- The list below includes 80 free or cheap things to do in or near Southwest Harbor, Maine, including 56 different types of inexpensive activities like Hiking Trails, Specialty Museums, Gardens and Food Shops.
- From Beech Cliff Loop to Perpendicular Trail, there are a variety of budget-friendly attractions in Southwest Harbor and in nearby cities within 25 miles like Bar Harbor, Deer Isle, Ellsworth and Castine.
Castine Kayak Adventures offers kayaking instruction, day trips, overnight trips, and sales. Yankee Magazine and DownEast Magazine have awarded the company for having the best night paddles, known as bioluminescent paddles.
Castine Historical Handworks is a quaint gift shop that celebrates traditional craftsmen and artists from the local areas in and around New England. Jewelry, photography, bird carvings, metal work, and fruit preserves are amongst the many offerings.
Visitors can learn about the history of Castine at the Castine Historical Society by looking at maps, photographs, artifacts, essays, and books, particularly about the Penobscot Expedition, a Revolutionary War battle. The facility also hosts special exhibits on a regular basis.
In the late 1800s and early 1900s, many families used Castine, Maine, as their vacation destination, most notably Harriet Beecher Stowe and Henry Wadsworth Longfellow. Visitors to Main Street can see many restored buildings where small businesses and art galleries are located.
The Wilson Museum features exhibits to help people understand the growth of man's ability to make tools from the Paleolithic times to the Native Americans. Visitors see rocks, shells, ship models, reconstructed 1905 kitchen, and a Victorian Parlor.