New York Times Magazine Blog

The Concierge | Labor Day Weekend in Maine? By Christine Muhlke

Christine Muhlke, T Magazine’s food editor and de facto concierge, is at your service. Have a dining or imbibing quandary for her? Leave your question in the comments section below.


Castine, Maine, works well as a
home base for a long weekend trip.

Dear Concierge:
I am looking to go to Maine for Labor Day weekend. I am a city girl and a foodie. I plan on doing some hiking and beaching, but I really want to go to flea markets and eat delicious seafood. Do you have any suggestions for hotels, activities and restaurants that are off the beaten path? Also, do you have a town in Maine you think would make for a great four-day vacation? Thank you! — Best, Bee

Hi, Bee:
Luckily, that’s kind of like shooting lobsters in a five-gallon stockpot. Getting reservations at this late date might be another matter.

A few suggestions: Castine is a pretty, small town where yard sales are pretty much a given that weekend, as is the Blue Hill Fair. You can hike around Duck Harbor and up Blue Hill, take a day trip to Mount Desert Island or take the Isle au Haut mail boat for a ride. (If you want to drop out completely, stay on the island at the Keepers House and let them cook for you and brown-bag your lunch.) Whatever you do, skip Bar Harbor. On the foodie front, make the pilgrimage to Four Season Farm, where the organic gardening gurus Eliot Coleman and Barbara Damrosch sell unfairly beautiful produce. Bonus: Castine has a literary history, too. Former residents include Robert Lowell, Mary McCarthy and Elizabeth Hardwick. Imagine your reading list! (Be sure to pack Hardwick’s “Sleepless Nights.”)

A friend in Brooklin, a modern literary hotbed come summer (Heidi Julavits, Michael Chabon, Jonathan Lethem, etc.), recommends the following hotels:  the Pentagoet Inn ...

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