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Let’s go for a drive…    Blue Hill

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With at least six 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 with its collection of fine American craft.

After Handworks, 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. Randy Eckard’s 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…).

    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 past the post office to 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??  

KEY (click on highlighted advertiser links below to go to their website)

1. Bar Harbor Bank & Trust
2. Blue Hill Bay Gallery
3. Blue Hill Coop
    Community Market
4. Blue Hill Inn
5. Bourne Studio
6. Clayforms Pottery
7. The First (bank)
8. Gallery Untitled
     (3.5 mi. South on Rte. 15)
  9. Handworks Gallery
10. Jud Hartmann Gallery
11. Kneisel Hall
       Chamber Music Festival
12. Liros Gallery
13. Mark Bell Pottery
       (3 mi. South on Rte. 15)
14. New Cargoes

Download a PDF of the Blue Hill Drive here (1MB).








New Cargoes, on Main St, is one of my favorite places to shop year round. Owner Peter Stremlau offers a wide array of housewares, clothing, jewelry, toys, and gifts – all a glowing testament to his keen eye and good taste. 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, Cygnet Gallery is located in a small space between Bar Harbor Bank and Fairwinds Florist, showing some fabulous artwork.
We just learned at press time that Black Dinah Chocolatiers of Isle au Haut has opened a café in Fairwinds Florist on Main Street, offering some fabulously decadent chocolates and baked goods as well as 44 North coffee (roasted in small batches right on Deer Isle!).
Just up the street, Sara Sara’s offers everything from beaded hair ties to dresses, sweaters, and cool cotton nightgowns. In early May, I spotted a sign saying new Eileen Fisher was in!
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 46 years, and offers fine art and fabulous Russian ikons.
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 beyond Mark’s, take a right towards Penobscot to Louise Bourne’s Studio, two miles ahead on the left. If you get to C&G Growers, you’ve missed it.
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. Clay Forms, open by appointment only, offers beautiful porcelain for “the rituals of everyday life” by Melody Lewis-Kane.
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 St., stop in at 66 Steak & Seafood – located in the red building on the banks of the mill stream for lunch or dinner.

John Hikade’s Arborvine Restaurant on Main Street across from the Congregational Church is only open for dinner, but you can enjoy a fabulous lunch or more casual evening meal in The Vinery.

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 Coop Community Market.

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.

For some of the best burgers around, as well as soups, sandwiches, and complete meals with fries and salad – all served in a great pub atmosphere – head out of town to Marlintini’s (about a mile south on Rte. 15).

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 Sunday 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.

Mid-week, look for Eliot Coleman’s farm stand in the parking lot at the Blue Hill Wine Shop on Main Street.

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 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.

You don’t need to wait for a rainy day to visit the Jonathan Fisher House on Route 15, or the Blue Hill Historical Society located in the Holt House on Water Street. The Fisher House, built in 1814, preserves a part of Blue Hill’s past in the home of Parson Jonathan Fisher.

And what Maine town would be complete without antiques shops? There are several within walking distance of the center of town.

And when the sun comes out…

For the curious outdoor enthusiasts, MERI (Marine Environmental Research Institute) is located right on Main Street next to New Cargoes. 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.

Where can I hike?
Drive up Mountain Road to the parking area and hike one of two trails on Blue Hill Mountain. The view from the top is spectacular. If mountain hiking isn’t for you, there’s always room for a picnic or playtime at the town park, at the end of Water Street, just beyond the entrance to the hospital.

We hope you enjoyed your visit to Blue Hill, Maine! Let us know if you find anything we missed…



©2010-2012 Arts Guide – a publication of Mozelle! Studio

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