"Blue Hill, Maine -- Downeast . . . or not?" Blue Hill by karenincalifornia

Blue Hill Travel Guide: 22 reviews and 25 photos

The Great Debate

Blue Hill, Maine, is a tiny town (population 2,400) located on the Blue Hill Peninsula, next to Blue Hill Bay, west of East Blue Hills, north of Blue Hill Falls and South Blue Hill, on Blue Hill Road at the foot of Blue Hill Mountain. Just Google "Blue Hill Maine" and you'll find it and everything around it.

Some Mainers will say Blue Hill is Downeast. Others will hotly dispute that and say, "No, Downeast doesn't start until you are east of Ellsworth. That's the REAL Downeast. Blue Hill is Mid-Coast".

Now to me (and without taking sides in this great debate), any place in Maine is so far north that nowhere in Maine is "Mid" anything. Instead "Mid-Coast" should be the name given to Delaware and a few other of those smallish states all squashed together between New England the The South. And no part of Maine can possibly be "Down".

Mainers seem to completely ignore the fact they are in the North or Northeast. Either that, or they have a terrible sense of direction. No part of Maine is considered north, except for the part that is completely out in the boonies, and they call that the North Woods (which is partly in west Maine).

Once you are here, you'll get used to the misnomers. When in Maine, just keep in mind: North is "Downeast"; "Mid-coast" is pretty far north, but south of Downeast; there is no "Upeast"; and there is no "North" or "Northeast" or "North-Coast" but there is a North Woods, which you'll also find in the west. If you remember all that, you'll do fine.

When planning our family trip to Maine, I picked Blue Hill because I wanted something a bit off the beaten path, with good access to outdoor activities, and minus the touristy characteristics of Bar Harbor or Kennebunkport. I was right on the money with Blue Hill. It's a gorgeous town with a lot of character, nice little galleries, book stores and antique shops and some very good restaurants.

Pros and Cons
  • Pros:Beautiful, quiet, quaint, peaceful, friendly people, good restaurants
  • Cons:Not great for bicycling - shoulders on the country roads are not wide enough got safe biking
  • In a nutshell:A good base for exploring the Blue Hill Peninsula and Acadia National Park
  • Last visit to Blue Hill: Jul 2006
  • Intro Updated May 9, 2016
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Reviews (19)

Comments (6)

  • Mar 18, 2007 at 11:43 PM

    You did make it! Wonderful!

  • Pawtuxet's Profile Photo
    Dec 21, 2006 at 8:03 AM

    Next time art galleries - meantime, you did some wonderful outdoor stuff. Great scenery. Looks like you had fun. BTW..what else except a good book & bottle of wine in winter? :-)

  • mtncorg's Profile Photo
    Nov 17, 2006 at 12:49 PM

    It might not be Whitney, but you climbed it! ;-]

  • Nemorino's Profile Photo
    Sep 8, 2006 at 1:22 PM

    Shame on them for not having a bicycle rental place at the park! But otherwise this looks like a lovely area. Fine tips.

  • Bwana_Brown's Profile Photo
    Sep 7, 2006 at 10:38 AM

    Yes, it is always nice to be able to get away for some relaxation in small towns along the East coast! The sea kayaking sounds like a lot of fun!

  • mikelisaanna's Profile Photo
    Aug 18, 2006 at 7:55 PM

    Looks like you had a good time in Maine. Thanks for sharing the tips and pics.


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