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Cabbage Island Clambakes are Quintessential Maine

September 27, 2023

I feel like I’ve gotten really out of the habit of writing. 2023 has been one of the craziest years of my life. Who knew wedding planning and then getting married this summer would really be so encompassing? But I’m back! So let’s talk about the most Maine thing I think I’ve ever done: Cabbage Island.

What is Cabbage Island?

Although you can’t go now (the season ended September 10th) Cabbage Island is an incredible and iconic Maine experience. I kind of feel like one of those people letting the cat out of the bag. But considering how immensely popular it is, I think there are probably plenty of other people talking about it.

Cabbage island, as the name suggests, is an island in Maine. You can only get there by boat, and what exactly is the appeal of this experience? Well, if you love lobster, it’s the lobster bake.

For approximately $87 per person, you get two lobsters each, clam chowder, corn on the cob, steamers, a potato, an onion, and a slice of blueberry cake. The lobsters are done the proper way, meaning they are cooked in seaweed, which adds to the flavor.

If you don’t like lobster, they also offer a chicken option. Non-seafood lovers (of which there seem to be SO many in Maine for some reason, can still enjoy this experience). That is probably the best deal in the history of ever especially as inflation continues to rise and prices increase seemingly daily. But there’s something about this place, besides the food, that makes it truly special.

There’s Something Magical About It

As someone who isn’t originally from Maine but has lived here now for a decade, I love everything there is to love about Maine’s coast. Whenever I get the chance, you’ll find me on a boat or visiting an island, because staying on land just seems like a waste of a beautiful Maine summer day to me.

As much as I love Portland and southern Maine, there is something so nice about getting in the car and getting away. Even if it’s just a few hours to get to Boothbay Harbor to then take a boat to get to Cabbage Island. The magic though, that might just come from the fact that the island itself is beautiful.

It’s rugged and a little wild and besides the small building that exists for the clambake (what this lobster bake is called), you really won’t find much else. There’s picnic tables and then a truly giant set up for the lobster bake itself, where they have what seems like hundreds of lobsters and steamers cooking with wood and then nestled in seaweed. Doing it this way ensures you can taste the salty brine of the sea when you’re eating. As one of the most Maine things I’ve ever done, I instantly fell in love and knew I had to make this an annual part of my summer.

A Little Advance Planning

The clam chowder is perfect too, especially on a warm summer night. Cabbage Island Clambakes are something you can enjoy all summer long, since they run daily June 17th-September 10th. Now, why am I writing about it now?

It might have something to do with the fact that these lobster bakes are immensely popular and you have to book your date far in advance! So a little advance notice to plan when you’ll come next year isn’t a bad thing. According to their Facebook page, it looks like next year’s reservations will become available in January of next year, so maybe put a reminder on your phone if you want to snag a coveted spot at the Cabbage Island Clambakes!

Don’t Forget About the Cats!

Yes, if you’re lucky, Cabbage Island is also home to a few pretty adorable cats! You may see them sunning themselves on some rocks enjoying a nap or looking for pets but from the guide I saw inside the small building where the gift shop is, there are about 6 cats in total you can see. So there’s seafood, cats, gorgeous coastline, and a fun interactive boat ride! What more could you really want when you’re enjoying a gorgeous Maine summer day?

You can also buy cocktails like the delicious one that includes blueberries in it. Enjoying that while you’re exploring the beauty of Cabbage Island is pretty much a perfect recipe. Combine that with delectable lobster and I’ve got everything I want from a summer day in Maine.

Learn all about Cabbage Island CLambakes by checking out their website. I hope you check out this Maine activity next summer and many years after that!