One of the best things about my job is the way it lets me see new places in New England with not just ease, but encouragement. Earlier this summer, I journeyed the Maine mid-coast for some story research and blogging opportunities, and was lucky enough to spend the night in lovely, historic Castine, Maine.
There’s a full recap of my visit to Castine over on the Yankee Magazine site (Castine, Maine | A Historic Midcoast Maine Town) with loads more history and photos, but here are a few that didn’t (or couldn’t) make the cut.
Yes, I am talking about the foot selfies, but also litter and closeups of quilts.
To start, along with postcards and fine penmanship, I love a real hotel key.
My room for the night was one of the inn’s most affordable — a twin room with a private bathroom down the hall.
I was instantly smitten with the nautical mustard-colored wallpaper (but let’s be honest, I like almost anything mustard-colored), and pineapple poster beds. The peek of ocean out the window, lack of television, and table side fan instead of monster AC unit were also appreciated. When near the ocean, I believe it is optimal to see, hear, and smell the ocean.
The breakfast room at the Castine Inn was also a delight, with a town mural wrapped around the walls.
As were its garden flowers….
And scenic buildings, too. My favorite was the Castine Historical Society. Located on the quaint town common, it’s housed inside in a former school. Even a little paving construction couldn’t dampen its cheerful exterior.
On permanent display in a wonderful exhibit — a quilt honoring the town’s bicentennial in 1996. Designed and constructed by sixty members of the Castine community, the quilt tells the story of the town’s fabled past through pictures.
Beautiful, elaborate pictures, painstakingly assembled.
It’s made up of seven squares that tell the history of Castine, separated by eight panels representing the native flora and fauna of the Maine Coast. What a beauty!
If you like that kind of thing, you can learn more about the bicentennial quilt here.
Lunch came in the form of a lobster roll (When in Maine, right?) at the warm and welcoming Castine Variety.
I like a hot roll the best, but this was a good cold one — packed with sweet lobster meat and just a little bit of mayo. On a cold roll, I don’t mind a little shredded lettuce for crunch, so this one got a thumbs up. Coastal Living magazine gives it a nod, too, calling it one of 5 “insanely great” lobster rolls in New England.
After lunch I did some shoreline strolling…
And a little sea rope admiring (my Saltwater sandals have barely left my feet this summer)…
Followed by a little litter gathering. Yes, this empty bag of Humpty Dumpty All Dressed Potato Chips was trash, but it’s such a MAINE thing to find lying on the ground that I had to appreciate it a smidge. And what a deal!
The Roman Catholic Church in Castine (Our Lady of Holy Hope) in an impossibly charming little spot right on the water. The building was constructed in 1880, and was converted into a chapel in the early 1920s, but there’s been a Catholic presence in Castine since 1635. The town is also home to three other lovely churches.
These dogs were patiently waiting for mass to get over. I know your pain, guys. I know.
A bit beyond the church is Fort Madison, named for President James Madison and established in 1808. It was captured by the British during the war of 1812 but returned to the US three years later. Abandoned in 1819, it was rebuilt during the Civil War in 1863…but then abandoned once more in 1865.
Today it’s a park, complete with ocean views. And a show cannon.
Beyond the Civil War earthworks, there’s a wooden staircase that leads down to the rocky shore.
And some seriously beautiful views. Maine, you’re so pretty.
I loved my quick in-and-out visit to Castine!
How’s your summer going?
I hope you’re all having a wonderful time and enjoying many adventures and delicious treats!