Blue Hill [dead link] is a small town in Hancock County, in the US state of Maine, located on Blue Hill Bay, about 14 miles southwest of the county seat of Ellsworth and quite near Acadia National Park.
The population is less than 2,500 people, but Blue Hill is quite busy during the summer tourist season. Visit historic houses and art galleries, shop for antiques, and view the small harbor. There is also a small local hospital on Water Street and a newspaper, The Weekly Packet. Additional information is available from the Blue Hill Peninsula Chamber of Commerce located at 28 Water Street. Tel: +1 207 374-3242.
Nearest major airports are the Hancock County - Bar Harbor Airport near Ellsworth (about 20 miles), Bangor International Airport in Bangor (about 30 miles) and Portland International Jetport in Portland (about 120 miles). Even if you fly, you'll need to rent a car at one of these airports.
You will most likely enter Maine on Interstate 95, especially if you are coming from southern New England or U.S. points beyond. The standard routes to Downeast Maine are to either follow I-95 to the capital, Augusta, and then to break east on state highways, or to leave I-95 around Brunswick, Maine, and follow U.S. 1 north along the coast toward Ellsworth and Bar Harbor. The drive along U.S. 1 is typically more scenic, but also generally slower.
Blue Hill does have a pretty tidal harbor on Blue Hill Bay that is fairly sheltered from the open ocean. The K.Y.C. yacht club welcomes members of other yacht clubs, to drop anchor there and to come ashore. K.Y.C., however, is located some distance from the center of town, and it might be preferable to ask for a ride to go shopping. There are several boat yards in Blue Hill, offering their services. By road, Blue Hill is approximately 45 minutes away from Bar Harbor. The high-speed car ferry "The Cat" links Bar Harbor with Yarmouth (Nova Scotia, Canada).
You'll generally travel around the Blue Hill area by car, as public transportation in the Blue Hill area is nonexistent and the main grocery store, Tradewinds Marketplace, is most of a mile up a steep hill.
Traffic during the summer months is incredibly busy (by Blue Hill standards), although seekers of solitude might want to visit from October to April, when the tourists and summer residents haven't come up yet.
There is a public transportation system serving Blue Hill and Hancock County. It is called Downeast Transportation. This service is offered Monday through Friday, to and from Ellsworth, the county seat. Connections can be made to other parts of the county-wide network.
- Bagaduce Music Lending Library, 3 Music Library Ln (on Green's Hill (in Blue Hill)), ☏ .
- Blue Hill Public Library, 5 Parker Point Rd, ☏ . Closed on Sundays.
- Historic Jonathan Fisher House, 44 Mines Rd, ☏ . One of Blue Hill's most famous attractions. Not always open. Phone for special appointment.
- Blue Hill Historical Society. Located in the 1815 Holt House at the corner of Main Street and Water Street. No telephone. PO Box 710.
- Blue Hill Falls. Watch or try out the rare reversing falls created by the incoming tide funneling into a narrow channel. The water forms a standing wave, up to three feet in height. The Blue Hills Falls is safe to run on inner tube, raft, kayak and canoe, although pedestrians should beware of traffic.
- Blue Hill Mountain. Climb Blue Hill's namesake Blue Hill Mountain (actually, more a hill than a mountain) for nice views of Blue Hill Bay and, on clear days, Acadia National Park in the distance.
- Rocky Coast Outfitters, ☏ . Canoe or kayak rental.
- Activity Shop, Ellsworth Road, ☏ . Canoe or kayak rental.
- Blue Hill Golf Course, ☏ . 9 holes at Parker Point Road. Part of the Blue Hill Country Club.
- The Blue Hill Fair. Held annually around the Labor Day Weekend. A famous local event.
- WERU-FM. Listen to Blue Hill's avante garde community radio station on 89.9 MHz. The station is actually in Orland, 15 miles outside Blue Hill, but the transmitter can be seen on top of Blue Hill Mountain.
- Blue Hill Town Park. At the end of Water Street by the hospital, and offers a beach and a large rock suitable for sunbathing. Although some brave enthusiasts risk it, swimming is not advised due to contamination due to the nearby sewage plant.
- Woods Pond. An excellent place to go swimming, it can be found on the Mines Rd. (Route 15) appproximately two miles south of Blue Hill. Parking is roadside, and is denoted by a line of rocks to the right of the road, under the shade of oak trees. The pond is 200 yards over the hill, but once found is worth the trek, with high rocks to jump off of and sunbathe on. While there is a house along the trail, public usage has been established, although respect for others is recommended. Dogs and littering are highly frowned upon.
There are a number of art galleries and antique shops in the area. Yard sales are popular in the summer. Look for roadside signs.
- Blue Hill Antiques, 8 Water St, ☏ .
- Blue Hill Bay Gallery, 11 Tenney Hill, ☏ . Fine arts gallery.
- Gallery 66, 110 Beach Hill Rd, ☏ . Contemporary fine art.
- Handworks Gallery, 48 Main St, ☏ . Representing Maine artists since 1975.
- Jud Hartmann Gallery, 79 Main St, ☏ . Fine arts gallery, specializing in bronze sculptures.
- Laura Balombini Studio, ☏ . Sculpture at Wattson Lane.
- Leighton Gallery, 24 Parker Point Rd, ☏ . It was once voted the best gallery in Maine.
- Liros Gallery, 14 Parker Point Rd, ☏ . Specializing in Russian icons, since 1966.
- Randy Eckard Gallery, 29 Pleasant St, ☏ . Local water color artist.
- Rebekah Raye Arts, ☏ . Studio in East Blue Hill, on Route 176, towards Surry.
- LaFreniere's Nature Art of Maine, ☏ .
- Andean Downeast, 27 Water St, ☏ . Alpaca wool products, jewelry, pottery and textiles.
- Bella Colore, 27 Water St, ☏ . Hand-crafted gifts and jewelry.
- Blue Hill Books, 26 Pleasant St, ☏ .
- Blue Hill Co-op Community Market & Cafe, 4 Ellsworth Rd, ☏ . Community-owed natural food store, plus cafe.
- Ken Woisard Photography, 15 Schoolhouse Ln, ☏ .
- North Light Books, 58 Main St, ☏ .
- Rackliffe Pottery, 132 Ellsworth Rd, toll-free: . Classic pottery mugs, blueberry ware, bowls, plates and gifts, made from native clay.
- Rowantrees Pottery, Union Street, ☏ .
- Tradewinds Marketplace, 15 South St, ☏ . Small supermarket & shopping center.
- WEM Woodworks, 64 Penny Ln, ☏ . Handmade Shaker tables.
Situated right on the ocean and in Maine, fresh seafood is widely available and often a specialty here. There are few chain restaurants in town, so you should be prepared to eat at local establishments, unless you want to drive in to Ellsworth. Here are a few:
- Arborvine, ☏ . Fine dining and brewpub.
- Blue Hill Co-op Community Market & Cafe, 4 Ellsworth Rd, ☏ .
- Blue Hill Subway, 15 South St (within the Tradewinds Marketplace), ☏ . Submarine sandwiches.
- Fish Net, 162 Main St, ☏ . Take-out seafood restaurant.
- Merrill and Hinkley. Blue Hill's oldest grocery store, still in original building. Offers pre-made sandwiches and a delicatessen, however the convenience of being downtown comes at a tradeoff of higher prices.
- Pantry Restaurant, 27 Water St, ☏ . Breakfast and lunch.
- TradeWinds Marketplace. Hannaford grocery store with deli, also houses a Subway and Baker's Cafe.
- Marlintini's. 10AM-9PM. Marlintini's is 1 mile south of Blue Hill and offers great food at good prices. Family-friendly with plenty of parking.
- The Boatyard Grill, 13 East Blue Hill Rd (across the road from the Merle Grindle Agency), ☏ . W-M. A casual, family-friendly restaurant and bar located on the water. There is lots of open-air seating as well as inside seating. Specialties include steamed lobster, grilled fish and burgers, fresh, locally procured salads.
- The Blue Hill Wine Shop, 138 Main St, ☏ .
- The Blue Moose, Main Street, ☏ . Restaurant and full bar.
Blue Hill has a number of inns and bed and breakfasts. Even more numerous than those options, however, are private vacation homes for rent, although for many these are cost-prohibitive. Blue Hill is typical of Downeast Maine in this regard. You often have more choices of lodging in renting private homes than you do for motels, hotels and inns, especially in small towns like Blue Hill. Backpackers and those looking to take the path less travelled, camping out on their own are unlikely to be hassled, as long as they pack light and keep out of sight of houses. The edges of blueberry fields are excellent in this regard.
- Barncastle Hotel and Restaurant, 125 South St, ☏ . Building listed on National Register of Historic Places.
- Blue Hill Inn, ☏ . 1830s building, high-quality bed & breakfast establishment, operating continuously as an inn since 1840! Featured on TV.
- Coastal Cottage Rentals, 1 Music Library Ln, ☏ .
- Davis Agency, 70 Greene's Hill, ☏ .
- Maine Vacation Rentals, 107 Main St, ☏ .
- Peninsula Property Rentals, 15 Main St, ☏ .
- The Gatherings Campground, ☏ . Just off Route 172 in nearby Surry, directly on the ocean.
- Acadia National Park - the first National Park east of the Mississippi. Busy during tourist season but one of the most beautiful parts of the Maine coast.
- Bar Harbor
- Ellsworth - the local center for shopping.
- Mount Desert Island
|Routes through Blue Hill|
|Bangor ← Orland ←||N S||→ Stonington → END|
|Ellsworth ← Surry ←||N S||→ Sedgwick → END|