Touring the Byway
7 Days / 6 Nights | Gateway City: Bangor, ME


We recommend starting your journey in Bangor, which is a little over an hour from Milbridge and the start of the Bold Coast National Scenic Byway, Coastal Villages segment. Traveling south from Bangor, you’ll first reach Ellsworth, then getting on the Schoodic National Scenic Byway, you’ll move through Gouldsboro and Steuben, where you can enjoy the Petit Manan National Wildlife Refuge.  In Milbridge, visit the Maine Coastal Islands National Wildlife Refuge Complex Headquarters, Milbridge Historic Society and Museum and the Schooner Gallery, before heading for Cherryfield and its National Historic District, the Cherryfield—Narraguagus Historic Society and Harrington.  Spend the night at the Pleasant Bay Bed and Breakfast in Addison.


Head for Columbia Falls, home of the Wreaths Across America Museum, Historic Ruggles House and the Downeast Salmon Foundation, before heading for Jonesport and the Jonesport Historic Society Heritage Center.  Right across the bridge, in Beals visit the Downeast Institute and explore Great Wass Island Preserve.  Spend the night in Machias at the Inn at Schoppee Farm.  


Start the day in Downtown Machias to explore the Burnham Tavern Museum and Washington County Genealogy and Historic Society, and Machiasport, home of Fort O’Brian State Historic Site and the Gates House Museum. Moving on to East Machias puts you on the Bold Coast segment of the Byway, where you can visit the East Machias Aquatic Center and Cutler, before experiencing the Cutler Coast Public Land Preserve. End the day in Lubec with a stay at the Inn on the Wharf.  


After visiting the Lubec Historic Society, spend most of your day relaxing outdoors at the West Quoddy Head Light, Quoddy Head State Park, and Hamilton Cove Preserve, plus visit McCurdy’s Herring Smokehouse Museum.  Spend another night in Lubec.  


Today it’s time to cross into Canada, to visit the Roosevelt Campobello International Park, home of the Roosevelt’s preserved 34 room “summer cottage” and Herring Cove Provincial Park.  From there, move on to Whiting, Cobscook Bay State Park, Edmunds, Dennysville, the Denny Academy Vestry Museum, Pembroke, Reversing Falls Park, and Eastport.  Spend the night at the Milliken House Bed and Breakfast.  


After strolling the Eastport Historic District, visit Fort Sullivan’s Barracks Museum, the Tides Institute and Museum of Art and Shackford Head State Park, before heading for Calais and the conclusion of the Byway. Stay overnight at the Calais Crossing River House Bed and Breakfast.


Today, you can visit St. Croix Island National Historic Site, enjoy the Calais waterfront, and travel over to the delightful historic downtown of St. Stephen, NB before heading back to Bangor.

View the Detailed Itinerary below to see the full route, which is complete with dining, shopping, and lodging recommendations!

Highlighted Attractions

Maine Coastal Islands National Wildlife Refuge

The five refuges spanning the coast of Maine managed out of headquarters in Milbridge are a diverse mix of 73 coastal islands and four coastal preserves with forested headlands, estuaries and freshwater wetlands encompassing approximately 9,478 acres. They include forested and non-forested offshore islands, coastal salt marsh, open field, and upland mature spruce-fir forest hosting Arctic, and endangered roseate terns, Atlantic puffins, razorbills, common murres, black guillemots, Leach’s storm-petrels, herring, great black-backed, and laughing gulls; double-crested and great cormorants, and common eiders. The Refuge also provides habitats for wading birds, bald eagles, songbirds, and shorebirds.

Roosevelt Campobello International Park

Franklin D. Roosevelt summered on Campobello Island with his family for many years, where his family enjoyed the same active pursuits he had as a child.  Today, the cooperative effort between the US and Canada, features Franklin and Elenor’s magnificent 34-room “summer cottage” surrounded by 2,800-acres. It was preserved to look exactly like it did in 1920.  The mansion is surrounded by other “cottages” including the 1892 sumptuously appointed Hubbard Cottage, the late 19th century Prince Cottage, now featuring the Prince Cafe with beautiful bay views and Wells-Shober Cottage which hosts “Eleanor’s Tea”, as well as other programs. Guided tours limited to 20 persons, take place every 15 minutes. Tickets are available day of tour only.

Great Wass Island Preserve

Great Wass Island Preserve is located along the “Fundian Fault,” a crack in the Earth’s crust extending from the Bay of Fundy to the coast of New Hampshire. A 4.5 mile trail takes you through the preserve’s unique forests and wetlands where you can expect to see harbor seals haul themselves out of the waves, along with rare plants that grow on the headlands. Further inland, the island has one of Maine’s largest stands of coastal jack pine, unique to this part of the state.

Tides Institute and Museum of Art

Housed on a campus of eight historic buildings dating from 1819 to 1890 that are an extension of their collections, even though the collections of the Tides Institute learn toward art created between the 18th century to today, there is also a focus on architecture and history. Collections include paintings, prints, photographs, and sculpture, Passamaquoddy and Mi’Kmaq basketry and other art and crafts, architectural drawings, documentation and artifacts, ship models, maps, decorative arts, furniture, clocks, silver, glass, textiles, musical instruments, oral history recordings and graphic arts. Some of the buildings are open regularly, while others open only during special events or by appointment.

Burnham Tavern Museum

The 1770 Burnham Tavern that served as a field hospital for the wounded from the naval battle of 1775, was one of 21 homes identified as having the most significance to the Revolutionary War. The residents of Machias, ordered to supply lumber to build barracks for British troops, met at the Tap Room to debate the best course of action. Plans to capture the British commander while he sat in church did not go as planned. He bolted through an open window, made it back to his ship, and the battle ensued in which the commander was wounded.  He later died at the tavern.