Posts Tagged ‘Bar Harbor’

Bar Harbor shopping/activity update

June 5, 2010

Sorry to report that All Fired Up, that rainy day godsend for craft-minded folks and families, has closed i’s doors. Replacing it, according to Jeff Anderholm, innkeeper at the lovely Bass Cottage Inn, is Simply Natural: “a high end clothing and accessories shop featuring fine woolens, alpaca and sheepskin items.” Jeff says his wife, Teri (one of the inn’s culinary wiz’s) was impressed. Me thinks I definitely need to investigate this shop.

Learn about rescuing stranded marine animals

April 16, 2010

Here’s a cool opportunity to mingle with more than 50 scientists, marine animal specialists, managers, educators, stranding network volunteers, and others who will be sharing the latest knowledge about marine animal strandings, disease, rescue, and rehabilitation. Anyone can purchase a day pass to attend the Northeast Region Stranding Network conference, cohosted by the College of the Atlantic’s Allied Whale and the Bar Harbor Club, May 7-9.

Highlights include a talk by Steve Katona, marine biologist and former COA president, and Andrew Newbould, marine mammal advisor at the Canadian Department of Fisheries and Oceans; a workshop on large whalenecropsies with COA 1988 alumnus Bill McLellan, now North Carolina State Stranding Coordinator; and a sea turtle disentanglement workshop.

Conference registration is $100; day passes are $50. Students from the University of New England, the University of Maine School for Marine Sciences, or College of the Atlantic can attend for free with a valid student identification card.

What’s happenin’ in Maine: events and deals

April 9, 2010

A few news and notes from around Maine, re: events, activities, deals, and what-not over the coming week:

Eat! Shop! at Flavors of Freeport: Opens tonight with Chefs Signature and Libations Gala ($25 at the door, Hilton Garden Inn); continues Saturday with lifestyle demonstrations, physic readings/ film, block party; and runs through Sunday with a seminar, followed by card exchange.

• Make spring turns at Saddleback: Lift tickets are $25 for this weekend; mountain slated to close on Sunday. Mountain is predicting to operate at least two lifts and opening 25-50% of its terrain, with a few top-to-bottom trails.

• Get creeped out at It’s a Bugs’ World (think hissing cockroaches): Opening at the College of the Atlantic’s Dorr Museum of Natural History, Bar Harbor, on April 15. For a real treat, don’t miss the opening reception,  5-7:30 p.m., featuring insect hors d’oeuvres (not kidding–edible insects), as well as entertainment, including screening of a classic entomological horror flick.  Exhibit runs through June 5. Museum is hands-on and a must for kids.

• Reward yourself for filling taxes at DeansSweets second-annual Free Tax Day Truffle: Dean’s, on Middle Street, in Portland, is offering one free truffle or caramel to anyone who comes in the store between now and midnight on April 15 (and yes, it’s staying open that night to reward last-minute filers).

• Plan to party at Sugarloaf’s Reggae Festival: The mountain is offering an all-inclusive package for the April 15-18 event (lodging at the Sugarloaf Mountain Hotel, daily lift ticket, concert tickets to Inner Circle on Friday night and Kenyatta Hill on Saturday Night, plus daily breakfast, for $158 per person per night).

COA dinner for Haiti

February 1, 2010

If you happen to be anywhere near Bar Harbor on Feb. 6, the College of the Atlantic has a fun night planned. An Evening for Haiti-On Sware pou Ayiti fund-raising dinner and show will benefit Doctors Without Borders.

Here’s the scoop: The dinner, prepared by COA’s cooks and served in the Gates Community Center, will feature international cuisine. Accompanying it will be music, dance, folklore, a history presentation on Haiti, and discussions with COA students from Haiti.

Tickets are $10 adults, $7 students, $5 children 12 and younger. Good event, great cause, fabulous price (COA serves wonderful food, most of it natural and organic).

I don’t like spiders or snakes

October 3, 2009

but the naturalists at the College of the Atlantic sure do, and they’ll be using them in Nature of Halloween, a a program celebrating the  natural history of critters that make appearances during this season of ghouls and goblins, on Sat. Oct. 24, beginning at 6 p.m.

Expect to see live snakes, deadly spiders,a giant centipede, a mad scientist, and even a human skeleton. It all takes place at COA’s Dorr Museum of Natural History. For details, call 207-288-5015 ext. 240 or 207-288-5395

MDI foodie reruns

September 24, 2009

We finished our visit to Mount Desert Island with two returns, Mache Bistro for a dinner and Jordan Pond House for lunch.

Once again, Mache did everything right. Chef/owner Karl Yarborough knows how to put out excellent food and how to keep the front of the house running smoothly. Our table of six ordered two cassoulets, two salmon specials, one scallops, and one mix of appetizers (calmari salad and the lobster/crab cakes), and none of us was disappointed in any way. We each kept raving, and for the most part, refused to share. One friend, a regular at Hammersley’s in Boston’s South End, proclaimed this cassoulet better, quite an accomplishment. The only complaint at our table was the need for a bit more light (and perhaps larger print on the menu—yeah, we’re all in denial about the glasses thing). You definitely want to make reservations; this place is very small and very popular.

Visiting MDI without having lunch at Jordan Pond House is like visiting the park without touring the park loop. Four of us went, and while we each had at least one popover, or lunch choices were varied. One cranberry island salad, made with greens, dried cranberries, pecans, and apples tossed with the house vinaigrette. Two orders of the soup of the day, a golden pea with butternut squash that was rich and delicious and quite flavorful. And one order of the lobster stew, served with big pieces of lobster meat. Now all that’s quite fine, but for me, it’s the popovers that make this place sing. Call me a sucker for tradition, but I just love ’em. And here’s a hint, if you’re not offered the blueberry jam, ask for it—it’s thick and rich and tastes just like fresh-picked blueberries. So good, you might just want to skip the popover and just eat it by the spoonful.

Arts talks highlight Indiana and Wyeth

July 17, 2009

Two talks, two locations, both about current exhibitions at the Farnsworth Art Museum, in Rockland.

• “Robert Indiana, Pop Master at the Farnsworth,” July 27, Bar Harbor
Art historian and exhibit co-curator John Wilmerding will talk about the renowned artist Robert Indiana at College of the Atlantic‘s Gates Community Center . The free talk begins at 6 p.m. Wilmerding, emeritus professor of American art at Princeton University, will offer an overview of Indiana’s career in conjunction with the
exhibit of the artist’s work at the Farnsworth.

• A Conversation with Jamie Wyeth, Aug. 5, Rockland
Artist Jamie Wyeth and interim director and chief curator Michael K. Komanecky will discuss the topic of human frailty as seen through Jamie Wyeth’s depiction of the theme, with seagulls as the protagonists, in his exhibition Jamie Wyeth—Seven Deadly Sins. The conversation will take place at 6 p.m., in the museum auditorium. A Q&A will follow. Admission is $20.

207 tonight: MDI on a budget

June 23, 2009

IMG_6646I’ll be on the 207 show tonight (WCSH 6, Portland’s NBC affiliate, 7 p.m.) discussing visiting Mount Desert Island on a budget. Conventional wisdom says it’s a pricey place, but truth is, there are bargains to be found and once you’ve purchased your Acadia National Park Pass, both your recreation and your transportation is free. And, this year, the park is providing free access on the third weekend of June, July, and August (June 20–21    July 18–19, August 15–16).


The Island Explorer buses circulate around the island and onto the mainland, and ridership for people and bikes is free with a park pass. Not only is this a green option, it also eliminates the hassles of finding parking near a trail head or intown.

Cheap Activities

IMG_5605Acadia is a natural playground, with trails for hiking, carriage roads for biking or walking, lake and ocean beaches for sunning and swimming, cliffs for scaling, and so much more.

• Pick up a Beaver Log, the park’s newspaper upon arrival and use it to plan activities. Don’t miss the park ranger programs. Most are free and include activites such as guided hikes, birdwatching, tide-pooling.

A sampling of other free activities:

• sunbathe/swim at Sand Beach or swim in Echo Lake or one of the swimming holes, such as Lake Wood.

IMG_6664• nature programs and wildflower gardens at Sieur de Monts Springs

Jackson Lab and MDI Bio Lab, both world renowned scientific labs, offer tours, lectures, and other public programs

• walk Bar Harbor’s Shore Path; walk out to Bar Island at low tide; mosey along West Street and admire the “cottages” that survived the Great Fire

• most of the island historical society museums are free or request a small donation, and there’s some really cool stuff to be seen.

Asticou and Thuya Gardens, okay, these aren’t free, but they are by donation, so quite reasonable.

• Admire the 10 Tiffany windows at St. Saviour’s Episcopal Church, in Bar Harbor. Pick up a brochure in the church to tour on your own, or ask about scheduled tours.

IMG_5712• visit the Whale Museum: run by the researchers from Allied Whale and chockful of interesting exhibits as well as a mesmerizing video of whales in their habitat.

Festivals and concerts: there’s almost always something going on in Bar Harbor: town band concerts, Native American Festival, arts programs, lecture series, etc.

Now that’s just the freebies. If you’re willing to spend a bit, you’ll find plenty more. Expand the options by bringing or renting bicycles and/or kayaks.

IMG_6475Cheap Sleeps:

Mom-and-pop motels pepper Route 3 into Bar Harbor, and I’ve seen signs out front of these with rates as low as $26 per night. Now don’t go expecting breakfast or fancy linens, but if all you crave is a bed and clean bathroom, these fit the bill without adding to it. Beyond these, check here for rooms that are a bit nicer but still come in at less than $100 per night, sometimes with a few perks included.

B&Bs tend to be pricier, usually starting around $150 per room, double, but the rate usually includes a breakfast that can tide many folks over to dinner and perhaps afternoon snacks, so if you’re budget isn’t too tight, worth considering.

Cheap Eats:

Plenty of places offer early-bird specials, usually beginning around 4:30 p.m. and going to 6ish. Two good choices for early bird or later are:

Poor Boy’s Gourmet Restaurant, Main Street, Bar Harbor
(Early Bird between 4:30 and 6:30: $8.95: about 9 entrees plus another 10 all-you-can-eat pastas)

DeMuro’s Top of the Hill, Rte. 102, Southwest Harbor

IMG_0701Other choices for budget meals:

• College of the Atlantic’s Blair Dining Hall, not only cheap, but healthful! Call for summer hours as they vary with programs: 288-5015

• Cheapest breakfasts, white-bread lunches, or ice cream: West End Drug, Main St., Bar Harbor.

• Wander down Rodick Street for a good selection of inexpensive restaurants, many with an ethnic accent.

• check the local papers for notices re:  Bean, chowder, potluck suppers, pancake breakfasts, etc.

Hannaford’s, downtown Bar Harbor.

And if you want entertainment with dinner, consider Reel Pizza (tix $6; pizzas begin at $9 or $2.50 per slice; go early, grab a couch, order a pie, and enjoy.

I don’t like spiders or snakes

May 2, 2009

but I likely would, after attending College of the Atlantic’s Family Nature Camp.

Instead of simply packing the kids off to camp, join them on Mt. Desert Island, home to Acadia National Park. The policy, no child left inside, helps cure nature-deficit disorder, delivering memorable family moments in the process. See whales in the Gulf of Maine, explore tidal pools, go on a beaver watch, learn geology in sea caves, see what Diver Ed brings up from the sea, identify animal tracks and more.

Bar Harbor’s College of the Atlantic opens its doors to families each summer, offering a B.A. in Family Fun. This hands-on, participatory, naturalist-led program provides plenty of fodder for those “What I Did On My Summer Vacation” essays.

Minimum age is five; extended family is welcome. Four sessions are offered, with both half-and full-week options. Camp runs Sunday afternoon through Saturday morning and fees include campus lodging (bring your own sheets and towels), meals, field trips, and three boat tours; optional kayak and bike trips are additional.

Going green? Check out COA’s Earth Day program

April 6, 2009

When it comes to being green, Bar Harbor’s College of the Atlantic talks the talk and walks the walk. And it shares its knowledge during its free annual Earth Day Celebration.

The April 18 program (10 a.m.-4 p.m.) is filled with informative panels and speakers, entertainment, and children’s activities. In addition, there will be information booths; sales of recycled, ecological and sustainable products; and a crafts, book, plant and yard sale. Rounding it out is food from local caterers, restaurants and non-profits.

Bonus: arrive by bicycle and you’ll get a free bicycle tune-ups in the bicycle tent.