Rockland towards Ellsworth | Blue Hill PeninsulaBangor towards Ellsworth | Ellsworth Area | MDI

OHWOW!!!: Onward Eastward

MANY PEOPLE will tell you that Downeast doesn't really begin until you cross the Hancock/Sullivan bridge. At this point, there definitely is a change in ambiance. There is a subtle shift to less commercialization. Tourism no longer rules the roost. This is the beginning of the SCHOODIC NATIONAL SCENIC BYWAY.

he GALLEY BY THE BRIDGE RESTAURANT is wonderfully situated. Looking out the back window, you're likely to see a seal, eagles, and lobstemen as well as the tidal falls. The school teacher owner is a seasonal lobsterman so the lobster he serves is the frestest around. "We catchem 'em, cook 'em, and you eat 'em," he says.

At LUNAFORM, you will find landscaped gardens, trails, and trellises created to display the many shapes, forms, sizes, and finishes of urns, planters, bowls, and basins produced here. Lunaforms are unique. Each piece is handcrafted using materials and a process that ensures it will withstand any and all environmental conditions. Uniforms are world's strongest planters, made that way with steel and polypropylene fibers in a process involving cureing concrete in a humidity and temperature controlled enviroment before being sandblasted and finished to perfection. By trial and error, Phid Lawless and Dan Farrenkoph developed the process, never planning on starting a business until a garden design magazine featured them in an article. In this instance, demand created a business, not the other way around. Today, Lunaforms can be found in the New York Botanical Garden, Rockefeller Center, the Four Seasons Hotel in Miami, and the MGM Mirage in Las Vegas.

You have to go a bit off the beaten track and then a bit on an even more unbeaten track to get there, but a visit to Obadiah Buell's GRANITE GARDEN GALLERY is worth the trouble. Since the summer of 2003,  Buell has been the sole proprietor of this gallery, home to a complete line of  his stone furnishings and select sculptural garden features. While visiting the gallery you're welcome to wander through the granite quarry, marvel at unique native flora, and enjoy the beauty of Obie's flourishing vegetable and perennial gardens.

You can arrange a tour of the CENTER FOR COOPERATIVE AQUACULTURE RESEARCH  by calling Steve Eddy at 207/422-8918.

Phil Barter of the BARTER FAMILY ART GALLERY is a self-taught folk artist of growing renown.

Yankee Magazine credited WILLOWBROOK GARDENS  as being among New Engand's 100 Great Gardens.

The PAUL URANN HOME is a historic preservation project of th Sullivan-Sorrento Historical Society. This active group has archived more than 15,000 items of historic interest.

RAY FUNCHION makes amazingly lifelike ceramic fish for use as wallhangings.

There is a lot more to the FRENCHMAN BAY TEA COMPANY than tea. You can sign up for art classes, use free WIFI to go online, peruse an interesting selection of vintage items, or retire to the Reading Room just to read or to do research on Maine history from rare documents kept here. And, of course, there's tea, a special blend under this company's private label. Paths through the Lost Cemetery (which may be the burial place of a Revolutionary War hero)  leave from this property.

Writing in "The Guide to Maine Golf Courses," Park Morrison called BLINK BONNIE GOLF LINKS "one of Maine’s Hidden Gems!" Established in 1916, this links-style 9-hole walking course has an open layout with bunkers guarding its velvet bentgrass greens and beautiful views of Flanders Bay from every tee box.  Alternate tee locations give golfers two distinct nine-hole experiences, the shorter one being the more difficult. Course length/par:  Back: 2,840/36; Front: 2,640/35; Course rating/slope:  65.0/112. The summer association sponsors Friday morning scrambles which are open to all members as well as lessons for children and adults both.  Visitors find that the course offers fun golf at low cost for golfers of all ability levels.

According to Yankee Magazine, CHESTER PIKE'S GALLEY serves the absolute  "best Downeast chow." The locals are in complete agreement. This is where they come for both breakfast and lunch. And on Friday nights they're likely to turn out for Chester's famous fish fry—the freshest haddock with seconds on the house. This place is famous also for its unsurpassed fish chowder.

At TUCKER MOUNTAIN LOG HOMES, skilled logsmiths build custom-designed, handcrafted dwellings. Unique digs like these are available nowhere else in Maine. C.A. CONSTRUCTION, INC. is the construction arm of Tucker Mountain Log Homes.

ROBERT NALL MAC MECHANIC, who has had over 20 years of experience with MacIntosh hardware and software, is a private technician available by appointment. He does pretty much everything, including tutoring, trouble-shooting, repairs, wireless/network set-ups and installations. His rates are very reasonable, and he also works on PCs. Call 207-812-1252.

Looking for a family-operated, small-town, take-out restaurant with a proven track record? Look no further than TRACEY'S SEAFOOD in Sullivan. Currently operated by a third generation Tracey, it's been open for 18 years in the same location. You can eat in or take out. The Traceys process their own seafood to guarantee you'll get the frestest seafood around. You can get fried shrimp, clams, scallops, and haddock, live or cooked lobsters, and crabmeat rolls along with basic burgers and ice cream. Yankee magazine recently presented Tracey's an Editor's Choice Award for "Best Twofer Lobster Rolls"—two lobster rolls for the very reasonable price of one.

Try Downeast bubble gum--pieces of dried fish--at YOUNG'S STORE. Here gasoline prices generally are lower than anyplace further east.

The WINTER HARBOR AGENCY has been selling real estate and insurance on the Schoodic Peninsula since 1898. This venerable company has been in the Tracy family for four generations, a Maine record.

is  located on a high oceanfront bluff with breathtaking views of Frenchman’s Bay and the mountains of Mount Desert Island. The Schoodic portion of Acadia National Park is twenty minutes away. At night you can see the lights of Bar Harbor. Just a bit off the beaten path, Acadia View afford casual elegance in comfortable surroundings. Here you can watch for bald eagles, hear the haunting calls of loons, or, if you wish, watch Direct TV with HBO and go online with WIFI in each room.
After enjoying our gourmet breakfast, you can relax in our hammock or walk a winding path down to the ocean. Yankee magazine said this affords the Best Acadia Views.

The GOULDSBORO HISTORICAL SOCIETY operates a museum in a historic church building bought from the Gouldsboro United Methodist Church for a hundred dollars. It had served as a place of worship for 125 years before the congregation dwindled down to near nothing. It was a fate shared by many Maine churches. Maine is said to be New England's least religious state. 

At the MAINE KILN WORKS, Dan and Elizabeth Weaver augment their more typical pottery selections with Maine's largest assortment of stoneware sinks. Fired at 2,360 degrees, the handformed sinks emerge from the kiln part glass and part stone. They are available in several sizes and styles. Each is beautifully distinctive.

About three miles down 186, the BLUFF HOUSE INN offers an outstanding 180 degree view from Mount Desert Island to Schoodic Mountain as well as tastefully decorated rooms at rates to suit every budget. Guests get breakfast. Call 207/963-7805).

The SCHOODIC CO-OP  is a meeting place for artisans and lovers of antiques.  This is one of Maine's most interesting shops. Drop by for a cup of coffee and something from the bakery.

If you want to see rough seas breaking along a rugged shoreline, check out GRINDSTONE NECK. This peninsula is home to a fashionable summer colony. Sometimes off the western shore of Ned Island, you can see Roaring Bull--the ocean breaking over a submerged ledge midst an otherwise calm stretch of water. There is a Donald Ross seaside golf course, a real gem.

According to Marcus LiBrizzi, author of  Ghosts of Acadia, the shores of Winter Harbor hide "a secret source of supernatural power inextricably tied to the land." LiBrizzi says that Bow-Arrow Hill in the center of the village has long been the setting of extreme psychic encounters.  "Strange orbs, accompanied by a whirring sound, appear in the area all the time, and almost everybody in Winter Harbor has seen weird lights in the skies."

Whatever you do, don’t miss Winter Harbor’s famous LOBSTER FESTIVAL held the second Saturday of August. It attracts the world’s speediest lobster boats for its famous races. Other attractions include delicious food, children’s activities, a parade, live music, and crafts.

In 1993, the founder of the PROSPECT HARBOR SOAP CO. created her first batch of soap. "It could have been used as an industrial cleaner!," she admits. "But I had a baby with delicate skin, and I had a mission." Continued research and single-minded testing led to the genesis of her original nutrient rich, skin friendly bath soap. Over the years, she refined and improved her recipes, replacing animal fats with pure hypo-allergenic avocado oil, luxurious jojoba, sweet almond, cocoa butter and other beneficial emollients. Today she offers some of the finest soap available anywhere.

The SCHOODIC SECTION of Acadia National Park is comprised of 2,080 acres and features a 7.2-mile shore drive. At the entrance to the park, there is Frazier's Point, a picnic-rest area where you can stop for a barbecue picnic, sit and enjoy the panoramic view, or try saltwater fishing off the end of a pier stretching into the cove.

From the western side of the park bordering the sound, there is a view of Mount Desert Island's mountains. A short distance from the shore, there is a turn-out and a trail leading to the RAVEN'S NEST where the sea has carved a ragged "W' into the cliffs rising above them.

The waters of the sound are linked to two quiet coves by a short ride through the woods to a promontory where at twilight deer may be seen feeding at the roadside. At the coves, you may find sea-ducks or blue heron. From here you can hike along a winding road to the top of SCHOODIC MOUNTAIN, a headland 400 feet above the ocean. From the summit, you can see magnificent views into the BAY OF FUNDY.

On the east side of BIG MOOSE ISLAND, there is a cove at which turbulent seas have erected ever higher stacks of beach rock. When the tide is right, a sand bar stretches to Little Moose Island, on which there are trails leading to high elevations and fine views.

SCHOODIC POINT juts further out into open sea than any other point on the U.S. eastern coast. Here the sea crashes in, sen ding geysers of spray 40 feet into the air. The gulls are almost tame.

If you want to stretch your legs, consider the 1.3-mile-long, accessible from the BLUEBERRY HILL parking area. If you don't like retracing your steps, head down the westernmost trail, which eventually comes out on a gravel road. You can follow the road until you see a trail straight ahead near a ranger's house. That trail takes you through nice, level, grassy and wooded areas back to your car.

Once out of the park, you come upon WONSQUEAK HARBOR, where the rocks have turned red and the waters are so narrow the lobster boats are moored single file. This harbor got its name from the legend of an Indian brave who punished his cheating squaw by drowning her. As she went down the the last time, she managed to emit one squeak.

ME & BEN'S is a no-nonsense hotdog stand run by three kids. Their menu lists hotdogs done 14 different ways, including the doot dog (hotdog with pepperoni, pizza sauce & cheese), the slaw dog (hotdog with homemade cole slaw), and the kraut dog (hotdog with sauerkraut, spicy mustard & grilled onions). If there aren't enough, you can create your own dog, using any combination of nine different 50-cent toppings and eight free ones.  For dessert, you can choose between Gifford's ice cream or soft serve.

Built in a working fishing harbor on the Gouldsboro peninsula, ELSA'S BED AND BREAKFAST is a freshly  renovated inn with the charm of the mid-1800’s combined with the comfort of the new millennium. Each of Elsa’s six guest rooms offer private baths and harbor views.  Modern amenities include  cable television and Wifi.  A hearty breakfast serving Maine’s Carabassett Coffee is served each morning in a sunny dining room on the backyard patio or covered front porch. "Yankee" magazine called Elsa's Maine's best family run inn.

At OCEANSIDE MEADOWS INN BED & BREAKFAST, Sonja and Ben will let you use the unusual (for these parts) sand beach on their property. It's a good place to find sand dollars and sea cucumbers. Sometimes you can see seals. Yankee Magazine calls Oceanside Meadows "New England's best eco-Inn." According to Yankee, visitors can explore a 200-acre preserve armed with a guide to the flora and fauna of varied habitats, including sand beach, saltwater marsh, and meadows. Complementing it are organic gardens and a renovated barn, where concerts and exhibits are held.

The Whoopie Pie is the official Maine Dessert, and nobody makes them better than the gals at TWO SISTERS CAFE & DELI. Co-owner Melissa Harrington describes herself as "a whoopie pie fanatic," and she takes enormous pride in her "amazing pies." Of course, she does many other things almost as well. Everything is made to order from fresh ingredients.  Even the sub rolls are homemade.

At CHAPTER TWO visitors can peruse antiquarian & used books and gorgeous hand-hooked rugs, buy hooking supplies, and inspect fine crafts from regional artists. Yankee magazine called Chapter Two New England's Best Bookstore/Gallery.

The WHARF GALLERY & GRILL in Corea is a neat combination of lunch and historic photos. For sale are historic photographs of the area, handmade rope rugs, and books by local authors. Outside the small take-out restaurant, you can sit and and eat your grilled-cheese sandwich or lobster roll and enjoy the spectacular harbor views. Yankee magazine called this "The Best Lobster with a Sence of the Past."

Richard Fisher suspects that his love of bells goes back to the Chinese windbells that hung outside the house he grew up in. He has taken that love and turned it into a thriving enterprise. At U.S. BELLS in Prospect Harbor, you can see many of his creations, cast in bronze and capable of producing pure and enduring tones. Many of his bells are unusual, with the clapper linkages hanging beside the bell rather than concealed inside. Often he groups them in intriguing clusters. Fisher's bells are lovely sculptures as well as functional noise-makers.

You might want to investigate DARTHIA FARM  where Bill and Cindy Thayer market organic produce, lamb skins, and wool. Cindy,  a popular author,  is a weaver of shawls from hand-dyed silk. Check out the horse-drawn hay and sleigh rides. Call 207-963-7771.

At EFFORTLESS SUCCESS HYPNOSIS, Dr. Robin Adair Aston promotes self-confidence, pain management, anxiety avoidance, and help with sleep problems, fatique, weight loss and depression. Initial consultations are free. Call 207/449-1080.

On Sunday afternoons during the summer, guitarist  Lenny Boucher of LINWOOD'S OPEN MIC  invites musicians to play on the free stage on his front lawn. All sorts of musicians show up to play all sorts of music. Hot dogs and soda are free.

At the BARTLETT MAINE ESTATE WINERY, the Bartletts produce unusual fruit wines from apples, raspberries, pears, and Maine blueberries. Although fruit wines generally are sweet, these are semi-sweet and dry. You can take one of their hourly guided tours Tuesday through Saturday June 1 through late Oct. Samples are available in the tasting room.

The KITCHEN GARDEN RESTAURANT on the Village Road is committed to serving  fresh organic and local ingredients whenever possible. The menus here change monthly according to the season and available ingredients provide a wide variety of cuisines and tastes. 'Yankee" magazine says this place has the best Downeast Jamaican Jerk. Other selections include jerk chicken and curried goat. Bring cash or check; no credit cards. BYOB. Call 207/546-4269 a day  ahead for reservations.

Down the Rogers Point Road, Arthur Smith holds court at A & M CHAIN SAW SCULPTURES. With his chainsaw, Smith has created a unique menagerie of strange and loveable beasts. The place is a bit out of the way, but worth the detour.

Steuben is home of the 40-acre EAGLE HILL WILDLIFE RESEARCH STATION, which throughout the summer runs weeklong professional courses and daylong field trips highlighting the natural history of the Maine coast.

The PETIT MANAN NATIONAL WILDLIFE REFUGE , 3,335 acres, is known for the many species of birds it attracts--seabirds, shorebirds, songbirds, waterfowl, including bald eagles, peregrine falcons, and roseate terns. More than 150 bird species have been spotted here. Petit Manan is a rugged, windblown place. It has many habitats, including spruce and mixed hardwood forests, jack pine stands, cedar swamps, raised heath wetlands, blueberry barrens, and fresh- and saltwater marshes. There are two interpretive footpaths to the shore.

On your way, you get a nice view of PETIT MANAN LIGHTHOUSE  and you pass Raven Retreat, said to be "a place for women to reconnect with the self and our natural world.”

Entering WASHINGTON COUNTY (which bills itself as Sunrise County, first county in U.S. to see the rising sun), much is made in these parts of being way far east, this is combinerd with being on the 45th parallel, halfway between the Equator and the North Pole).


Besides general auto repair, Tim Bybee of TDP AUTOMOTIVE on Rte 1 in Steuben has the area's only Mustang Dynomometer, the instrumentation high performance dragsters employ to coax the most from their machines. ASE certified, Tim can fill your nitrous oxide tank and use his AFR meter to custom tune your ride. If you're intent on getting there in a hurry, Tim is your guy. Visit Tim on FACEBOOK.

The sign at UNCLE SKINNY'S TAKE-OUT says "Grillin' Like a Villain." We wonder how many people stop by to ask what this means. We have no idea.

holds summer natural science seminars for field biologists, naturalists, students, and artists.

Managing crops on more than 7,000 acres, JASPER WYMAN & SON  is the leading U.S. grower, packer, and marketer  of wild blueberries and berry fruits flash-frozen, canned, and in juices. With extensive acreage in the U.S., New Brunswick, and Nova Scotia, Wyman is also a premium supplier of Boysenberries, Raspberries, Cranberries, and Strawberries.

DORR LOBSTER is a well-established family business devoted to delivering the freshest product possible. The Dorrs handle most everything themselves; they catch the lobsters, pack them, and ship them out all over the world. There is just no way to get lobster any fresher.

McCLELLAN PARK  provides ten acres of beautiful rocky shore with picnic areas, campsites, tidal pools, and trails.

The MILBRIDGE HISTORICAL MUSEUM  on Main St. harkens back to the town's shipbuilding days. It's open 1 to 4 p.m. Tuesday, Saturday and Sunday during July and August. Admission is free, tho donations are appreciated.

THE OLD MOON COMPANY is a great place to browse through a wonderfully eclectic selection of this and that. Friendly ownership provides positive vibes, always!

The SCHOONER GALLERY  is housed in a beautifully renovated old house, a terrific place to show fine work by Maine artists. Offered in addition to art are wreaths and many other Maine products.

The VAZQUEZ MEXICAN TAKE-OUT features authentic Mexican food, homemade tortillas, bread and food.

The CHERRYFIELD HISTORIC DISTRICT, an area of about l75 acres lying on both sides of the Narraguagus River, contains excellent examples of most popular 19th century architectural styles, including Second Empire, Federal, Greek Revival, Italiana,Queen Anne, and Colonial Revival. Cherryfield's Second Empire-style houses are unsurpassed. The local historical society publishes a map, available at most information centers, to assist tourists. Cherryfield bills itself as the Blueberry Capital of the World.

Eric and Susan Meyer of  CATHERINE HILL WINERY use both classic Vinifera and French hybrid grapes along with the finest Maine wild blueberries to produce delightful premium wines. Check them out for yourself by visiting their lovely tasting room, open 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday through Sunday.

The only music store in Washingron County, STICKS, PICKS & STRINGS stocks a vast assortment in its cozy confines. You can  find guitars, picks, drums, keyboards, ukeleles as well as sheet music, instructional videos, and video games such as Guitar Hero. On one wall are over 1,000 guitar picks that co-owner Leah Bachman has turned into earrings. Leah's partner Randy Merritt provides lessons on drums, keyboard, and guitar. Out back is a stage for SP&S's Summer Jam, a showcase for  area bands.

ynn Chase of 4 MAIN STREET ANTIQUES is a veteran dealer who before coming to Cherryfield ran for many years a popular shop in Southern Maine. He carries a very eclectic stock of American, English, and Continental furniture and accessories, including lighting, garden, and architectural items.

The CHERRYFIELD GENERAL STORE is a gift shop where you might find most anything. The store is about local and affordable arts and crafts, with a sprinkling of  homegrown farm products. Most always you'll find  Souvenirs, Art, Jewelry, Silver,  Edibles, Wooden Items, Paintings, Prints, Photography, Sculpture, Ceramics,  Stained Glass,  Rugs, Greeting/Post Cards,  Purses,   Jams Jellies, Maple Syrup, Quilts, and Wood Carvings. The second floor is open as an Art Gallery.

Located in the historic Archibald-Adams House (circa 1793) on Main Street in Cherryfield, the ENGLISHMAN'S B&B is situated on the banks of the beautiful Narraguagus River. Originally built in 1793, this Federal-style home was renovated  and restored to museum quality in the 1990s. It is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. At the front of the house, there is a formal perennial flower garden. Beyond the lawn and semi-circular driveway is a screened-in gazebo and a kitchen garden, with raised beds and other plantings, including grapes, raspberries and other fruit trees. Below the house, there is a wilderness area where bald eagles often perch. Your hosts, Peter and Kathy Winham, met in York, England, on an archaeological excavation. They are avid birdwatchers. Besides the B&B, they run Teas of Cherryfield, which includes their own brand of Estate quality teas. Guests receive a 10 percent discount on all their tea products.

RICKER HOUSE, circa 1802, picked by Inn Times magazine as one America's top 50 inns, is this historic town's fifth oldest house. Both of these accommodations offer reasonable rates.

The CHERRYFIELD TOWN BANK, which traces its roots back to 1869, offers Tuesday evening concerts at the new Gazebo Bandstand in the town park. This 35-piece band was featured in the Boston Sunday Globe. While you're in town, check out the historic Blacksmith Shop.

Route 193 out of Cherryfield leads to Route 9 through Deblois which is dominated by the WYMAN COMPANY. This road will take you by the Wyman Company's vast blueberry barrens. Those flecks of blue you find in certain pancake mixes are wild blueberries, and ninety percent of the nation's wild blueberries come from Washington County. In town, there are two blueberry processing plants which provide tours.

North from Harrington is road into the blueberry barrens and two put-ins for canoe/kayak trips on the PLEASANT RIVER--three-hour and one-day trips down the Pleasant through the Great Heath, the largest peat bog in New England. Continuing on the Ridge Road, you reach the Columbia Town Hall, with its outstanding views of the surrounding river valley and barrens.

In Harrington, you might want to take one of the  WORCESTER WREATH COMPANY'S  tours. They take about 30 minutes and will acquaint you with all aspects of the wreath business. These people do a big mail-order business; they sell some $100,000 worth of wreaths annually and are said to be the world's largest marketeers of decorated wreaths. Call 207-483-6502 for scheduling.

THE NAVIGATOR serves what it calls "The Overboard Platter for Two," a $31 indulgence  that includes haddock, scallops, shrimp, and clams. In the unlikely event you're still hungry after eating this, you can top it off with a piece of this places's famous Seafood Cake.

A turn to the right takes you to the Lighthouse Bible ChurchPleasant Bay B&B.

is a llama keep.

At the PLEASANT VIEW GALLERY you can see Donna Garofalo's paintings of coastal Maine and Bob Garofalo's period lighting Donna, who is presently working in oils,  says she is inspired by God's incredibly beautiful and amazingly designed creation." Bob says he seeks to fulfill "a need for quality, authentic, reproduction lighting with attention to antique finishes, aging techniques and early American detailing.

This area can seem like ELMERLAND. With a few miles of one another are Elmer's Construction Co., Elmer's Self Storage, Elmer's Garden Center, Elmer's Discount,  and Elmer's Country Store. One has to wonder, is Elmer a real guy, local legend, a Downeast entrepreneur run a bit amuck?

Maine has plenty of Variety Stores, but only a few Incredible Variety Stores. Leading the parade here is ELMER'S DISCOUNT, a place of such great variety it makes one a bit dizzy. Shop here for hardware, housewares, crafts, plumbing, sporting goods, gifts, marine supplies, paint, books, automotive, lawn & Garden, toys, and more. There isn't a whole lot you can't find at Elmer's Discount.

The RUGGLES HOUSE, circa 1820, is remarkable for its delicate interior and exterior handcarvings. These were completed over a three-year period by an English carver armed only with a penknife. The most noted architects are said to have found the famed flying staircase astounding. The place is said to be haunted. According to one long-time employee, often at night the voices of children can be heard. Filled with period furniture, the Adams-style home is open to the public June 1 to Oct. 15; admission is free, though donations are requested.


Sitting atop a hill on the Centerville Road near the old Pineo Mill is a big, yellow house with a huge barn and a shed attached. Be wary if you go there. In 1801, a grisly murder occured here, and the spirit of the victim has been seen by dozens of people. The victim was an itinerate peddler and the farmer who murdered him dismembered his body and stuffed it into an old whiskey barrel which he buried in the shed. Nice try, but the dead guy wouldn't stay put. Oldtimers say is you stop in front of the house and dare the spirit to appear, he will pass by the window.

Immediately past Columbia Falls village, you can turn north on Centerville Road, which leads to Milton Mountain. A short hike to the top provides wonderful views of the barrens, bog, and coastal lands to the ocean. Near the end of the Centerville Road, a logging road leads to beautiful Holmes Falls on the Machias River fo
r canoeing/kayaking and swimming.

Talk about fresh! The guys at MAINE MAHOGANY SHELLFISH deal directly with local fishermen. This explains their motto, "From the C 2 U." You can't ask for fresher scallops, shrimp, halibut, claims, or crabmeat. You can get lobsters live or cooked to your specifications.

According to a review in TripAdvisor, OCEANSIDE SEAFOOD has "the BEST lobster rolls ...served with an ample helping of French fries and coleslaw." The reviewer went on to point out: "This is saying a lot in a state that specializes in lobster rolls!" When I was there I noticed that hotdogs were just $2, and the rest of the prices were equally reasonable. Also when I was there a little girl who had dropped her ice cream got a free replacement. Nice people here!

Want to take a really enjoyable cruise? ISLAND CRUISES  provides a great one out of Jonesport. Capt. Laura Fish takes up to six passengers for three-hour trips on the 23-foot Aaron Thomas. They go poking about the islands of Moosabec Reach, including Great Wass, which is especially nice because most of its wild beauty is protected by Nature Conservancy. Laura is amiable and will arrange customized cruises to places of particular interest. Call 207-497-3064 for reservations.

On CROSS ISLAND, there are seven old graves, and many visitors have been frightened off by the sound of clanking chains. Legend has it there is a treasure chest hidden in a cave accessible only at low tide.

There is a bridge across MOOSEBEC REACH  to Beals Island. Here you can visit the Regional Fish Hatchery, which is housed in a former clam-shucking house on the wharf. An education center/museum is housed in the upper level of the former power house. Visitors can view videos, historical photographs, aquariums, and other displays related to salmon and the rivers Downeast. Interpretive tours are provided. Admission is charged.

MACHIAS SEAL ISLAND, 10 miles from the mainland, is the best place in the world to get an up-close look at puffins. Probably the best way to get there is on Capt. Barna B. Norton's vessel, which departs from Jonesport at 7 a.m. each morning. The Norton family has been providing cruises since 1940. The cost for the guided tour is $100 a head. Call 207-497-5933.

On Loon Point Road, check out NELSON DECOYS. Nelson's birds have won 37 first place ribbons in various competitions as well as a Best of Show award in 1995.

A bridge links Jonesport with BEALS AND GREAT WASS ISLANDS. Here the Nature Conservancy makes three miles of trails available to hikers and picnickers in its 1,540-acre preserve. Near here, you can visit the historic home of Tall Barney Beal. At the bridge to Beals Island, visit the Atlantic Hatchery to view the seeding and development of clams.

The MAINE COAST SARDINE HISTORY MUSEUM is a fascinating place to anybody the least bit interested in Maine history. Museum director Ronnie Peabody has been associated with the sardine industry his entire life. He says that at its peak, in 1952, there were at least 50 canneries in Maine processing and packing herring. For Peabody, the museum represents a lifelong dream come true, a dream he has fulfilled all on his own. Yankee Magazine calls this New Engand's "Best Place to Get Canned."

Jolene Harmon admits she was a little surprised to discover she had the talent to be a fabric designer. For years she had done professional sewing, but always on materials supplied by others. In her spare time, however, she had taken up painting, and when a blueberry print fabric she favored was discontinued, a friend encouraged her to create her own. Busting into the business took considerable courage; she had to front over $10,000 for 3,000 yards of her initial creation. But she took the plunge and came up with a winner. Today her designs are in shops all over Maine as well as New Hampshire, Connecticut, and Canada. She operates her business, JOLENE'S ORIGINALS out of her home on Route 187 in Jonesport. She is a skilled artist and offers paintings and notecards (which she prints herself) along with some collectibles in this shop.

The MAINE CENTRAL MODEL RAILROAD  occupies 900 square feet includes some 3,000 feet of track, 417 freight cars, 20 diesel engines, realistic six-foot-high mountains, at least 4,000 trees, 200 track switches, and over 400 tiny animals and people climbing the trails, fishing, boating, working, or just standing around watching the trains go by. The current design, the fifth in a series, was begun in 1993 and is still evolving. The work of Helen and Buz Beal, many of the handcrafted buildings are modeled after actual ones from Jonesport to Bangor. Far and away the best model railroad setup we've ever seen. Yankee Magazine calls it "New England's Best Home Hobby." Admission is free although donations are appreciated.

At  DOWNEAST QUILTING & INTERIORS you can find upolstery repair, longarm quilting, alterations, custom quilts, bridal accessories, window treatments, and custom sewing. This versatile lady is open year round.

At CROSSROAD FARM, Arnold and Bonnie Pearlman sell a wide variety of organic produce at eminently fair prices. Back in the sixties, the Pearlmans were among those determined to return to the land. They did so; unlike many of their contemporaries, however, they stuck it out. They live simply and waste nothing. Whatever electricity they use, they produce themselves with wind turbines and photovoltaics.

Our online dictionary defines barren land as "unproductive, infertile, unfruitful, sterile, arid, desert."  This has always made us believe that B
ARREN VIEW GOLF COURSE  might benefit from a different name. This unusually scenic course takes its name from the nearby blueberry barrens, but how are tourists suposed to know this? Okay, Shakespeare
did say "a rose by any name would smell as sweet," but he was a playwriter, not an adman. kl put it near the top of its list of worst golf course names. Whatever it's called, Barren View is one of Maine’s true link courses, offering  excellent facilities and a championship standard course suitable for players of all abilities. In addition to the  9-hole, par 35 course, there is a driving range, putting green, and practice sand trap.

The CHANDLER RIVER LODGE was built in 1797 by a man with the unlikely name Hate Evil, a person said to embody  the darkest traits of humanity. He haunts it still. According to Marcus LiBrizzi, author of Ghosts of Acadia, the phantom of Hate Evil favors the library, where he manifests as the same cloud of darkness that surrounded the man during his lifetime.  Other ghosts have been reported at the inn. In 1961, former owner George Marston died of a heart attack on the cellar stairs, and since then many people have felt his presence on these stairs. Sabrina Watts, who married Hate Evil's son, spent eighty years of her life at the inn, and even more years of her death as she frequently asserts sovereignty over the kitchen.

LOOKS POINT is where the legendary Phantom of the Narrows warns citizens of impending wars. It is the apparition of Nell Kilton, who as a young woman fell in love with a Native American man. Her father would have none of this. He killed the man and banished daughter Nell, who went to live with the Passamaquoddy people of that area. She never married, but instead became a seer, predicting the French and Indian and Revolutionary wars. Nell was a vocal proponent of American independance, and was ultimately executed by the British. Her spirit is said to have returned to foretell the War of 1812, the Mexican War, the Civil War, and World Wars I and II.

ROQUE BLUFFS STATE PARK  has no camping, but provides swimming in both salt and fresh water. The shore affords pleasing views of several wooded islands, one of which is Roque Island. At several spots there are well-equipped picnic sites, one of which has a playground. There are no hiking trails. An interesting near-by golf course is a well-kept secret. Roque Bluffs has one of the area's few sand beaches, which is said to be haunted. A ghost here leaves mysterious footprints.

In his guide to Maine, Charles Calhoun placed MICMAC FARM  among the state's dozen best restaurants. He called MicMac "the Platonic ideal of a Maine country inn; an 18th-century house in the woods, a warm fire, glistening antiques, amiable hosts, a short but perfect menu." Call 207-255-3008 for reservations.

In the early days, MACHIAS, which means "Little Bad River," was a popular hideout for pirates. The notorious Bellamy tried to establish a retirement village for ageing pirates here. Things fell apart after Bellamy was captured and hanged in Massachusetts, but near where the bridge crosses the Machias River, the breastworks and moats may still be seen.

Between Machias and Machiasport on Rte 92, a marker sets beside a small stream. Known as FOSTER'S RUBICON MARKER, it depicts the spot where the rebellious Col. Benjamin Foster challenged an indecisive band of men to follow him across the stream if they dared engage the British in battle. The patriots followed the dashing Colonel's lead and ultimately ended up capturing the British man-o-war Margaretta in the aforementioned first naval engagement of the Revolution. (Foster was an inspiring instigator, but a bungling seaman. The sloop he commanded on this foray quickly ran aground and missed out on the action. Jeremiah O'Brien led the men who took the Margaretta.

The STARBOARD PENINSULA holds Fort O'Brien (1775) (often called Fort Machias), a fine picnic spot. Admission is free. In town is the Machiasport Historical Society's Gates House (an 1807 Federal-style building with period furnishings and marine artifacts. Open weekdays 12:30 to 4:30 p.m. June 1 to mid-sept. Admission: free).

At Bucks Harbor is JASPER BEACH, with unusual water-worn rocks and pebbles. According to Kim Bennett of Bennett's Gems and Minerals in Belfast, these actually aren't jasper, but rhyolite, a volcanic rock that closely resembles jasper. Legend has it hat Jasper Beach has seen more than its fair share of suicides and that the wailing cry of a young lady suicide victim can often be heard above the wind. Another legend has it that the ghost of a murdered man makes it impossible to safely spend the night on Jasper Beach.

Off the Starboard Peninsula are the LIBBY ISLANDS  where a wicked man named Petegrew is said to have tolled vessels onto the rocks with a signal light. Allegedly he would kill the crew and salvage the cargo. He and his sons built a road to Little Libby Island, and locals suppose he buried treasure hereabouts.

COLUMBIA FALLS POTTERY features lupine and wildflower pottery and tiles by April Adams as well as the sculpture of Dana McEacharn.

In 1775, the first Naval battle of the American Revolution was fought at Machias. It occurred when a small band of patriots captured the Margaretta, a British man-o-war. Surviving from that time on Main Street downtown is the BURNHAM TAVERN. Here the patriots plotted the overthrow of King George. Following the battle, the tavern was used as a hospital. It is the oldest building in eastern Maine and the only one boasting ties to the Revolution. Inside are period furnishings and historical artifacts. Open late June-Labor Day, Monday-Friday. Admission charged.

"Our main business is framing," says Holly Garner-Jackson of WOODWIND GALLERY. "So if people want to come in and just look around, they're certainly welcome." Visitors accepting Holly's invitation can see the work of more than 50 artists and artisans. There's space here for beginning and experimental art as well as work by polished and well-known professionals. The day we visited, prices ranged from $30 to $2,200, and, besides paintings, there were carvings, woodcuts, some stained glass, and ships models. Holly also sells art supplies, and lay-aways can be arranged. "Our paintings aren't spaced 15 feet apart, and you don't have to worry about tracking a little dirt on the rug," Holly says.

The folks at SUNRISE REALTY  have been around the greater Machias area for a dog’s age and know the market like nobody else. Think of them next time you’re looking to buy or sell property anywhere in Washington County.

 Sandy Bryand describes herself as "a crazy lady who spends her money giving away clothes." Well, she isn't crazy, really, but she is a good-humored woman who all but gives away clothes at her BAG O' RAGS Thrift Shop (207-255-4649) on Main St. The deals here are delightful, as is Sandy's company.

SANDY'S SALES is a big wholesale and retail center in East Machias. All kinds of bargains here. On Lower Main Street, Esther's Resale Shop stocks a variety of used clothes and accessories. At Smitty's Trading Post, you can get good deals on both new and used guns.

The MAINE SEA SALT COMPANY  provides free tours of its salt works. Included are tastings of natural, flavored, and smoked salts. The is the first salt works in Maine in over 200 years.

In 2014, HELEN'S RESTAURANT, a local landmark for 65 years, was destroyed by fire. It took almost a year to rebuild, but now it's better than ever. Although it's most famous for its fruit pies,
the entire menu is outstanding. As much as possible, the owners utilize local ingredients. The goat cheese is from Jonesboro, greens from farms around Pembroke and Dennysville, and fresh blueberries from all over Washington County.

In the center of Machias, check out  BAD LITTLE FALLS. You're likely to see harbor seals. The Machias River holds some of the East's best salmon waters.

East of Machias is a pottery studio called CLAY OF FUNDY. Get it? Not Bay of Fundy, but Clay of Fundy. An ornament from here was chosen to adorn President Clinton's White House Christmas Tree.

(1776) on the east side of the Machias River saw action during the Revolutionary War when settlers and Indians fought side-by-side against the British. Admission: free.

MILL MEMORIAL PARK honors the logging industry.

All cultures sprout creators. Place and time are meaningless. France, for example, may boast of its prehistoric cave painters, but Maine had scarcely less impressive petrog
lyph artists. These early inhabitants made rock carvings of everyday tribal life that go back a couple of thousand years, maybe much further. In East Machias, petroglyphs can be found at three different sites, and the best way to view them is to book passage on one of CAPTAIN MARTHA JORDAN'S BOAT TOURS out of East Machias. Capt. Jordan knows more about these works than just about anybody else. She worked on the collection of beautiful relief prints permanently on display at Washington Academy in East Machias. She also knows a great deal about the area's history and is sensitive to its flora and fauna. You'll need a reservation; call 207-259-3338.

Down East magazine called ROUTE 191, the Cutler Road, "one of the most splendid coastal byways in Maine."  It follows the shore of Machias Bay or 13 miles before looping back to rejoin Route One in Lubec. On the road's outermost curve is Cutler village—two churches, a fire station, and a small town office.

BOLD COAST CHARTER COMPANY offers scenic cruises and puffin-watching triops

On the western side of Little Machias Bay are the 26 towers of the U.S. NAVY COMMUNICATIONS CENTER which maintains contact with naval operations worldwide. This is said to be the world's most powerful radio station.

Backpackers will be interested in the new CUTLER COAST RESERVE. Situated south of Holmes Cove, hikers along the are rewarded with spectacular views off 100-foot bedrock cliffs. The 2,174-acre parcel, which contains 4.5 miles of isolated coastline, is maintained by Maine's Bureau of Public Lands and eventually will include several remote campsites. Once completed, it will be Maine's longest coastal footpath.

The BOLD COAST TRAILS provide a pristine and at times solitary trek along rugged ocean cliffs and through forests of spruce and fir. You'll walk for a mile-and-a-half before getting to your first impressive ocean view.The trail network is laid out like a figure-eight; the full loop covers almost ten miles. It's not a real easy walk; it requires considerable stamina. If you're up to it, the rewards are substantial. A little over three-and-a-half miles follow the coast, soaring high above the water in some places.

Yankee Magazine, says THE INN AT THE WHARF  is New England's "Best Creative Reuse." According to Yankee, the spacious oceanfront suites and apartments "don't reveal even a whiff of the building's former life as a sardine factory."
Each suite has a private bath, king bed or two extra long single beds, and a sitting area to enjoy ocean views and sunsets. The suites share a common area with a kitchen, dining area, and a two-level deck leading to a large wharf where fishing boats come in with their catches. The Inn also offers bicycle and kayak rentals, whale watching, and, in season,  a water taxi to Eastport. And as Yankee put it,   "everyone can ohm in the yoga studio." 

Alan and Gretchen Mead have opened COTTAGE GARDEN to  the public. Their primary mission, they say, is to educate people about gardening by showing them their phenomenal perennials. Situated four-and-a-half miles down the N. Lubec Road, the Meads also have a herb garden, a stream-side damp garden, and an alpine collection. You can get dried flower wreaths at the Herb Shop as well as unique decorated garden benches, bird houses, and framed bird and botanical prints. They're open 10 to 4 Wednesday through Sunday and other times by chance or appointment. Admission is free

Near Lubec is QUODDY HEAD STATE PARK, adjacent to West Quoddy Head Light, Maine's famous red-and-white striped lighthouse The grounds are accessible from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily. The state park offers scenic grandeur, hiking trails, and picnic sites.

The Roosevelt International Bridge connects Lubec and CAMPOBELLO ISLAND, where Franklin D. Roosevelt summered as a young man. The Roosevelt cottage, a museum, is open to the public from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. until mid-Oct. Admission is free. The Roosevelt-Campobello International Park, established in 1964, occupies 2,800 acres of the island and includes hiking trails, picnic areas, and numerous scenic vistas.

The grounds of EAST QUODDY HEAD LIGHT at Head Harbor at the island's northern tip are accessible at low tide.

Twenty-five foot tides in the BAY OF FUNDY  are among the world's highest and produce a spectacular rush of water well worth watching. This area might also be the world's foggiest.

Even at the peak of the season, COBSCOOK BAY STATE PARK  rarely fills. You have a good chance of getting a campsite even without a reservation. Numerous sites overlook the bay. Unlike many state parks, Cobscook offers hot showers. Call 207-725-4412.

The nation's easternmost city, EASTPORT  has seen some hard times since the collapse of its sardine-based economy, but may be bouncing back. The downtown area, once noted for its abandoned buildings, is coming alive with shops and galleries. Eastport also has a busy working waterfront and seaport. Of late, salmon farming has been among the enterprises providing the area an economic boost. The annual Salmon Festival, held the first Sunday after Labor Day, is a gala event.

Three miles outside of Eastport is the Pasamaquoddy Indians' Pleasant Point Reservation. The WAPONAHKI MUSEUM has a fine display of Indian artifacts and books on the history of the Passamaquoddy people and their language. You can buy Indian baskets here. Each august, there is a celebration of Native American heritage.

The Raye family has been making mustard in Eastport since the turn of the century. It began by servicing the town's several sardine canneries. Today, J.W. RAYE & CO. INC., having survived the downfall of this industry, still does things the old way, grinding carefully selected mustard seeds and spices between huge granite stones, then aging them in an ancient method that "marries" the flavors and produces the distinctive aroma of fine mustard. You're welcome to tour the MUSTARD MILL MUSEUM; when it is in operation a yellow flag is flying. The Pantry Store features Raye's products along with other natural foods products and crafts. Gift baskets are made to order. Call 1-800-853-1903 

The OLD SOW  off Eastport is the largest whirlpool in the Western Hemisphere. (It may even be the world's largest; depends on which Atlas you believe.) Caused by massive colliding tidal currents, the spectacle can be observed from the shore near Dog Island at the northern end of Water Street. It is at its best on windy days or when tides are especially high. If you're brave and want to see the thing up close, you can take the auto ferry to Deer Island. On some trips, the ferry passes right through it.

During the War of 1812, the British seized Eastport and held her until 1818. They took command of FORT SULLIVAN, the ruins of which stand on Battery Hill. You can visit what's left of the old powder house; nearby are barracks, which have been converted into a museum. A phantom soldier from the occupation is said to still stand guard here. Locals say he is often seen when the fog rolls in and the foghorn blows.

The EASTPORT ARTS CENTER  provides local artists, sculptors, and craftspeople display space. During the summer, classes are held. Call 853-4133.

, a collective of 28 artists living in and around Eastport, has moved to new quarters at 69 Water Street.

Up the street, half-a-buck will get you into the EASTPORT AQUARIUM. Upstairs is an interesting collection of books dealing with the oceanic environment compiled by the Quoddy Foundation.

With the unique designation of being located in the easternmost city of the United States, SHACKFORD HEAD STATE PARK includes 90 acres of Moose Island and overlooks scenic Cobscook Bay and includes Cony Beach. The park holds much history and is named after Captain John Shackford, a Revolutionary War soldier. During the early 1900’s, five Civil War ships were burned for salvage at Cony Beach; still today, swimming is not recommended in this area of the beach. There are many hiking trails that cross Shackford Head State Park and anyone who ventures down these often challenging paths will be treated to sightings of hermit thrushes, spotted sandpipers, bald eagles, and a variety of other wildlife. There are  28  bird species nesting on the headland of the park.

MOTEL EAST provides one of the region's most spectacular panoramas. From one of its balconies, you can look across Passamaquoddy Bay to Campobello and Grand Manan Islands. To the north lies St. Croix Bay and the coast of New Brunswick. Call 207-853-4747.

The TODD HOUSE B&B is a classic New England full cape built during the Revolutionary War. Architectural features include a massive hearth and chimney and a unique "good morning" staircase. Included on the National Register of Historic Places, the inn features a spacious yard, with full cook-out facilities, affording an ever-changing view of the bay and its islands. The people here are pet friendly.

Down East Magazine says THE RED SLEIGH is the best shop of its kind in Maine. This unique shop features products for your home from more than forty local artists, farmers, artisans, and food producers. According to Down East, "its quirky personality matches that of its owners, who started the business to serve not only as a place of commerce, but also as a community gathering spot that exhibits local art, holds events to met new people, and showcases live music"

KATIE'S ON THE COVE in Robbinston makes chocolates the old-fashioned way—by hand in small batches. The company, which specializes in Maine potato candy, has some well-loved recipes dating back more than a century. Katie's has been talked about positively in "Down East Magazine," "The National Enquirer," "National Examiner," "Woman's World," the "Bangor Daily News" and was featured on Maine Public Television’s "Made in Maine!" Her truffles and chocolates have gotten rave reviews from several best-selling travel guides, including "Yankee Magazine’s Travel Guide to New England 2000," "Off the Beaten Path" by Wayne Curtis, "Moon Handbooks-Maine Handbook," by Kathleen M. Brandes, and new in 2003, "An Explorer’s Guide to Maine," by Christina Tree.

ST. CROIX ISLAND INTERNATIONAL HISTORIC SITE celebrated its 400th anniversary in 2004. St. Croix Island was settled by the French nobleman Pierre Dugua, Sieur de Mons, in 1604. He brought 78 men with him, including Samuel Champlain, but the island proved an inhospitable winter site, and several of the men died. In 1605, Dugua moved his settlement to Port Royal in Nova Scotia. Today, there is no public access to St. Croix Island, but it may be viewed from the shore of Red Beach.

CALAIS, Maine's busiest border city, shares an unusually close relationship with St. Stephen, its Canadian neighbor. Each helps to celebrate the other's holidays, each responds to the other's police and fire emergencies, and St. Stephen provides Calais drinking water. It's one of just two places in the world where potable water is imported from a foreign country. An annual week-long festival celebrates the spirit of friendliness here.

The stately BREWER HOUSE B&B was once the northernmost stopover for the underground railroad, a safe haven for runaway slaves heading for Canada.

The CALAIS MOTOR INN has Washington County's only heated, indoor, Olympic-sized swimming pool.

Marilyn Bernardini, owner of BERNARDINI'S, an Italian restaurant on Main Street, was named 1999 Restaurateur of the Year by the Maine Restaurant Association.

Questions or comments? Send them along to Captain D at