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Seal Cove Auto Museum: the hidden gem of Acadia

Not all the great photo ops in Maine are outdoors…


Each year, thousands upon thousands of people flock to Bar Harbor and the surrounding villages to take in one of America’s most beautiful treasures, Acadia National Park. While the area’s coastlines drives, wildlife spotting, and picturesque lighthouses may get all the tourist press, there’s a hidden gem that should be on everyone’s “must see” list when visiting: Seal Cove Auto Museum.

seal cove auto museum car 1

Quite honestly, we stumbled upon it almost by accident while planning our 2023 New England Fall Colors Car Caravans. As we routed our scenic drive for the day in Google Maps, we just happened to see there was a car museum along the way. Knowing our folks just love a good car museum, we went ahead and included it on our itinerary. Boy, were we shocked at just how amazing this place is.

Over the years, we’ve been to quite a few car museums, and ones of this size typically feel pretty similar… A lot of cars from the 50s, 60s, and 70s, and hey, we love that, but Seal Cove Auto Museum is a different animal all together as it focuses on primarily Brass Era cars and motorcycles.

Typically, Brass Era wouldn’t interest us much beyond just some nice photo ops, but Seal Cove Auto Museum does a phenomenal job of telling the stories of their cars and the time periods they existed in. You can tell this isn’t just a “museum” where someone is just charging you to look at their collection. It is a well-thought out and immersive museum filled with tons of history and fun facts & figures.

The whole museum starts with a man named Richard Paine and his passion for these vehicles. Over the years, he amassed an impressive collection of early motorcycles and cars, and upon his passing, a board was chosen with the mission to keep his legacy going strong.

Like most prolific collectors, his collection had many of the same types of things, so to ensure both his legacy and the museum endured, they streamlined the collection a bit. Today, the museum boasts more than 60 vehicles and plenty of stories to go with them ranging from innovation to women’s rights.

In addition to being just a fantastic place to stop on your vacation to the area, the museum also hosts events, dances, cars & coffee meets, and more throughout their operating season.

The museum is open daily from May until the end of October from 10-5 and can be seen by appointment in the offseason. At about $10 to get in, admission won’t break the bank either.

Learn more about the collection and how to visit at their website.

Or, of course, you can just see it on one of Two Lane America’s New England car caravans!

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