Wiscasset has a reputation as being the prettiest town in Maine. Surrounded by beautiful scenery and offering a host of interesting historic attractions, the town is a popular weekend getaway destination. The town was originally settled in the 1660’s and by 1807 it was a prosperous trading and ship-building center. Visitors will find a well-preserved historic downtown featuring a host of interesting historic buildings including the Nickels-Sortwell House, the 1812 Jail and the Musical Wonder House. Castle Tucker is another impressive historic home you just have to see. After a busy day of exploring you can round off your day with a legendary lobster roll at Red’s Eats or at Sarah’s Café on the waterfront. Certain attractions may be temporarily closed or require advance reservations. Hours/availability may have changed.
1.Castle Tucker, Wiscasset, Maine
© Castle Tucker
Way back in 1807, when Wiscasset was the busiest sea port east of Boston, Judge Silas Lee built an impressive regency style mansion in the town. The mansion changed hands several times before being bought and extended by Captain Richard Tucker. The Tucker family resolutely preserved this stately old home despite serious financial difficulties which forced them at one point to take in boarders to help cover costs. Today the property belongs to Historic New England and visitors are welcome to come and join a guided tour to see much of the original furnishings, learn some Wiscasset history and to admire the wonderful views over Sheepscot River.
Castle Tucker, 2 Lee Street, Wiscasset, ME 04578, Phone: 207-882-7169
2.Nickels-Sortwell House, Wiscasset, Maine
© Nickels-Sortwell House
Another must-see historic attraction in Wiscasset, the stately Nickels-Sortwell House is considered to be one of the finest surviving examples of the Federal Style of architecture. The house was built in 1807 by Captain William Nickels who was a prosperous ship-owner and trader. However, the 1807 Embargo, (which forbid international trade) and the 1812 War brought financial ruin to the Captain and the property was used as a hotel for many years. In the 1890’s the house was bought by the Sortwell family who painstakingly restored it to its former grandeur. Finally in the hands of Historic New England, the property is open to the public during the summer months.
Nickels-Sortwell House, 121 Main Street, Wiscasset, ME 04578, Phone: 207-882-7169
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3.Wiscasset Bay Gallery, Wiscasset, Maine
© Wiscasset Bay Gallery
Located in the historic Wawenock Building, which offers the ideal backdrop for their collection, the Wiscasset Bay Gallery showcases fine works of art by European and American artists from the 18th, 19th and 20th centuries. Inspired by the magnificent Maine coastline, there are many beautiful contemporary paintings which define the naval character of the state both today and through history. Throughout the year the gallery stages themed exhibitions such as their fall 2020 exhibition entitled Impressionism, Modernism and Realism. Art lovers are invited to visit the gallery by appointment outside of their normal opening hours – there will always be someone available to show you around.
Wiscasset Bay Gallery, 67 Main Street, Wiscasset, ME 04578, Phone: 207-882-7682
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4.Red’s Eats, Wiscasset, Maine
© Red’s Eats
A local landmark for over 81 years, Red’s Eats could just be the most famous lobster shack in Maine. Although the eatery is little more than a bright red caboose, parked beneath a towering Siberian Elm tree, regulars keep returning time and again to feast on the freshest and tastiest lobster you can find. Although the main attraction on the menu is without doubt the huge and delicious lobster roll, there are several other choices for meat eaters including a selection of dogs and burgers, fried clams, clam cakes, crabs, shrimp and scallops. Everything on the menu is delivered fresh every day and gluten-free buns are available.
Red’s Eats, 41 Water St, Wiscasset, ME 04578, Phone: 207-882-6128
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5.Sarah’s Café and Twin Schooner Pub, Wiscasset, ME
© Sarah’s Café and Twin Schooner Pub
Sarah’s Café has been pleasing local palates since 1987 and has built up a strong following of loyal customers. The restaurant has a wonderful water-side location with views out over the working waterfront and the passing boats on Sheepscot River. The menu includes a great selection of American favorites like pizzas, calzones, sandwiches and burgers alongside some delicious fresh Maine seafood. Their signature Lobster quesadillas, rolls and wraps are legendary fare. The Twin Schooner Pub offers a selection of the best Maine artisan beers on tap as well as all your favorite spirits to enjoy as you listen to local musicians.
Sarah’s Café and Twin Schooner Pub, 45 Water Street, Wiscasset, ME 04578, Phone: 207-882-7504
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6.Maine Art Gallery
© Maine Art Gallery
Founded in 1958, the Maine Art Gallery is a non-profit organization which strives to enhance the preservation and enjoyment of visual arts of all forms. It goes about doing this by hosting exhibitions and workshops and by offering demonstrations and educational arts programs for both adults and children. Exhibitions take place each year from May through October and feature visual art in many shapes and forms, most of which is produced by artist members of the gallery. You can expect to find works in many mediums including watercolor, acrylic, oils, photography and textile art. You are invited to join the popular Wiscasset Art Walk on the last Thursday of the month during the summer season.
Maine Art Gallery, 15 Warren Street, Wiscasset, ME 04578, 207 687 8143
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7.Old Lincoln County Jail
© Olena Vasylieva/stock.adobe.com
Built in 1811, the Old Lincoln County Jail offers visitors a rare glimpse into the early criminal justice system in Maine. In 1839 the attached Jailers House was built, which is now home to several permanent and changing exhibits, including the old kitchen where the jailer’s wife had to prepare food for more than 50 prisoners. Tours of the old jail are conducted by docents during the summer months – these knowledgeable guides will bring the history to life for visitors and explain all the stories behind the various exhibits. You will hear realistic prison sounds, see ancient graffiti on the original cell walls, and will no-doubt leave feeling very grateful that you never had to endure incarceration here.
Old Lincoln County Jail, 133 Federal Street, Wiscasset, ME 04578, 207 882 6817
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8.Monkey C Monkey Do
The Monkey C Monkey Do ropes centre promises hours of fun for the whole family. There is no better way of entertaining your children and teens than bringing them to the center to get some excellent exercise while they are having fun. The ropes courses and the zip lines provide a thrilling challenge as well as offering several health and wellness benefits – completing a new level is a great way to boost confidence and improve self-esteem while exercising many sets of muscles. Adults and older children can sign up for the 7-Zip Line Guided Tour or the Twin Zips and Giant Swings, while younger visitors (4 -12) can have fun and improve their coordination on the Kid’s Course.
Monkey C Monkey Do, 698 Bath Road, Wiscasset, ME 04578, 207 882 6861
8 Best Things to Do in Wiscasset, Maine
- Castle Tucker, Wiscasset, Maine, Photo: Castle Tucker
- Nickels-Sortwell House, Wiscasset, Maine, Photo: Nickels-Sortwell House
- Wiscasset Bay Gallery, Wiscasset, Maine, Photo: Wiscasset Bay Gallery
- Red’s Eats, Wiscasset, Maine, Photo: Red’s Eats
- Sarah’s Café and Twin Schooner Pub, Wiscasset, ME, Photo: Sarah’s Café and Twin Schooner Pub
- Maine Art Gallery, Photo: Maine Art Gallery
- Old Lincoln County Jail, Photo: Olena Vasylieva/stock.adobe.com
- Monkey C Monkey Do, Photo: Ammit/stock.adobe.com
- Cover Photo: Bert Folsom/stock.adobe.com
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