Incorporated just a few years before America officially gained independence, Waldoboro is home to a proud ship-building and port industry due mainly to its inland location along the navigable Medomak River.
Many of the town’s cottage industries disappeared over the years, but more than a few have made dramatic comebacks as people are becoming more interested in high-quality, locally-made items that support town businesses, entrepreneurs and the economy in general.
Waldoboro is near enough to the coast and some of the state’s larger urban areas to make a variety of day trips convenient as well.
Below are 15 things to do in Waldoboro, Maine.
1. Fawcett’s Antique Toy Museum
Located on Atlantic Highway in Waldoboro, Fawcett’s Antique Toy Museum is a unique town attraction that shouldn’t be missed, especially by lovers of toys and nostalgia regardless of age.
The museum’s owner and curator has been collecting the items on display for nearly five decades; many of them date back to the ’20s and ’30s.
Admission is inexpensive and guided tours are available. They’re a great way to get an amazingly insightful narration to go with the items you’re seeing.
The museum closes at four o’clock on the dot, so plan on arriving before three to allow yourself the time to take it all in at a leisurely pace.
2. Camden Hills State Park
Camden Hills State Park is conveniently located just off U.S. Route 1 a few miles from the town of Camden.
It’s known for the wide variety of outdoor recreation options that are available to visitors, and unlike many area attractions, it’s open year-round.
The park’s trails offer opportunities for biking, hiking, and bird-watching – as well as breathtaking views of the harbor and Penobscot River. Those views have been inspiring poets and artists for centuries. Unless otherwise noted, the park is open every day from nine o’clock in the morning until sunset.
Keep in mind that it may close with little notice due to particularly harsh winter weather.
3. Hidden Valley Nature Center
Comprised of more than 1,000 acres in nearby Jefferson, Maine, Hidden Valley Nature Center includes a variety of pristine natural habitats that are home to an amazing variety of bird, mammal, fish and amphibian species.
The center’s multi-use trails are open to bikers, walkers, runners, and cross-country skiers during the winter. Rustic huts and campsites are available for those who’d like to spend a night or two under the stars.
Throughout the year, they offer an array of educational and instructional courses related to the natural world that are great for adults and children alike, so check out their website.
4. Flood’s Cove
Located on the rugged Maine coast near the quaint fishing village of Friendship, Flood’s Cove is an oasis of peacefulness and natural beauty that’s a favorite seaside destination for locals and out of state visitors.
The cove is the perfect place to catch some rays and do some swimming; it’s possible to paddle out to the island that’s not too far from the beach.
The scenic views are full of ocean vistas, lobster boats, and storybook Maine cottages that look more like an oil painting than a real-life scene.
Consider an afternoon spent relaxing with a picnic while waiting for the sun to set.
5. Round Pond Art Gallery and Shoppe
Featuring an eclectic mix of works by local artists and those from far away Southeast Asia as well, Round Pond Art Gallery and Shoppe is one of those unique Maine gems that shouldn’t be missed.
Located near the town of Round Pond, the gallery and shop are owned by a well-traveled couple who’ve spent the last six decades together seeing the world and collecting things from their journeys.
The shop is located on Back Shore Road and is a great place to pick up a one of a kind keepsake to remind you of your trip to Maine.
6. Maine Lobster Festival
Like no other state, Maine’s rocky coastline and cold Atlantic waters are synonymous with the tasty lobsters that are pulled from its depths every day.
Held in Rockland, Maine from the end of July until the beginning of August, the Maine Lobster Festival is the perfect chance to experience lobster in all its divine variations.
Though the large, clawed crustaceans are the stars of the show, they aren’t the only things on the menu; there should be a little something for everyone, even those who don’t like seafood.
The festival includes cooking contests and a variety of fun activities for the whole family; there’s always plenty of arts and crafts and live entertainment.
7. Breakwater and Marie Reed Park
If walking more than 4,000 feet to see one of the Atlantic coast’s most scenic lighthouses sounds like a great way to spend an hour or two, then a stop at the Breakwater and Marie Reed Park on Samoset Road in Rockland should be on your itinerary.
This feat should only be attempted by the fearless and sure-footed, because the trail can be pretty precarious in places and it’s strewn with large boulders between which are gaps of varying sizes.
For those who make the march, you’ll be rewarded with some of the most beautiful and iconic coastal scenes you’re likely to see anywhere. But remember, there aren’t any facilities, so consider bringing some water and a snack or two.
8. Owls Head State Park
Another of Maine’s most visited lighthouses is found in Owls Head State Park.
The park and lighthouse are located on the southern shore of Rockland Harbor, and there is ample parking. The grounds include a picnic area and a small but rocky beach that’s the perfect place to discover interesting things that have washed in with the tide.
From the lighthouse, there’s a trail leading up to a small historic cemetery and a bluff that offers panoramic harbor views. There are a few designated camping areas nearby for those who’d like to spend an evening or two close to the water.
9. Beth’s Farm Market
For nearly two decades, Beth’s Farm Market on Western Road in Warren has been attracting loyal customers with their seasonal selection of locally grown produce, like berries, apples, tomatoes, and corn.
Beth’s grew from humble beginnings as little more than a roadside stop-off, and is now home to a variety of prepared food products.
Unlike many similar farmer’s markets, Beth’s has a great website that lets customers know what’s in season.
It’s a great feature, especially if you’re after something in particular. If you aren’t, you’ll find a whole lot of high-quality produce, nearly all of which is locally grown using sustainable and chemical-free farming practices.
10. Montpelier-the General Henry Knox Museum
Though he’s not too well known outside the area, Henry Knox was a Revolutionary War figure who played a significant role in the country’s campaigns against the British. He went on to become a cabinet member and the Secretary of War under George Washington.
The museum has been around for nearly a decade and is dedicated to preserving this interesting slice of local and national history.
Located on High Street in Thomaston, the museum is full of documents and other paraphernalia. Most visitors should plan on spending at least an hour to see all there is on display.
11. Owls Head Transportation Museum
Maine’s historic and scenic Midcoast area is home to the Owls Head Transportation Museum, which is dedicated to preserving the most important means of transportation utilized over the years.
Though you’d probably expect a museum of its kind to focus on water transportation, most of the items on display are historic automobiles, airplanes, and motorcycles.
Most of the items you’ll see have been refurbished and include plaques with interesting information describing where they were made and what era they’re from.
Many visitors especially like the exhibits on racing vehicles. To get the museum’s full-effect, guests should plan on spending at least an hour.
12. Breakwater Vineyards
The Breakwater Vineyards farm is located on more than 30 acres of land near Owls Head and includes a tasting room that’s open to the public.
It’s truly unique in that there are precious few places where it’s possible to experience wine and amazingly rugged and beautiful coastline views in the same place.
The vineyard grows a variety of grapes and produces a number of wine types as well.
Check out their website for their hours of operation and tasting room schedule.
For those who will be in the state for a while, consider taking a tour along Maine’s wine trail which winds its way through nearly 20 wineries spread across the state.
13. Farnsworth Art Museum
Located on Museum Street in Rockland, the Farnsworth Art Museum houses a nationally respected collection of traditional and contemporary American art.
The museum’s collection is comprised of more than 15,000 pieces, some by world-famous artists.
Of particular interest to most visitors are the works by local and regional artists, who’ve captured the area’s natural beauty as motivation and inspiration for their work.
There are also two separate galleries dedicated to artwork created by young and upcoming artists who are in the process of honing their skills and making names for themselves. The cost of admission is relatively inexpensive, and there’s plenty of parking nearby.
14. Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens
Located in Boothbay along the Atlantic coast, the Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens stretch along nearly a mile of scenic coastline and were opened to the public more than a decade ago.
Before heading out to explore the grounds, stop at the visitor’s center to get an overview of the garden’s layout and all there is to see.
The garden is comprised of many distinct areas connected by trails and labeled with interesting information about the things you’re seeing.
They are particularly beautiful during the spring bloom, and there’s a café and gift shop on site too that are both open seasonally.
15. Maine State Aquarium
The Maine State Aquarium is located in Boothbay Harbor and operated by the state’s Department of Marine Resources.
The aquarium is home to a variety of fish and other sea creatures, many of which are native species.
Several of the aquarium’s tanks are set into realistic looking rock formations, and one of the aquarium’s main attractions is the lobster exhibit which shows how they’re born and change over their lifetimes, often reaching epic proportion – if they don’t end up on someone’s dinner plate first.
The museum is open year-round. Considering all there is to see, the admission is inexpensive.