Shhh. Local secrets!
There are so many places and things to see and do when on vacation in our area, it’s hard to narrow it down to just a few. Here we made a list of 10 of our favorite things to see and do while enjoying your vacation.
The list is in no particular order.
1. Mother Shucker’s Lobster Shack, Roque Bluffs.
You just can’t think of Maine without thinking of fresh-from-the-ocean lobster. And getting lobster that was caught just hours before can’t be beat. Our very favorite lobster shack is Mother Shucker’s in Roque Bluffs. Nadine, aka. Mother Shucker, is a one-woman operation selling lobsters (alive and kickin’ to-go only) that her husband brings home from a day out on the boat. Call in advance because she often sells out and bring cash. Also make sure that you purchase your butter and lemon and other accoutrements beforehand because she sells lobster and lobster alone. Open seasonally. (207) 259-1254
2. Jasper Beach, Machiasport
Jasper Beach is a unique beach, like you’ve probably never experienced before. It’s made up entirely of smooth stones and when the waves break and then retreat again, they almost ‘sing’ a melodious sound. (And if you want to work off all of your vacation snacks, walking up and down this beach will certainly burn some calories). Jasper Beach is located in Machiasport — head down Port Road (the main road) in Machiasport, past the village, past the school, past the town offices, past Bucks Harbor. Go down a hill and you’ll see the big sign for Jasper Beach on the left. There is a small dirt road with parking for several vehicles. No facilities and remember to take out whatever you take in.
3. Sunrise Kayak and Canoe, Machias
One of the best ways to take in the beauty of the area is to see it from the water. Sunrise Canoe and Kayak can arrange that for you with all sorts of tours. Join them on one of their many tours of the area via small watercraft. Many of the tours are family friendly. Want to go it alone? You can also rent kayaks and canoes here as well (but go ahead, take a tour…).
4. Bayview Takeout, Beals Island
It’s hard to choose our favorite, there are several that really…fulfill our needs when it comes to fried seafood. One of the best is Bayview Takeout Beals Island. Head to Jonesport and go over the bridge and head left and your come to the tiny takeout restaurant. Great service, great fried seafood, awesome onion rings and recently voted the best lobster roll in Maine. Bayview Takeout’s number is 207-497-3301
If you’re in the Machias area, there are a few good ones to try, but the one that tips our fancy is Riverside Take Out, just east of town. Heaping portions, friendliest of owners and complimentary ice cream for your pooch. What’s not to like? Riverside Takeout’s number is 207-263-7676 Closed during inclement weather.
5. Roque Bluffs State Park
Nestled at the very end of of land, among post-card perfect summer cottages with wide front porches and the scent of beach roses. Roque Bluffs State Park boasts one of the rare Down East sandy ocean beaches on one side and a fresh water lake on the other side of the road. Add to that, miles of walking trails, a small playground and BBQ pits and you have a perfect day all planned out for you. (There are public facilities here). A small community center offers several community suppers scattered throughout the summer season as well as yoga classes. There is an admission fee, in the form of an honor box, so make sure you bring cash in exact change. For frequent visits, a state park pass can be purchased. Click here for info on admission information.
6. Machias Marketplace
Machias Marketplace is just one of the local places that links local farms to the general public. Currently open one day per week (Thursdays), you can purchase farm fresh organic produce, meats, cheeses, ice cream and fresh baked bread and pastry. Click here for details.
7. Helens Restaurant, Machias
Driving almost anywhere in Maine in August, you’ll see roadside stands with blueberries for sale. Make sure you stop! You won’t be sorry — and make sure you buy at least twice as many as you had originally planned, because I guarantee, you’ll start snacking in the car and half won’t make it home. For the BEST blueberry pie, make sure that you stop at Helen’s Restaurant in Machias. Helen’s Restaurant was established in 1950 and has the best blueberry pies (and rhubarb, and raspberry, and apple, and strawberry, and chocolate, and lemon meringue, and coconut cream, and…. well, you get the picture). The pies have been featured in major magazines and, well, all over the place.
8. Robertson’s Sea Tours
Robertsons Sea Tours, based out of Millbridge, offer all sorts of cruising adventures. Visiting the puffins is often a highlight of any DownEast vacation. Perhaps a boat trip to a private island complete with a picnic and blueberry pie is your dream? Make it come true here! Private charters can be arranged. Please click here for more information. And reserve early — they are known to fill up MONTHS in advance.
9. The Yurts, Machiasport
Source: Machiasport.org. The Yurt Foundation is a nonprofit educational organization established to gather folk knowledge from the cultures of the world and place it in a contemporary framework, thereby creating a reservoir of ideas for designing ways of living that are simpler, more beautiful and more just. The Yurt, as modified by Bill Coperthwaite, is a symbol of this cultural blending, combining the folk wisdom and design of ancient Mongolia with the modern materials of milled lumber, glass, and steel aircraft cable. The Yurt Foundation homestead in Maine has been an experiment in cultural blending and simple living. The three-story yurt is reachable only by the sea, or by a half-hour hike along a woodland footpath bordered by bunchberry and sphagnum and hair cap moss. Park your car on the right hand side next to the old sardine plant on Port Road in Bucks Harbor (just before Pettegrow Point Road) and hike in from there. All they ask is that people call or contact them first to request permission. The contact numbers are: (207) 522-9050, (603) 848-3000 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org
10. The French Cellar, Machias
Perhaps a most sophisticated shop for such a rural area, the French Cellar fulfills all of your needs for wine, delicious cheeses and craft beers. Everything that you need for your picnics by the seashore or at the lake. They often host wine tastings year round. Located at 4 Colonial Way in downtown Machias. (207) 255-4977
11. Bonus! Skinnydipping
Well, you’ll just have to figure this place out on your own. We can’t give away ALL of our secrets.