Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens Visitors Guide
Maine is a scenic masterpiece full of breathtaking panoramas and sweeping midcoast horizons. There is no shortage of sights to behold and natural wonders to explore, but the Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens are among the most enchanted locations you can discover in the region.
Located in Boothbay, just over an hour’s drive northeast of Portland, Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens (CMBG) provides a full day of wonder and wander through 295 tidal acres that make up the largest botanical garden in New England.
Experiences At Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens
Photo Credit: Rain0975 via Flickr CC2.0
Walking trails through colorful blooms are the primary attraction at Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens, and there’s much to see along your path. Among the myriad plants and flowers, you will discover innovative works of sculpture from regional artists and wooden bridges stretching over quiet ponds and streams.
Children will marvel at the interactive experiences awaiting them in the Children’s Garden, Treehouse, and Fairy House Village, where whimsical curiosities abound for imaginative play. You’ll also find the butterfly and meditation gardens to be beautiful places for the whole family to take pause and simply soak it all in.
The Landing at Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens provides visitors with an alternative way to experience the coastal garden environment. Home to a boat dock and moorings, The Landing offers kayak and boat tours embarking on excursions along the Sheepscot River, Back River, and surrounding islands.
Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens’ cafe area is where you’ll find multi-purpose, centrally-located guest facilities including restrooms, a resource library, gift shop, and The Market and Kitchen Garden Café. The cafe is stocked with carefully crafted, freshly grown produce from the onsite Burpee Kitchen Garden and other local growers.
Commitment to New England Ecology
Photo Credit: www.mainegardens.org
The Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens Herbarium was created to “document and preserve the plant biodiversity of coastal Maine and surrounding regions, especially northern New England”. The herbarium hosts a collection of dried, pressed plant specimens as well as studies for the ongoing MidCoast Flora project. 17 acres of the grounds are devoted to native plant life from Maine and the northern coastal region promoting maritime ecological systems. The Bosarge Family Education Center has even been called “the greenest building in Maine”, due to its use of solar panels, intricate rainwater collection system, and innovative insulation, making it a “zero net energy building”.
Events At Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens
Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens regularly hosts a variety or public and private events. Throughout the year, visitors can attend evening socials, wine tastings, lectures, education sessions, and children’s events. An annual highlight, the Gardens Aglow holiday event is New England’s biggest and brightest light display, where Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens guests are invited to stroll through the gardens as they are illuminated by more than 650,000 festive lights. Gardens Aglow is part of the Boothbay Lights holiday display, and the best way to cap off a wintery day roaming Boothbay Harbor.
General Visitor Information
Guide maps are available at the Visitor Center to point the way through the maze of gardens. However, guided tours are also an option, and worthwhile to consider for invaluable insight and background information along your journey.
Various blooms arise throughout the year, with the most diverse and abundant being July - September. Check the Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens website to see what’s in bloom.
Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens is open seasonally from mid-April through October, from 9 AM – 5 PM daily (extended hours in July and August). Admission for adults is just $18. Seniors (65+) are $16, children 3-17 are $9, and under 3 years of age are admitted free.
Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens is located at 132 Botanical Gardens Drive, Boothbay ME 04537. The entrance is on Barters Island Road, about ten miles from Route 1 in MidCoast Maine.