The picturesque city of Ellsworth sits along the Union River, 40 minutes from Bangor and only half an hour from Bar Harbor. Ellsworth is the gateway to Acadia and a vital part of the region. To experience the region as it was two centuries ago, hop aboard a 90-minute Downeast Scenic Railroad ride as it cruises through the countryside.
Things to Do in Ellsworth
The neighboring Blue Hill Fair is held on Labor Day weekend and is a true, down to earth country fair, and in September, sample all the chowders at the annual Chowderfest.
Fishing in Graham Lake is popular and Branch Lake’s crystal clear waters are ideal for swimming and boating. Birdsacre-Stanwood Wildlife Sanctuary and Homestead has a museum dedicated to Cordelia J. Stanwood, a pioneer ornithologist and photographer, offering a peek into her early 20th century life. There are trails through the 200-acre sanctuary and a garden as well.
The Timber Tina’s Great Maine Lumberjack Show runs all summer in nearby Trenton – featuring thrilling lumberjack sports like wood chopping and sawing, tree climbing, ax throwing, and log rolling. The Woodlawn Museum, Gardens and Park is best known for the Black House – the former home of a wealthy lumber merchant and still has its original furnishings. The museum is also host to America’s longest running antiques show. Be sure to check their calendar to book an afternoon tea time. Show your children how old telephones worked at the hands-on Telephone Museum. Visit the Courthouse Gallery Fine Art to see an impressive collection of contemporary Maine artwork in the historic Ellsworth courthouse. The Grand, an iconic art deco theater, opened in 1938 and still shows films and live theater performances
Shopping is always fun in Ellsworth. Visit the Big Chicken Barn for antique and books, which is as the name suggests, in an old chicken barn so it is huge. For more antiques, don’t miss the Old Creamery Antique Mall. Main Street Ellsworth is lined with shops and cafes in classic New England brick buildings. Cooks should check out Rooster Brothers and grab a great cup of coffee, roasted on site.
Where to Stay in Ellsworth
Ellsworth has numerous hotels for convenient accommodations like the Comfort Inn and Ramada or the pet-friendly Eagles Lodge Motel. For a unique B&B experience, stay at The Sanctuary B&B and Art Gallery, which features the owner’s own artwork. The Twin Hills Cottages of Acadia has colorful little cottages, a farm house and small apartments complete with kitchens to accommodate whatever your travel party needs.
Restaurants in Ellsworth
Ellsworth is full of great places to grab a bite – from lobster shacks and cafes, to Thai, Jamaican, Indian and Japanese cuisine – whatever you’re in the mood for, you’ll find it. Serendib is an award-winning restaurant serving a unique combination of Indian and Sri Lankan cuisines. Enjoy a freshly cooked lobster on the banks of the Union River at the Union River Lobster Pot or try a slice of their famous pie! The Airline Brewing Company Pub serves British-style locally brewed beers and classic pub fare. If you are looking for a gourmet farm-to-table meal, visit Provender Kitchen & Bar for creative cocktails and fresh foods.