It’s difficult to find a place more quintessentially New England than Belfast, Maine. This charming waterfront town sits at the edge of Penobscot Bay and it is located about halfway between Portland and Bangor. Its charming downtown has a quaint main street lined with old brick buildings. The waterfront has a rocky coastline that looks straight off a Maine postcard. However, Belfast isn’t just pretty to look at–there are tons of things to do! Belfast boasts a vibrant arts scene and hosts many festivals throughout the year. It also offers many opportunities to enjoy the natural beauty of the coastline and mainland. If you’re thinking about a visit to one of Maine’s best towns, read on for all the things to do in Belfast, Maine.
1. Hike or bike along Belfast Rail Trail
The Belfast Rail Trail is a scenic trail that is suitable for people of all energy levels and athletic abilities! The 3-mile (4.8-km) long trail is relatively flat and covered with gravel, making it ideal for everyone from runners to pets to wheelchair users. Not only is it a great all-purpose trail, but it also runs along the Passagassawakeag River and has some of the prettiest scenery in all of Belfast.
Belfast Rail Trail
Address: 13 Oak Hill Rd, Belfast, ME 04915
Website: Belfast Rail Trail
Opening hours: 6am - 9pm (daily)
2. Delve into the local history at Belfast Historical Society
The Belfast Historical Society and Museum is the perfect place to get acquainted with Belfast’s story. Belfast was settled in the late 1700s by Scots-Irish settlers seeking to escape the British and it was named after the city in Northern Ireland. Belfast’s proximity to the Passagassawakeag River and Penobscot Bay led to the bustling Belfast harbor and gave it a rich maritime culture. The museum’s collection educates the public about the city’s history through photographs, artifacts, and other displays. They also have a large collection of archives, if you’re looking to delve even deeper into the past.
Belfast Historical Society
Address: 10 Market St, Belfast, ME 04915
Website: Belfast Historical Society
Opening hours: Fri - Sat: 11am - 4pm (closed from Sun - Thu)
Price: 5 USD
3. Enjoy a sumptuous breakfast at Chase's Daily
Chase’s Daily is one of Belfast’s favorite eateries, but it’s more than just a restaurant. It also serves as a bakery and a produce market, and everything they serve and sell is grown on local farms. Chase’s Daily is run by a family that is inspired by the process of growing food and cooking from those ingredients. They also think beyond just their own business and practice sustainability and conservation.
Address: 96 Main St, Belfast, ME 04915
Website: Chase’s Daily
Opening hours: Tues - Thu & Sat: 7am - 5pm; Fri: 7am - 8:30am; Sun: 8am - 1pm (closed on Mon)
4. Book a scenic tour with Back and Forth - Delightful Boat Tours
The name of this company says it all; Back and Forth offers boat tours that are truly delightful! You’ll board a traditional wooden lobster boat that will take you on a scenic ride around the bay. You can choose either a 30-minute ride around the bay or a trip of two legs that drops you off and picks you up from the lobster pound. They also offer early morning rides with coffee and baked goods from a local cafe, and family-oriented jaunts where kids get a scavenger hunt to fill out during the ride.
Back and Forth - Delightful Boat Tours
Address: Harbor Dock, Belfast, ME 04915
Opening hours: 11am - 5pm (daily)
Price: 18 USD
5. Stroll along the relaxing Belfast Harbor Walk
Belfast’s downtown area sits right along the waterfront, but until recently, there wasn’t a convenient way to walk along the shore. The brand new Belfast Harbor Walk is a ½ mile (0.8 km) long path that allows pedestrians to easily see the city’s stunning harbor. This paved path stretches from the Armistice Bridge, a popular fishing site, to Steamboat Landing Park, where there are tons of activities and events. Along the way, you can picnic on the benches or cut over to one of the waterfront restaurants for a bite to eat!
Belfast Harbor Walk
Address: Belfast Harbor Walk, Belfast, ME 04915
Website: Belfast Harbor Walk
Opening hours: 6am - 11pm (daily)
6. Play with the animals at Good Karma Farm
We got a 6am wake up yell this morning. Someone was in our front yard yelling that all the sheep were out. They all came back to the barn pretty easily. It seems to happen this time of year.Posted by Good Karma Farm & Spinning Co. on Monday, 5 August 2019
Good Karma Farm is much more than just a farm. Though they do have typical farm animals, like sheep, alpacas, and bees, Good Karma also makes yarn and soaps! All of the yarn is hand-spun from the alpacas and Icelandic sheep on the farm, and dyed by the owners. They also make soap from all-natural ingredients in delicious scents like tea tree and lavender. Stop by for a visit to pick up these unique Maine-made goods. You can also visit the animals, which include several cats and dogs too!
Good Karma Farm
Address: 67 Perkins Rd, Belfast, ME 04915
Website: Good Karma Farm
Opening hours: 9am - 5pm (daily)
7. Try out a new sport at Belfast Curling Club
Belfast is home to Maine’s oldest curling club. Many people only know of curling from the winter Olympics, but here you can try out this indoor sport for yourself! The club offers introductory sessions every Saturday at a very affordable rate, so you can try it out without a huge financial or time commitment. If you have no idea what curling is, you can also visit the curling club on other days of the week to watch the leagues practice.
Belfast Curling Club
Address: 211 Belmont Ave, Belfast, ME 04915
Website: Belfast Curling Club
Opening hours: Sat: 10am - 5pm (Other days depend on league schedules)
Price: 10 USD
8. Spend some family-bonding time at Belfast City Park
Belfast is home to lots of family-friendly green spaces and parks. One of the best picks for a day with the kids is Belfast City Park. The park has tons of amenities to appease all ages. There are spaces to play basketball, baseball, tennis, or even pickleball. If you prefer a non-organized sport, head to the horseshoe pits or splash in the swimming pool during the summer. Aside from all its amenities, Belfast also has beautiful views of Penobscot Bay. It opened in 1904, making it the city’s oldest park, and is also one of its most popular.
Belfast City Park
Address: City Park Rd, Belfast, ME 04915
Website: Belfast City Park
Opening hours: 6am - 7pm (daily)
9. Shop for antiques at Ambiance
Saturday Sidewalk Sale at AMBIANCE - today only! 125 Main Street in Belfast, Maine!Posted by AMBIANCE on Saturday, 1 June 2019
Ambiance is one of the most unique shops in Belfast, specializing in all sorts of antique treasures like lamps, small furniture, and other home decors. Whether you’re just browsing or you’re a serious antiquer, you’re sure to find something special here. The owner is a warm and friendly person who offers shoppers one-on-one assistance if they’re looking for something particular. If you’re looking to furnish your home, skip the generic decor at big-box stores and pick up something unique at Ambiance!
Address: 125 Main St, Belfast, ME 04915
Opening hours: Wed - Sat: 11am - 5:30pm (closed from Sun - Tue)
10. Buy local products at Belfast Maine Farmers Market
One of the most popular places for locals and visitors on Fridays in Belfast is Belfast Farmers’ Market! Here, you will find an abundance of local produce from nearby farms. However, there is much more than fruits and veggies. Other foods sold at the market include meats, cheeses, baked goods, and even seafood. In the summer, an art market takes place alongside the farmers market so you can also browse handmade goods. Live music adds to the festive atmosphere and will make you feel like you’re part of the Belfast community, even if you’re from out of town!
Belfast Farmers Market
Address: 256 High St, Belfast, ME 04915
Website: Belfast Farmers Market
Opening hours: Fri: 9am - 1pm (closed from Sat - Thu)
11. Catch a movie at Colonial Theater
One of the eye-catching buildings in downtown Belfast is the Colonial Theater. The theater has a bright, art-deco exterior including a neon sign that is reminiscent of old Hollywood glamour. There is even an elephant statue on the roof! Though the current building’s design dates back to 1947, the theater has been around since 1912, making it an important part of the Belfast community. Its downtown location is within walking distance to restaurants and stores, and you can easily add a show to a night of exploring Belfast’s main street. There are three screens showing different films, so you’ll be sure to find a movie to fit everyone’s taste!
Address: 163 High St #6548, Belfast, ME 04915
Website: Colonial Theater
Opening hours: Depends on showtime
Price: 9.50 USD
12. Enjoy a picnic at Heritage Park
There are a lot of pretty places along Belfast’s waterfront, but Heritage Park has to be one of the nicest. With its immaculate green lawn and sweeping views of the harbor, you would never guess that the park is where an industrial site once stood. Today, it is the perfect place for a picnic, with lots of tables where you can set up a feast as well as flat grass where you can spread out a blanket. Heritage Park is also the place where several special events are held, like Arts in the Park and Belfast Summer Nights concerts.
Address: 25 Front St, Belfast, ME 04915
Website: Heritage Park
Opening hours: 6am - 9pm (daily)
13. Make your own crafts at Lupine Cottage
There are a lot of opportunities to buy handmade goods in Belfast, but at Lupine Cottage you have the opportunity to make your own crafts, too! This artists’ cooperative has over 65 members and craftspeople. They make unique, high quality goods which you can browse and buy at Lupine. However, you can also take classes from these talented artisans and learn how to knit, crochet, and make your own essential oil products. Aside from the classes and the crafts, Lupine Cottage is simply a lovely spot, with a big front porch overlooking lupine flowers and the old dam at Goose River.
Address: 7 Old Searsport Ave, Belfast, ME 04915
Website: Lupine Cottage
Opening hours: Mon - Sat: 10am - 6pm; Sun: 10am - 3pm
Price: 5 USD
14. Shop for souvenirs at Purple Baboon
If you’re looking for traditional, Maine-themed souvenirs, head to the Purple Baboon. This cute souvenir shop has lots of trinkets that will remind you of your trip to Belfast. Bring home a mug printed with blueberries to sip your morning coffee. Get a cozy sweater or flannel pajama pants that feature Moose drawings. They also have a huge line of maple-flavored candies, teas, and of course, syrups that are all made locally! The Purple Baboon is located right in the waterfront district, so it’s an easy stop as you stroll around downtown Belfast.
Address: 31 Front St, Belfast, ME 04915
Website: Purple Baboon
Opening hours: Mon - Sat: 10am - 5pm; Sun: 11am - 3pm
15. Get your caffeine boost at Dunkin'
A trip to New England wouldn’t be complete without a stop at Dunkin’. This popular coffee chain is ubiquitous for a reason; they serve many kinds of coffee drinks and you can choose from an assortment of delicious flavorings. If you’re peckish, grab an egg sandwich or hot oatmeal to fuel you up for a day of sightseeing. A stop wouldn’t be complete without getting one of their delicious donuts or an assortment of donut holes. Nothing else comes close to Dunkin’ when it comes to convenient, affordable, and speedy breakfast fare.
Address: 27 Starrett Dr, Belfast, ME 04915
Opening hours: 4:30am - 10pm (daily)
A change of pace in Belfast
Some cities in Maine get all the love: Sacco is famous for its beaches and Portland is well known for its food scene. With fame comes crowds that can diminish your experience of these popular destinations. For a quieter change of pace, Belfast is a great Maine option! It has the same beautiful waterfront as a beach town and the unique stores and restaurants of a big city. We hope this list inspires you to plan your next Maine trip to Belfast!
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