The city of Falmouth is located in the southern part of Maine, along gorgeous Casco Bay, one of the largest boat moorings in the state. The coastal town is only nine miles from the bustling city of Portland but offers a long list of ways to relax in the great outdoors, from boating to bird watching.
A leading attraction in Falmouth is glistening, sapphire Casco Bay. The public beach is easily accessible to visitors. Kids can splash in the surf along the shoreline while parents walk the beach and lovebirds take in bay views from nearby benches. Those who are going places rent kayaks for the 14-mile paddle to Jewell Island. The island boasts a hopping party spot—Cocktail Cove, where 30 boats or more assemble on any given Friday night.
Those wishing to see the state’s renowned pine trees while visiting Falmouth head inland and spend the day at the Mast Landing Sanctuary at Gilsland Farm. During the snowy winter months, snowshoers traverse the three miles of well-marked, level trails that wind through native Maine woodlands.
The park is also a favorite among bird watchers visiting Falmouth. Gilsland Farm is the headquarters of the Maine Audubon Society, and birders visit the nature center, set on an estuary, to view or hear Maine’s Common Loons, Canada geese and Piping Plovers, as well as Hairy Woodpeckers and House Finches. The center conducts guided bird walks throughout the year.
Another Falmouth attraction for bird watchers is Mackworth Island, accessible from the mainland by causeway. A sighting trail of about a mile and a half wraps around the 100-acre island. Hikers meander along rocky and sandy beaches dotted with towering pines. The entirety of Mackworth Island is a bird sanctuary offering a serene haven for birds and humans alike.
Falmouth’s Quaker Tavern Bed and Breakfast also extends a tranquil setting to travelers seeking a peaceful respite. The Federal-style residence was built in 1780 by the Hall family of Quakers and rests on 15 acres in the northern, inland part of Falmouth. The quaint inn is a National Historic Landmark that features fireplaces in each room, feather bedding and organic breakfasts. Guests can hike, identify native birds and cross-country ski on the grounds.
Those visiting Falmouth in the autumn delight in the region’s famous fall leaf colors. Why not combine sightseeing and sailing? For sweeping views of the foliage, Handy Boat offers chartered cruises on a 30-foot sloop around Casco Bay. The small cruise line also offers trips catering to lighthouse enthusiasts.
Back at Handy Boat Marina after a cruise or a day spent beach-combing, you can dine on New England seafood at the Falmouth Sea Grill. The waterfront restaurant features locally caught mussels, pollock and lobster—and outstanding views of Casco Bay.
Or, to cap off a wonderful day inland in Falmouth, hop aboard one of Handy Boat’s sunset cruises. Guests on Captain Lyman Stuart’s sloop relax and take in views of the Maine coastline while the sun sets over the bay.