The Puffin Pines Country Gift Store

SOME ATTRACTIONS of WASHINGTON COUNTY - The Real Down East Maine

The first place to see the sun rise and the Dawn of the New Millennium in the continental USA, hence nicknamed "America's Sunrise County".

The wild blueberry capital of the USA, where the country's first wild blueberries were canned -to feed Union troops during the Civil War- and where over 80 per cent of the country's wild "low bush" blueberries still are grown.

About the size of Rhode Island and Delaware combined (some 2,570 square miles) but with only 34,000 people and only two fully-functioning traffic lights.

Almost 95 percent covered by forests and lakes, with a greater percentage of forest land than any other state.

A 700-mile coastline that offers the beauty of the Maine coast without the harsh commercialization found elsewhere.

Location of the greatest tidal range in the Continental USA -- up to 28 feet between low and high tides.

Adjacent to two tidal treasures -- the Old Sow, the hemisphere's largest and the world's second largest whirlpool, and the Reversing Falls, site of a salt water cataract that forms alternately in two directions as the tide flows in and out.

Home to 10 lighthouses, including one of Maine's most-photographed -- West Quoddy Head.

Immersed in history:

--An entire town designated as a National Historic District - Cherryfield

--The first naval battle of the American Revolution - Machias Bay

--Maine's oldest building east of Bangor - Burnham Tavern in Machias

 

--The former sardine capital of the world - Eastport and Lubec

--Maine's oldest retail business - S.L. Wadsworth & Son, Inc., in Eastport

--America's last operating stone ground mustard mill - Eastport

--The first European settlement north of St. Augustine - St. Croix Island, near Calais

--Nineteenth century churches, homes, and lighthouses; museums, historical, and genealogical societies; national historic places; and archeological sites are located throughout the county.

Home to the Passamaquoddy tribe whose members actively preserve and enhance Native American culture.

An antique hunter's delight, with more than two dozen dealers located throughout the county.

An outstanding location for four-season recreation:

--Cross country skiing, snowmobiling, ice fishing, ice skating, and snow shoeing

--Opportunities for freshwater, saltwater, and deep sea sport fishing, and for hunting

--Class I, II, and III canoeing/kayaking on 10 rivers

--Sailing and sea kayaking along the beautiful coast

--Swimming in lakes and from black, red, and white sandy beaches

--Golfing on two courses in Washington County and in nearby New Brunswick

--Fall foliage offering breathtaking views of reds, oranges, and golds against an evergreen background.

A nature lover's heaven, with peace and quiet, great natural beauty, clean air, and outdoor activities in an uncrowded and unspoiled environment.

A bird watcher's paradise, with 1/3 to 1/2 of North America's bird species living here or visiting each year, and a short boat ride to a major nesting area for Atlantic Puffins -- seen in the USA only in Maine and Alaska.

Home to an amazing variety of wildlife, supported by National and State Wildlife Refuges and State Parks.

A botanist's paradise also, with hundreds of different wildflowers blooming April - November.

Center for many ecologically-oriented activities, including wildlife observation in forest, field, and wetland; horseback riding; whale watching; coastal cruises; and nature hikes.

A haven for hikers, with dozens of trails -- coastal, forest, lakeside, and mountain.

Expanding opportunities for bicycling, including the northern gateway (Calais) to the 2,600-mile East Coast Greenway.

Site of some of America's best opportunities for nature photography.

Many places to stay while enjoying the scenery, including full-service motels, quaint but modern Inns and B&Bs, ocean-and lake-view campsites, old-fashioned fishing camps, and seasonal cabins and cottages.

Home to delicious lobster, which can be purchased fresh right off the lobster boat, to superb trout and bass, which can be fished in local rivers and lakes, and to salmon and other succulent seafood.

A year-long cultural calendar, including

--Productions sponsored by the University of Maine Machias

--Resident and visiting theater and concert groups

--Resident and visiting artists, crafters, and sculptors; numerous galleries and museums

--Craft fairs and festivals throughout the county, including on July 4th, Maine's largest parade (Eastport) and the world's fastest lobster boat races (Jonesport).

Convenient for day trips to Bar Harbor and Acadia National Park as well as to Baxter State Park and Mount Katahdin.

A jumping-off point for a terrific two-nation vacation in Canada.  While you're staying in Washington County, visit nearby New Brunswick -- home of Canada's oldest city, oldest seaside resort town, the Roosevelt-Campobello International Park, the Chocolate Museum, and to some of Canada's most-photographed lighthouses and most-visited attractions.  If time permits, tour the rest of Atlantic Canada -- Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island, and Newfoundland -- as well.

The people of Washington County invite you to come see "the way Maine used to be."

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Revised November 2011 by

The Puffin Pines Country Gift Store & Visitor Information Center

US 1, PO Box 99, Whiting, ME 04691; 207-733-9782

www.puffinpines.com