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“A Garden Jewel” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens

Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens
Barters Island Road, Boothbay, ME 04537
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Ranked #1 of 9 attractions in Boothbay
Type: Gardens, Trails
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Attraction Details
Owner description: Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens is a natural wonder on 250 acres of shorefront in mid-coast Maine. Strolling through spectacular ornamental gardens and traversing miles of waterfront and woodland trails, visitors are delighted by the beautiful plantings, impressive stonework, waterfalls and fountains, and scenic views. It’s no wonder the Gardens have been hailed as one of Maine’s top three attractions. The Gardens are open 9-5 year-round, with a much-praised café and gift shop open seasonally. A visit at any time is a memorable experience.
Top Contributor
286 reviews 286 reviews
63 attraction reviews
Reviews in 118 cities Reviews in 118 cities
181 helpful votes 181 helpful votes
“A Garden Jewel”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 21, 2012

I read one review that stated this was an arboretum not a botanical garden. Whatever you choose to call it, go there and just call it sheer beauty. These gardens are only seven years old and already are magnificent. Even if you are wheel chair bound, you can enjoy the gardens. And even if you do not bring children with you, don't miss the children's garden. It is fabulous. We found the cafe to be just fine, eating outside or in. Wear good shoes, and maybe even a hat on a sunny day. Whatever you call it, this space is heavenly and certainly a highlight of our coastal Maine vacation!!

Visited September 2012
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494 reviews from our community

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Date | Rating
  • English first
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English first
Senior Contributor
36 reviews 36 reviews
18 attraction reviews
Reviews in 24 cities Reviews in 24 cities
12 helpful votes 12 helpful votes
“a little gem in Boothbay”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 21, 2012

Coastal Botanical Gardens.... lovely maintained gardens, easily walked the trails, the children's garden was a delight !

Visited September 2012
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Top Contributor
63 reviews 63 reviews
15 attraction reviews
Reviews in 29 cities Reviews in 29 cities
28 helpful votes 28 helpful votes
“A September visit with everything in full bloom”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 20, 2012

Read about this on tripavisor and am so thankful I did. It was one of the highlights of our Maine vacation and altho my first trip to Maine, the other 3 returning travelers had never heard of it. We are all gardeners [2 Florida/2 NY] and marveled at the beautiful flowers that could survive in this climate. Walking thru the woods with the fairy gardens, enjoying the sculptures, the water features, the children's garden, the foliage, flowers, butterflies, frogs, tadpoles...all of it...made for a great visit that we all loved. The shuttle was very handy and welcomed as we left the woods a bit tired. I read another review about it not being a true 'botanical' garden but it didn't disappoint us in any way. We did not eat here but did enjoy the gift shop. You might want a water bottle, definitely take a camera, comfortable walking shoes, and at some times you might need bug repellent. We talked with people on scooters and they were so pleased to be able to visit so much of the property. I highly recommend the Coastal Maine Gardens, especially when it is in full bloom. The people who had the vision for this place are to be commended on an excellent attraction.

Visited September 2012
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Boston, Massachusetts
Top Contributor
90 reviews 90 reviews
28 attraction reviews
Reviews in 38 cities Reviews in 38 cities
34 helpful votes 34 helpful votes
“Beauty and education in a fantastic setting”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 19, 2012

Coastal Maine Botanical Garden is a relatively new endeavor, in the works the past 20 years but only open the public since 2007. Be prepared to walk a lot to see this very big place. (For those with decreased mobility there are wheelchairs and scooters available to see much, but not all, of the grounds.)
The flowering plants are really quite spectacular. The various gardens are all close by the visitor center, and all the plants are labeled clearly. There are water features and a reflexology labyrinth made to walk in bare feet. The childrens' garden is charming and certainly not just for kids.
Walk a bit further and you descend to the level of the Back River where there is a wonderful forest to explore and beautiful views to enjoy.
The staff were incredibly welcoming and enthusiastic about their garden and seem to want every visitor to enjoy it, too. We went to the cafe for lunch, it was delicious and the outdoor tables made for pleasant views of the kitchen garden area.
Highly recommended, and worth return visits at different seasons.

Visited September 2012
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Hartford, CT
15 reviews 15 reviews
Reviews in 13 cities Reviews in 13 cities
12 helpful votes 12 helpful votes
“This is a beautiful Arboretum, not a botanical garden.”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed September 18, 2012

I was disappointed with this "Botanical Garden." Yes it was big, beautiful, had some flower beds, and lots of trees, an impressive network of walking trails, and other treats to see. What it didn't have, however, was a real example of its namesake: a "Botanical Garden." The majority of this park is, in actuality, an impressively large arboretum or a well-maintained forest.

You see, a "botanical garden" is "a garden often with greenhouses for the culture, study, and exhibition of special plants" (Merriam-Webster online dictionary) or a garden whose main purpose is "exhibiting ornamental plants in a scheme that emphasizes natural relationships." On the other hand, an arboretum is "a display garden of mostly woody plants (shrubs and trees)" (Merriam- Webster Dictionary online). Since the Coastal Maine "Botanical Gardens" consists of a disportionately larger percentage of woody plants, then it should be, appropriately, renamed "Coastal Baine Arboretum." Had I not been misinformed by their website, I would have worn my hiking shoes, and broght granola bars and water with me, instead of my tripod and camera. There simply were not enough flowers in this arboretum for me to look at and photograph.

Additionally, the cafe is overrated. The staff is short on customer service skills, the inside seating area is too tight (was the cafe added on to the property as an after thought), and water served from a little cooler into 5-ounce Dixie is illogical and inconsiderate. Visitors to the Arboretum may already have enough to hold on to (trying to juggle holding on to their children, strollers, cameras and other items). Adding a little uncovered cup of water to the mix is a disaster waiting to happen.

Visited June 2012
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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