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help you discover Downeast Maine, Acadia National Par
NOT LONG AGO, Yahoo picked Rockland as
being among the ten coolest small
cities in the country. Historically, it has been a working man’s town,
Maine’s second major
fishing port. City
fathers still host the Maine Seafood Festival, a major
summertime happening. In recent years, the city has become a Mecca for
artists and intellectuals as well. The Farnsworth Museum, which
has long had an intimate relationship with the Wyeth family, is a
draw. On Main Street, the Farnsworth Museum Shop carries prints
of many paintings found in the museum’s extensive collection. A few
blocks away, the Shore Village Museum offers an intriguing
collection of lighthouse-related items and nautical gear.
Just outside of Rockland on Rte 73 is the OWLS HEAD
Housed in a series of multicolored hangers
at the regional airport, the cavernous 65,000-square-foot exhibit space
is filled with an array of vintage automobiles, planes, bicycles, and
motorcycles. Most weekends see special events
which special pieces
are brought out for a drive or a flight. For the mechanically
inclined, there is a room called the Engineerium displaying an
impressive collection of internal combustion engines.
For the best burger ever, check out the Seven Napkin Burger at the OWL'S HEAD GENERAL STORE. It derives its name from the number of napkins required to handle its notable size and juiciness. Food Network Magazine called it Maine's best.
Acording to Yahoo, in Rockland "You'll find
sophistication to balance the saltiness of mid-coast Maine... where
regional mainstays are reinvented every day."
After honing her skills working for Perry Ellis in New York City, Beth
Bowley was lured back to Maine four years ago. "Rockland is filled with
folks who've seen what the world has to offer and want to be here,"
says Bowley, who opened the boutique FourTwelve, which she
stocks with clothing and accessories like Sea Bags, made from recycled
Down the street at SUZUKI'S SUSHI BAR,
Japanese-born chef Keiko
Suzuki Steinberger infuses freshly caught lobster, shrimp, and crab
with modern Japanese flavors.
The National Trust for Historic Preservation
as one of its 2010 Dozen Distinctive Destinations. The working
waterfront, rich history, world famous festivals and first-class dining
- especially the seafood - were all cited as reasons for the honor. For
the past ten years, the trust has been naming communities across
America that differ from typical vacation destinations. The sites offer
unique Main Streets, compelling architecture, a commitment to
historical preservation, sustainability, revitalization and other
The mission of the MAINE LIGHTHOUSE MUSEUM
is to educate the public regarding the longstanding traditions, heroism
and progress of America's Lighthouse and Lifesaving services and the
United States Coast Guard. Here you will find the nation's most
significant collection of lighthouse and lifesaving artifacts.
According to the editors of "The Insiders' Guide to
suggest that JESSICA'S EUROPEAN BISTRO at 2 S. Main
"pretty fancy" for Maine. One mainstay dish, for example, is lobster
ravioli in a sherry, garlic, coriander and terragon sauce. Still, they
continue, prices are reasonable considering the high quality, and there
is considerable variety, some dishes quite inexpensive.
Consider eating breakfast at HOME KITCHEN CAFE,
650 Main St.. You'll be treated to wonderful sticky buns, cinny buns,
smoked salmon omelets, poached eggs on homemade hash, huevos rancheros
on handmade corn tortillas with housemade salsa. And that's just a
sample. Breakfast is served all day, which is fortunate since it might
take some of us that long to get our fill!.
You won't soon forget PRIMO,
a unique combination of vegetable farming, animal
husbandry, and the creation of an unforgettable dining experience.
The mix includes two greenhouses, acres of produce, and each day
harvests: honey, fruits, veggies, eggs, edible flowers, micro-greens,
fresh chicken and house cured and smoked meats. What is not grown at
the restaurant comes from other local, sustainable farms. Yankee Magazine calls it "Maine's best farm-to-table dining."
How many business owners do you know who show up for work at 3 am? Lynn Archer, owner of THE BRASS COMPASS CAFE,
does. Every single day. This is when she makes her massive loaves of
fresh white bread, slices of which accompany the hearty breakfasts of
local fishermen. This bread also is the foundation for her
award-winning Lobstah Club." The menu here is varied, the portions
hearty, the baked goods fresh. If you leave here hungry, you have only
yourself to blame.
The editors of "The Insiders' Guide to Maine's
Mid-Coast" suggest you
try the Lobster Fral-Diavio, the lasagna or any of the paellas or
cioppinos at CONTE'S FISH MARKET RESTAURANT at the Public
Landing. This rustic, memorable and venerable eatery migrated
Rockland from New York City, where it had operated since 1894.
WASSES HOT DOGS, which
has held sway at 2 N. Main
Street. for more than 30
years, was the start of what might be called a
hot dog empire. Other Wasses Hot Dog stands are on Park Street in
Rockland and in Camden, Belfast, and Thomaston. All of the pre-cooked
hot dogs have natural casings and are fried in peanut oil on the same
grill as the onions. Toppings cost extra, and include your choice of
cheese sauce, chili, bacon and sauerkraut.
Cheryl Gibson, owner of the BLACK PARROT at 328 Main St.,
Rockland, is an artist known for using fleece and fabric in unique
color combinations. The editors of "The Insiders' Guide to Mid-Coast
Maine" said her functional but fashionable clothing is "so cheerful it
makes you smile."
Down East magazine says the popular FOG BAR & CAFE
lies at "the intersection between upscale dining and neighborhood-joint
vibe." it's a tricky balancing act that the people here carry off
CARVER HILL GALLERY
on Main Street has become known for its diverse collection of fine art
including paintings, sculpture, photography, glass, 22 k. gold jewelry,
and selected fine furniture pieces. Many of its artists and artisans
are local, but work from as far away as England and Prague is
Yankee Magazine holds that FIORE ARTISAN OLIVE OILS & VINEGARS
is New England's best "Around-the-World Tasting Room." Visitors are
encouraged to sample extra-virgin, first cold-pressed olive oils from
around the world (including flavored and specialy oils), plus balsamic
vinegars from Modena, Italy, aged 35 years, and specialty foods,
including sea salts and pestos.
The FARNSWORTH MUSEUM SHOP at 356 Main Street stocks many prints
of paintings in the museum's collection, especially those by the Wyeths.
CAFE MIRANDA at 15 Oak Street is
cheap and incredibly good," according to "The Insider's Guide to Maine's
Mid-Coast." This eatery, the editors go on, is also "incredibly popular."
At STUDEBAKER MINIATURES on Maverick Street, Bill Studebaker
is an Artisan in furniture with the International Guild of Miniature
Artisans (IGMA). Barbara Studebaker is known for her use of
vintage materials in miniature quilts, curtains, and other soft
accessories. They can work with you to design and craft your
dream house, room, or accessory. Attention is given to each
detail of the wood and needlework. While they work primarily in 1:12
scale, they accept work in other scales. Looking for something unusual?
Go ahead and ask! They enjoy customizing, and would be delighted
to discuss individual commission
is perhaps Maine's finest golf course; it has been
called Pebble Beach East. There are ocean views from 14 holes. Golf
Digest placed it among the top ten most beautiful courses in the
Country. Marcel's, the fancy restaurant here, has several
specialties, including Salmon roasted on a cedar plank, steak Diane,
and rack of lamb.
is no shortage of ways to get out on the water around here, but one of
the most spectacular is the 4,346-foot walk along the BREAKWATER
jutting into Rockland Harbor. The narrow granite structure took 18
years to build in the late 19th century, and leads nearly a mile out
into the harbor. In morning light the red brick lighthouse and
accompanying wood-frame keeper’s house set at the breakwater’s end form
a dramatic sight as they seem to float in the middle of the harbor.
Since 1983, the STATE OF MAINE CHEESE COMPANY
has been hand-crafting fine cheeses using cow's milk from local
include a mild and sharp Cheddar, plain and flavored Jack
(Monterey), Caerphilly, Colby, Derby, Mozzarella, Gouda, Tomme and
Fresh Cheddar Cheese Curd.
At PRISM RESTAURANT & GALLERY, Chef
Lisa Sojka has created a wonderful blend of casual elegance and
intimate hospitality. Surrounded by peaceful gardens and an airy patio,
guests can leisurely browse the hundreds of colorful blown glass pieces
by over 80 artists, then enjoy world-class cuisine in a surprisingly
The MAINE PHOTOGRAPHIC WORKSHOP STORE serves
faculty as well as the general public. Here you'll find rare photo and
film books along with more routine postcards and t-shirts.
MAINE COAST ARTISTS is one of the few galleries in the state you
can depend on to present cutting-edge, innovative work.
The goals at RAYR
are simple: to provide exceptional customer service and to find and
sell very high quality wines, grown in harmony with the Earth, from
small, family owned wineries. RAYR actively seeks wines that are either
made in a sustainable manner, or organic. With over 65,000 wineries
worldwide, many of them small, family owned farms, RAYR has had
tremendous success in finding sustainably grown and made, as well as
On Central Street in Rockport, a wood-walled former general store has been remade into an artisanal pub called SHEPHERD'S PIE.
Here local crops are put to use in fruit cocktails infused with herbs,
and in snacks like fried clam tacos and pickled baby carrots.
The SAIL LOFT snuggles close to Rockport
editors of "The Insiders' Guide to Maine's Mid-Coast" say the food
walks "a delicate balance Between highbrow and down-home". The lobster
is fresh off the dock, and the clam chowder recipe hasn't been changed
in decades. But you'll also find wonderful duckling and sophisticated
On Rte 1, L.E. LEONARD is an intriguing import
store full of furniture, decorative accents and jewelry from China,
India, and the Spice Islands.
The HELM on Route One is a pleasant French-American
restaurant and full bar. The editors of "The Insiders' Guide to Maine's
Mid-Coast" recommend the French stew, buillabaisse or Cajun chicken
Back on Rte 1, look for Hoboken Gardens, the Sweet
Sensations Pastry Shop and 3 Dog Cafe.
A summer home for many wealthy people, Camden has many upscale
shops. Downtown you'll find Maine Gathering/Finest Kind Candles
stocking fine Maine crafts, Penobscot and Passamaquoddy Indian baskets,
and dipped chocolates. The Foreside Company sells imported
gifts and household accessories, while Starbird
American and country decorative accessories. In 1957, most of the movie
Peyton Place was shot in Camden. The movie, taken from Grace Metalious'
racey, ground-breaking novel, is supposed to depict the seamy
underbelly of a picturesque New England town. The town's association
with the movie seems to be a matter of some local pride, and the
original signed script and scrapbooks of news clippings along with
original photos of the filming are in the Peyton Place Collection at
the Camden Public Library.
CAPPY'S CHOWDER HOUSE on Main Street
is heavily decorated with
nautical paraphernalia outside and in.
The ATLANTICA GALLERY & GRILLE at 3
Sharp's Wharf is a
small, intimate restaurant that offers an innovative menu. Try the
seafood puff pastry.Oil lamps, fresh flowers, and views of Camden Harbor
make this place pleasant in the evening. On nice days, check out the
The FROGWATER CAFE at 27 Elm Street has staked out a
midway between fine dining and good ol' burgers.
Margo Moore of MARGO MOORE INTERIORS specializes in fabrics and wallpapers in playful colors and prints, cozy furniture, and fresh-looking accessories. Downeast Magazine says she's Maine's best interior Designer.
FRENCH AND BRAWN
is Camden's only full service grocery store. Featured are custom-cut
meats, a complete deli counter and bakery, fresh produce, beer and fine
wines, daily lunch specials, prepared entree specials, live and cooked
lobsters, off-site catering and daily delivery. Open seven days a week.
O'NEIL'S WOOD FIRED RESTAURANT at 21 Bayview
boasts a real wood-fired brick oven and turns out an incredible lobster
stuffed with shrimp and crabmeat.
PETER OTT'S at 16 Bayview Street, named for an old colonial
is one of Camden's most popular restaurants.
The hillside CAMDEN HARBOUR INN
on Bay view Street, a once dilapidated Victorian dating to 1874, was
purchased by a pair of Dutchmen who reopened it in 2007 as a
design-conscious boutique hotel. The 20-room property features modish
interiors with art deco accents and sweeping bay views.
NATALIE'S RESTAURANT at the Camden Harbour Inn was named one of
the 100 best restaurants in America by the Open Table Diner's Choice.
Natalie's "Maine Pinetini," was called Maine's Best Cocktail by the
editors of Down East Magazine.
At THE WATERFRONT on Bayview St., the emphasis is on seafood
with a Mediterranean slant. The editors of "The Insider's Guide to
Maine's Mid-Coast" recommend the mussels with white sauce, shallots and
butter, or crab cakes with remoulade sauce.
BAYVIEW LOBSTER is a wonderful meeting spot right
on the wharf in
Camden Harbor for dining, relaxing, having fun and enjoying a fantastic
view of one of the finest harbors and bays in the world. Open
seven days a week, Bayview Lobster serves three meals a
day year round. There is a full bar. There is no better experience in
waterfront dining than Bayview Lobster.
MARINER'S on Main Street takes great pride in its
lack of pretension. "Down Home, Down East, No Ferns, No Quiche" boasts
a sign. Mill workers and millionaires find themselves on an equal
footing here. Try the baked stuffed haddock or grilled fish.
ZADDICK'S at 20 Washington Street serves traditional New
thick-crust pizza with Mediterranean and Greek toppings., including
artichokes, feta cheese, sun-dried tomatoes and spinach.
Down East Magazine's readers chose the OWL
AND TURTLE as Maine's best bookstore. Now in two
locations, the Owl and Turtle has been serving Maine bibliophiles
Out on Route One, you'll come to Norumbega and Camden
NORUMBEGA, now an inn, is a real
castle. This historic architectural landmark sits atop a rise
overlooking Penobscot Bay. Norumbega's unique Victorian characteristics
have attained it as the most photographed structure on the coast of
Maine. Built in 1886, a castle of stone and wood nestled into a
four-acre slope of Mt. Battie; Norumbega offers 10 deluxe rooms and 2
CAMDEN HILLS STATE PARK provides
26 miles of hiking trails through some 5,650 acres. An hour-long hike
or a five-minute drive gets you to the summit of Mount Battie, whose
gorgeous panoramic views over Penobscot Bay inspired poet Edna St.
Vincent Millay to pen the poem Renascence. Yankee magazine called this New England's Best Seaside State Park.
SALT WATER FARM KITCHEN teaches
cooking classes in an old barn in a farmer’s field overlooking
Penobscot Bay. Highlights include a wood-burning brick oven, an open
hearth, and an outdoor kitchen including a meat and fish smoker. There
is a vegetable garden providing stock for the kitchen. In hands-on
classes, guests are guided through working with local, fresh
ingredients, creating full menus from what is available seasonally.
THE LOBSTER POUND on Rte 1 is
a favorite with both locals
and tourists looking for standard American restaurant fare: roast beef,
ham, steaks, and, especially, lobster.
The atmosphere at CHEZ MICHEL pleasantly casual, light and
airy, upscale enough so you can dress up if you feel like it, but
downhome enough to let you feel unobligated.
The real specialty at the WHALE'S TOOTH PUB on Rte 1 in
Lincolnville Beach is British-style fish and chips served in
newspapers with malt vinegar.
the late 1800s, spiritualists from around the world have sought healing
and learning at TEMPLE HEIGHTS
in Northport. Spiritualists believe that spirits of the
dead reside in the spirit world and can be contacted by mediums. During
the summer, weekly sessions feature different itinerant pastors, many
of whom also offer psychic readings, table tippings, and
The food at the HIDEAWAY DINER on is
and everything is made from scratch. including the outstanding bread and biscuits.
The proprietor of BAYSIDE STORE
takes great pride in producing what he insists are the best sub
sandwiches on the coast of Maine. They're made strictly to order, and
there is a huge number of choices. He treated me to a complimentary
example, and I've gotta say I concur with his evaluation.
DUCKTRAP RIVER SMOKED FISH
is featured in "Food Finds," a book by Allison and Margaret Engel
featuring "America's best local foods and the people who produce them."
Using the best modern European smoking technology, combined with
traditional, time-consuming curing and smoking methods, the folks
here produce perhaps the finest smoked seafood available anywhere.
Their fish products contain no artificial coloring or flavoring.
Instead, they use the flavor of brine, herbs, evaporated natural cane
juice, and spices in combination with the savory smoke of northern
fruitwoods and hardwoods. To ensure long shelf life, they rely on the
freshness of the fish, not on chemical preservatives.
The BELFAST CO-OP STORE is an
all-purpose health food and
deli/cafe that's been providing local, organic, and natural foods since
1976. Maine's oldest food cooperative, this place offers everything
from produce to hand-spun housemade sausages. On hand are over 5000
health and beauty aides. Included are supplements and homeopathics as
well as locally-made milk, artisan cheeses, breads, coffee, pastries,
groceries, fair trade gifts, bulk foods, beer and wine, lunch, weekend
brunch and much more.
Go to OUT ON A WHIMSEY for great gifts and collectibles.
Not too many years ago, BELFAST was
quantities of chicken. So devotedly did it pursue this enterprise that
it touted itself as the broiler capital of the world and celebrated
this status with an annual festival. The chicken industry died—heating
big barns became too expensive—but, contrary to the prediction of many,
Belfast didn't. A lovely waterfront park with picnic tables now
occupies the slope near the City Landing where the processing plants
once stood, and Belfast is enjoying increasing popularity with sailors
This old port town was saved by the
during the early 70’s had emigrated to Waldo County’s relatively
inexpensive boondocks. Many of them ended up coming to town—driven, some say, by hoards of
blackflies÷and now this city may well be
the cultural capital of Maine.
Maine Times readers declared that
Belfast was Maine's "best
little-known town to walk around in for an hour" thanks to its "good
scenery, history, and many artsy nooks." Belfast is like Bar Harbor was
25 years ago. Things haven't gotten cutthroat here yet; rents are still
low enough to attract young entrepreneurs with original ideas and
wide-eyed enthusiasm for their enterprises. USA Today put Belfast on
its list of five "culturally cool small towns." Lately, Belfast has
been billing itself as a "City Full of Surprises." On Thursday nights
during summer, there's music and performing arts on the streets
Belfast originally was known as Passagassawakeg—Indian for Place
of Many Ghosts. In 1873, fire claimed more than 20 acres of the city,
including 90 percent of the waterfront district. Fear of fire led to
most of the downtown being rebuilt in brick. In those days, Belfast was
a major shipbuilding center. The techniques that went into building
great sailing ships helped create many of Belfast's wonderful Federal
and Greek Revival houses. Two blocks of downtown buildings are listed
in the National Historical Register. On Market Street, just around the
corner from City Hall, is the local historical museum. Belfast's
streets are spaced so as to allow as many views of the bay as possible.
The REPUBLICAN JOURNAL, founded in
1829, is Maine's
Instead of seeing
how many books she can stock,
Nanette Gionffriddo of BEYOND THE SEA
tries to see that
each book she stocks is in some way very special. She invests an
incredible amount of personal time to reading books, perusing reviews,
and preparing evaluation sheets for each of her books. We have never
seen a more caring book shop. We doubt there is any.
The LOST KITCHEN
Restaurant occupies the ground floor of a 19th-century house on Main
Street. In a homey but elegant dining room accented with slate walls,
wood light fixtures and intricate arrangements of local flowers, Erin
French turns out a menu utilizing midcoast ingredients in dishes like
pork belly confit with plum jam and pea tendrils, and
caught-that-morning North Haven oysters in a cilantro-lime mignonette.
Most dishes are finished with edible flowers like chive blossoms or
SPEAKING ROSES and In The Dog House
can print your message on live roses and elevate your dog's dish with a
custom-made wooden stand.
How can the military organizations of the world be so culturally vulgar
while sartorially cool? We don’t pretend to know the answer, but we do
know that if you’re into military garb, you’ll like the stuff at the
BELFAST ARMY NAVY STORE. Owner Ronald Mullen says that at least 60
percent of his stock is military surplus--compared to less than 10
percent in many other so-called Army surplus stores. The emphasis is on
authentic international military surplus, both new and used, at very
Also in the main business district, in the DOWNTOWN JEWELRY &
ENGRAVING you will find fine jewelry as well as several
of watches and repair service. Also estate jewelry, giftware, Zippo
lighters, Italian bracelets, Hot Diamonds, engravables and engraving
service. A family-owned and operated hometown store since 1959. Call
207-338-2663 or 1-877-338-0700.
Look for paper artworks by Belfast’s Robinsunne Postcard at COYOTE
MOON downtown. Shop here for funky, natural-fiber clothing
GOOD TABLE, whose mission it is to outfit the
us, has a wonderful assortment of cookbooks along with everything
you need for preparing a delicious feast. Pans,
roasters, basters, recipes, you want it, they have it. When your meal
prepared they have tablecloths, placemats, glassware and all the
ingredients to set a beautiful table. On hand also are hostess gifts to
take if you are visiting someone for the holidays.
On weekends, TRACI'S DINER
open 24 hours, the only restaurant in the area to provide full
menu meals around the clock. The folks here handcut their own fries, and they are good!
doing relatively minor things to make the world a more
livable place could finally make a big difference. This is the
philosophy behind the GREEN STORE, which sells environmentally
safe, energy-efficient products at affordable prices. Casting itself as
a general store for the 21st century, the Green Store stocks a wide
variety of environmentally benign products, including recycled papers,
energy efficient lighting, organic clothing, chem-free lawn-care
products, environmental test kits, and energy sipping appliances.
On Main Street, check out COLBURN'S, which is
said to be the
nation’s oldest, continuously-run shoe store. Folks have been
outfitting their feet here since 1832. Besides being a historical
curiosity, Colburn’s sells quality shoes at outlet prices.
Since time immemorial
man has struggled with life's great questions:
why am I here? What is my purpose? Chocolate or Vanilla? Although we
at THE COOL SPOT can't help
with the first two, the third is right up our alley. Come in
and try our local Stone Fox Farm Creamery ice cream with over 14
flavors, as well as special concoctions from the classic banana split
to our cappuccino sundae.
The New York Times says THREE TIDES
provides the closest thing midcoast Maine has to a hipster bar
scene. The nautical-themed bar (a pile of shucked oyster shells serves
as décor) includes a bocce court and a bay-view bonfire pit. Two dozen
house-brewed beers range from the hyper-hoppy Big Twitch IPA to playful
Snow Cone Pale Ale.
Down East Magazine called MARSHALL WHARF BREWING COMPANY'S
Beer Tasting Room the best in Maine. The popular magazine expressed a
preference for Ale-len, a light kolsch-wheat beer brewed with organic
blue agave nectar.
DARBY'S, 105 High Street, has been the site of
restaurant/pub since 1865. These days you'll find an extensive wine
list with at least 25 choices.
In the words of Rebecca Baer of Artful Living: Oh what a find! EAT MORE CHEESE
is a delightful haven for cheese lovers. With a wide array of
choices, ranging from creamy and delicious triple-creme Delice de
Bourgogne to aged hard cheeses, this quaint shop is a delight for any
cheese enthusiast. At their new, larger store they now
offer Proscuitto Pio Tosini, Speck, Pancetta and other sliced-to-order
The vegetarian restaurant CHASE'S DAILY
not only sources most of the menu from a family farm in Freedom, 20
miles inland, it also uses the back of the place as an art
gallery/farmers’ market. Order a wood-fired pizza topped with four
local cheeses and fresh marjoram, then grab some beet greens or Maine
products like Swan’s raw, unfiltered wildflower honey to take home.
At the OLD
PROFESSOR'S BOOKSHOP, George Siscoe has a nice
selection of scholarly books, new, used, and rare.
YO MAMMA'S HOME at 96 Main Street has cool stuff for you
and your home. It's a unique Retro Style gift and home décor
store that is as diverse as it is colorful. Look for the bright Yellow
Awning with the Yo Mamma’s sign.
On Church Street, look for NAUTICAL SCRIBE BOOKS. Here
Joe Moser stocks new, used, and rare nautical books and maritime art
& collectibles. On hand also are museum-quality ship models.
my goodwill the day I needed a
keyboard for my Mac. Found a good-as-new Apple keyboard there.
Price? Two bucks. Later I got a fine digital camera for four and
after that a top-of-the-line, hundred-dollar Sony radio for seven. For
ten bucks, you can get a discount card that gives you a ten percent
discount on every purchase for a year. Oh, every day a certain color
labels provides a 50 percent discount. When you pay, the cashier thanks
you for supporting their program. Is
a great world or what?
BELFAST TO BUCKSPORT
THE WICKED FUN PUTT is the world's only miniature golf facility with an all-Maine motif.
THE ECLECTIC CLOSET brings new meaning to the term "little bit of everything." The
imaginative lady proprietor has an on-going sale, and every day she
brings out new inventory. She has a Men's Section and a Big and
Beautiful Rack. Look around and you'll find jewelry, art, CDs,
and much vintage, fun and funky, fine-quality clothing. She has been in
business at various locations since 1997, and has attracted an
amazingly diverse inventory.
The BOOK LOVER'S ATTIC has several
children’s books, maritime, military, music, and modern first editions.
THE TREASURED LEAF TEA COMPANY
specializes in unique teas and useful accessories. We sampled a
chocolate/strawberry tea which proved to be utterly unforgettable.
There are roadside
attractions and ROADSIDE
ATTRACTIONS!!! PERRY'S NUT HOUSE on
Route One in Belfast is definitely the latter. Since 1927, Perry's has
been entertaining visitors with its fascinating museum-quality displays
of stuffed animals, unique selection of fresh roasted nuts, silly
practical jokes and comic t-shirts. Perry's is also famous for its
fabulous fudge of many flavors. There is fun for all at Perry's Nut
& JEWELRY offers an
interesting and varied assortment of gemstones, minerals, and fossils.
Open year round, Bennett’s is the place to find affordable gemstone
jewelry from Maine and the world. Here you’ll find Maine’s largest
assortment of polished stones. There is always a good selection of
Maine tourmaline appealingly priced. You can spot the place by the pink
dinosaur out front. Owner Kim Dunn is both knowledgeable and friendly.
ourselves with four tread-thin tires
on a car needing an inspection sticker, we began searching around for a
deal. It took several tries, but we finally found one—at the TIRE WAREHOUSE on Route
One in Belfast. The price was right, the service speedy. (They promise
to beat anybody else's price, no matter how low.) We couldn't have been
see the work of more than 20 Maine potters at MAINELY POTTERY.
Included is stoneware, porcelain, earthernware and raku. Some of the
work is quite expensive; much of it is priced quite modestly. Out
front, there is a table of seconds at reduced prices. At the adjacent
studio, you can see the work of master potters in progress.
BOOKS has a really fine selection of books
a good general
books for many
years before going into the business. For Howard, it's a labor of
love. Now there are seven rooms with some 40,000 books, over 5,000
monogrpahs, and 750 architecture and 600 photography books. Prices are
reasonable. For a wonderful visual experience, visit the new Asian
There is no camping at MOOSE POINT STATE PARK,
but it’s a good
place for picnicking or hiking along Penobscot Bay. The views from here
Searsport's greatest days lie behind her. Between
1770 and 1920, Searsport was an important shipping town, launching more
than 3,000 vessels. In the 19th century, she was home to 286 ship
captains, evidence of which can be found at the PENOBSCOT MARINE
The SEARSPORT PINES GOLF COURSE is the
dream of Bert Whitten. It took root
in his mind in the late eighties
when he was a professor at Michigan Technological University. Heir to a
300-acre family homestead, he was aware of stats indicating that Waldo
County golfers had fewer places to play than golfers anywhere else in
Maine. What he has created is a pretty 9-hole, par 35 course cut out of
a century-old pine forest. The layout has watered fairways, and most of
the tees and greens are elevated. Water comes into play on five holes.
In one of the ponds is a foot-long goldfish. Daily greens fees are just
$15 for nine holes and $20 for eighteen.
The HIDDEN GARDENS are, well, hidden and a little hard to find,
but if you’re into lovingly pampered flora, they’re worth the trek. You
head north out of Searsport for six or seven miles, following the
occasional signs. Just when you think you’re hopelessly lost, you’re
there. You’re welcome to browse to your heart’s content through the
huge variety of both perennials and biennials.
EMPORIUM is the place to shop for
beautiful, old tools and other items of interest. Also you'll want to
visit the Penobscot Marine Museum Store.
We can't think of a better place to browse for an hour or so than WORKS.
On hand is an eclectic selection of hardly-used books, art by Maine
artists, and maine-source yarn and fiber for spinners. Housed in a
historic (circa 1891) bank building, the people are friendly and the
WIFI is free.
The couple at COASTAL CAFE & BAKERY
promise "Simple Food Done Elegantly." This includes made-from-scratch
pastries. They specialize in pinwheel puff pastries (and even make
their own puff!) They bake baguettes fresh daily and serve full
breakfasts all day long. Their lunches, mainly Mediterranean, incude
many vegetarian dishes, and their soups are homemade. They endeavor to
support local companies and generally serve produce grown
THE BRICK HOUSE RESTAURANT
is acquiring a reputation
for great fried clams. There is usually live entertainment on weekends
along with homecooked specials. Located in an historic Searsport brick
block, the restaurant is reminiscent of a comfortable neighborhood bar.
Call 207/548-6550 for hours and daily specials.
The PENOBSCOT MUSEUM STORE features reproductions of
China trade, and Victorian items.
newest GRASSHOPPER SHOP, located on Searsport’s Main Street,
stocks women’s clothes, housewares, gifts, cards and all the rest of
the neat stuff that’s made the other Grasshopper Shops so popular.
At the PENOBSCOT MARINE MUSEUM, you can see one of the
country’s finest collections of
marine paintings and artifacts. Located
on Rte 1 in Searsport, collections and special exhibitions are housed
in eight historic structures, including the newly renovated Capt.
Jeremiah Merithew House (1816). Here you’ll find a new permanent
exhibition, "Working the Bay: Ports and People of Penobscot Bay". The
Merithew House also contains the museum’s collection of 25 marine
paintings by James and Thomas Buttersworth. Open Memorial Day through Oct.
15. During your visit, you’ll want to check out the Stephen Phillips
Memorial Library and Museum Store. Call 207-548-2529 for more
Searsport is antiquing
heaven. In a five-mile stretch, there are no
fewer than 15 dealers. There are also three regular summertime flea
MARINE is the largest discount ship’s
chandler north of Boston. It’s a good source for much traditional,
hard-to-find hardware and gear. Other branches are in Portland, Rockland, Southwest Harbor, and Jonesport.
truth underlying the expression "one man's trash is another man's
treasure" is nowhere
AND TRASH BARN. This place is loaded to the gills with both
treasures and trash. There must be more than a million individual
items here, every one of which could strike somebody as well worth
treasuring. "Hard to know where to begin, isn't it?" I said to a lady
appeared frozen by indecision. "Boy, I'll say it is," she replied,
shaking her head as she started tentatively down an isle. It would be
very easy to spend an entertaining afternoon separating wheat from
Searsport is a Mecca for serious modelers of historic ships.
It is the home of BLUEJACKET
SHIPCRAFTERS, manufacturers of the world's finest ship model
kits. In terms of accuracy, attention to detail, and quality of
materials and instructions, no other ship model kits are comparable.
The company is the oldest modeling company in the US, founded in 1905
as the official ship modeler to the US Navy. BlueJacket's models are
found in museums worldwide, with over 70 in the Smithsonian alone. In
their showroom at Lighthouse Place on Rte. 1, you'll find the largest
selection of ship models anywhere, with over 100 models on display and
available for sale.
Downeast Magazine called SEARS ISLAND "a well-kept secret." Known as Wassumkeag or shining beach by the indigenous
tribes of northern New England, this state-owned island is readily
accessible, but surprisingly few people visit it. Barely visible
from Route One, no signs identify it and the state doesn't promote it.
Although there have been several schemes to develop it, these have all
be thwarted, and Sears remainds the largest undeveloped,
uninhabited, causeway-accessible island on the eastern coast of the
United States. While motorized vehicles aren't permitted, visitors are
free to park at the end of the causeway and explore its 940 acres on
foot. They will find cobblestone beaches, forests, open fields, and
30-foot-high cliffs affording spectacular views of Penobscot Bay,
Cape Rosier/Castine, and Isleboro. Numerous walking-trails zig-zag
their way throughout the island, and there are several beautiful
beaches all along its perimeter. Chances are good you'll have the
place all to yourself. It is stunning to experience true wilderness so
close to industrial and urban development. Incidentally, Sears is a
In business for over a quarter-century, SILKWEEDS has expanded to become a major gift emporium—three
two-story buildings providing 7,000 square feet of floor space. Things
you’ll find include wreaths, jams & jellies, braided rugs,
Maine-made Castine Candles, silk flowers, country/ primitive home decor
and much more. Try Silkweed's famous homemade fudge. This is mid-coast
Maine’s largest gift emporium where "it's always worth the trip." Call
The SAFE HARBOR CHURCH on Route One is home ot nine
glass windows by the noted glass designer Louise Comfort Tiffany. This
is one of only ten buildings in the country with all-Tiffany windows,
which depict both religious and pastoral tableaux.
Sarah Nickerson uses hooked rugs
as the medium for her folk art. Creating the rugs from wool scraps and
burlap bags, she treats them as canvasses to describe many incidents in
her life, such things as former residences and stages of her children’s
growth. She shows them at her shop, THE RUG
RAT, on Rte 1 in Searsport. The setting is humble, but her work
has been attracting some major collectors. Her prices — $70 per square
foot — are well below most comparable creations.
There are three old cemeteries along this stretch and a scenic
overlook providing a view of the Penobscot River.
There is an eclectic mix of cool stuff at TOWN HALL MERCANTILE PUB.
Shop here for organic meats, milk, eggs, yogurt, and whoopie pies!
There is a nice selection of art by Maine artists and books by Maine
authors. Also on hand are pottery, cards, woodworking, jewelry, and
vintage dishes. They make good pizzas here and excellent sandwiches. .
At Cape Jellison, Fort Pownall (1759) once defended
Bay. Now you can see the pyramid-shaped bell tower of FORT POINT
LIGHT. For recreationists, SEARS
ISLAND is something of a well-kept
secret. It’s a great spot for hikers, swimmers, and picnickers. Parts
of the island are a state wildlife sanctuary. There is an access road
near the Searsport-Stockton Springs line.
How do you please the locals, summer people,
and tourists all at the same time? The folks at THE GOOD KETTLE have found
a way. They combine simple, good, home-style cooking with high-quality
ingredients to provide nutritious, wholesome, delicious food.
Home-grown produce is combined with wines, Maine brews, and cheeses
from all over the world. On hand are Maine-made ice cream, baked goods,
entrees, soups, and cheesecake. The folks here pack picnics for
daytrippers (call ahead, 207/567-2035). All of this is pretty much
guaranteed to please the pickiest palates of any and all.
PERRY'S STORE generally has the least expensive gas in the territory. There are those who say they also have the best crab rolls.
for the sign to FERN HILL FINE ART.
A short drive up Meadow
Road brings you to William H. Landmesser’s studio. Highly original, his
oils and watercolors are for those who have grown weary of mainstream
art aimed at tourists. "I don’t do lighthouses," he points out.
There is a real boardwalk leading down to SANDY
Asha Fenn of asha fenn Pottery, Art & Writing Studio and Showroom
that Sandy Point Beach is a highly magical place. Asha is a
multi-talented young lady, excelling at prose, poetry, sculptures, and
PERRY'S is known far and wide for its crabmeat
sandwiches, a full half-pound of meat for under $10. (This place is
said to have the lowest gas prices in the territory.)
Legend has it that there is pirate treasure buried at Cod
Lead, a gravel mound near Prospect's north town line, directly east of
Mosquito Mountain. There's been plenty of digging hereabouts, but so
far no success.
420 feet, the PENOBSCOT NARROWS BRIDGE
OBSERVATORY is the
world's tallest. For five bucks (three for kids) you can
shoot to the
top in Maine's speediest elevator. (It travels at 500 feet per minute.
Do the math. It'll get you there in less than a minute.) Once there,
you'll be treated to one of the world's grandest views. This is one of
the best deals you'll find Downeast. Your five dollars gets you free
parking and a tour of Fort Knox in addition to your trip up the tower.
Construction on FORT KNOX
began in 1844 and continued for 20
years. The project never was completed. As has always been the case
with military projects, cost over-runs ran rampant. It was manned, but
never attacked, during the Civil War and the Spanish-American War.
Today, it is a great place for kids to play; there are underground
stairways, brick archways, and other ramparts of master stone masons.
In an inspired marriage of art and architecture in the 1950s, Macbeth
was staged here for two summers. Twice yearly, the 20th Maine Company B
Civil War Re-enactment Regiment stages authentic Civil War-era
exercises; visitors can see how infantrymen of the period lived. Daily
tours of the facility are conducted at 1 p.m. Admission: adults, $2;
children, 50 cents; children under 5 free. It's a good idea to bring a
Once you cross the
Waldo-Hancock suspension bridge,
you’re on VERONA ISLAND. It was here that in 1905 Adm. Robert E.
Peary had built the
Roosevelt, the vessel he used as a base for his successful dog-sled
dash to the North Pole.
The UNIQUE ROCK SHOP
all sorts of rocks, minerals, semi-precious stones, fossils,and
what-nots. This is among the most interesting shops on the Maine Coast.
Specializing in Maine tourmaline, jewelry, and specimens..
DEPOT MUSEUM, housed in
an old railroad depot, has artifacts dating back to the days when
Bucksport was a seafaring settlement. Admission is free, although
donations are accepted. Near here, Bucksport has developed its
waterfront with benches providing nice views of Fort Knox and the
bridge. Much work has been completed on Bucksport’s waterfront,
including a new marina.
Also downtown, there’s a theater that just won’t quit. Built in 1916,
the ALAMO was a popular movie house for
40 years before
in a period of considerable TV-induced degradation. It was, at times,
an A&P, a health clinic, a bar, and a video store. By 1992, things
had become grim; the structure faced foreclosure. This was when NORTHEST
HISTORIC FILM —a nonprofit organization dedicated to preserving
films of the Northeast—came riding onto the scene. Acquiring the place
for a headquarters, this group began a struggle to replace the original
600-seat auditorium with a more intimate 120-seater. A major part of
the project includes climate-controlled storage vaults for
three-million-plus feet of irreplaceable historic film. NHF intends to
be the country’s premier regional moving image archives. Open at
present is the Theatre Store, which stocks Hollywood films relating to
Northern New England and unusual movie-related gifts and toys.
GOOD DEALS ANTIQUES MALL & COLLECTIBLES
on Main St. in Bucksport offers an incredible assortment of interesting items. A Dealer's Shop,
new venders are always welcome. Consignment on furniture and
household items. Inventory changes daily; you'll always find a good
deal. Call 207/469-2000.
T-BONES SMOKIN' BBQ
on Main Street in Bucksport uses an original recipe and locally
produced products to produce barbecue of the highest possible quality.
Choose betweeen take-out and eating at an adjacent picnic table.
T-Bones recognizes the importance of slow-smoking pork butts for
succulent pulled pork. Tthese butts are cooked for a full half-day.
This allows the tougher connective tissue to be gently broken down and
creats texture that is moist and tender. Sparing no expense,
T-Bone's pulled pork is always cooked in this manner, and after
it comes off the smoker and rests briefly, it falls apart from the
slightest touch. Open seasonally 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Friday thru Sunday. Call 207/385-6786.
The LOCAL VARIETY & BAKE SHOP provides a
very interesting assortment of home-baked goodies, locally made jewelry
and crafts, locally-grown, organic produce, and top-quality meats. A
sort of year-round Farmers' Market.
SILVER LAKE PARK, 67 acres, features a self-narrated tour of a species forest in which
walkers can learn about every tree native to Maine in its natural
environment. There are six hiking trails of varying degrees of
difficulty. A boat landing allows visitors to arrive by water and spend
hours watching deer and partridge, marvel at the 100-foot-tall pines
swaying in a breeze, or photograph bright flowers beside picturesque
lake. They might also meet a ghost. In the summer of 2006, a young lady
scuba diving in the lake came upon a woman with long hair struggling
near the bottom. The diver, Amanda was her name, reached out to help
the women before realizing she had encountered a ghost. Others have
encountered this ghostly woman. Cheryl Leach and her seventeen-year-old
daughter discovered they were both dreaming of a long-haired woman
struggling under water. They launched an investigation with author
Carol Schulte and concluded that they were conjuring the spirit of a
murder victim named Sarah Ware.
BUCK MONUMENT has the outline of a foot and leg
said to be the result of a curse put upon Col. Buck by a woman he had
executed for witchcraft. Just before departing this world, she promised
to dance on his grave. Don’t try convincing locals she hasn't made good.
Susan Renee Lammers of LAMMERS GALLERY uses copper panels for
her oil paintings. She says she was inspired by paintings on
copper she saw in Europe. Although some of these were several centuries
old, the colors remained vibrant and there was no cracking. Her gallery
is open by apointment only. Call 207479-9513.
a new name for an old place to tip a few, is forging a more upscale
image. Long known for its weekend rowdiness, it's cleaning up its act.
No more brawls, no more unseemly behavior, no more loudly contested
arguments. No more fried food,
either. Instead you can imbibe with such treats as steak and sweet
potratos, chicken Parmesan, and fettuccine Alfredo. It'll still be the
place to catch top local bands.
as one of Maine's best, the BUCKSPORT
GOLF COURSE is a
beautiful, well-maintained facility offering
nine scenic holes, with a wide-open layout characterized by spectacular
views of surrounding hills and valleys. With three par fives (par 37),
it is Maine's longest 9-hole course.There is full-featured pro
shop, a driving range, and two chipping greens. This course is
a bit of a well-kept secret.
The ORLAND HISTORICAL SOCIETY operates a small
with military uniforms, a mineral collection, and local memorabilia on Main
175). Open daily 2 to 4 p.m. July and August. The Orland
River was once call the Narranassic—Indian for "Hard to
THE PENOBSCOT BAY YACHT
EXCHANGE provides a full range of Marine Services including
sales, service, boat rentals, repairs, towing, salvage, and shrink
wrapping. We represent TowBoatUS in Maine. We have towboats ready to
respond in Portland, Boothbay, Rockland, Castine and Southwest Harbor.
Each boat serves a 50 mile radius from it's home port. This ensures
maximized coverage along the coast of Maine.
On Rte One in Orland is H.O.M.E.
for More Employment), an organization that assists local people in many
ways. If you’re just visiting this area, you might want to
H.O.M.E.’s marketstand with fresh produce, auto shop, lumber yard,
shingles mill, thrift shop,
and gift shop featuring work of Maine artisans. There are facilities
for pottery, woodworking, weaving, leather, and a greenhouse. During
the summer there is a non-stop flea market. In August, H.O.M.E. holds a
country and crafts fair. At one recent book sale, you could buy a whole
bag of books for a buck. Here there actually is free lunch—every day
from 12 til 12:30. Donations are welcome, but defiitely not required.
The good people here also run homeless shelters for men and women, a
day care center, and a summer day camp for kids 8 to 12. There is a
wide variety of classes for adults. Oh, and come Christmas they make
wreaths and center pieces. Talk about busy—call 207-469-7961.
At ACADIA HIGHWAY DOLLHOUSE
TREASURES, Mary Soper stocks a wide variety of dollhouses,
miniatures, and tiny furnitures.
The good people at BALSAM
COVE CAMPGROUND say they take pride in being big enough to offer
amenities people want, yet small enough to provide a quiet, serene
camping experience. Facilities include a general store, modern
restrooms, free hot showers, laundry, and free WIFI. Fun features
include Friday night movies and twice-weekly hay rides.
Just a bit off the beaten path on Route 15 is the WILD
BLUEBERRY PATCH GIFT SHOP. Combined here are edible blueberries and
gifts with a blueberry motif. It is operated by the Allen family, which
has been in the blueberry biz for five generations. Check out their
giant wind turbine, the ecologically friendly way they freeze
BROOK NATIONAL FISH HATCHERY in East Orland
was established in 1871 and is the nation’s oldest salmon hatchery. It
is situated on the shore of Alamoosook Lake on a road that isn’t marked
very well, but it is well worth visiting. There is a Visitors’ Center
with aquaria, a picnic area, and boat-launching ramp, all free of
charge. Each year, Craig Brook produces upwards of half a million young
Atlantic salmon for Maine’s restoration programs. We visited the
hatchery on a lovely July day and had the place all to ourselves. At
the hatchery housed in an old ice house is Maine’s first-ever Atlantic
salmon museum. On display are intricately-tied flies of master
artisans, century-old flyrods , assorted reels, gaffs, tailers, and
other artifacts and memorabilia.
MOUNTAIN VIEW VARIETY & REDEMPTION
is a Variety Store that lives up to its name. Get gas, on/off road
diesel, live bait, groceries, and grab & go items. There is a full
kitchen and a bottle redemption center. Buy a Breakfast Sandwich,
Breakfast Pizza, or Breakfast Special and get any size Green Mountain
Coffee for 99 cents!
If you feel like you're ODing on Limbaugh, switch over
at FM 89.9. Amy Goodman and Jim Hightower are good juxtapositions to
the far right chatter that makes up most of talk radio. WERU is a
community, listener-sponsored, ad-free station providing a nice balance
of good music and public service (and most always politically correct)
broadcasting, now makes its home on Route 1.
GREAT POND MOUNTAIN WILDLANDS, 4,300 acres, is among the largest acquisitions ever achieved by a Maine land trust. Purchased in 2005 by the Great Pond Mountain Conservation Trust, its protection fulfilled the dream of Stewart
Gross, a local man who in 1993 founded the trust. There are hikes for people of all capabilities. A truly
astonishing view can be experienced by following the East Ridge Path
past Hemlock Brook. Descending Flag Hill, there is a long, rocky
ridge and views that get better with each step. One can see Katahdin
and the White Mountains in the north and west, across Branch Lake to
Schoodic Mountain in the east, and Fort Knox and the Penobscot Narrows
Bridge to the south.
This trek continues in Chapter
or comments? Send them along to Captain D.