In the far northeastern part of Maine, Calais sits along the St. Croix River – the international boundary between Maine and Canada – and there are three bridges into New Brunswick from the town. Though not a coastal community, visitors can observe some of the highest tides in the contiguous United States as the river rises and falls 25 feet twice each day, pulled by the Atlantic Ocean into Passamaquoddy Bay.
Things to Do in Calais, Maine
The St. Croix River is also well-known for white-water canoeing. Family-friendly river trips let you enjoy the beauty of the deep woods while traveling with ease down the river. Maine's northernmost lighthouse is located on the St. Croix River in Calais, as well. Whitlock’s Mill Lighthouse, still operational today, helped guide sailing ships in from the Passamaquoddy Bay. You can view the 25-foot-tall lighthouse from the St. Croix River View rest area on Route 1 (the lighthouse grounds are not open to the public).
In town, you can stroll along the Waterfront Walkway – a 1.5-mile path along the river. Just a short drive from Calais, you can also explore the nearly 30,000-acre Moosehorn National Wildlife Refuge. Known for exceptional wildlife viewing, as well as hunting, fishing and hiking, there are four lakes and restored wetlands. Bird watching is popular here with woodcocks, ospreys, eagles and waterfowl.
Where to Stay in Calais
There are plenty of hotels and lodging options in Calais. You can stay right in town at The International Motel with all you need for a two-nation vacation. For a quiet, lakeside retreat, stay at Keenes Lake Family Campground, great for RVs, tents or rent a simple cabin. Half-an-hour away in Pembroke, you can rent an 1850 farmhouse at Leighton Neck. Thirty minutes north, you will find the Bellmard Inn, which serves homemade breakfast and dinner for reasonable rates, and The Flying Eagle Lodge with comfortable rooms or cabins by the lake. For a classic Maine camp experience, visit St. Croix Camps – where registered Maine guides can take you hunting and fishing and then back to a lakeside cabin on the Grand Falls Flowage.
Restaurants in Calais
Main Street in Calais has plenty of cafes and restaurants like the popular Karen’s Main Street Diner and the Riverview Restuarant. Looking to dine where there’s a little bit of everything? In Baileyville, visit the eclectic Nook & Cranny Restaurant for a combination of Downeast fare and world cuisine.