscotta. The attractive seaside towns of Camden, Rockland, and Rockport — with many shopping possibilities — are within an hour’s drive.

There are also a number of locations for antiquing in our area. Cabot Mills in Brunswick is a converted mill building with dozens of individual sellers. There are a number of attractive antique shops in Bath and Brunswick. Wiscasset, just a half hour’s drive from Coveside Bed & Breakfast, is a major antique center on the coast. On the way to Wiscasset, you will pass the famous Montsweag Flea Market, which operates several mornings each week with an incredible array of merchants selling goods of every description.

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Art, Museums & Music

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Constructed among the buildings of an historical shipyard, the Maine Maritime Museum in nearby Bath is ranked among the top maritime museums in the world. In addition to providing a fascinating look at shipbuilding through the centuries in Maine’s “City of Ships,” there are daily boat trips to lighthouses and islands along the Kennebec River and beyond, and a popular trolley tour of the adjacent Bath Iron Works, one of the most important operating shipyards in America.

Several noteworthy art museums are within a short drive of Coveside Bed & Breakfast. The Portland Museum of Art, designed by noted architect I.M. Pei, houses a diverse collection that emphasizes artists of Maine (Winslow Homer is well represented). Rockland contains a number of art galleries, clustered around the Farnsworth Museum. This superb regional museum includes a building devoted entirely to changing exhibitions of the work of Andrew Wyeth and his family, who lived and painted in nearby Owl’s Head. Also of note are the excellent art museums of nearby Bowdoin CollegeBates College, and Colby College.

Civil War buffs will enjoy the Joshua Chamberlain Museum in Brunswick, located in the house where this Civil War hero of Gettysburg lived before and after his time in the war. Nearby, on the Bowdoin College campus, is the Peary-MacMillan Arctic Museum, with a major collection of photographs, slides, and memorabilia detailing the groundbreaking Arctic explorations of Robert Peary and Robert MacMillan, Inuit artifacts, and changing exhibits detailing aspects of the Arctic.

Finally, there is a rich variety of music available during the mid-coast summer. The Maine Music Theatre, one of the most celebrated professional summer stock theater companies in the United States, produces four musical comedies each summer on the Bowdoin College campus in Brunswick, always to sold-out crowds. Also held on the Bowdoin campus is the annual Bowdoin International Music Festival, featuring  renowned artist instructors, performers, soloists, and gifted pre-professional classical musicians in concerts throughout the summer. On a less formal level, live Irish music is often on tap at Byrnes Irish Pub in Bath.

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Restaurants & Dining

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Area dining choices include options from an informal picnic on the beach or wharf to a sumptuous meal at one of the area’s fine restaurants. Probably the best known eating place in Georgetown is the Five Islands Lobster Company, located on the Five Islands wharf, an easy walk from Coveside Bed & Breakfast. Here you sit on wharf-side picnic tables, watch the fishing boats unload their catch, and consume lobster, steamer clams, fried Maine shrimp, clams, or scallops and — if you wish — drink the “BYO” wine or beer you brought to the occasion.


A more traditional dining experience can be obtained at the excellent full-service restaurants in Georgetown: Blue, located in an historic hotel with a spectacular ocean view. The Osprey is another full-service restaurant option on the island, providing fresh local fare on the waterfront at Robinhood Cove. Finally, for tasty picnic fare and take-out food (we have indoor and outdoor facilities here at Coveside Bed & Breakfast for guests who wish to bring back meals), we highly recommend our nearby gourmet food and wine shop, Five Islands Farm, and the prepared food (great lobster rolls, chowder, pizza, and sandwiches) at the Georgetown Country Store.

Many additional restaurant choices are just a short drive off the island. They include the Kennebec Tavern, a great waterfront eatery with both inside and outside tables along the river, JR Maxwells, Bath Brewing Company, Bruno’s Woodfired Pizza, and The Cabin, a tavern reputed to have some of the best pizza in Maine, and Byrnes Irish Pub serving authentic “pub grub.” A bit further away are a number of noteworthy restaurants in Brunswick, Wiscasset, and Portland.

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The Maine coast boasts a terrific climate for gardens and gardening. Coveside Bed & Breakfast’s guests enjoy our casual gardens, and we try to keep them blooming and beautiful from May through October. The mid-coast area is also home to the spectacular Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens in nearby Boothbay. The largest botanical gardens in the Northeast, this attraction never fails to impress visitors of all ages and gardening expertise.

The emphasis on gardening in our area is also encouraged by a number of unusually comprehensive nurseries and garden centers. We do much of our spring buying of annuals for beds and pots at Estabrook’s in Yarmouth. Plainview Farm has extensive display gardens with a particular emphasis on shade-loving perennials.

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Bird Watching & Wildlife

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Georgetown Island is heavily forested, largely undeveloped, and the surrounding waters are pristine. It is home to a variety of wildlife: deer, coyotes, foxes, fisher cats, beaver, aquatic mammals, and — of course — a great variety of both resident and migratory birds.

While moose are not as common here as in Maine’s north woods, they are occasionally seen along the highway or in the marshes near Reid State Park. Deer are plentiful (often too plentiful for our gardens!) and the smaller mammals can sometimes be seen during forest strolls in Georgetown’s many preserves. Paddlers often sight harbor seals swimming or sunning themselves on the ledges in the Sheepscot. We have seen dolphin in the bay on several paddles and have spotted whales just off the beach at Reid State Park.

Bird enthusiasts will find much of interest in our neighborhood. Osprey families nest on the marker buoys and tall snags along the coastline; a bald eagle has taken up residence on one of the Five Islands, just around the corner from us. Shore birds are plentiful at Reid State Park, including the endangered least tern and piping plover. A popular boat trip from New Harbor on the Pemaquid peninsula takes bird watchers to Eastern Egg Rock, site of an Audubon Society effort to repopulate the rocky island with puffins. Many bird species can be seen from the terrace here at Coveside Bed & Breakfast, however, including great blue heron, pileated woodpeckers, numerous species of warblers, Baltimore orioles, and hummingbirds.

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Boat Trips & Lighthouses

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Maine boating and Maine lighthouses are a major area attraction. The mid-coast of Maine contains a dramatic series of peninsulas, islands, and waterways jutting into the Gulf of Maine and the Atlantic.

The best way to appreciate this maritime landscape is by boat. It is possible to spend a day or half day on a sail boat, based in Boothbay Harbor or Harpswell, and there are powerboat charters available in Georgetown and Bath, both for sightseeing and for fishing. There are also scheduled boat trips available nearby in Bath, Boothbay Harbor, and New Harbor on the Pemaquid peninsula — operators include the Maine Maritime Museum and River Run Tours in Bath, Cap’n Fish and Balmy Days in Boothbay Harbor, Hardy Boats in New Harbor. All of these tour operators have cruises of differing lengths and emphases — from simple sightseeing, to whale watches, to trips to see puffins and other seabirds, to trips to observe and visit some of the area’s famous lighthouses.

Some of the Northeast’s oldest and most celebrated lighthouses dot the islands and rivers of this area. The tallest (and second oldest) lighthouse in Maine is Seguin Light, chartered under President George Washington in 1795, and located on a rocky island at the mouth of the Kennebec River. Seguin is clearly visible from many locations in Georgetown, but it is only accessible by boat. The Maine Maritime Museum runs trips to the island throughout the summer, and a visit to the lighthouse is a journey through history. There are a number of other lighthouses in the area which can be reached by boat, car, or by a short hike. Squirrel Point Light (accessible by an easy hiking trail) and Doubling Point Light (accessible by automobile) are on the Kennebec in neighboring Arrowsic. A bit further away is the iconic Pemaquid Lighthouse and museum, at the tip of the Pemaquid peninsula (about a 45-minute drive from Coveside Bed & Breakfast), and Hendrick’s Head Lighthouse on Southport Island.

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