Let’s Go for a Drive

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To Blue Hill...

With several galleries within walking distance of the center of town, Blue Hill is a great place for art lovers.  Beginning at the corner of Union and Main Streets, you will find beautiful hand-woven items and gifts at North Country Textiles.  Handworks Gallery, just a couple of doors east has a little something for everyone.  Handworks has been a fixture on Main Street for many years, and continues to offer a beautiful, welcoming space filled with fine craft, paintings, jewelry and more.

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Across from Handworks, MAE has opened its doors for their first season on Main Street. Founder Wendy Hays says she offers “a collection of inspired gifts and home furnishings, carefully selected to enhance the joy of giving – and living – well.” Stop in and wlecome her to Main Street… 

After MAE, head on down Main Street for a stop at Jud Hartmann’s gallery.  His bronze sculptures of native Americans are powerful, with an intensity that lingers in the mind long after a visit to the gallery.  In addition to those fabulous bronzes, Jud exhibits fine paintings by seven artists – all with a local connection – including Randy Eckard, Jerry Rose, and Tom Curry. 

Speaking of Randy Eckard, his gallery on Pleasant Street offers you an amazing array of finely crafted watercolors – evocative of that other watercolorist (what’s his name?  Oh yes!  Wyeth …).  Take a stroll up there and see. 

 Don't miss a stop at Blue Hill Books, located across from Randy’s gallery.  This is one of the best independent bookstores I have ever encountered. If the book you want isn't on their shelves they will order it for you. 

Just up the road is Kneisel Hall – with classical music concerts every Friday evening and Sunday afternoon all summer by students and faculty.  With a focus on excellence, the weekly concerts offer a rare opportunity to enjoy this beautiful music in a superb setting above the village.     

Return to  Main Street for a short walk up past the post office where you can stop in at The Meadow of Blue Hill, located next door to the Blue Hill Wine Shop.  This delightful shop offers beautiful decorative items for your home, as well as those unique little gifts you don’t know you need ’til you see them!  Owners David Caplan and Karen Brandenburg have created a breathtaking oasis at this end of Main Street – well worth the walk.  Karen’s exquisite silk flower arrangements fool the most discerning eye – are they real, or aren’t they?? 

Take a stroll down Water Street and check out The Barnacle, a men’s clothing store – that’s right!  Men’s.  Here you can find men’s clothing, accessories, and gifts as well as selections for women and children.   

Back on Main Street, stop in at Black Dinah Chocolatiers Café – sharing the space in Fairwinds Florist and offering some fabulously decadent chocolates and baked goods as well as 44 North coffee (roasted in small batches right on Deer Isle!). Flowers and chocolate, folks…

Fairwinds always has a beautiful selection of flowers, and can make up a bouquet or arrangement that will delight you.

While you are there – check out the ArtBox – the vintage candy machine contains affordable little pieces of original art by several local artists.

Just up the street, Sara Sara’s offers everything from beaded hair ties to dresses, sweaters, and cool cotton nightgowns – as well as being the local source for Eileen Fisher.   

The Blue Hill Bay Gallery is located on Main Street in the brick building across from the library, showing paintings and photography.  Specializing in historical and contemporary Maine landscapes, and open year round, their roster includes six artists in the National Academy and many well-known New England artists. Don’t miss their monthly wine and cheese openings in season.  

If you are looking for fine old paintings, maps, or Russian icons, or need something framed, stop at Liros Gallery, also on Parker Point Road.  Serge Liros has been in this business for 48 years, and offers fine art and fabulous Russian ikons. 

Two doors down from Liros, Cynthia Winings Gallery will open for her third summer – offering her own beautiful work, as well as contemporary art by a variety of other fine artists. Her art openings are always “the place to see and be seen!”

Take a little side trip out of town toward East Blue Hill, and visit Hesperus Gallery offering Americana primitive art as well as painted and decoupaged furniture. 

As you drive south on Route 15; Mark Bell Pottery is located just 2 miles from the center of town.  Mark creates exquisitely glazed porcelain pieces; elegant yet simple forms that please the eyes and feel good in your hands.

Continuing on, take a right towards Penobscot to visit Louise Bourne’s Studio, two miles ahead on the left. If you get to C&G Growers, you’ve missed it. Louise paints bold and beautiful local landscapes in her inimitable style.  

Continue on towards C&G Growers, and take a left so you can visit Scott Goldberg pottery studio.  Follow the signs – it’s well worth the drive.  

While you are out there, Bagaduce Lunch, located at the reversing falls bridge, has some of the best lobster rolls around.  And the view is unbeatable!

After these diversions, backtrack the way you came; continuing straight past the turn to Blue Hill you’ll come to Richard Taylor’s ceramic studio on your right in the former Clay Forms Pottery location.  

Next, continue on to Gallery Untitled, located about 100 feet further on the right, offering more fine art and sculpture, as well as Ed Bagley’s Incredible Self-Portrait Machine.  Stop in and let him set you up to create your own self-portrait!

Are you hungry yet?  
Starting right downtown on Main Street, stop in at the Mill Stream – three doors down from Handworks – for an array of fresh baked breads and pastries, as well as delicious lunch. 

John Hikade’s Arborvine Restaurant on Main Street across from the Congregational Church is only open for dinner. Call for reservations.

You can enjoy a fabulous lunch or more casual evening meal in Deep Water Brewing’s pub, located behind Arborvine on Main Street, offering their own suds, other brews and a full bar as well as good food in a friendly brew pub atmosphere.  

And, of course, the  Fish Net will satisfy your craving for fried seafood, hamburgers and hot dogs, lobster or crab rolls and dinners, as well as ice cream and milk shakes.  

Those who prefer a lunch that is prepared using organic ingredients will want to make a stop at the Café in the Blue Hill Co-Op Community Market.

Don’t miss Greenspeed, a hip juice bar just off Main Street on Water Street. At press time, Greenspeed was open from 9am-3:30pm,  offering fresh juices including The Local – a special blend of organic, locally-sourced ingredients and vegan and vegetarian lunches, and coffee.  

For lunch or dinner, who wants pizza?  Barncastle, located on South Street not far from Tradewinds Market, makes amazing pizza in their wood-fired oven.  In addition, there’s a full bar, and a great menu.  The building is pretty amazing, too.   

On the way south out of town, Marlintini’s has long been a favorite stop for burgers, seafood, and more.  Friendly service is available in their dining room or pub – where you can catch a game or the latest golf round on their big screen TV.

Out of town as you head for Deer Isle, Strong Brewing Company is located just opposite the stop sign at the T-junction of Routes 15 and 175.  Check out what they are brewing, and take home a growler for that party or barbecue.

Want locally grown, organic produce?   
The Blue Hill Co-op Community Market, at the foot of Greene’s Hill, offers organic, locally grown produce in season, as well as locally raised meats and poultry.  

Every Saturday from 9-11:30 am, the Blue Hill Farmer’s Market at Blue Hill Fairgrounds, offers a selection of fresh seasonal fruits and vegetables, herbs, and flowers, and a demonstration by a different craft person each week.

Wine? Flowers?  
Don’t forget to stop at Blue Hill Wine Shop for a bottle of your favorite red (or white) to go with that picnic lunch or the evening’s dinner.  In addition to over 1,000 fine wines, they offer fine cigars. They also offer excellent espresso drinks and pastries to eat inside or out on their deck.  Ask about their delivery service!

Need flowers for the dinner table, bedside, or by your reading chair?  You can get them at Fairwinds Florist on Main Street, next door to Sara Sara’s.  

It’s rainy – what can I do now?  
Maybe you’re a bookworm on holiday and you just finished a really great read.  Don’t despair!  There’s a fine library and a great bookstore in town. 

Blue Hill Books on Pleasant Street has lots of cozy nooks to settle into with a good book on a rainy (or sunny) afternoon.  And they will order any book for you if it isn’t on their shelves.

You don’t need to wait for a rainy day to visit the Jonathan Fisher House (1814) on Route 15, or the Blue Hill Historical Society located in the Holt House on Water Street.   

And when the sun comes out…
For the curious outdoor enthusiasts, MERI (Marine Environmental Research Institute) is located right on Main Street next door to MAE.  A great place for folks of all ages to learn more about the local marine environment and what we can do to preserve and protect it. 

Save a little extra time to hike up Blue Hill Mountain and take in the view. 

If you aren’t up for a  mountain hike, stop at Blue Hill’s beautiful waterfront park  for a picnic or a quiet nap. Located just beyond the hospital at the end of Water Street. ■