Boothbay Harbor, formerly known as Townsend, is one of the best-known boating centers in New England and boasts a natural harbor known as "The Boating Capital of New England," home to many fishing boats as well as pleasure craft. This harbor has over 25 excursion boat trips daily during the boating season to near-by islands, along the shoreline, and in quiet river waters. Boothbay Harbor offers many attractions, including an aquarium, historic opera house performing arts center, YMCA, lighthouses, and a picturesque 1,000-foot footbridge which connects the east and west sides of the inner harbor. Barrett's Park is a favorite spot to walk, swim, sunbathe, or sightsee off Lobster Cove Road.
Shops featuring quality gifts, apparel, marine supplies and accessories, antiques, Maine-made handcrafts, jewelry, and many other items line the streets of the quaint coastal town. Other services offered include four full-service commercial banks, hair salons, day spas, drug stores, a fish market, florists and garden centers, one major grocery store, and a few convenience stores, service stations, marinas, docking facilities, storage and repair yards. Marine electronics technicians are available for the boating public.