An Insider’s Guide to the Blue Hill Peninsula

Discover the Hidden, Quiet, Wild & Wonderful Side of the Maine Coast Looking for a true gem of a vacation and a memorable getaway off the beaten path? Get a real slice of New England heaven with a visit to a secluded part of the coast that still exudes a real “Old Maine” feeling of yesteryear when you book a stay at the Pentagöet Inn & Restaurant in Castine, the heart of the Blue Hill peninsula! Just pack your bags and leave the planning to us with this comprehensive guide of some truly wonderful and sometimes unexpected treasures! Explore the Great Outdoors From relaxing excursions to exciting adventures, there’s a perfect summer activity for everyone in this unspoiled section of Mid-Coast Maine. GRAB BIKES FROM THE INN Explore the town on two wheels; get up close to historic Dice Head Light, pedal down to the harbor and marvel at the historic schooners that grace our waters daily, or cycle past the house of famed author, Robert Lowell on our beautiful town square. Complimentary bikes are available for all guests at the Pentagöet Inn. GET OUT ON THE WATER You can’t really see what makes this area so truly special if you don’t set sail, motor, paddle, float, or swim.  The maritime history of this area has shaped it into what it is today and the only way to experience much of the natural beauty of Maine is from the water. There are so many ways to explore by vessel, and we recommend them all! Guildive Cruises: Enjoy a 2-hour excursion on the bay and get a picturesque view of the town of Castine Isle au Haut Mail Boat: Try to spot the iconic puffins on the way to Isle Au Haut, the quietest and least crowded part of Acadia. Castine Kayak Adventures: Paddle the peninsula with expertly led guided tours and seasonal bioluminescent night paddles! Old Quarry Ocean Adventures: For the more adventuresome paddler, kayak the Stonington archipelago, Isle Au Haut, and beyond. Bucks Harbor Marina: If you have your own boat or a license to rent one, this is a must! Located a short drive from Castine, Bucks Harbor is one of the most beautiful marinas and unspoiled natural panoramas on the state’s coast. Smith Cove: Take a dip in this nearby swimming hole, one of the warmest spots for swimming on the mid-coast Maine. A local’s secret, but we’ll tell you how to get there! If you’re a boat lover, be sure to head over to Brooklin and see the craftspeople at work at the Wooden Boat School and the Brooklin Boat Yard!   HIT THE TRAILS Due to some remarkable conservation efforts by the Blue Hill Heritage Trust and The Nature Conservancy, we are blessed with nearly endless hiking trails in and around the Blue Hill Peninsula, and there are a few real gems that we highly recommend. There are some excellent trail guides available when you arrive, and Pentagöet Inn offers a Hiking Adventures Package to enhance your experience: Barred Island Preserve: Time it right and you can hike over to a tidal island Peter’s Brook:  If you like a short stroll with a waterfall payoff, this is it! Holbrook Island Sanctuary: A gorgeous area that offers abundant wildlife viewing opportunities. Witherle Woods Preserve: Our favorite easygoing hike right in Castine with over 6 miles of trails Crockett Cove Woods: If you want to get up close with the dense Maine forest, this is it! TAKE IN THE VIEW While you’re out exploring, pack a picnic lunch with all the essentials from Windmill Hill Gardens and Market and enjoy it with some fresh air and beautiful coastal vistas. Pull off the side of the road near the Pumpkin Island Lighthouse to enjoy a picture perfect backdrop for your meal or head over to Horton Emerson Park in Blue Hill. You might have this idyllic place all to yourself and if you play your tides right, you will be able to picnic on a sandy beach. GET IN A ROUND OF GOLF Designed by Willie Park, Jr. in 1922, the Castine Golf Club’s 9-hole par 35 course is a unique and fun experience for our golfing enthusiasts. Get Your Culture On History, art, literature and music abound in Castine and around the Blue Hill Peninsula. HISTORY From the rich culture of the native tribes and the battles of the Revolutionary War, to the pivotal role Castine played as a U.S. Customs House, the history of the Blue Hill Peninsula is truly remarkable. A short walk from Pentagöet Inn will take you to the steps of the Castine Historical Society on the town common featuring exhibits, speakers, and an eager staff. Step into history with a stroll over to Fort Madison State Park right on the harbor in the heart of Castine and an important part of U.S. history. A recommended read before your trip is The Fort by Bernard Cornwell. Learn all about the Penobscot Expedition of 1779 and the worst naval defeat of the Revolutionary War. History buffs will be richly rewarded! ART There is a rich local art scene here in Castine, but as you explore the peninsula, you will find hidden gems everywhere you look. There are art galleries featuring local artists and their beautiful work across mediums. We highly recommend checking out the phenomenal paintings at the Adam Gallery and Gallery B, fine earthenware at Rackliffe Pottery, or Haystack Mountain School of Crafts, a non-profit group that has seasonal tours and events MUSIC & THEATRE Stonington boasts Opera House Arts on the National Register of Historic Places and delivers excellent productions, concerts and films all summer long. Kneisel Hall Chamber Music School & Festival brings together world class musicians to put on beautiful events through the season. If you’re visiting Pentagöet Inn during the week, be sure to join us for Jazz on the Porch Tuesdays! The Night and Day Trio performs from 5-8pm and there are specialty cocktails, hors d’oeuvres and a special menu available. A favorite of locals and visitors alike. Eat, Drink, and Shop Get a real flavor of Maine’s coast from freshly caught seafood to locally roasted … Read More

Farmer holding a box of fresh produce

Local Organic Food Producers Featured in Our Restaurant

The Restaurant at the Pentagoet Inn incorporates products from many local, organic farms in our dining menu. The quality and freshness of the products available in and around Castine, Maine is remarkable. These products are often available at many farmer’s markets during the summer including the local farmer’s market here in town on the common. Access to this fresh food market is part of what makes dining at the Pentagoet Inn so special. Blue Zee Farm The Blue Zee Farm is a productive 100-acre farm of mixed vegetable and blueberries. Located in Blue Hill their two greenhouses allow them to start many of Maine’s hot-weather crops earlier in the season than most home gardeners can. This is why they were one of the first farmers in the area this year to have such whopping eggplants and peppers. Their produce can be found right here in Castine in our summer farmer’s market. Carding Brook Farm Jennifer Schroth and Jonathan Ellsworth have been providing us with remarkable vegetables from the Carding Brook Farm on the Benjamin River in Brooklin, Maine for many seasons. We feel so blessed to be able to use their produce in our Castine, Maine restaurant. Four Season Farm Four Season Farm is an experimental market garden in Harborside, Maine, owned and operated by writers Barbara Damrosch and Eliot Coleman. The farm produces vegetables year-round and has become a nationally recognized model of small-scale sustainable agriculture. Barbara has worked professionally in the field of horticulture since 1977. She writes a weekly column for The Washington Post called A Cook’s Garden and is the author of The Garden Primer and Theme Gardens. Eliot has more than 40 years of experience in all aspects of organic farming, including field vegetables, greenhouse vegetables, rotational grazing of cattle and sheep, and range poultry. He is the author of The New Organic Grower, Four Season Harvest and the Winter Harvest Handbook. Their latest collaboration is two books in one: “The Four Season Farm Gardener’s Cookbook.” It’s a garden guide and a cookbook. Old Ackley Farm Old Ackley Farm is located in Blue Hill and raises about 2500 chickens per year. They also husband a beef herd of 10 Belted Galloways, raise piglets and laying hens, and hatch their own duck and Bourbon Red turkey eggs. All their meat is pasture-raised on organic grass, and the farm is in the process of becoming certified organic. They also offer vegetables from their garden as part of their organic offerings.