Calling all lighthouse enthusiasts! Visit majestic beacons and hear the salty tales of Maine’s maritime history. Ride on a Maine lobster boat and see the Maine coast from atop Cadillac Mountain in Acadia National Park. Explore Kennebunkport and Bar Harbor and enjoy a private lighthouse tour near Portland.
For over two centuries, Maine lighthouses have stood as beacons in the night along Maine’s rocky coast. They have also stood the test of time. Not only are these glowing citadels still providing protection for seafarers and their vessels; they offer safe harbor to visitors searching for an unforgettable experience.
Spring, Summer and Fall
5 Days / 4 Nights
DAY 1 -
Arrive to the area late morning and make your first stop at Maine’s southernmost lighthouse in Cape Neddick. Take a moment to soak up this picturesque view and don’t miss the opportunity for that perfect photo opportunity. From here you will also be able to spot the infamous Boon Island Lighthouse, located just offshore. Continue your journey and travel to York, Maine for a visit to a local manufacturers of Maine-made specialty condiments. Here you will have time to enjoy lunch on own. Next, make your way to the Maritime Museum where you’ll have an hour to explore. Located on the banks of the Kennebec River, the museum depicts Maine's shipbuilding industry from the 1600's to the present. Numerous hands-on exhibits, boat building demonstrations, a lobstering exhibit and a special lighthouse exhibit (see the view from the top of the lighthouse without climbing any stairs!). A Victorian shipbuilder’s home is also here on the grounds of an historic shipyard. Most of the shipyard's original buildings, plus tools and equipment are on view. Next, you’ll board the boat for your Shipyard and Lighthouses River Cruise. Explore the Kennebec River where American shipbuilding began more than 400 years ago and continues today. Cruise past Iron Works for spectacular views of the Navy’s most advanced ships under construction, then cruise down river for a water view of the museum’s historic Percy & Small Shipyard and a close-up look at two lighthouses.
Before arriving at your overnight accommodation, you will enjoy an included dinner, offering a multi-choice seafood dinner menu and selections for landlubbers too. Enjoy the view of the cove and giant osprey nests with a fresh seafood dinner!
Board the motor coach and travel to Boothbay Harbor, Maine where you’ll be presented with a fun and traditional Maine souvenir when you check into the local Inn. The hotel is located on “the quiet side” of Boothbay, just a short stroll from downtown. Across a charming footbridge beside the hotel, it will take you to picturesque downtown Boothbay Harbor, known for its brick sidewalks and waterfront activities. Wonder around the unique shops with handcrafted goods, jewelry, books, antiques, and clothing all located along the waterfront, along with a variety of art galleries to explore.
DAY 2 -
Enjoy an included, leisurely breakfast at the hotel before checking out and traveling the short distance for your Scenic Harbor & Nature cruise on the Bay. You’ll pass by beautiful vacation homes, lighthouses, small islands and out to see the seals on the ledges on this fully narrated, two-hour cruise with open and enclosed decks. Have lunch on your own in this popular resort town which has retained the atmosphere of an old New England village. Fishing craft lie alongside wharves that follow the quaint, winding village streets. Yachtsmen and artists began vacationing here in the early 1900's. You'll have free time to explore the local galleries, boutiques, and plenty of casual restaurants from which to choose.
Time to board the coach and travel to the beautiful Pemaquid peninsula today. Take a tour of the Pemaquid Lighthouse, one of Maine's most scenic beacons and the light featured on the Maine state quarter. Another photo opportunity will be offered here, climb to the top of the lighthouse, and visit the Pemaquid Fisherman's Museum on site with artifacts from the fishing and lobstering industries and the lighthouse service.
Then sit back and relax for your drive along the coast “downeast” to Bar Harbor. You'll see quiet little protected harbors filled with working lobster boats along the way. Ospreys and bald eagles’ nest high in the spruces along the rugged shores, deer browse the open fields, moose forage the wetlands and harbor seals make their annual pilgrimage to quiet coves. Check in to your Bar Harbor hotel for a two-night stay. Dinner is included this evening at a local favorite restaurant.
DAY 3 -
Enjoy a hearty included breakfast at the hotel this morning.
Meet up with your traveling friends and family on the coach and travel the short journey for your morning, three hour narrated cruise. “All aboard” for your Lighthouse and Park Tour. On this tour you will visit Somes Sound, famous for its spectacular fjord-like sound with mountains, waterfalls, and cliffs. You’ll also see Egg Rock, Winter Harbor, Baker Island and Bear Island Lights. This trip offers ample time at each light for excellent photography, extra mansions and all the park highlights.
Following the cruise enjoy free time for lunch on your own in Bar Harbor and some time to explore the shops, boutiques, and galleries in downtown Bar Harbor.
This afternoon, you’ll meet your local expert guide for a tour of Bar Harbor and Acadia National Park. Bar Harbor has been celebrated for its breathtaking beauty ever since the island was discovered in 1604 by Samuel de Champlain, who named it "Isle de Monts Desert" (Mt. Desert Island) for its bare, desert-like mountaintops. Here in the first national park founded east of the Mississippi, you’ll see 9 mountains over 1000 feet high, stone bridges, lakes, ponds, trails, and carriage roads. You will travel the entire loop with stops at Cadillac Mountain, Thunder Hole on Ocean Drive and Sieur De Mont Springs Wild Gardens of Acadia, plus learn about the rich and famous visitors who built summer cottages in Bar Harbor.
Return to your hotel to relax a while before departing for your traditional Maine lobsterbake dinner located in a casual setting overlooking a cove, near Bar Harbor. Your meal will be steamed in a large cooker where you can watch and ask questions about lobster fishing and lobster cooking. You'll want to bring your appetite and camera when the cover is lifted to reveal a colorful blend of lobsters, clams, potato, and corn-on-the-cob amidst a cloud of steam. Grilled steak and baked haddock dinner options are also offered.
DAY 4 -
After your included breakfast, check out of the hotel and make your way south to Camden village.
Here you’ll meet your local guide for a narrated tour of Camden and Rockport. Your tour includes a photo stop atop Mt. Battie in Camden Hills State Park – where the mountains meet the sea. You’ll see the towns made famous by the movie Peyton Place, a seal named Andre, and poet Edna St. Vincent Millay.
Continue by motorcoach south, to Rockland – the lobster capital of Maine! Free time for lunch on your own and to explore the boutiques and casual restaurants along the waterfront. Tour the Maine Lighthouse Museum here, which houses a unique collection of historic artifacts and local lighthouse culture. See the pretty Rockland Harbor Lighthouse guarding the harbor entrance.
Pick up some bargain souvenirs at The State Prison Showroom – a landmark gift shop just south of the area where the inmates make unique Maine gifts. Next, you’ll travel south a little for free time to explore the world-famous L.L. Bean flagship store and a myriad of outlet shops.
After your “retail therapy” session, board the motorcoach and travel the short distance to your centrally located, full service overnight hotel accommodation in Portland, Maine. Tonight, offers you the opportunity to gather with your traveling companions, for dinner is on your own tonight. Chat about all the fun you’ve had and what you’d like for your Maine course this evening!
DAY 5 -
One more included breakfast will be enjoyed before checking out of your hotel.
Your package includes:
4 Nights accommodations
4 Dinners (including a traditional Lobster Bake)
Cape Neddrick at Nubble Lighthouse
Maine Maritime Museum
Kennebec River Cruise – Shipyards & Lighthouses
Boothbay Harbor Nature Sightseeing Cruise
Pemaquid Lighthouse & Museum
Somes Sound Lighthouse tour & Cruise
Photo stop at Portland Head Light, Nubble & Pemaquid Lighthouses
Free time in Boothbay Harbor, Bar Harbor, Portland, Freeport & Rockland
Guided tour of Bar Harbor, Acadia National Park, Camden/Rockport, and Portland
Photo stop at top of Mt Battie (Camden Hills State Park admission included)
Free time in Freeport and Rockland
Visit to Prison Showroom
Baggage handling for one piece of luggage per traveler
Accommodations, baggage service, admissions, and group meals for the coach driver
Taxes and Gratuities (Note: Gratuities for the local guide and coach driver are not included and
are at your discretion based on service.)
*Don’t get Washed - Out!
For an additional cost consider adding on a local, expert Tour Guide to accompany the group for the duration of the stay in Maine. Your guide can assist your travelers, answers questions, and help navigate them around this amazing state.