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Searsport bills itself as the “Antique Capital of Maine.” Travelers will, indeed, find plenty of antique shops, galleries and unique gift shops to explore; most of which are clustered along the coastal highway, Route 1 in Searsport. The town of Searsport is also home to Waldo County Crafts Co-Op, which features the work of Maine artists and craftspeople. It is open seven days a week from 9 – 5, Mid-May through Mid-October and weekends through Christmas.

The Penobscot Marine Museum is one of Searsport’s most well known attractions. In fact, the museum complex is part of the original “townscape,” and is designed to entertain and educate people of all ages. The major exhibits focus on the industry of the Penobscot Bay in the 19th century and what it was like to live and work on the great square-rigged shops of the era. There is a Seacoast Village at the Penobscot Marine Museum that is very kid friendly with special children’s programs and hands-on exhibits and activities. Seasonal activities for the whole family, group and school tours are also available. The Museum is also known for its fine collection of 19th-century art, and it features one of the largest collections of Thomas and James Buttersworth paintings in the world. It also houses several works by Robert Salmon, as well as scrimshaw, figureheads, art and artifacts that date from the “Great Age of Sail.” Museum hours are Monday through Saturday; 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. and Sunday, 12:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m., May through October.

The Fort Point State Park and Lighthouse is located on Cape Jellison in Stockton Springs near Searsport. Rich in both Colonial and Revolutionary history, this state park offers day visits and hiking, biking, picnicking and exploring. The lighthouse at the Fort Point marks the uppermost headwater of Penobscot Bay and its transition to the tidal portion of the Penobscot River. Rip tides at the tip of the point are dangerous during the tidal changes, yet the bay is gentle enough for swimming on the backside of the park. The remnants of a grand hotel from the 1890s is also present on the land. Moose Point State Park is another great place for picnicking, hiking and just enjoying the grand scenic beauty of Penobscot Bay. It is located on the edge of Searsport and Belfast, with its entrance just off Route 1. The park has pebble beaches and tide pools along the shore of the bay. Sears Island, which is the largest undeveloped, uninhabited island on the East Coast, is connected to Searsport by a causeway. The 941-acre island is open to the public for hiking, birdwatching, and wildlife viewing and kayaking. There is no fee to visit the island and parking is available at the end of the causeway from the Searsport shoreline.

Other attractions near Searsport include Fort Knox State Park and Historic Site. This beautiful state park has a museum and gift shop and a new 442-foot tall observatory. A par 36, 9-hole golf course is located at Searsport, along with sailing, hot air ballooning, boat charters and ferryboat trips to Islesboro, Vinylhaven or Isle au Haut.


 

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