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Blue Hill Peninsula/ Deer Isle

SURRY GARDENS is Downeast Maine's premier full-service greenhouse and nursery company. On hand is a huge selection of trees, perennials, fruit trees and shrubs, roses, vines, water plants, bedding plants, vegetable starts, and herbs. Many rare and exotic plants can be found here.

The meditation practice at the MORGAN BAY ZENDO  on Morgan Bay Road includes elements from Zen, Ch'an and Vipassana schools of Buddhism.

Alan Wittenberg (M.A., Certified Music Therapist, American Music Therapy Association) in in charge of the
SURRY MUSIC THERAPY CENTER on Cross Road in Surry. Individuals with physical, emotional, and cognitive difficulties find that music therapy opens new channels of communication and contact, bringing joy, beauty, and serenity to many individuals.

If y
ou want waterfront dining in Blue Hill, you have but a single choice: THE BOATYARD GRILL at 13 East Blue Hill Road.  The food here is outstanding, whether you choose fresh grilled seafood, lobsters, salads, or burgers. You can eat inside or out. There is a full bar and free WIFI. It's just a short walk from downtown Blue Hill and, for drivers, there is plenty of free parking. Enjoy the working boatyard atmosphere.

Surry is home of the SURRY OPERA COMPANY, famous for its cultural exchanges with the former Soviet Union.

Across from the BLUE HILL FAIRGROUNDS is a right turn that takes you to a trail leading up Blue Hill. The mile-long hike to the bald, craggy summit (topped with an unmanned fire tower) takes about 45 minutes.

Keith Herkotz says he loves making pots. The pots he makes show this love. You can see them at DOWN TO EARTH POTTERY shops in Blue Hill and Franklin. His fine stoneware pottery is all hand-shaped on the wheel or freeform and fired at 2300 degrees F. All pieces are oven/microwave and dishwasher safe, lead-free, and beautiful to behold.

Wondering what to get for your favorite Witchey Woman? The guys at
sell gifts and supplies for Wiccans and Pagans and can make any number of darkside suggestions.

The BAGADUCE MUSIC LENDING LIBRARY  houses an extraordinary collection of over half-a-million music-related items. Open 10-5 Tues., Wed., and Fri. and by appointment. Call 374-5454.

You can get fresh produce at bargain prices even if you aren't a member of the BLUE HILL FOOD CO-OP. Check it out. You're sure to find something you like. It's on the right as you're entering downtown Blue Hill.

At BLUE HILL TEA & TOBACCO, you can check out Blue Hill pipes, a unique line of pipes made especially for co-owner David Witter. Also on hand are many premium cigars and more than 400 varieties of wine, some of which are readily affordable.

At HANDWORKS GALLERY, there is a good collection of fine contemporary crafts by Maine artists

Jud Hartmann is engaged in depicting in bronze the woodland Indian tribes of the Northeast. His work, shown at the JUD HARTMANN GALLERY & SCULPTURE STUDIO, is primitive and powerful, evoking primal emotional responses in many people. Exhibited also are paintings by several strikingly original artists.

handles this beachfront beauty, situated just 30 feet from the ocean's edge! An oceanside covered porch affords magnificant views of Mount Desert Island. The oceanside master bedroom allows one to hear gentle waves lapping onto the beach. Above the garage, there are extra sleeping accomodations with full bathroom, TV, internet, and washer-dryer. In the main house, there is a well-kept woodstove, and wall electric heaters are available if needed.

Jim and Bonnie Paulas at SALTMEADOW PROPERTIES are hometown professionals who know the area intimately and take pride in matching buyers and sellers. Among their interesting listings is  a unique 4,400 sq. ft., three-story barn brought up from New York State and re-built on a private eighteen-acre site that features 900 feet of ocean frontage.

holds a big book sale every Saturday during summer. In the off-season, the sales are the first Saturday of every month.

For nearly a century, the people at
LIROS GALLERY have been recognized internationally as specialists in fine paintings and Russian icons. A multi-generational family business dedicated to quality and tradition, Liros  has shown a wide variety of American and European art of the 19th and early 20th centuries. Gallery services include: art and frame conservation and restoration, quality custom framing, and art appraisal for insurance and estate valuations. The business was established in 1926 by Serge Liros' father Akliros in Berlin. Renowned for his expertise in old master paintings, museums and fine collectors quickly became his clients. After the War the gallery moved to Athens, Greece, and in 1949 to New York City. In 1986, Liros moved to Blue Hill.

The HOLT HOUSE on Water Street, administered by the local historical society, is a restored Federal house with period furnishings and exceptional stenciling. It is open 2 to 5 p.m. Tuesday and Friday during July and August. Admission is $1.

As much as possible, the folks at GREENSPEED JUICING
use locally-grown, organic vegetables in their fresh juice and smoothies. If you have a favorite concoction not yet on their extensive menu, they'll blend it just for you.

Three wishes probably won't  be enough when you visit  THREE WISHES
, a wonderful little gift boutique in Blue Hill. You're bound to end up wishing for at least a dozen things. It's tucked in on Water Street, just a bit out of sight.

John Hikade,  the chef at  ARBORVINE, brings 25 years of experience and  boundless creativity to an eclectic and always special menu. He is assisted by his wife Beth who has put an impeccable eye for detail into decorating Arborvine's interior. Her period pieces, such as antique linens, shaker furniture and half-hull models, magnify the warmth of the restaurant’s myriad working fireplaces. Flower and herb gardens grace the grounds.

Open seasonally, THE VINERY, Arborvine's  brew pub, is located nearby. Served are handmade pub fare as well as hand-crafted beers from our Arborvine's own micro-brewery, Deep Water Brewing Co. Stop byfor a beer and a game of bocce in the back yard,  catch the game on a 52' tv, or enjoy dinner with a large crowd! No need for reservations unless you are a party of 8 or more.

Wendy Hays, proprietor of MAE, emphasizes beauty when she selects merchandise for her shop.

STRING THEORY features yarns from all over the world. Emphasis is on natural fibers, including wool, silk, alpaca, and mohair. In addition to String Theory's Hand-dyed Yarn, you'll find Manos, Malabrigo, Noro, Lorna's Lace, Fiesta, Elsebeth Lavold, and more, including exquisite local yarn from Northern Bay Handspun Fibers. Along with yarn and spinning fibers, String Theory carries a complete array of knitting supplies,  handmade buttons by Shipyard Point Glassworks, bags by Julie Haveneran exciting selection of books, and patterns, paintings, sculpture, and jewelry by local artists.

DUDLEY'S REFRESHER is named for Dudley Saltonstall, a Revolutionary War figure who was pretty much of a bust. In 1779, he led a fleet of ships hoping to chase the British out of Castine. He failed, the Americans were routed, and most of the fleet sunk. Several ships still sit at the bottom of the Penobscot River. Saltonstall later became a privateer, which was a polite term for pirate. The owners of Dudley's Refresher, Michael Rossney and Michele Levesque, say they plan to reinterpret the iconic Maine clam shack. They intend to emphasize local ingredients in their offerings of fried clams, lobster rolls, burgers, fries, ice cream, and a few oddities such as beer-battered fish tacos.

MAINESCAPE is a relaxing sort of place with many nicely kept beds of carefully labeled perennials. If you like, you can walk down to the waterlily pond and sit a spell on the comfortable lawn chairs. The sales help is courteous and knowledgeable. Prices are reasonable.

BARNCASTLE is neither a barn nor a castle. Its name notwithstanding, this remarkable place is an inn and fine restaurant. Built in the 1880s, it was the first of Blue Hill's grand summer cottages. It's in the National Registrar of Historic Places.

On Rte 176, you'll come to the JONATHAN FISHER MEMORIAL, a Federal house built in 1814 by Fisher,. It includes paintings, furniture and a collection of his unusual inventions. Renaissance man Fisher, a Blue Hill resident, was a scholar, minister, artist, and inventor. Fisher was a  gifted, though largely untrained, artist and printer. He labored for over 30 years to produce a series of more than 100 small woodblock prints of insects, reptiles, birds and mammals – among many other subjects.  The majority of these were published in 1834 to illustrate his book Scripture Animals, a religious and educational work for young people. Tours of his house are conducted between 2 and 5 p.m. July 1 to mid-Sept.

BROOKLIN dubs itself the "Boatbuilding Capital of the World." Locals say this small Maine town has more boatbuilders per capita than anywhere else on the planet. Brooklin is home to Wooden Boat Magazine and  Wooden Boat School. E.B. White lived here, and Walter Concrite used to sail in occassionally to visit former U.N. Ambassador James Russell Wiggins.

oute 175 north from Brooklin reaches BLUE HILL REVERSING FALLS, a narrow passage with impressive tidal surges. This is a rare reversing falls, and it attracts adventurous whitewater canoeists and kayakers.

In South Blue Hill, you can visit HAIGHT FARM where hydroponically-grown produce is the order of the day. Call 374-2840.

The LOOKOUT RESTAURANT & INN has been owned and operated by the descendants of the Flye family for over a century. Today, it is a unique country inn and gourmet restaurant. On hand is a super selection of wines from around the world

The folks at  THE BROOKLIN INN describe their menu as "eclectically organic" and boast that it features organic produce and organic Maine-raised beef, lamb, and poultry. Their specialty, they say, is fresh fish, caught nearby. Their award winning wine list is four single spaced pages, "with many good wines cheap." Their Pub features steamers, Mussels, Oysters, clams, Haddock sandwiches, Guinness Beef stew, Pizza, and Cheesburgers which, they insist, are the best around.
Open year round, reservations are suggested.

THE ICE CREAM LADY crafts her confections in small batches using only the freshest ingredients. She selects locally grown and harvested blueberries, strawberries, peaches and maple syrup to enhance natural flavors to their fullest. She even uses farm fresh eggs from her own chickens! Hers is a family-run operation dedicated to hiring friends and neighbors in the production of extraordinary premium ice cream of the finest quality.

Who says you have to spend big bucks to stay next to the ocean? OCEANFRONT CAMPING AT REACH KNOLLS provides rustic campsites on the shore of Eggemoggin Reach.  Sites are large and secluded, assuring maximum privacy. Prices are easily affordable by everybody. There are sites for recreational vehicles as well as tents, and the lobsters are right off the boat.

At REACH ROAD GALLERY, Holly Meade specializes in printing from woodblocks. She has won national recognition illustrating  children's books.

In Sedgwick is the DANIEL MERRILL HOUSE, built in 1795, and kept as a museum by the local historical society. The building is the centerpiece of a National Historical District. The house was built for Rev. Merrill, Sedgwick's first minister. The simple two-and-a-half story house with symmetrically placed unadorned windows and a classic early Georgian front entrance contains many interesting artifacts of local history as well as a historical library. Open 2 to 4 Sundays, July and August.

  In Brooksville, you'll find SOW'S EAR WINERY on Route 176 right by the Herrick Road. Here, you're invited to sample the cider and fruit wines. The dry, English-style cider is made from the juice of organically grown, unsprayed apples. It is allowed to ferment naturally in oak barrels, a process that sometimes takes two years to complete. Fruit wines are made from summer rhubarb and choke cherries. Wines here are coarsely filtered, allowing continued development in the bottle and the creation of sediment as a result of ageing. Gail Disney creates rag rugs in her weaving studio here.

BUCKS HARBOR MARKET in South Brooksville is a real old-fashioned general store where you'll find plenty of supplies as well as icredible baked goods, including fresh-baked focasia bread often times still warm from the oven.

Cape Rosier is a sparsely-populated peninsula devoted largely to HOLBROOK ISLAND SANCTUARY, a 1,345-acre state wildlife preserve with hiking trails, and picnic areas. The 115-acre island is accessible by private boat. Helen and Scott Nearings' homestead has been turned into a farm education center. Eliot Coleman, who has developed innovative cold-season growing methods, has his garden here.

a family-friendly restaurant in Sedgwick, was called one of Maine's Best New Restaurants by Down East magazine. Held in especially high regard was the restaurant's sticky buns, which, according to Down East, Blue Hill Peninsula-dwellers stand in line to get.

GALLERY AT CATERPILLAR HILL occupies one of our planet's most beautiful spots—a panoramic view of Penobscot Bay, its islands, nearby mountains, and distant headlands. Ongoing efforts over the past several years, the Caterpillar Hill Initiative, have been aimed at preserving this area as an educational facility of perpetual beauty.

TASHA'S take-out restaurant offers cuisine that is really quite excellent. You can get items such as a variety of Fried Appetizers, Garden fresh Salads, and Sandwiches hot from the grill such as Steak and Cheese, Cheese Burgers, Grilled Chicken Sandwiches and much more. For your sweet tooth, there is a large variety of Giffords Ice Cream. Check out the Full Menu.  The PINE RIDGE GOLF CENTER offers a 18-hole Miniature Golf Course surrounded by natural landscaping and a 250 yard Driving Range with both artificial and grass tees along with a sand trap. Your host, Natasha, will make you feel at home. Open seasonally, May thru September.

The EGGEMOGGIN COUNTRY STORE serves as the center of community life hereabouts. On hand are pretty much all of life's necessities—fresh produce, meat, and other staples; a wonderful little bakery; the latest videos, fuel, magazines and newspapers, and 24 and more varieties of soft serve ice cream. Here also is an Agency Liquor Store. You can buy gifts and recycle cans and bottles. A large bulletin board will keep you up to speed regarding community happenings.

The people at  EL EL FRIJOLES take pride in serving high-quality Mexican food that is tasty, healthy, and nutritious. They make pretty much everything from scratch, every day, and strive to use as many local and/or organic ingredients as possible. They don't add sugars to things that shouldn't be sweet nor fat to food that doesn't need it. They can modify most entrees for people with special dietary needs. Best Mexican food in Sedgwick, they joke (since it is Sedgwick's only Mexican restaurant). Service with a sense of humor.

Legend has it that plans for the DEER ISLAND BRIDGE were drawn by a high school kid working on a term paper. Three such bridges were actually built, two of which fell down. If this story is true, the Deer Isle Bridge is the sole survivor. Does this story leave you feeling lucky or doomed?

WILLIAM MOR  is a  maker of stoneware and seller of Oriental rugs. He also is a connoisseur of fine tribal and village rugs and kilims, selling them along with vegetable-dyed Afghan and Tibetan carpets woven under projects guided by the organization Cultural Survival.

At Elena Kubler's TURTLE GALLERY  in Deer Isle, the summer schedule consists of a series of two- and three-week theme shows featuring high-quality works of various media. This gallery has been cited nationally as one of the places to find the best in Maine arts and crafts.

CROCKETT COVE WOODS PRESERVE, situated a few minutes northwest of Stonington, is a 100-acre preserve containing a fog forest: a rich, quiet, mossy forest of mature spruce, fir, and pine that thrives in the damp, foggy environment prevalent along Deer Isle's south coast. There is a short self-guided nature path. From Stonington, head northwest on the road toward the town of Sunset. Shortly after passing through the village of Burnt Cove, turn left on Whitman Road. Follow along the cove until the pavemet ends and a dirt road departs to the right. Drive 150 yards to a small parking area with a registsration box. Admission is free.

The COCKATOO at Webb Cove in Stonington specializes in fresh quality seafood and THE COCKATOO II PORTUGUESE RESTAURANT located at Goose Cove in Deer Isle specializes in both fresh quality seafood and prime beef.

Employees at BURNT COVE MARKET, V&S VARIETY AND PHARMACY, and THE GALLEY got their act together and bought their places of employment. The resulting Island Workers Cooperative, with 45 members, is one of the nation's largest  worker cooperatives.

ARAGOSTA, which is Italian for "Lobster," provides a Mediterranean flavor to all lof its dishes. Chef Devin Finigan, who has cooked at Restaurante Jardin with Spanish chef Macarena de Castro on the Mediterranean island of Mallorca, brings authentic experience to her waterfront restaurant. No where on earth will you find better butter-poached lobster ravioli.

Located in the heart of the scenic fishing village of Stonington, BOYCE'S MOTEL has welcomed guests to the warmth and comfort of our friendly family-run business for over five decades. Overlooking beautiful Stonington Harbor, Boyce's is within easy walking distance of restaurants, gift shops, and the Isle au Haut mail boat.

HARBOR CAFE takes special pride in its lobster rolls. At $12.99 they provide more lobster for less money than anywhere else. The lobsters are super-fresh as well; they have come off the boats of local lobstermen. On Friday nights, the Cafe hosts a big Seafood Fry; the servings are super-generous, and seconds are on the house. Mondays feature two-for-one Boarded Specials. There are special menus for children and diabetics. The Harbor Cafe is open Year Round.

SHEPARD'S SELECT PROPERTIES  on Main Street in Stonington and Blue Hill has been in the Real estate business for a good long time. Father and Son Don and Richard Lord can direct buyers to the areas’s finest coastal properties presently on the market.

The tiny DEER ISLE GRANITE MUSEUM on Main Street documents Stonington's quarrying tradition. The museum's centerpiece is an 8- by 15-foot working model of quarrying operations on Crotch Island and the town of Stonington at the turn of the last century.

ISLE AU HAUT, reached by mailboat from Stonington, holds the off-shore portion of Acadia National Park. Exploration is by foot or bike (there are no rental bikes.) Accommodations include five lean-tos at Duck Harbor Campground. Contact Acadia Park Headquarters or write P.O. Box 177, Bar Harbor 04609 (207-288-3338). Also on the island is a small village and The Keeper's House, Maine's only lighthouse inn.

Jill Hoy of JILL HILL GALLERY has been painting Stonington   land and seascapes for more than four decades. She is known for her use of bright, primary colors and masterful depiction of sunlight. 

If you get out to NERVOUS NELLIE'S JAMS & JELLIES, check out Peter Beerits playful wood sculptures. The man has a great sense of humor, and obviously enjoys doing them. Yankee Magazine says Nervous Nellie's is New Engand's "Best Everything Place." According to Yankee, "It's a tearoom jam and jelly kitchen, and sculpture garden."

The HAYSTACK MOUNTAIN SCHOOL OF CRAFTS  conducts a series of one- two- and three-week workshops in such crafts as glassblowing, weaving, quilting, potterymaking, and screen printing. Visitors are welcome to 1 p.m. tours Wednesdays through August. Call 207-348-2306.

CASTINE was established as a trading post by the Plymouth Pilgrims (they subscribed to the sail now, pay later ethic; they were obliged to earn money to pay for the Mayflower) and is the only community in the county to have flown under four national flags--U.S., England, France, and Holland. In 1635, Miles Standish was dispatched to Castine to take the town from the French. He failed, and the French kept control. There is a very active local historical society, which has placed markers all over town celebrating various noteworthy occurrences.

The first grid-connected OFFSHORE FLOATING WIND TURBINE in the United States sits off the coast of Castine. It has long been known that offshore wind is a whopper of an energy resource waiting to be tapped, especially in Maine. The United States has an estimated 4,000 gigawatts of offshore wind potential, which is about four times America’s current generation capacity. The University of Maine led the team that developed the concrete-composite floating platform wind turbine.

  We aren't exaggerating when we say CASTINE VARIETY  serves the world's best lobster rolls.  Found here is an immense version of the classic New England treat—chilled meat in a buttered, toasted, split-top bun. Owner Snow Logan, who cooked at Maine Maritime Academy, was trained as a chef at the University of Hawaii. If you're not into lobster, there are plenty of other made-from-scratch tidbits, including Snow's famous handmade donuts. The prices here are amazingly attractive.

The good folks of Castine have fought a tireless battle to save its ELMS from the ravages of Dutch Elm Disease. They've had considerable success, and visitors can see many of these fabulous trees.

On Perkins Street, look for WILSON MUSEUM  and the adjacent PERKINS HOUSE. The museum was built in 1921 to house the anthropological collection of local resident John Howard Wilson. Included are artifacts from cultures all over the world. Downstairs there is a replica of an 1805 American kitchen. Next door is an operating blacksmith forge.

The JOHN PERKINS HOUSE, Castine's oldest, housed British officers during both the Revolutionary War and the War of 1812. It was built about 1763 as a one-story house on what is now Court Street, but was then a wilderness. When John and his young bride Phebe, both from York, Maine, began their married life here, there were only six other houses on the Castine peninsula , three of wich were log cabins. As the Perkins family grew and prospered a four-room two-story addition was built across the gable end of the early home.  By the 1960s, through long neglect, the Perkins House was in very poor condition and had been condemned as a fire hazard. In  1968, the Castine Scientific Society bought the house  and had it taken down piece by piece, beams, clapboards, moldings, bricks, timbers, etc. and had it rebuilt at the Wilson Museum. Guided tours of the house in the summer include demonstrations of open-hearth cooking, with guest invited to taste the results.

DUDLEY'S REFRESHER is named for Dudley Saltonstall, a Revolutionary War figure who was pretty much of a bust. In 1779, he led a fleet of ships hoping to chase the British out of Castine. He failed, the Americans were routed, and most of the fleet sunk. Several ships still sit at the bottom of the Penobscot River. Saltonstall later became a privateer, which was a polite term for pirate. The owners of Dudley's Refresher, Michael Rossney and Michele Levesque, say they plan to reinterpret the iconic Maine clam shack. They intend to emphasize local ingredients in their offerings of fried clams, lobster rolls, burgers, fries, ice cream, and a few oddities such as beer-battered fish tacos.

The BAYVIEW TAKE-OUT & MARKET on Bayview Road in Penobscot has Downeast Maine's best haddockburgers. Other notable eats include many varieties of sandwiches, burgers, fried fish, clams, scallops, etc. The best take-out place hereabouts.

SISTERS SALSA, which you can find at most Shaw's and Hannaford’s markets, is made locally from fresh vegetables and juices. It couldn't be fresher.

Questions or comments? Send them along to Captain D.