Belfast, Maine is an adorable seaside town located about 2 hours northeast of Portland. It’s one of my favorite towns to visit along the coast! The small-town feel, amazing scenery, cute shops, and excellent restaurants make it a great place to stop by or for a day trip if you’re in the area.
Keep reading to find 14 Fun Things To Do In Belfast, Maine!
1. Have a Picnic
As a self-proclaimed picnic expert, I can say with complete honesty that Belfast is one of my favorite places to picnic. Visit one of these parks (Moose Point is my favorite!), and you will not be disappointed.
Moose Point State Park is simply unmatched in available space, picnic tables, views, and peacefulness. After driving in down the long entrance road, you’re met with a lovely grassy expanse, a small park, and a path down to the rocky ocean shore. The park offers some short trails through the woods with some awesome views of the ocean.
Belfast City Park is also on the ocean, although there are fewer views available than Moose Point. Here, you’ll find tennis courts, a basketball court, a baseball field, and lots of shade.
Heritage Park is located in the heart of downtown Belfast. A former industrial site, it became a park in 1987 with a supervisory arrangement with the Maine Coast Heritage Trust. In addition to picnic and daydreaming opportunities, this waterfront park is the site of special events such as Arts in the Park and Belfast Summer Nights concerts.
2. Shop at the Local Bookstores
There are three awesome bookstores in Belfast (yay, bookstores!), all of which are unique and charming in their own way.
Left Bank Books is one of my favorite bookstores in Maine. They carry a specially curated collection of new books and cute, funky greeting cards and posters. In addition to the super helpful employees, they have a punch card to get free money off of books when you spend a certain amount.
Bellabooks is a cute, charming bookstore carrying new and used books in a historic two-story house in downtown Belfast. Inside, they have an awesome coffee shop called the Freeverse Cafe that sells coffee drinks and baked goods.
Old Professor’s Bookshop has a selection of used books specially chosen in the subjects of cosmology, astronomy, meteorology, geology, oceanography, physics, chemistry, biology, anthropology, and psychology; “what matters” into literature, poetry, art, music, philosophy, religion, mythology, sociology, political science, economics, and law. It’s certainly the place to go when you want to learn!
3. Take a Stroll Down the Belfast Harbor Walk
One of Belfast’s many charms is that its busiest downtown block ends, quite literally, at the ocean.
The Belfast Harbor Walk allows residents and visitors to stroll, bike or jog the half-mile stretch along the downtown coast, from the Armistice footbridge, where one can fish while staring out to sea, to Steamboat Landing Park, home to many festivals, activities, weddings, events, and concerts.
4. Visit the Belfast Historical Society and Museum
As listed on their website, the Belfast Historical Society and Museum’s mission is: “The Belfast Historical Society and Museum is dedicated to the collection, conservation, preservation and interpretation of artifacts relevant to Belfast history. Visitors to the Museum will enjoy vintage photographs, maps, postcard collections, and interpretive displays. An extensive archives and library are available for research.”
5. Grab a Bite To Eat
If there’s one restaurant you NEED to eat at in Belfast, it’s Nautilus. It’s one of my favorite restaurants in the entire state of Maine.
They serve excellent seafood and American-style comfort food at affordable prices, and the restaurant is located right on the water. In my several experiences, the service is unbeatable, and their deck is a great place to take in the beauty of Maine while eating a delicious meal.
Don’t forget to get their amazing bread pudding as dessert – you won’t regret it.
Delvino’s is right up the street from Nautilus, serving homemade Italian dishes in an upscale casual setting. Specials of the day often reflect what can be locally sourced.
Chefs employ regional flavors and rely heavily on local produce, especially during the summer months. Delvino’s utilizes these flavors as well as the freshest seafood from the area to create unique and savory dishes, homemade soups, salads, and pasta.
Other notable places to grab a bite are Chase’s Daily, a cozy storefront serving up creative farm-to-table vegetarian cuisine, Darby’s, a quaint tavern setting with a broad-ranging menu of upscale pub fare, with some global influences., and The Harborwalk Restaurant, serving burgers, fried seafood & beer served in cozy surrounds with an old-school, coastal feel.
6. Shop Around at the Farmer’s Market
There are actually two farmer’s markets that take place in Belfast every week.
The Belfast Farmers’ Market takes place year-round on Fridays from 9-1. You will find vendors selling organic vegetables, fruit, meat, seafood, cheese, milk, baked goods, and crafts. Find a list of participating vendors here.
The United Farmers Market of Maine is indoor and takes place every week on Saturdays from 9-2. There, you will find more of a mix between food vendors/farms and artisans selling art and other items. Find a list of participating vendors here.
7. Pottery and Art Galleries
I’m not a huge artsy person, however, I have stopped into a few galleries in Belfast, and they are lovely!
I’ve found a few shops that are listed below, but in my opinion, the best way to find galleries is by simply walking around. Many places do not have an updated website, so it may be difficult to find them online.
If you love to support local artisans, stop by one of these shops:
Local Color Gallery is a year-round venue featuring an eclectic collection of work by local artists. They are open daily from 11-5, except on Sundays when they close at 4.
Mainely Pottery features handmade pottery from 30 Maine potters. They are open daily from 10-5.
The Lupine Cottage is a Maine artist co-op that holds art of all mediums from over 60 Maine artists. They are open daily 10-6, except Sundays when they close at 3.
8. Rail Trail
Belfast Rail Trail is a 2.3 mile heavily trafficked point-to-point trail located near Belfast, Maine that features a river and is good for all skill levels.
The trail offers a number of activity options and is accessible year-round. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on a leash. Find a map here.
9. Try Curling
I know what you’re thinking…. curling?! My response is: why not?! It’s always a good day to try something new. Check out their website to find out more about curling and the Belfast Curling Club’s hours.
10. Museum In The Streets
The Museum in The Streets in Belfast, Maine is a heritage-discovery tour that features 30 panels and two large map panels. The tour is made up of photographs and interpretive text describing historic houses, the downtown, the waterfront, and a few of our best-known men and women.
All panels give the viewer a sense of place. It is designed as a bi-lingual history walking tour. We have chosen French as the second language in recognition of the Franco-American community within Maine.
12. Belfast Art Walk
On every Fourth Friday, the streets of Belfast are transformed into a whimsical wonderland to celebrate the warm summer evenings.
From 5:30 until 8:00 pm you may explore imaginative art galleries that brighten up downtown, featuring both local and nationally recognized artists. There will be special surprises with each walk, see the schedule and themes here.
*Note*: Due to COVID-19, the 2021 schedule has not been posted yet. Check back later in the summer for updates.
Dedicated as a memorial recognizing those who died in World War I, the Armistice Bridge offers a leisurely way to cross the river to East Belfast by foot or bike with terrific views of town. A perfect and popular family stroll.
14. Colonial Theater
The glamorous Colonial Theatre shows the best of Hollywood, independent and foreign movies all year round on our three screens.
They are a friendly locally run community theatre. Easily find them in beautiful downtown Belfast with their brightly painted facade, neon marquee, and life-size elephant “Hawthorne” trumpeting above High Street from the roof.
In the heart of downtown Belfast, close to restaurants, shopping, and the working waterfront, the Colonial Theatre is an old-fashioned, yet modern living example of America’s original downtown movie palaces where the “Show Starts on the Sidewalk”.
15. Back and Forth Boat Ride
‘The Back and Forth’ is a traditional wooden lobster boat that offers ‘delightful jaunts Around the Bay’ during the day & ‘extra special experiences’ morning and evening.
It holds 6 passengers and is available for several types of tours! They have something for everyone, including a treasure hunt for families with kids, and a sunset lobster cruise for a more intimate or romantic experience.
Check out their website for more information or to book a tour!