The Bold Coast region of Maine offers a fantastic opportunity for families to get outside and enjoy the bounty of nature (including the edible kind).

  • Head to Machiasport’s Jasper Beach for the ultimate in beach combing.  Jasper Beach is one of the most unique beaches in the world — instead of sand dunes, you will need to climb dunes made of ocean-smoothed rocks. Listen to the singing of the waves as they gently crash, tumbling the rocks. It’s a great place for every age for beach combing. 
  • Tour the Maine Sea Salt Company.  Have you ever thought about how salt gets from the sea to your salt shaker?  Learn the answer here in a free tour of the factory where salt is made. It’s sourced locally, from Bucks Harbor in Machiasport and then evaporated in greenhouses. Free tours are offered May through December. 
  • Visit Puffins: One of the highlights of any trip to Down East Maine is a boat trip to see the puffins; the three hour boat tour is available May through August  to Petit Manan Island to see Puffin and other shorebirds (these tours often fill up months in advance so plan early).  Robertsons Sea Tours also offer whale watch and other scenic tours as well.   
  • Spend the day strolling and dipping your toes in the mighty Atlantic ocean at Roque Bluffs State Park: There is a wide stretch of sandy beach — one of the very few sand beaches in this part of the world. Across the lane, there is a fresh water pond. The park also has restroom facilities and 182 miles of walking trails. 
  • Tour a historic stone mill and see where mustard is made at Rayes Mustard Factory in Eastport, where you can sample different flavors of mustard and pick up some of the tasty condiments at their general store.  
  • Pack up a lawn chair and enjoy one of Machias’ free outdoor movies for children at the Boxcar.  Every other Friday in July and August, the Machias Bay Chamber of Commerce offers free movies at their visitor center/boxcar.  Bring a blanket, chairs, bug spray and popcorn.
  • Take a day trip to Wild Acadia Fun Park in Bar Harbor.  Enjoy the afternoon at this family fun park which includes an aerial park, zip lines, a water park, go carts, mini golf and more. The Wild Acadia Fun Park is located on the road to Bar Harbor, just south of Ellsworth, and is open from June until Labor Day.   
  • Learn about sea life at the Mount Desert Oceanarium in Bar Harbor. Open from mid-May until late October, the Oceanarium is a lobster museum and hatchery.  While you are there, take the Marsh Walk to learn basic and important ecological principles.  
  • See a show with Ray Murphy, the Chainsaw artist in Hancock, Maine. Chainsaw Ray performs his show in the world’s first Sawyer Art Theater building. The audience cannot hear the noise from the chainsaw – instead they only hear gentle music.  Chainsaw Ray performs one of the most unique shows in the world and has been performing for over 50 years. Shows start at 7pm nightly from Late June until the end of September.   
  • Splash around in the indoor pool at the University of Maine Machias. Daily passes to the pool at UMM can be purchased for $5. Currently the pool is open for kid visitors on weekends from 10-2 on Saturdays and 10-3 on Sundays. During the week, the open pool is shared with lap swimmers.  
  • Bike on the Downeast Sunrise Trail.  The Downeast Sunrise Trail connects Pembroke, Maine (almost to the border of Canada) to Ellsworth (and the Appalachian Trail beyond). The trail is multi-use, so you might see walkers, horses, ATV’s, snowmobiles and dogsleds on the path, but no automobiles.  The trail is usually closed during ‘mud’ season in the spring but reopens sometime in May.  Check their website for maps and updated news. 
  • Head to Milbridge every Friday evening: The Milbridge Theater has a ton of great, family friendly entertainment every Friday in summer. These performances range from puppet shows to live music to game show nights (interspersed with kid-friendly outdoor movies). The evenings kick off at 5:30 and rain dates are on Sundays.  
  • Geocaching?  Geocaching is something that can be done no matter where you are.  Go to the website and sign up for a free account.  From there you can enter whatever destination that you want and it will give you a list of all of the locations in the area.  Find a geocache box, sign in and record your finding.