One of the Best New England Weekend Getaways: Port Clyde, Maine
Port Clyde, Maine: One of New England’s Best Kept Secrets
Discover one of the most beautiful locations on Maine's east coast! Port Clyde is a cozy little town tucked away from all of the hustle and bustle and comes complete with a general store, restaurants, ice cream shop, art gallery, kayak store (with rentals), small cruise ship, and a beautiful lighthouse within walking distance. This quaint little fishing village is a perfect vacation spot when you just want to get away from it all and take in the sights and sounds of a relaxing seaside destination.
Restaurants: Dining in Port Clyde
The Dip Net Restaurant (4 Cold Storage Rd. Port Clyde, ME) is the best place for outdoor dining in the area featuring their covered deck overlooking breathtaking views of Port Clyde Harbor. Although this restaurant is under new management (formerly a Linda Bean establishment), The Dip Net still has a large variety of delicious menu selections, many of which are repeats from the previous owner. I still found my favorite dish of Lobster Mac & Cheese on the menu. Mmm... so delicious!
The Black Harpoon Restaurant (202 Drift Inn Rd. Port Clyde, ME) satisfies your desire for delicious New England Seafood! If you are lucky enough to catch them on an abundant lobster fishing year, you can enjoy a double lobster dinner for a fraction of the price. It isn’t something that happens often, but it is a bonus when it does. We’ve gotten the double lobster two out of the seven years that we’ve been going there. This restaurant has something for everyone, even if someone in your party doesn't like seafood. It is also a great family-friendly restaurant with a kid’s menu.
The Village Ice Cream Shoppe (875 Port Clyde Rd. Port Clyde, ME) should definitely be on your must do list! Satisfy your sweet tooth with their many delicious flavors of ice cream. Eat it out on their front porch or walk down to the pier for great views of the harbor, while you enjoy every last bite!
Accommodations: Places to Stay in Port Clyde
As you will find once you arrive, Port Clyde is not a very large place. It is only the coastal tip of the town of St. George and basically everything in it is within walking distance. You may find more houses for rent, than hotel rooms, but either way it is well worth the stay!
Rental Homes are a great way to enjoy your time in Port Clyde and experience even more rest and relaxation! There are many relatively inexpensive houses for rent in the Port Clyde area. If you are looking to stay for longer than a weekend or if you plan to invite more guests to join you, this may be the way to go. There is nothing more relaxing than having the place to yourselves.
Seaside Inn (5 Cold Storage Road Port Clyde, ME) can be found across the street from the Port Clyde General Store. It is a charming historic inn (once a captain’s house) attached to the Barn Cafe, which is open seasonally in the evening, except Sundays.
Things to Do Around Port Clyde and Beyond
Marshall Point Lighthouse (located at the end of Marshall Point Road in Port Clyde) is one of the most beautiful lighthouses you’ll ever set eyes on! This lighthouse is featured in the movie Forrest Gump, during the scene where Gump decides to go running across the United States from coast to coast for no apparent reason. The lighthouse is within walking distance from the Port Clyde General Store and a visit to this special place is one of the traditions we keep each year. This past summer, we saw a Bald Eagle sitting way up high in a tall pine tree above the parking lot. Take in the gorgeous views of their coastal vistas, perennial gardens, and (if you’re very careful) climb down to the rocky coastline below and enjoy a closer look at the harbor. Use caution and take it slow, if you decide to climb down to the rocks. There is one section of rock that is especially slippery, since the rock is too smooth and you may not notice it. Each of us in the family have slipped on it at least once before we learned to tread very carefully around that area. If you are lucky enough to catch it at the right time, don’t forget to stop in and visit the Keeper’s House gift shop and museum!
The Port Clyde General Store (4 Cold Storage Rd. Port Clyde, ME) is a necessity for finding the little things that you forgot to bring on your trip. We visit this store at least once a day to replenish our supply of baked goods, beverages, paper towels, produce, canned goods, sandwiches, aspirin, sunscreen, or whatever we're low on. They have a great candy aisle for the kids (or kids at heart), near which you can find postcards and souvenirs. For a quick bite to eat, they offer breakfast and lunch at their back counter with a few stools for seating. They have other great services available as well, including mooring rentals and boat catering.
Sea Kayak Tours (3 Factory Rd. Port Clyde, ME) is an adventure you won’t want to miss! They have a few different types of kayak tours (seasonally) available, including the Porpoise Kayak Tour. Weather permitting, this two and a half hour guided tour takes you from Port Clyde, past Marshall Point Lighthouse, through Muscongus Bay, toward Deep Cove and George Islands. It is a great way to explore Maine’s beautiful rocky coastlines. Take in breathtaking views, while perhaps getting a glimpse of an eagle, osprey, harbor seal, or porpoise!
There's a quality of life in Maine which is this singular and unique. I think. It's absolutely a world onto itself.— Jamie Wyeth
The Wyeth Art Gallery sits above the Port Clyde General Store on the second floor. It is worth a visit to see the exceptional high end paintings, sculptures, and more featuring works by the Wyeth family, including Andrew Wyeth, who has had some of his popular works exhibited at the National Gallery of Art, Washington D.C. ("Looking Out, Looking In") and the Museum of Modern Art, New York ("Christina's World"). This gallery has seasonal hours of operation.
VIDEO: Puffins on Eastern Egg Rock
Monhegan Puffin Cruise is a must see attraction! Board the ship from Port Clyde Harbor (docks behind the general store) and it will take you on a narrated tour over to Eastern Egg Rock, where you will see the nesting site for the Atlantic Puffins and learn about Audubon's project to help this species thrive in the wild. You may spot other wildlife besides puffins on this cruise, including eagles, whales, or harbor seals. This cruise has a short season that is only available in the summer, so be sure to plan your trip accordingly. This cruise line offers other themes, including fishing charters, as well as lighthouse and sunset cruises.
Drift Inn Beach (23 Drift Inn Rd., Port Clyde, ME) is a great place for a picnic, walk, or swim. This area has a sandy beach, especially at low tide. It has municipal parking and a portable restroom.
Tenant’s Harbor (in St. George, located about 5 miles northeast of Port Clyde) this area is quite a bit more populated and lots going on. Check out the Tenants Harbor General Store, great restaurants, lodging, shops, markets, art studios, hiking, views, and more!
Maine State Prison Showroom (358 Main St. Thomaston, ME) is a unique store like you’ve never seen before! If you’re ready to extend your trip outside of Port Clyde, then take a visit to Thomaston, where you’ll find this store featuring magnificent woodworking and handmade items by those serving time in a maximum security prison. The craftsmanship of their handmade works is astounding! Everything is made with TLC. There are other worthwhile gift shops in the vicinity, as well.
Video: Featuring Boothbay Harbor
Boothbay Harbor (located about an hour and fifteen minutes south of Port Clyde) is a magnificent place that is well worth the drive! This is a much more lively town and quite the tourist destination with lots of shops, beautiful harbor sights, boats galore, and restaurants. I should write an entire article just about this location, but I’ve only been there twice and only briefly for lunch in passing on the way to or from Port Clyde. I must say that I had one of the very best hot buttered lobster rolls that I’ve EVER eaten (and I’ve had many, because I always look for them, since they are hard to find) at The Lobster Dock. You order and pay at the window, take a number, find a nice picnic table to sit at outside under an umbrella, take in the gorgeous view of the harbor, wait for your food to be delivered to your table, and indulge in a scrumptious meal! After lunch, we usually like to walk across the wooden Boothbay Harbor Footbridge, which is a fun thing to do in and of itself. You’ll definitely want to take advantage of this photo opportunity!
Video: Owls Head Lighthouse State Park
Owls Head is located a little under 20 miles northeast of Port Clyde. I haven’t visited this town yet, but since I noticed it on the map so close to Port Clyde, it seems to be worth a day trip. I’ve read that there have been sightings of John Travolta in this area. Here is a list of Owls Head attractions:
- Owls Head Lighthouse is within a state park with a large parking lot.
- Breakwater Vineyards is worth a try for a wine tasting experience.
- Birch Point Beach is a sandy beach with scenic views of Penobscot Bay.
- Owls Head Transportation Museum is the place to see vintage automobiles, planes, bikes, and more!
- Owls Head Lobster is where fresh Maine lobster can be purchased at the wharf!
- Owls Head General Store is a great place to stop in for lunch and try an award-winning burger!
Port Clyde, St. George, Maine
© 2017 Joan Dragonfly