Waves lapping lulled me to sleep, and when I awakened this morning, gauzy curtains framed the ocean view from my third-floor room at Acadia’s Oceanside Meadows, one of Maine’s treasures. Really!
Situated on more than 200 acres of Schoodic Peninsula land that encompass seven varied habitats, from sand beach and salt marsh to forests and meadows, and comprising two early historical homes, this classic Maine inn is just the kind of place folks from away think of when they dream about Maine. From my bedroom window, all I see is a spruce lined point of land reaching out to sea and proteching the cove with its sand beach backed by dunes.
The inn fronts on a sleepy section of road that connects two lobstering villages: Prospect Harbor and Corea, and is only a few miles away from the Schoodic Point section of Acadia National Park. It’s land is contiguous to two giant sections of conserved lands, both surrounding heaths, one protected by a local land trust, the other part of the Maine Coastal Islands National Wildlife Refuge. Fifteen minutes up the road is the major section of that preserve, Petit Manan. And on the inland side of Route 1 is the Donnell Pond Public Reserved Land. It’s a region laced with two scenic byways, one Maine, the other National.
Getting the picture? This part of Maine is rural and undeveloped. It’s the Maine of author Louise Dickinson Rich, who wrote from her nearby farmhouse. It’s the Maine long favored by bird watchers and nature lovers. Sure, over in Winter Harbor is a historical cottage colony of the late-19th/early-20th century version of McMansions, sprawling grand homes most with a Philadelphia connection, but the world has yet to discover this special place.
Inn owners Sonja Sundararm and Ben Walters have filled the inn’s two adjacent buildings, one an 1860’s sea captain’s home, the other an 1820’s farmhouse, with antiques and family treasures that complement the setting. Nothing is frilly or overdone. Our room, built into the eaves, is light and bright, with floral wallpaper, painted country furniture and a simple white spread topped by a classic quilt on the bed. The bathroom is tiny, and in keeping with Ben and Sonja’s environmental stewardship, soaps are dispensed, not those ubiquitous tiny bottles that clutter landfills.
They’ve cut trails through the woods and meadows and created guides to flora and fauna in each of the habitats on the property. They’ve also turned the barn into a performance room, staging an arts series each summer with lectures and concerts. Last night, a speaker addressed global warming.
Sonja’s three-course vegetarian breakfasts are legendary and with good reason. They usually include a fruit soup, pastry or bread, and main course, perhaps a quiche or blueberry pancakes.