Daytrip to Castine

map-big.gifIf you look across Penobscot Bay from the campground beach, squint a little to the right behind Islesboro, you can see sailboats sailing around Dyce’s Head from Castine Harbor.

You can get there as the crow flies with a power boat in about 45 minutes, kayak across the Bay if you’re feeling ambitious (it’s always good to have someone on the other side to bring you home after you’ve had a beer at Dennett’s Wharf) or drive East on Route 1 and then South on Route 15…however you get there, it’s worth the trip.Dice Head Light

It will take a bit of sleuthing on your part, but it’s not difficult to find the Dyce Head Light House at the western most part of town. The 1828 light is closed to the public but there are a couple of trails that lead from the light house to the shore and offer a beautiful vista of Penobscot Bay. The rocky ledges lend themselves well to a warm afternoon picnic or romantic sunset toast…sitting with the lighthouse behind you, you’ll be looking due west.

castine-sign.jpgCastine is one of the oldest communities in North America, occupied continuously since the 1600’s. You’ll appreciate more of this heritage by reading some of the 100+ informational signs around the town written to explain the importance of Castine’s rich and often bizarre military history. Castine is the home of the Maine Maritime Academy and when the training ship, State of Maine is in port,castine-state-of-maine.jpg visitors are welcome to a guided tour the training vessel with midshipmen free of charge.

You’ll recognize the charm of this quintessential, coastal New England town immediately. But unless you’ve been forewarned, you may not consciously be aware of why a stroll through the town feels like a walk through a picture postcard. The townspeople of Castine had the forethought to protect the Dutch Elms and they line the streets to form a green canopy of shade.castine-elms.jpg

When you visit, pack a lunch or plan to eat in one of the several restaurants that range from a bakery to white table cloth at the Castine Inn. If you’re feeling brave bring your bicycles but remember that these tiny roads do not usually offer the protection of a wide shoulder and the magnificent scenery can be distracting to drivers. It’s just my opinion, but down here the water feels safer than the roads so consider using kayaks to tour the innumberable coves and hidden beaches of the coastline. My best “insider’s tip” is not to miss the Wilson Museum while you’re here…it’s like looking through the displays of your crazy great uncle…really, take the time and take pictures!

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