East Penobscot Bay
Start off your visit to East Penobscot Bay with side-by-side visits to two architectural wonders that evoke very different eras. The 2,120-foot-long cable-stayed Penobscot Narrows Bridge and Observatory is a 21st-century feat of engineering that also features the tallest public bridge observatory in the world, offering spectacular 360-degree views of the Penobscot River and Bay. On the west bank of the river, you’ll spy Fort Knox. Built in 1844, it’s one of the best-preserved fortifications on the New England seacoast. This is a wonderful place for families to visit as children of all ages will love its ramparts and tunnels.
In nearby Orland, the Craig Brook Salmon Hatchery offers educational opportunities about to learn about these special fish, known for always finding their way to their natal home rivers. Bring your small boat and a picnic, or enjoy the nature trail and visitor center.
In Castine, the Maine Maritime Academy is on a gorgeous campus overlooking the harbor. You’ll see the massive, 500-foot-long Training Ship State of Maine and the historic Schooner Bowdoin. The architecture and layout of Castine itself evoke its 400-year history, featuring Federal and Greek revival homes and towering elms. Stop by the Wilson Museum for the flavor of local history.
Elsewhere, you’ll find a hive of world-class craft activity at the Haystack Mountain School of Crafts on Deer Isle, where the island lifestyle remains rural and welcoming. In Brooklin, wooden boatbuilders dominate; you can even take a lesson at the world-famous Wooden Boat School.