Looping through Lubec

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IMG_1345Like Eastport, Lubec’s fortunes seem to ebb and flow like the tide. And right now, those massive Passamaquoddy Bay tides seem to be flowing. Mullholland Market and McCurdy Smokehouse, both of which are being preserved by Lubec Landmarks, look better and better each time I visit.

Snooze news

Where sardine canneries once flourished, new ventures are taking hold. Just getting open is The Wharf, a combination of motel rooms and apartment suites that seem to hang right over the water. The opening rates are a steal! $100 for rooms (which have a shared common space with full kitchen), and—get this—$150 for a two-bedroom, two-bathroom apartment suite, with full kitchen and living room. All have in-your-face water views. So new they almost feel antiseptic, but no that should wear  with time and as (one hopes) a bit of artwork and other homey touches are added. Also here are bike and kayak rentals, a promised water taxi to Eastport (not operating currently), and planned is a restaurant.

IMG_1413I’ve blogged previously about the apartment suites and rental house at the Old Coast Guard Station at West Quoddy Head. I stayed at Quoddy Station again, and I still give it an enthusiastic two thumbs up. The feeling is a bit retro, on purpose, according to owner Bill Clark, but he’s added contemporary touches such as satellite TV and Wifi. When the sky is clear, the views extend over the Lubec Channel to Campobello Island. The complex is a 15-minute stroll to West Quoddy Head Light. Rates begin at $90 per night.

IMG_1358And then there’s Cohill’s  Inn & Pub, smack downtown in Lubec. Recently renovated, it too has pleasant rooms with fabulous views upstairs. Downstairs is a pub. The owners, who have traveled extensively in Ireland, have created their version of an Irish B&B here (right down to the Guinness and Smithwick’s) and it works. Good pub grub, too.

Chocolate, sea salt, and smoked salmon

Speaking of food, this is where Lubec gets interesting.

• First, there’s Monica’s Chocolates, and no visit here is complete without sampling her Peruvian-inspired creations.

• Another must stop is Quoddy Mist, which creates all-natural sea salts (high in flavor, not in sodium). Free tours are offered most afternoons—they’re short and interesting, do it. To find Quoddy Mist and sample the salts, simply step into Dianne’s Glass Gallery (be forewarned the building smells very fishy). I really liked the salts flavored with sea vegetables.

• And then there’s Capt. Vinny Gartmeyer’s Bold Coast Smokehouse. Even Julia Child thought his pates, dips, and smoked seafood products were noteworthy. I’m addicted to the garlic pepper smoked salmon kebobs (great on a summer salad).

The insider’s tour

If you want to really get the low down on Lubec and environs, book a tour with Tours of Lubec and Cobscook. Great insights, local guides, low prices: What more could you want?