Take a ride on Eastern Mass 4387 on the Seashore Trolley Museum’s private heritage railroad in Kennebunkport. Photo courtesy of Katie Orlando

Traveling may be restricted throughout the summer, but these museums allow visitors to take a trip without leaving the state. Transportation museums are reopening with increased COVID-19 guidelines and other safety measures.

Maine museums will showcase, boats, trolleys, cars and more. The Boothbay Railway Village, however, will not open this summer, opting to work on enhancements and new features for when it does reopen.

This tapestry by Harpswell fiber artist Barbara Burns, a private commission to honor generations of women in the owner’s family, is on display at the Maine Maritime Museum. Photo courtesy of Maine Maritime Museum

Maine Maritime Museum

243 Washington St., Bath, mainemaritimemuseum.org; 9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily; $10, $8 for kids 6-12, free admission for kids under 6 and members; face covering and six-feet distance are encouraged, follow marked pathways through galleries, adhere to building capacities and wash hands frequently.

The majority of the museum’s exhibitions are open: main exhibit galleries, Percy & Small Shipyard, Kramer Blacksmith Shop, Paint & Treenail Shop, Mill and Joiner Shop, Small Craft Collection, Lobstering & the Maine Coast, Launching a Wooden Vessel Demonstration and Traditional Skills Demonstrations. A new exhibition entitled “Interwoven: Threads of Power in the Domestic Sphere” explores how the success of maritime families in the 1800s was impacted by women. Daily lighthouse and nature cruises resumed June 22 with a 20-person capacity.

Maine Maritime Museum has also partnered with Google Arts & Culture to create three online exhibitions for patrons to view remotely.


The “Great War” exhibition at the Owls Head Transportation Museum. Photo courtesy of Sophie D. Gabrion

Owls Head Transportation Museum

117 Museum St., Owls Head, owlshead.org; 10 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. and 1:30 p.m. to 4 p.m. Wednesday through Sunday; $12, $10 for seniors 65 and over, free admission for members and children under 18; must purchase tickets in advance, six-feet distance between groups is encouraged, and face coverings are required when this is not possible, must follow safety and directional signage.

Six of the museum’s 10 galleries provide space for maintaining a six-foot distance between groups and are open to the public. The galleries include vehicles from the collection and five exhibitions: “Fads & Failures: Vehicles Lost to Progress,” “Faster: The Quest for Speed,” “Pedaling to Progress: Bicycles from 1800s-1920s,” “Women Who Dare” and “The Great War: Mechanization of Warfare, 1914-18.”

Penobscot Marine Museum

Penobscot Marine Museum staff member Sarah Cole energetically engaging with walking tour participants. Courtesy Penobscot Marine Museum

2 Church St., Searsport, penobscotmarinemuseum.org; open for guided walking tours Tuesdays from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. and Saturdays from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m.; up to 10 people per household, admission is $20 per household; tickets must be reserved by 5 p.m. the day before; must wear a face covering and maintain six feet between groups; no public restrooms available.

The walking tours last roughly 45 minutes, stop outside seven buildings, explore the museum’s campus, visit the boat barns and view the “Gone Fishing” exhibition. Participants can choose between the standard tour about history and stories from Searsport and Penobscot Bay and the weekly themed tour. For those unable to attend Tuesday evening or Saturday morning tours, additional tours are available for $40 per household or $30 for members.


Seal Cove Auto Museum

1414 Tremont Road, Seal Cove, sealcoveautomuseum.org; 11 a.m. t0 5 p.m. daily; $10, $8 for veterans and seniors 62 and older, free for children 18 and younger; museum capacity limited to 35 people at a time; face covering required and must follow one-way path; all visitors must provide name and contact information in case contact tracing is needed.

The entire museum is open, including this year’s new exhibit, “Engines of Change – a Suffrage Centennial,” exploring the impact of the automobile on women’s suffrage. In good weather, the museum is placing some cars outside so visitors can enjoy the cars while waiting to be called inside.

The museum will also hold its “Cars and Coffees” shows outdoors two Saturdays a month from 9 a.m. to noon, for people to showcase their own cars in a safe way. Attendance is free but limited. “This is in response to the lack of car shows this year in our area, and our having a large lawn and lot for people to spread out and still enjoy car season,” associate director Tim Weiss said.

Visitors waiting to get into the Seal Cove Auto Museum can check out a 1916 Abbott-Detroit and a 1921 Mercer Model 5, among other cars parked outside. Courtesy Seal Cove Auto Museum

Seashore Trolley Museum

195 Log Cabin Road, Kennebunkport, trolleymuseum.org; offering trolley rides Wednesday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and docent-guided tours on Wednesday, Saturday and Sunday; admission for trolley rides is $12, $10 for adults over 60, $9.50 for children ages 6-15, $5 for children ages 3-5, free for children under 2; the fee for docent-guided tours is a flat rate of $50 for a group of 10; tickets should be purchased in advance; face covering required.

Groups of up to 10 can pay a flat fee of $100 to reserve a private trolley ride and one-hour self-guided tour or $50 for a two-hour docent-guided tour and a signed copy of “Teddy Roosevelt, Millie, and the Elegant Ride” by author Jean Flahive. A limited amount of tickets are available in order to allow for six feet between parties. The museum’s Restoration Shop viewing gallery is not open to visitors at this time.

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