To explore the northeastern reaches of Casco Bay is to discover a narrow scenic peninsula, a collection of more than 200 tranquil islands, and nearly 216 miles of shoreline that comprise the coastal community of Harpswell. As the American author Harriet Beecher Stowe once wrote, this town of just under 5,000 residents is "of more varied and singular beauty than can ordinarily be found on the shores of any land." It's a place full of history, natural beauty, and open seascapes, and you'll feel its wonder all around you at our Harpswell vacation homes.
Where is Harpswell, ME?
With borders that encompass the peninsula of Harpswell Neck, Sebascodegan Island (known locally as Great Island), Orr's Island, Bailey Island, and 200 smaller islands accessible only by boat, Harpswell sits in Casco Bay just 40 miles east of historic downtown Portland. The peninsula and its three main islands (which are connected by bridges) are only 13 miles south of Bowdoin College in Brunswick, 17 miles south of Bath, and 20 miles southeast of the famous outlets in Freeport.
Things to Do in Harpswell, ME
For more than a century, Harpswell has welcomed visitors in search of ocean views, working harbors, public trails and marinas, and quiet natural splendor. Set sail on your own craft from one of the town's 11 public landings, marinas, and boat launches, or book a charter excursion with ALERT Windjammer Cruises, H2Outfitters, or Sail Casco to see the gorgeous coastline from the water.
Thanks to the town's cooperation with the Harpswell Heritage Land Trust, our Harpswell vacation rentals enjoy direct access to beautiful walking trails, serene nature preserves, and pristine beaches. Take a walk along the 2.3-mile Cliff Trail to soak in views that overlook Long Reach, or stroll the easy half-mile Giant's Stairs Trail to admire spectacular vistas of eastern Casco Bay. Johnson Field at Mackerel Cove is also a beloved local landmark for its picturesque Bailey Island harbor, its lovely beach, and its ideal setting for picnicking and kayaking.
View the islands through the eyes of local painters at the Sebascodegan Artists Gallery, or catch a summer evening concert with a crowd of locals at Mitchell Field's Bandstand by the Sea.
Day Trips from Harpswell, ME
While Harpswell is known for its peace and quiet, the beauty of this bayfront community is its close proximity to Maine's largest city, one of its most respected colleges, and a bastion of the state's shipbuilding history.
Take a short and scenic drive to reach the old port of Portland, a thriving and artistic city that boasts some of New England's most charming streets and exciting cuisine. Grab morning pastries at Standard Baking Co., savor a lunchtime lobster roll at Fishermen's Grill, and taste the divine local bounty at Eventide Oyster Co.
Guarding the northern reaches of Harpswell Neck is the shopping mecca of Freeport (the flagship location of the iconic outfitter L.L. Bean), while nearby Brunswick has gained fame as the home of Bowdoin College. You'll also be just 18 miles from the Maine Maritime Museum in the historic town of Bath on the Kennebec River.
The countless wonders of Midcoast Maine await - plan an escape to our Harpswell vacation homes for an experience you'll never forget.
Photo Credit: K.ristin via Flickr