Blue Hill Peninsula: Brooklin, Boats and Beyond
Take a look at a coastal map of Maine and you’ll quickly discover there are dozens of peninsulas that stretch like fingers into the Gulf of Maine. Each one is unique and well worth exploring, and the Blue Hill Peninsula is no exception.
When visiting this Peninsula, it helps to love boats. Brooklin, the self-proclaimed “Boat Building Capital of the World” is home to six companies that produce everything from prams and peapods to offshore fishing boats to some of the world’s finest wooden yachts.
For dreamers and serious boaters alike, there are always amazing projects in progress at Brooklin Boatyard. Most of their new yacht construction uses a coldmolding process that creates a lightweight, strong and durable wooden yacht. Stop by Center Harbor where they’re located, and you can view dozens of gorgeous wooden boats in the water that they’ve either built or currently maintain.
Just a few miles down the road, you’ll find WoodenBoat Magazine and the renowned WoodenBoat School. Imagine spending a week on a waterfront campus where you can build your own dory, learn how to make spars or take an introductory Elements of Sail course that teaches sailing essentials using a fleet of diverse small boats. You can pitch a tent or stay in one of the dorms and have all your meals included.
Before you pack up that gorgeous boat you’ve built (or bought), take the 30-minute drive to Stonington to see Maine’s largest lobster port. In addition to great scenery, restaurants, art galleries and boutiques, you can visit the Deer Isle Granite Museum.
Here, you’ll learn about Maine’s famous quarries—blocks of Stonington’s distinctive granite, some of it shipped by Maine’s very own windjammers (read our Windjammer story), have been used in Federal buildings and bridges around the country.
Want to get out on the water? Rent a kayak from Old Quarry Ocean Adventures and explore Stonington’s archipelago that includes more than 60 islands within a two-hour paddle. Or take the mail boat to Isle au Haut where you can camp in a remote section of Acadia National Park or spend a night at the Keeper’s House Inn next to a working lighthouse. A trip to the island wouldn’t be complete without a climb up Duck Mountain for a stunning panoramic view that includes islands, lighthouses, windjammers and lobster boats. Back at sea level, you can reward yourself with a visit to the Black Dinah Café for hand-crafted chocolates and other goodies that honor the island’s heritage with sea salt on every delectable caramel–yum!