There’s a lot to love about mid-coast Maine, and we’re always delighted to share some of our region’s more unique and unusual attractions with guests of the Berry Manor Inn. The coast of Maine is known for its spectacular scenery, fresh-off-the-boat seafood, charming villages, and miles of rocky coastline to explore. You can fill your days with deep sea fishing, set sail on a windjammer cruise, photograph iconic lighthouses, kayak quiet lakes and ponds, or simply slurp oysters and cold beer at a seaside clam shack. There’s no checklist on vacation, no timeclock to punch. Just being out in the fresh salt air with an impossibly blue sky above will make you fall in love with the Maine coast. But if you really want to get the feel of the pine tree state, you need to get off-the-beaten-path and explore some of the more characteristic spots that showcase Maine’s charm.
Salt Water Farm Cooking School
Located in Lincolnville, Maine, less than 30 minutes north of the Inn, Salt Water Farm Cooking School offers cooking classes and 3-day workshops that teach the joy of cooking with fresh local ingredients. Utilizing the fruits of their vegetable and herb garden and what’s available from land and sea, recipes range from scratch-made pies to homemade pasta and bread as well as meat and fish dishes. All classes end in a communal feast. If you want to experience the taste of Maine, take a class at the Salt Water Farm Cooking School.
Fawcetts Antique Toy and Art Museum
If you want to take a trip down memory lane, a visit to Fawcetts Antique Toy and Art Museum will spark nostalgia for a simpler time, when toys were built by skilled craftsmen. The collection includes Mickey Mouse and friends, the Lone Ranger, Buck Rogers, Felix the Cat, WWII propaganda toys and so much more. This is not a playground for children, but a treasure trove for anyone curious about toy design and craftsmanship.
Penobscot Narrows Bridge and Observatory
Located an hour north of the Inn in Stockton, Maine, the Penobscot Narrows Bridge and Observatory is one of the crown jewels of coastal Maine. Taller than the Statue of Liberty, and built with local Maine state granite, the cable-stay design bridge replaced the beloved Waldo-Hancock bridge after discovering that the historic bridge was beyond repair. The observatory located in one of the suspension pylons, is one of only two such bridges in the world. The panoramic views from the top of the observatory offer breathtaking vistas of the Penobscot river and the distant western mountains.
Located next to the Penobscot Narrows Bridge and Observatory in an area known as the Penobscot Narrows, Fort Knox served as the main line of defense again British naval invasions of the Penobscot River Valley in the 1800s. Built entirely of granite, its unique architecture has been well preserved. Open to the public seasonally for self-guided tours and picnicking on the grounds, Fort Knox serves as the entry point for the Penobscot Observatory tower.
Thompson House Ice Museum
Located an hour south of the Inn in South Bristol, Maine, the Thompson House Ice Museum is a showcase of Yankee ingenuity. What began as an initiative of a small farmer to keep provisions cold in warm weather grew into a commercial enterprise supporting local fishermen and refrigerated truck drivers. The site was donated to a preservation corporation in 1987, with the condition that it must be maintained as a working museum. Thompson House continues to harvest ice naturally in an annual ice harvest that draws people from all over the region. The museum is open to the public from 1:00 – 4:00 PM on Wednesdays, Fridays, and Saturdays in July and August.
The next time you visit us here at the Inn, be sure to ask for directions to some of these fun places to visit. You’ll be glad you did.