15 Best Things to Do in Ellsworth (Maine)

Written by Veronique Raes
Updated on
Our travel recommendations are based on our personal experiences and research, written by locals and travel experts with deep familiarity with the destination. When you book a hotel or tour that we link to, we may earn a commission.

Ellsworth is a small city of around 7,000 people and is the county seat of Hancock County. It has plenty of historic buildings and tourist attractions and was the fastest growing city in the country from 2000 to 2010.

Initially inhabited by Indians from the Passamaquoddy and Penobscot tribes, over the years, many nations made their way into this area, including English and French explorers.

The two nations fought for this spot in the 17th and 18th centuries, and the modern history of Ellsworth began in 1763. Officially named and incorporated in 1800, Ellsworth became the county seat in 1838.

1. Visit Woodlawn

WoodlawnSource: Woodlawn Museum / facebook

What is now a historic house museum used to be the residence of three generations of the Black family. The place is now a beautifully preserved house with plenty of exhibits, as well as a lovely garden and a park.

If you are passionate about history, you will enjoy wandering through this house museum, playing croquet or admiring the picturesque garden. The items are very well preserved with detailed descriptions and information.

2. Watch Timber Tina’s Great Maine Lumberjack Show

Timber Tina’s Great Maine Lumberjack ShowSource: Timber Tina's Great Maine Lumberjack Show / facebook
Timber Tina’s Great Maine Lumberjack Show

Witness a unique show that you won’t find in many other places. Here, you can admire people of all ages chopping, sawing, ax throwing, speed climbing or log rolling.

Cheer for your favorite team or even compete in the “Olympics of the Forest” games. There will be a lot of noise from the chainsaws, and sawdust flying everywhere, but it will be a lot of fun.

This is definitely a place to stop by if you happen to visit Ellsworth. Don’t forget to bring bug spray.

3. Visit the Stanwood Homestead Museum and Bird Sanctuary

Stanwood Homestead Museum And Bird SanctuarySource: Birdsacre / facebook
Stanwood Homestead Museum And Bird Sanctuary

This is a beautiful natural spot that is well preserved and very clean. The forest trails that lead here are charming, and you will be able to admire some gorgeous scenery.

You will be able to admire many wild birds in their natural habitat, so make sure to keep quiet and be respectful to your peaceful surroundings. If you’re lucky, you can get really close to some of the birds and learn a lot about them from the dedicated people that are taking care of the sanctuary.

They also have a picnic area, a beautiful museum, and a nice gift shop.

4. Watch a movie or play at The Grand

The GrandSource: The Grand / facebook
The Grand

This place is a historic art deco theater that has offered quality entertainment since 1938. It now displays new blockbuster movies and classic films but also hosts theatre shows.

The local artists are very talented and will put on a great show. Even though it’s not fancy and modern, the place has a great vibe and visitors of all ages love it.

5. Shop for books and antiques at the Big Chicken Barn

If you want to get lost in a huge space and shop among thousands of antique items, old magazines, and books, then the Big Chicken Barn is the place to go!

The staff are friendly and knowledgeable and will help you find what you are looking for in this huge barn full of items. The first floor has all the antiques, while the second one has books.

Everywhere you look there is something unique and interesting; you will definitely have a great time shopping here.

6. Visit the Telephone Museum

Telephone MuseumSource: The Telephone Museum / facebook
Telephone Museum

Technology is a major part of our lives and so are the smartphones that we use all the time. But things were not always like this; come to this museum and witness how people used to communicate in the past.

You will see and even use old telephones of all types, switchboards and switching systems that powered the network. You can also check out the original electronics that eventually lead to the creation of computers and smartphones.

This place is fascinating for both technology geeks and regular people.

7. Have a coffee and chop at Rooster Brother Coffee Roasters

Rooster Brother Coffee RoastersSource: Rooster Brother · The Store for Cooks / facebook
Rooster Brother Coffee Roasters

This cute store has one floor with cookware, linens and other things for your home, and another with coffee, wine, cheese and other types of food. You will love the wide variety of items.

You simply won’t be able to leave with just one item, so be prepared to spend a bit of money here. This is heaven on earth for anyone passionate about cooking.

8. Take a train on the Downeast Scenic Railroad

Downeast Scenic RailroadSource: Downeast Scenic Railroad / facebook
Downeast Scenic Railroad

Have you ever wanted to ride an old-fashioned train? Now you have the chance! Not only will you be able to board a well-preserved antique train, but you will also ride it on the Downeast Scenic Railroad.

The ride lasts for about 90 minutes and, depending on the weather, you can stay in covered cars or open-air cars. It is a lovely way to spend the afternoon and take lots of amazing photos.

It’s a bumpy ride but the kids will love it. The staff are friendly and polite and are doing a great job of preserving the train and the railroad.

9. Shop at Atlantic Art Glass

Atlantic Art GlassSource: Atlantic Art Glass / facebook
Atlantic Art Glass

If you’re looking for some unique, hand-made glass items, this is the place to go. Not only can you shop for a multitude of interesting items, but you can also see the artists work as they create these amazing objects.

The owner is friendly and the pieces are well made. You will be amazed by how creative the artists are and how can they create such intricate pieces from glass.

Everything is one-of-a-kind, so make sure to get some gifts for friends and family too.

10. Admire the SevenArts Gallery

SevenArts GallerySource: SevenArts / facebook
SevenArts Gallery

If you want to admire the beauty of the Acadia and Downeast Maine areas but don’t have enough time or energy to go hiking, drop by this photo gallery.

Here, you can admire some splendid photos of natural landscapes, wild animals and much more. But that’s not all; there are multiple artists displaying and selling their work here.

Among others, you will find goods, hand-made jewelry, paintings, knits, and wooden wares.

11. Shop at The Old Creamery Antique Mall

The Old Creamery Antique MallSource: Old Creamery / facebook
The Old Creamery Antique Mall

Whether you want to get yourself a nice souvenir from Ellsworth or want some nice gifts for those at home, this antique mall is the place to go. The place is huge and has many small rooms with different vendors.

The products are well displayed and the sellers are friendly and polite. You can easily get lost in the multitude of products and spend a few hours here.

12. Hire a kayak at Pinniped Kayak

Pinniped KayakSource: Pinniped Kayak / facebook
Pinniped Kayak

The guys at Pinniped love kayaking and want to share this wonderful experience with as many people as possible. They will offer you all the necessary tools and equipment so you can enjoy kayaking to the fullest.

Whether you’re a beginner that just wants to quietly paddle during a beautiful sunset or an advanced paddler that wants to surf the biggest tidal races in Maine, the guys at Pinniped Kayak have you covered.

They will make sure you are totally safe and have a lot of fun.

13. Bowl at Eastward Bowling Lanes

Eastward Bowling LanesSource: Dana Sanchez Nitzsche / facebook
Eastward Bowling Lanes

It doesn’t matter if you haven’t bowled before, it’s easy to learn and a lot of fun. If you already love this sport, even better! Stop by Eastward Bowling Lanes for a great evening.

The game played here is actually candlepin bowling, which is slightly different than the classic game, but still a lot of fun. They have plenty of drinks to make the game more fun, and after that, you can stay for a pizza.

14. Have an amazing time at Wild Acadia Fun Park

Wild Acadia Fun ParkSource: Wild Acadia Fun Park / facebook
Wild Acadia Fun Park

This place is so much fun for kids and adults and offers a wide variety of activities. There are plenty of water slides, a karting course, a mini-golf course, climbing walls, slingshot trampolines and more!

Of course, there is also a pool and a snack bar, so you can easily spend a full day at this park. If you happen to be in Ellsworth during the summertime, make sure to stop by Wild Acadia Fun Park.

15. Escape the room at Rush Hour Gaming

Escape RoomSource: Gustavo Frazao / shutterstock
Escape Room

If you’re looking for a fun activity for the entire family (or group), then head on to Rush Hour Gaming and try to solve the puzzle. You have 60 minutes available to figure out all the clues and escape the room.

They also have virtual reality games for the kids and a golf simulator for adults.

15 Best Things to Do in Ellsworth (Maine):

  • Visit Woodlawn
  • Watch Timber Tina’s Great Maine Lumberjack Show
  • Visit the Stanwood Homestead Museum and Bird Sanctuary
  • Watch a movie or play at The Grand
  • Visit the Telephone Museum
  • Have a coffee and chop at Rooster Brother Coffee Roasters
  • Take a train on the Downeast Scenic Railroad
  • Shop at Atlantic Art Glass
  • Admire the SevenArts Gallery
  • Shop at The Old Creamery Antique Mall
  • Hire a kayak at Pinniped Kayak
  • Bowl at Eastward Bowling Lanes
  • Have an amazing time at Wild Acadia Fun Park
  • Escape the room at Rush Hour Gaming