town in Lincoln County, Maine, United States

Bristol, Maine is a small port city where the movie Message in a Bottle was shot.

Get in

Map of Bristol (Maine)

Bristol is on Pemaquid Pennsula, about 60 miles north of Portland.

By car


Coming from the south, most would find themselves taking the Massachusetts Pike to I-95 North. Follow I-95 to Exit 52 and follow I-295 North. From there, take Exit 28 for US-1 north. In Newcastle take the exit for US-1-BR. Make a right at Bristol Rd/ME-130. Bristol Road is the heart of Bristol.

By plane

  • Bangor International Airport (BGR IATA), 287 Godfrey Blvd (Bangor, between 40 and 50 miles from Bristol).

Get around


Cars and bikes are the best way to get around. In Bristol you will not have any problems parking. However, on hot beach days, parking will fill up at the local beach, Pemaquid Beach. A bike is an enjoyable and safe way to travel. Even Bristol Road is a calm road to bike. However, there are some challenging hills where you may need to walk with your bike.

  • 1 Pemaquid Point Lighthouse. The lighthouse is a symbol of Maine. It was selected as the design for the Maine State quarter, which came out in June 2003. It was built in 1825 over a dangerous section of the Maine coast. When visiting the lighthouse, not only can you explore inside the lighthouse and see the panoramic view of the Atlantic ocean, but you can also visit the lighthouse keeper's home, now a museum. Located close to the lighthouse is a gift shop and a small restaurant.    
  • Pemaquid Beach. This is a prime place to be during the heat of the summer. While the coast of Bristol is mostly rocky, there is a small, smooth entrance into the water here at Pemaquid Beach. Although the air can get hot during the summer, the water temperature is usually between 55 and 65 degrees. Be prepared to conquer some cold water! Besides that, is a great family spot with a snack bar, picnic area, and beach shop. Admission is $2.00 per person. Also, if visiting at the right time, you may catch fireworks on the beach!
  • Hannah Boat Landing. Historic park where the annual Bristol Day's are held. Spend a day at a park on the ocean. Boat races and local vendors join the fun for Bristol Days.

Hike the trails of local preserves owned by the local land trust, Pemaquid Watershed Association[dead link].

  • Reiley's Market. A quaint grocery store in the heart of town. Enjoy fresh baked bread, lobster, and rotisserie chicken.
  • The Cupboard, Snowball Hill Road. A small bakery/sandwich shop offering a variety of freshly prepared foods and coffee. The carrot cake is to die for.
  • Anchor Inn Restaurant, Round Pond Road, Round Pond, +1 207 529-5584. Depending on where you're staying it may be somewhat of a hike, but the crab cakes are excellent. It's a nicer restaurant overlooking water.



This is not a drinking hot spot. If you do not want to diverge far from Bristol, you should come prepared with alcoholic beverages.


  • Bristol Inn, 28 Upper Round Pond Rd, +1 207 563-1125. Near the Anchor Inn.

Go next


Local towns include Damariscotta, Boothbay Harbor, and Camden. 40 miles away is Freeport, home of the first L.L.Bean. Portland is 40 minutes away, and Acadia National Park is about 3 hours away.

Routes through Bristol
WatervilleJefferson ← Jct S   N  N   S  END

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