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A


ACCOMMODATION, “most desirable” in Bar Harbor. THORNHEDGE INN on Mount Desert Street, according to Frommer's Dollarwise Guide to New England.





African stuff, best and most. Deepest Africa Imports, Deer Isle. Proprietor Jackie Pelletier grew up in South Africa and is an authority on all things African.



Airport, closest to Europe. Bangor International Airport. On the Great Circle Route, BIA is 500 miles closer to Europe than any other U.S. airport.


Antioxidant-capacity, most. Wild blueberries, ninety percent of which are harvested in Downeast Maine. Antioxidants are said to fend off cancer, heart disease, Alzheimer's and other age-related pitfalls.



Antique cars, best collection. Seal Cove Auto Museum, Seal Cove. This is one of the nation's premier collections of vintage autos.



Art gallery, best cooperative. Island Artisans, 99 Main St., Bar Harbor. Twenty-four area craftspeople run this outstanding gallery.



Art Gallery Hotel, first, best, and only. The Charles Inn, Bangor, Maine. Here you can see over 150 original-listed artists' paintings.



Atlantic salmon fishing, nation's best. That found in the Penobscot River. A long-time tradition has it that the first salmon caught each year is sent to the President of the United States, although not all anglers have chosen to observe it.



Avant-garde artist
, hailed as most accomplished in America. Marsden Hartley of Corea, so hailed in 1917.


B



Bargain, best in Bar Harbor (or anywhere else for that matter). The 20-cent cup of black coffee (add a nickel if you take cream) at West End Drug. A terrific buy—especially in summer when prices tend to baloon in deference to the perceived deep pockets of tourists.



Baseball pitcher, best from Maine. Brooklyn Dodgers ace Sandy Koufax, who once dominated hitters like nobody else. Upon retirement, he became a semi-recluse and bough a farm in Ellsworth.



Beach, best in Maine. Jasper Beach, Machiasport. America's Best Online lists Jasper as among the 25 best beaches in the United States.



Bed and breakfast associated with Little Women, most closely. Thornhedge Inn, Bar Harbor. It was built as a summer cottage by the publisher of Louise May Alcott's celebrated masterpiece.



Bed and breakfast, most green. Fiddlehead Inn, Brewer. Here, all of the systems—heat, electric, etc.—are focused on energy conservation. The folks here also serve a vegetarian breakfast.




Bed and breakfast, most inexpensive in Schoodic area. SUNSET HOUSE, Gouldsboro. Most expensive room is $89, with a continental breakfast included.







Beef jerky, world's best. Smith's Log Smokehouse, Monroe, Maine. Proprietor Andrew Smioth developed a unique process to produce what many say is the world's finest jerky.



Beer, best. Bar Harbor Brewing Company, Otter Creek. This company's Cadillac Mountain Stout took a platinum medal at the 1996 World Beer Championship.



Bells, best. U.S. Bells, Prospect Harbor. Richard Fisher's unique bells are lovely sculptures as well as functional noise-makers.



Bird,
first known to have flown around the world. A common tern, banded and released on 3 July 1913 from Eastern Egg Rock.



Bird carvings
, best. Wendell Gilley Museum, Southwest Harbor. More than 200 carvings by the celebrated woodworker and painter.



Bird sanctuary, best. Stanwood Homestead Sanctuary and Museum, Rte 3, Ellsworth. Hundred-acre nature preserve is memorial to pioneer ornithologist Cordelia Stanwood (1865-1958).



BLUEBERRIES, most items associated with same Debbie's Blueberryware, Rte 1, Hancock. Besides her hand-crafted blueberry pottery, Debbie stocks a huge number of blueberry-related items.



Blueberry barrens, most expansive. Wyman's, Washington County. Ninety percent of the nation's wild blueberries come from this area.



Blueberry pie, best in America. Helen’s Restaurants, Machias and Ellsworth. Life magazine itself bestowed this honor on these popular eateries.



Blueberry processor, world's largest. Maine Wild Blueberry Company, Machias. This company processes 250,000 pounds of berries a day and ships them as far as Japan.



Blueberry shop resembling a blueberry, most closely. Wild Blueberry Land, Route One, Columbia Falls. This dome painted blue is the perfect creative choice.



Book publisher, Maine's largest. Downeast Books, Rockport, Maine. The publisher of Down East Mgazine also puts out an excellent assortment of Maine books.



Book shop, smallest. Pushcart Bookstore, downtown Sedgwick, is housed in a 12-by-14-foot former cheese shop. The shop provides a retail outlet for Pushcart Press and other small press publications.



Brass Era (1896-1917) Automobiles, best collection. Seal Cove Auto Museum, Seal Cove. Undeniably th world's best collection of brass era autos.



Broken-stone roads, best in America. The Carriage Roads in Acadia National Park..



Buffet, best. Oriental Jade, Bangor, according to readers of Bangor Metro magazine.



Building associated with American Revolution, only one in eastern Maine. Burnham Tavern, Machias. This is the place where patriots plotted the first U.S. Naval engagement.



Buried treasure, most likely location. Machias vicinity. Some say pirate captain Richard Bellamy stashed loot hereabouts. It is also said that Paul Revere buried a cache of silver somewhere along the banks of the Penobscot River following the disastrous Penobscot Exhibition..



C


Canoe, largest manufacturer. Old Town Canoe, Old Town, Maine. This century-old company sells canoes through 800 U.S. dealerships and 18 foreign countries. For centuries, the Penobscot Indians built canoes here, and Old Town's original canoe was patterned after those built by these Indians.


Carnivore found on Maine's islands, most often. Mink.



Chainsaw sculptor, world's best. Ray Murphy, Rte 1, Hancock. Ripley's Believe It or Not featured Ray after he carved the entire alphabet on a common lead pencil.



Cigars, most. The Cigar & Smoke Shoppe, 407 Main St., Bangor. Owner Frank Coglitore stocks more than 200 brands, more than any other shop in Maine. He also has the state's largest walk-in humidor.



Classic international cuisine, best. Thistle's, Bangor. South Americans Alejandro and Maria Rave have introduced loads of "new old food" to the palates of Downeasterners. No other regional restaurant has a menu that covers the traditional cuisine of so much of the globe.



City
, nation’s easternmost. Eastport. Parts of Lubec lie further east, but Lubec is a town, not a city.



Clam chowder,
best alternative. That of Cappy's Chowder House in Camden, Maine. Cappy won Villagesoup's Best of the Best Clam Chowder in 2004, 2005, and 2006.




Coastal footpath
, Maine's longest. Cutler Coast Reserve, south of Holmes Cove. The 2,174-acre parcel contains 4.3 miles of isolated coastline.



Coffee,
best. Dunkin' Donuts, according to the readers of Bangor Metro magazine.



Coffee
, best buy. West End Drug Store, Main St., Bar Harbor. A cup of black offee at this venerable soda fountain is 20 cents and has been for years. You'll have to cough up another five cents if you take cream. Still a great deal.



College offering just one major
, only. College of the Atlantic, Bar Harbor. Everybody here majors in something called human ecology.



Community radio station,
best. WERU, Blue Hill. Interesting and intelligent mix of materials.



Concerts
, best free. The Pierre Monteux School for Advanced Conductors and Orchestra Players presents concerts the last Wednesday of July and each Wednesday of August. Call 207-422-3931 for details.




Crab Cakes
, New England's best. Those served at the RIVERSIDE CAFE, Main St., Ellsworth. This is according to Yankee Magazine.






Crabmeat sandwiches
, best. Perry's, Rte 1, Stockton Springs. Legendary sandwiches contain full half-pound of crab.



Crafts school, oldest and still best. Haystack Mountain School for Crafts, Deer Isle. This venerable institution has been offering instruction in crafts for over 50 years.


Crime rate, lowest in country. Maine. We hardly ever attack one another.


Croquet tournament, best. Claremont Hotel, Southwest Harbor. Sanctioned by the U.S. Croquet Association in 1978, it is Maine's oldest tournament.



Cultural guide
, best. The Maine Crafts Association publishes an excellent annual 80-page guide to the craftspeople of Maine. Write MCA, P.O. Box 228, Deer Isle 04627, or call 207-729-9943. 



Cupolas
, best. Woodshop Cupolas, Trenton and Town Hill.Phil Alley takes great pride in delivering the finest quality possible.



Curling club, Maine's only. Belfast.



D



Decoys, best. Nelson Decoys, Jonesport. Winner of too many awards to list.



Denil fishway, nation's largest. The one on the St. Croix River at Woodland.



Dessert, Maine's most famous. The homemade strawberry pie served at Helen's Restaurant in Machias.



Distinction, most dubious. Cutler's place near the top of the list of likely targets in any future nuclear confrontation. The U.S. Navy has a communications center here that keeps in touch with submarines aound the globe.



Diving bird
, Maine's most abundant. The black guillemot.



Donut hole, first. Local legend has it that in 1847 Captain Hanson Crokett Gregory of Camden poked a hole in a biscuit to place it over one of the spokes in his ship’s wheel while he navigated. This native son inventor is remembered annually in Camden’s Hole in the Donut Festival.


Dorm food, best. College of the Atlantic, Bar Harbor. Exotic grub most college kids can't imagine, much of which is grown on COA's 86-acre organic farm.The Princeton Review consistently rates COA Number One.






Downeast chow, best. CHESTER PIKE'S GALLEY, Route One, Sullivan. This is what no less an authority than Yankee Magazine assured its readers. This place is famous for its chowder and its Friday night fish fry.









Downeast Jamaican Jerk,
best. KITCHEN GARDEN RESTAURANT, Village Road, Steuben. This is according to "Yankee" magazine.  Other selections include jerk chicken and curried goat. Bring cash or check; no credit cards. BYOB. Call 207/546-4269 a day  ahead for reservations.










Dress shop
, best. Grasshopper Shop, Bangor. Maine Times readers gave the hopper the nod.


E


Eagles, most. Pleasant Bay, east of Petit Manan. The ample supply of fish makes this the Maine coast's most popular habitat for bald eagles. The eagle population in Maine has rebounded; they are listed as "threatened" instead of "endangered" as they were in the 1970s. Still, Maine eagles are far from common, and a sighting is always an awe-inspiring surprise.



Eggs benedict, best. Testa's Restaurant, 53 Main St., Bar Harbor. The keys limes in the sauce make the difference.



Ethnic restaurant, best. A tie between Ichiban and Panda Garden, both in Bangor, according to readers of Bangor Metro magazine.



European artifact, oldest ever discovered in Maine. a small penny unearthed in Blue Hill in the 1970s. Experts believe it ws minted in Norway between 1066 and 1068.



European settlement, first in new world. St. Croix Island between Robbinston and Calais. In 1604, Samuel de Champlain and 80 other Frenchman took up residence on this well-protected five-and-a-half acre island. After one particularly unpleasant winter marked by hunger and scurvy, they retreated to Port Royal, Nova Scotia.



Explorer, first of Maine Coast. Leif Eriksson in 1003, according to John Cole in Maine Trivia.



F



Fabled city of great riches, non-existent. Early explores to the New World sought to find Norumbega, a City of Gold said to lie along a great river in the north. This led them to what now is Bangor, where they found a bare-bones Indian camp.



Factory outlet, best known. LL. Bean, High St., Ellsworth. A wide variety of discounted items from Maine's most famous store.



Famous Mainers, nastiest. Samuel Waldo, an 18th century merchant prince who once controlled vast acreages in Downeast Maine. According to Maine State historian Thomas Griffiths, Waldo was aggressive, ruthless, avaricious, and without mercy, always ready to betray employees, servants, business partners, as well as friends and family. Waldo County is named for this miscreant.



Fiberglass flagpoles, world's largest. Those manufactured by Joe and Glenith Grey of Sargentvlle in the mid-seventies. They were a hundred feet tall and five feet wide at the base.



Film archives, best. Northeast Historic Film, Main St., Bucksport. Said to be the country's premier regional moving image collection.



Fish hatchery, nation's oldest. Craig Brook National Fish Hatchery, East Orland. Check out the visitors' center, aquarium, picnic area and boatlaunching ramp.



Fjord, unique. Somes Sound, Mount Desert Island. Said to be the only fjord on U.S. Atlantic coast.



Flags flown over a Maine community, most. Four. At one time or another, British, French, Dutch and American forces have controlled what now is Castine.



Flora, most indigenous. Wild Gardens of Acadia at Sieur de Monts Spring in Bar Harbor. Maintained by the Bar Harbor Garden Club, these gardens are a showcase for the native plants of Acadia.



Florist, best facility. Bangor Floral, 96 Center St., Bangor. Situated in an old church with lovely stained glass windows, a perfect ambiance for flowers.



Flower, most often regarded as Mount Desert Island's loveliest. The purple fringed orchis.



Fog, most. Downeast Maine. It's official; no place on earth is foggier than Downeast Maine. Records are kept, and each year Downeast Maine most always logs at least 180 foggy days.



Folklorist, Maine's first. John Josselyn, who began writing about Maine in 1638.




Football, best place to watch it on TV. Mad Hatter Pub and Grill, 166 Cottage St., Bar Harbor. Several large flatscreen TVs, Strategically situated overstuffed couches, a menu strong in snack foods (such as tri-colored tortilla chips topped with mozzarella cheese black olives, onion, tomato, jalapeno, corn and shredded lettuce), this is where we go to watch Tom Terrific lead the patriots.



Forest fire, worst. The Great Fire of 1947 in which most of Bar Harbor burned to the ground. Many of her grand "cottages" were destroyed. It put a final cap on Bar Harbor's hooty tooty high society era.



Fort, best. Fort Knox, Prospect. Underground stairways, brick archways, ramparts of master stone masons, and old canon make this a great place for kids to play. Some of its walls are 40 feet thick.



French Jesuit mission, site of first one in North America. Mount Desert Island, where Jesuits founded a mission in 1613



French possession, earliest in North America. Dochet's Island in the Saint Croix River, which the French claimed in 1604.



Frog, Maine's most common. The wood frog, often found in the state's peatlands. These creatures can be frozen for up to six weeks and then fully recover when thawed.



Fruit farm, North America's largest. Cherryfield Foods, Inc., Cherryfield.



Fudge, most flavors. Silkweeds, Searsport. These guys usually stock at least 35 flavors of homemade fudge.





FURNITURE REFINISHING, finest. DOWNEAST REFINISHING AND GALLERY, Ellsworth. David Conary has developed a unique procedure for unsurpassed speed and efficiency.







Futons,
best. Bedworks of Maine, Bangor. Featuring solid hardwood construction, this company's futons are made with an attention to detail unsurpassed in the industry.






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