Are we there, yet? Almost! Yes, the road to Castine is long and winding, but this coastal gem is worth the drive, a visit and certainly an extended stay.
What makes Castine so special? Its rich 400-year-old history? Perhaps its idyllic peninsula setting situated on one of New England’s deepest harbors? The many lovely period homes laid out graciously amongst towering elm trees? Or, surely, the multi-generations of families that call Castine home must mean this small town is special?
I’d say all of the above, which is why Tom and I decided to buy a home here. We had considered other towns in Maine but ultimately decided they were either too touristy or sleepy, and lacked the sense of community that Castine possesses.
Please let me tour you around our beautiful town. BTW, this post is almost as lengthy as Castine’s history, so grab a cup of coffee and enjoy these photos from our most recent stay. Click on photo for an enlarged view.
Founded in the early 17th century, Castine is one of New England’s oldest towns. Its strategic location at the mouth of the Penobscot River meant it was fought over and occupied by the French, Dutch and English. Throughout Castine, charming signs and markers indicate sites of significance.
Once a bustling merchant and ship-building town, many handsome Federal and Greek Revival style homes still grace its streets.
Not all the houses are painted white. This stately Federal is glorious in yellow.
A red cape and pink cottage.
There is a saying in Castine: Under The Elms And By The Sea! Many elm trees still line and shade our streets – they are cherished as well as fiercely protected!
The town is blessed with four celebrated churches.
The Roman Catholic Church of Our Lady of Holy Hope
is located on Perkins Street. Its pristine waterfront setting is so serene.
Let’s head over to the Town Common where you’ll find Maine’s oldest municipal library, Witherle Memorial Library (below).
On Thursday mornings during the summer, there is a friendly farmer’s market with organic produce, baked goods, fresh flowers, local crafts and more. Who can resist such a face? Pure sunshine!
There are many public parks and sites to enjoy, such as Wadsworth Cove Beach.
Don’t miss Dyce Head Lighthouse (Ca. 1828) tucked at the end of Battle Avenue.
A peek at the Golf Club’s Clubhouse.
Next, a stroll to the town center to check out the oldest U.S. post office in continuous operation (above).
Two lovely historic inns right in the heart of town.
ABOVE: The Castine Inn
BELOW: The Pentagoet Inn
Nearby is The Manor Inn on Battle Avenue.
Shops and businesses along Main Street.
Off of Main is Perkins Street, where many of the historic houses have enviable waterfront locations. BTW, the wonderful Wilson Museum is perched on Perkins. When I visited, they were having a demonstration and serving old-fashioned donuts – YUM! Thank you, young ladies!!
A charming boathouse!
Speaking of water, Doug and Karen Koos treated us to a boat cruise around the harbor. Castine is even more magical from the sea! Many thanks to the Koos!If you are a frequent reader of this blog, you’ll remember that Karen Koos
is a realtor, and she helped us find our home in Castine. She has been wonderful in every way – from the many showings to helping us settle into town. Check out Karen and her team’s listings at Saltmeadow Properties
– they are the authority on Castine real estate.
We were joined by Missy and Jonathan (Tom’s niece and nephew-in-law). It was their first anniversary, and we’re honored they spent it with us in Castine!
On July Fourth, celebrations started early in the morning with a kid’s parade. Families from all over the Peninsula joined in the festivities.
Though the fireworks were postponed to a week later (due to weather), the town remained energized.
And I have to say: Castine sure knows how to put on a show! Just spectacular!!