There are things to do without leaving the house and things to do when you’re out and about. The house is in the town of Trenton, just off Mt Desert Island, home to Bar Harbor.
At the House
The garage is a wide deep two car area with a custom ping pong table near the kitchen entrance. It’s a perfect place for kids to escape from their parents, as is the ocean-facing Blue Room next to the living room. With futons, a large curved sofa, and Smart TV with DVR, the Blue Room is perfect for sleepovers and a little bit of privacy.
Speaking of sleepovers, the living room sofa features a pull out queen-sized bed. If the weather turns cold, build a fire in the central fireplace (there’s plenty of wood). If it gets warm, or enjoy the air conditioning system (located in the dining area). The house is designed so that the sun will heat up the house to 70°F in the dead of winter!
Sit on the ample deck, relax, and watch the tide. It never gets old. At night, look at the sky. If there’s a meteor shower, you won’t find a better place to watch it.
The house is equipped with Wifi, games, books, and puzzles (with most of the pieces – maybe?)
Beach activities include: skipping stones, walking to the rocky point to the left of the house, and marking low tide with a float (make sure to have at least 21 feet of line!)
Paddle out in the kayaks across the Western Bay to see the seals which normally hang out on a rock east of Green Island. (See Rick’s dad’s hand-drawn map to know which is Green Island.)
Beech Mountain has a fire tower on it. Try locating it with binoculars. It’s slightly to the east of the peak. Then go hike to the top of Beech Mountain, climb the stairs of the fire tower, and try to find the house.
Out and About
Cadillac Mountain is a car trip and you can stop at various spots and try to locate the house.
The town of Bar Harbor is named for a sandy bar that connects the mainland to an island in the bay and can be walked across at low tide. Time your trip to get there before actual low tide. (Here’s the local tide chart.)
Mt Desert Island (MDI) is home to Acadia National Park and is full of trails for hiking, biking, and walking. Philanthropist John D Rockefeller, Jr, who gave most of the land for the park, laid out wide “Carriage Trails” for horse drawn carts to take people to see the sights. Grab a book or two at the Visitor’s Center, which lists the trails and pick out one that appeals to you.
The easiest walk is the one along the shore in Bar Harbor. For the very young (3-5 years old) Flying Mountain is the place to go. It’s still a hike!
MDI is famous for its popovers. The place most famous for serving them is the Jordan Pond House. You can sit outside with a view of the pond and The Bubbles, two rounded mounds of mountain rock. However, the folks who used to create the popovers at JPH lost their contract and moved to The Asticou Inn. Purists and old-timers say their popovers are superior. How big a deal was it when the popover contract changed hands? Angus King, one of the U.S. Senators from Maine, got involved and tried to dissuade the U.S. Park Service from making the change.
Definitely, one of the most old school places to dine is the The Asticou Inn. On Thursday nights they used to have a fancy-dress buffet, but stopping by in the afternoon for tea (and popovers) is easier on the wallet. The Asticou features a Japanese garden across from the Inn that should not be missed, especially if you’re seeking peace and tranquility. Also, just around the corner from the Asticou is the Thuya Garden. Another, not-to-be-missed spot.
The Park Loop Road is a one way scenic tour de force. It’s good anytime, but if you can time it to be at Thunder Hole at high tide you are in for a BOOMING experience. Note that, as of 2020, from May through October you must have a vehicle reservation purchased in advance in order to enter the park.
Getting lobsters from Trenton Bridge Lobster Pound is fun. You can purchase them live or steamed. Bring the kids and ask to see the live “lobstahs.” It’s also fun to watch them pull your order out of the boiling water in their big heavy corded bag with steam all around.
If you like lighthouses, check out the one at Bass Harbor. You can park and walk to it.
There are two other harbors on MDI – Northeast and Southwest. Drive along the one way road in Southwest Harbor to see some impressive houses (one formerly owned by Martha Stewart). The little grocery store in Northeast Harbor is where she got indignant when the clerks wouldn’t let her use the phone (pre cell phone days.) The story goes that as the line at the checkout built up a man in the line told her there was a pay phone just outside the store. She turned and glared at the man and said, “Do you know who I am?” “No,” said the man. “I’m Martha Stewart,” she said. “Well,” he said, “I’m John Rockefeller, and there’s a pay phone out on the sidewalk.”