Plein Air Painting Sites Maine

Five Islands, Maine

Located in Central coastal Maine, near the city of Bath, this plein air painting site is one of my favorite in all of Maine. It has everything, killer views of the ocean, little islands covered with dark Maine Pine and spruce trees, a lobster pier where one can have a lobster feast or crab sandwich for lunch or dinner, a perfect little harbor sheltering fishing boats, cottages perched on the ocean with multi-colored lobster floats strung up outside on perfect green lawns. I paint here every time I go to Maine and never tire of this site. Unspoiled and off the beaten track, you will love this place too. Here is my recent (Oct. 2013) short video of this location.

To Get There:

From Bath cross the bridge over the Kennebec River on US Route 1.

Immediately after crossing the bridge, Turn Right on ME 127.

Stay on ME 127 for 10.4 miles.

ME 127 becomes Five Islands Road - Go 1.2 miles where the road ends at tiny community of Five Islands - park in the public parking near the lobster pier.

There are portable toilets.

York Harbor, York, Maine

Harris Island Road, York Harbor, ME.

Wide variety of subject matter. Harris Island, York Town Dock #1, harbor, cottages, buildings, boat yard, boats, York River, marshes.

Parking along the left side of Harris Rd. Public bathroom. Site information from Plein Air Painters of Maine's Southern Chapter.

Google Maps Directions

Boothbay Harbor - Coastal Maine

The town of Boothbay Harbor is located about 40 minutes drive from Bath on a peninsula and is a charming place to paint.  We stopped at a small dock next to Robinson's Wharf and Tug's Pub and I set up my easel.  Parking was simple and afterwards we enjoyed a fabulous lobster dinner.

Driving Directions: Take Route 1 from Bath, cross the Kennebec River Bridge in Bath - stay on Route 1 until you get to Route 27 to Boothbay Harbor. 

This location information and photo provided by Cynthia Riordan - To see her art go to:Cynthia Riordan Art

Boothbay Shores, East Boothbay, Maine

Fabulous site near Boothbay Harbor. On a quiet sea and river frontage with open vistas of coves, boats, rocks and ocean. Distant islands and headlands along with dark pine trees and ever changing water and sky make this a painting site for all seasons.

Stop at the East Boothbay General Store for coffee, sandwiches. Ask them where to find a restroom if you need it. I was able to find one at the East Boothbay Firehouse. No restroom at this site otherwise.

To get there: Take Route 1 from Bath going North. Take Route 27 towards Boothbay Harbor. Once in Boothbay go Left at the traffic lights onto Route 96. Go through East Boothbay - about 2 or 3 miles further on Route 96 look for a Left turn towards Boothbay Shores and King Philips Trail. Follow the road until you get to the waterfront on your left. Paint anywhere along this frontage near the stone pillars and iron gate leading to a causeway. Do not park on the causeway. Great vistas in all directions.

Thanks to John for these two sites in East Boothbay.
E.Boothbay- go right past EB General store. Boat launch site. Parking and nice view. No facilities. 

OceanPoint- public parking at beach and a public walkway to the point. Nice rocks. 

Fort Foster State Park at Kittery Point, Kittery, Maine

Scenic 88 acre seaside park with ocean side trail – painting subjects include Whaleback Light, surf and ocean, lots of rocks, ruins of an old fort and beach scenes. It’s an easy walk from parking areas to painting spots.

Season: The park is open from 10:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m., seven days a week from Memorial Day to Labor Day. Rates: $10 per car during season or $5 per walk-in or bike rider. Kittery locals can get a season pass for $10 ($5 for seniors). Facilities: Marked walking trails, picnic areas, toilets available.

Marshall Point Lighthouse, on the Port Clyde peninsula, south of Thomaston

Panoramic views of ocean, islands, lighthouse and Light Keepers house - this site has it all!

Parking and Bathrooms available.

Directions: From coastal Route 1 in Thomaston, take a right on Route 131. The Marshall Point Rd./Drift Inn Rd., is a left from Route 131 just before you enter the village of Port Clyde, if you enter the village you have gone too far. The Marshall Point road is well marked with signs to the lighthouse. The road ends at the lighthouse so you can't get lost.

Great views over marshland with the ever changing light and coming and going of the tide - this area looks different every time you come here. The renowned painter Wolf Kahn loves this parking lot for plein air painting. He calls it "the best parking lot in New England" for painting. Not just because of the subject matter but because it is a great place for lunch or dinner as well.

To Get There: From Bath cross the bridge over the Kennebec River on US Route 1. Keep going a mile or so on Route 1 towards Boothbay Harbor. You will see A Taste of Maine restaurant on the right - it's hard to miss with a huge red metal lobster beckoning you to come in! Bathrooms easily available in the restaurant lobby.


This wonderful State Park is quite close to Five Islands, mentioned above. During the Summer time you need to be there early otherwise no parking is available due to the beach crowd. This park has multiple areas excellent for plein air painting. Beautiful Maine white sand beaches, sheltered lagoon areas as well as the rocky granite boulder areas you expect to see on the rugged Maine coast. Plan to stay the day and take lunch.  Check out our short video of this spot.

Full Bathroom and shower facilities.

To Get There:

From Bath cross the bridge over the Kennebec River on US Route 1.

Immediately after crossing the bridge, Turn Right on ME 127.

Stay on ME 127 for 10.4 miles.

Turn Right on Sequinland Road (there is a sign for Reid State Park) and travel 2.1 miles to the State Park Entrance where you will pay an entry fee.

Monhegan Island

A unique plein air painting site on a remote Maine Island. Monhegan Island has been an artist's colony since the early 1900s, and many famous painters have lived and painted there. Monhegan is 11 miles off the coast of central Maine. Boats ferry back and forth from Boothbay Harbor, Port Clyde and New Harbor.

Because of the effort to get there, try to stay one night on the Island if you can so you have time to enjoy the experience. I tried to do this trip in one day and ended up feeling really rushed. Too much to see and do! No cars are allowed on Monhegan (except for a few small pickups used by lobster fishermen for hauling their gear). Plan to bring good walking shoes.

To get full information go to Monhegan info
Many art workshops take place on Monhegan Island, so maybe you can sign up for one to enjoy the island to the fullest extent.

Extreme Plein Air - Maine - Kayaking Adventures
Massachusetts Painting Sites

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