48 Hours in Blue Hill, Brooklin + Brooksville

With an array of local dining options, a vibrant arts scene, and ocean vistas, these tight-knit communities on the Blue Hill Peninsula deliver a unique weekend getaway and solace from the busier Mount Desert Island towns just up the coast.

Blue Hill after dusk

My boyfriend, Dylan, and I begin our drive to Blue Hill with hopes of finding a slow-paced weekend. We check in to the Blue Hill Inn after dusk and are escorted to the comfortable Cape House suite. After settling in, we walk to The Thurston Co. for a late dinner. The year-round restaurant opened last summer in a historic building on Main Street.

Taking in our surroundings

We wake up and find a complimentary breakfast in the inn’s dining room featuring cinnamon bread, a bowl of fruit, eggs and sausages, and sticky French toast. We meet Duncan Hamilton, the innkeeper, who offers to make us a dinner reservation at Arborvine.

We see the sun peeking through the trees—our cue to start the day walking through the town’s center. We reach the bay and explore a small beach near the town park. The waterfront provides expansive views of the peninsula, and we can see Mount Desert Island in the distance.

We are in need of coffee after our walk. A short drive from the inn is a farmers’ market at Mainescape Nursery and Garden Shop. Most of the market is inside a greenhouse, sheltered from the chilly coastal air. A variety of local businesses are selling everything from vegetables to pies. We each order a cortado from Bucklyn Coffee.

Wind, sea, and Vikings

We venture toward the end of the peninsula through Brooklin to Naskeag Point. After a few wrong turns down tree-lined entrances to estates, we eventually find our destination. Naskeag Point is home to a prehistoric archaeological site where a supposed Viking-era Norse coin was found in 1957. (Some historians believe the coin was planted at the site.)

Back in Blue Hill, we stop at Sandy’s Blue Hill Cafe for lunch. The cafe is located in a renovated historic home overlooking Blue Hill Bay. Dylan gets a refreshing plate of tuna with avocado, and I go for a classic haddock and chips. We meet Sandy Fletcher, the owner, and talk about her moving to Blue Hill and opening the cafe.

At the Blue Hill Wine Shop we find a huge selection of interesting wines from across the world, along with a cafe and an outdoor patio for hanging out. We leave with two bottles, one to enjoy before and one for after our dinner.

Farm-to-table at its finest

Arborvine is an 1823 farmhouse-turned-restaurant. Hungry from a day of exploring, I order the lobster pappardelle and a chilled glass of pinot grigio, making for the most decadent meal I’ve had in a while. Back at the inn, we settle into our suite, open the second bottle from the wine shop, and play board games.

Coffee in bed

We drive to the base of Blue Hill Mountain and begin hiking. Within 30 minutes we reach the top and look down at the village of Blue Hill and out to the blue mountains of Acadia National Park.

We can spot our next destination from the mountaintop: Holbrook Island Sanctuary State Park in Brooksville. On our way to the nature preserve, we drive by gorgeous secluded beaches at low tide and grand vacation homes. The state park has 11 miles of trails and overlooks Penobscot Bay, providing the perfect, serene end to our weekend away.