New England

Guide to Beyond Acadia | Where to Eat, Stay, and Play in Coastal Northern Maine

The beauty and adventure of coastal northern Maine is well worth the extra effort it takes to get there.

By Yankee Magazine

Aug 01 2023


The popular Columbia Falls roadside attraction Wild Blueberry Land.

Photo Credit : Cait Bourgault

If you venture beyond the tourist hubs of Acadia and Bar Harbor, you’ll soon discover a quieter, wilder Maine in the far Down East towns of Lubec, Eastport, Machias, Columbia Falls, and Cutler. Make the most of your visit coastal northern Maine with our guide to the best places to eat, stay, and things to do.

Vazquez Mexican Takeout, Milbridge
Photo Credit : Cait Bourgault

Best of Beyond Acadia | What to Do in Coastal Northern Maine

Coastal Northern Maine Dining

The Meadow’s TakeOut, Steuben: One of those small places with a big local following, known for its seafood and stone-baked pizza. Facebook

Vazquez Mexican Takeout, Milbridge: As you drive through the village of Milbridge, expect to see lines outside this takeout stand that began as a food truck for hungry blueberry pickers. Facebook

The Bluebird Ranch Family Restaurant, Machias: Fish chowder, fresh fried fish, and all-American diner food come with dog-friendly patio seating. Look for the scratch-made doughnuts on Sundays.

Helen’s Restaurant, Machias: Since 1950, Down East travelers have known that the fame of Helen’s berry pies is richly deserved. But the tasty fish chowder gives the pie a run for its money.

Waco Diner, Eastport: The oldest diner in Maine, with a timeless view of bay and boats, serves what’s been called the best blueberry pie in the state. Facebook

Lubec Brewing Company, Lubec: A microbrewery and taproom with live music on Saturdays and an outdoor patio with water views and good pub grub. Facebook

Cobscook Bay State Park, Dennysville
Photo Credit : Cait Bourgault

Coastal Northern Maine Lodging

Micmac Farm Guest Cottages, Machiasport: Three housekeeping cabins and a room in a restored 18th-century farmhouse sit on 50 dog-friendly acres along the tidal Machias River.

Machias River Inn, Machias: Each of the 39 rooms at this throwback to Route 1 motor inns has a river-view deck where you can watch for eagles and seals. Next door is Helen’s Restaurant, and just across the road is the Down East Sunrise Trail that runs nearly 90 off-road miles.

The Inn on the Wharf, Lubec: You can’t get closer to the water than this restored century-old former sardine factory with its own wharf. Book a whale-watching tour in the inn’s 26-seat boat.

Eastland Motel, Lubec: One of the few classic motels in the Lubec area, modestly priced, with rooms equipped with refrigerators and microwaves, plus fresh-baked muffins and coffee to start the day.

Cobscook Bay State Park, Dennysville: Camping beside the tremendous tides of Cobscook Bay, with more than 800 acres of wild coast all around, is an experience not soon forgotten.

Kilby House Inn and B&B, Eastport: A restored 19th-century in-town Victorian with numerous antiques from original owners, four bedrooms, and a lavish breakfast.

Quoddy Head State Park, Lubec
Photo Credit : Cait Bourgault

Coastal Northern Maine Things to Do

Wild Blueberry Land, Columbia Falls: Yes, the giant blueberry-shaped building is roadside kitschy, but you’ll find anything and everything blueberry for sale inside, and a museum to give you an appreciation of the fruit and those who harvest it.

The Ruggles House, Columbia Falls: The grand flying staircase in this early-19th-century home is the big draw on home tours.

Cutler Coast Public Reserved Land, Cutler: One of the most beautiful and dramatic walks in Maine is along the 10 miles of trails that overlook the Bay of Fundy. It will show you why the region from Cutler to Lubec wears the mantle “Bold Coast.”

Bold Coast Charter Company, Cutler: Small guided tours that (weather and tides permitting) land on Machias Seal Island, giving lucky birders a unique view of nesting Atlantic puffins. Tours sell out soon after their January website posting.

Boot Head Preserve, Lubec: A stunning gem of the Maine Coast Heritage Trust, which manages numerous coastal lands in the Down East region.

Cobscook Shores, Lubec: Eco-tourism at its finest. A unique conservation project protected 15 parklands along Cobscook Bay that offer beaches, cliff walks, coves, and islands, free from crowds, cars, and most vestiges of modern life.

σ Quoddy Head State Park, Lubec: One of the most photographed lighthouses in the country comes with spellbinding views and miles of waterside hiking trails.

Campobello Island: From Lubec, the toll-free Roosevelt International Bridge takes visitors across the Canadian border to Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s beloved summer estate.

Eastport Windjammers, Eastport: Lobsterman and boat captain Butch Harris leads daily nature and sightseeing trips to the Old Sow Whirlpool and whale feeding grounds.

Raye’s Mustard, Eastport: Since 1900, stone-ground mustard seeds have been used here to create flavors unequalled in the country. Mustard lovers, you’ve found the yellow stone road.

The Commons, Eastport: A much-touted landmark for Down East home decor, jewelry, and artisanal crafts, including tribal Passamaquoddy work; also home to a destination gallery.