One of the best ways to experience DownEast Acadia is to follow one of these self-guided tours.
DownEast Acadia is a big place with lots to see. These interest-based tours are a great tool to help you plan a drive around the region with stops along the way. Choose to hit all the stops or just a few in a particular town or area. However, if you choose to experience our self-guided tours is up to you.
Fishing is a heritage in the DownEast Acadia region that extends back generations, among European settlers and much earlier for tribal communities. It remains deeply ingrained in today’s way of life among the small fishing communities along the coast. The trail takes you to wharves, packing plants, smokehouses, commercial fishing areas, and research facilities that help sustain today’s fisheries.
Traversing the region from Penobscot Bay to Passamaquoddy Bay at the Canadian border, the trail builds on local resources to strengthen community life and visitor experience. Luckily all of the trail’s 45 sites are accessible from the road. Leave plenty of time—even a few days—to explore this trail. Take part in educational programs at oceanariums and research centers. Be sure to stop at The McCurdy Smokehouse in Lubec, the nation’s last traditional smoked-herring facility. The Waponahki Museum & Resource Center in Pleasant Point and the Abbe Museum in Bar Harbor are great resources describing native fisheries!
Imagine a coastline lined with one-of-a-kind granite sculptures, all made by artists worldwide who gather yearly to create a unique public art collection. You’ll see those works along the Maine Sculpture Trail, an outdoor exhibit of 34 sculptures spanning 273 miles along the DownEast Acadia coastal region.
From 2007 to 2014, the DownEast Acadia region hosted five symposia for sculptors to gather and create signature works of art using Maine granite blocks. The six-week artist-in-residence programs provided a communal working site open to the public. There, sculptors wearing protective gear and often enveloped in clouds of granite dust deployed grinding and sculpting tools to shape these massive blocks into abstract or expressionistic works of art. Pieces range from the whimsical “Spirit of the Marsh” in Addison to the bird-like “Before the Wind” in Bucksport to the shell-and-fish composition called “Nature’s Grace” in Eastport.
Communities in the DownEast Acadia region permanently display all of the sculptures—and it’s well worth the drive to view the variety of artistic styles and the region’s transformative dedication to its historic granite industry.
maine Beer Trail
A subsegment of the larger Maine Beer Trail, this self-guided tour of the region’s breweries, micro-breweries, nano-breweries, and brewpubs will check all the boxes for beer enthusiasts. Click here to view the map and list of breweries.
Maine wine Trail
DownEast Acadia’s wineries are part of the Maine Wine Trail, which consists of 21 wineries across the state, producing grape and fruit wines, distilled spirits, meads, ciders, and fortified wines. Four call our region home.
DownEast Acadia Birding Trail
Birding enthusiasts will find plenty to love along the DownEast Acadia Birding Trail, which includes the lands of Acadia National Park, national wildlife refuges, public reserved lands, and state parks.
Maine is one of North America’s top birding destinations, and the DownEast Acadia is the furthermost extreme of many migratory species’ range. You’ll hear the song of the lonesome loon, spy the elusive spruce grouse, and thrill to the majestic flight of hawks and eagles.
Visitor Resources: Maine Birding Trail | Downeast Fisheries Trail | Maine Beer Trail | Maine Sculpture Trail | Maine Wine Trail
To help you plan your trip we provide information on drive time and distances to and around the region. Plus info on other commercial transportation options.
Once you arrive in DownEast Acadia, you will want to access local sources of visitor information, state laws, recreation rules, and road conditions.
To help you pack or plan your day, check out the current weather in the region or learn about year-round averages of temperature and precipitation.