Welcome to Vacationland, where perfect summers emerge like Aphrodite from the sea. The Craignair Inn is your refuge and retreat; this is also the jumping off point for all kinds of adventure. Without getting in your car, as a guest of the inn, you have access to miles of pristine trails on Clark Island just a breezy walk across the causeway, thanks to the good works of the fine people with the Maine Coast Heritage Trust. Stroll through woods and fields, happen upon deer and turkeys, find a sheltered spot on a sandy beach, and swim in the refreshing waters of the Maine Atlantic. Your summer escape starts here. 

While we recommend numerous excellent restaurants, coffee shops, cafes, and walk up spots near The Craignair Inn by the Sea, we think packing a picnic lunch is a simple way to experience a peaceful day in the natural beauty of Maine’s beaches, meadows, hiking trails, and mountain tops. A packed lunch is, by design, casual, unfussy, and light. In high summer there is so much produce fresh from the garden and the ocean that requires little cooking. These are truly the best foods, just picked or harvested, simply prepared. Here are our local expert recommendations based on what kind of outing you have planned. 


A Day At The Beach 

Maine beaches have a siren song that calls us to the wilder side of our human nature. 


When you stay at The Craignair Inn, you have a practically private beach almost all to yourself. Look out from any ocean facing window onto Clark Island, a stone’s throw away from the inn. Clark Island is a nature preserve, and an island you can walk to, across a sturdy causeway. On Clark Island, you can nestle in on a blanket in the sand or stretch out on a warm rock for sunning yourself. The water, in high summer, gets warm enough to comfortably swim, and at low tide you can walk way out in soft sand. This beach is hardly ever crowded. It might just be you and the seagulls. Explore the small marine life of tide pools and watch the boats go by. 

A short drive from here, still on the St. George Peninsula, is locally-beloved Drift Inn Beach, on the road to charming Port Clyde. When the tide is out, there is quite a stretch of sandy real estate to set up for a beach day. This quaint seaside setting seems to require sandwiches and chips, an old school summer lunch like your mom used to make. A stop at the Tenants Harbor General Store, owned by Linda Bean, is a one stop country shop to stock up on bread and peanut butter, or fruit and chocolate; order an Italian sub sandwich from the deli. Be sure to grab many bags of salty snacks and ice cold drinks from the fridge, as there is not a refreshment stand at Drift Inn.


Outdoor Concerts and Plays in the Park 

There are a handful of pitch-perfect concert venues within thirty minutes of your room at the Craignair Inn Bed and Breakfast.




Rockland is a little city with a big heart and so much incredible art. And we do mean little. Only 7,000 individuals live in Rockland, but in Maine that qualifies as a metropolis! Rockland is a cultural center, and a destination for music lovers. In July, Rockland hosts the North Atlantic Blues Festival, and the venue in Harbor Park, could not be more perfect. The concert stage is set for local bands and touring groups throughout the year. You never know which rocking act you'll catch when visiting Rockland and the surrounding towns of the Maine MidCoast, so renowned for all kinds of great art and artists.

In Rockport, the next village north on scenic Route 1, up Beech Hill, is a pastoral preserve, where summertime concerts on a mountain feel a bit like The Sound of Music, green and vast and charming. From this perch, the panoramic views are glorious, and the acoustics are divine. Bleeker and Greer, Main Street Meats, conveniently across the street from the bottom of the turnoff to the sanctuary, is a paradise of fine cheese, charcuterie, tinned and pickled delights. They sell soups and sandwiches pre-made and packaged to go or you can cobble together a picnic with bits and bobs from the market. Salty anchovies, briny Castelvetrano olives, chewy crusty, pillowy loaves of bread from the bakery and whatever cheese and cold cuts the professional butchers and cheese mongers advise.

If you are visiting Maine in the summertime, you should not miss Camden's Shakespeare in the Park. The words of the Bard are made for the outdoors, and the amphitheater is intimate and bucolic. As the sky darkens and the stars come out, you can imagine you are actually in the Forest of Arden or the enchanted woods outside of Athens. Camden can be quite busy in July and August, so keep things simple and order takeout from the stupendous Long Grain, for locally-sourced Thai and pan Asian street style food. In this way, your night is sure to be an all around sensual delight! 


Two if By Sea

To paraphrase Herman Melville in Moby Dick, when you start to feel like a real grumpy jerk, the best medicine is to get on a boat 


There are so many ways to take to the sea in Midcoast Maine. Hop on a ferry to North Haven, Vinalhaven, Islesboro, or Monhegan. North Haven and Vinalhaven are communities with year round populations and vibrant working waterfronts. There is a quarry for swimming on Vinalhaven that is spectacular. Monhegan Boat Line is a twenty minute car ride from The Craignair. It has been a renowned artist colony for a century, and the light is pure magic. The ride to any of those picturesque islands is glorious. In summer you are very likely to spot puffins on their private island, Eastern Egg Rock. Watch for seals basking on rocks and the elusive, majestic right whale. 

Rent kayaks or canoes and paddle under your own power along the Maine coast. The Craignair is in Spruce Head; on the same Midcoast peninsula is teeny tiny Port Clyde, where you will find Port Clyde Kayaks. Here you can get away from the crowds in a quaint fishing village. They will even deliver you kayaks right here to the inn, and they also offer guided tours, if you you'd like expert advice and insight along the way. This is a women-run business and a cool spot to add to your Maine itinerary.

If women-owned businesses are your jam, and you don't mind a ride up the coast, visit Dory Woman Rowing out of Belfast. If you prefer a gentle sailboat cruise, check out the wooden schooners in a nearby harbor. Around Penobscot Bay, out of Rockland, a thirty minute ride, we recommend both A Morning in Maine and Bufflehead, owned by salty, silly, and highly experienced captains. Sailing is such a genteel way to experience the ocean. And a satisfying lunch is a must. McLoons Lobster Shack sells chowder, lobster rolls, and divine dessert like Maine wild blueberry pie that would be perfect packed up to go for a sunset sail. 


To The Lighthouse

No visit to Maine would be complete without a visit to a lighthouse.


There are lots of reasons to love a lighthouse. They are guides in the dark. They prevent shipwrecks. They send out a lovely light in a 360 degree direction. They exist on the edge, where land meets sea. They sometimes feel haunted by the past. We can learn a lot about ourselves from them. They are beautiful. 

There are at least three of these amazing coastal landmarks within 30 minutes of The Craignair Inn. Without leaving the St. George Peninsula, there’s iconic Marshall Point in Port Clyde, America. That’s the lighthouse where Forest Gump ran on his epic cross country journey, and it is just as dramatic as it looks in the movies! There are a few walking paths where the woods meet the sea, and dramatic views of the waves crashing against big rocks. Make sure you pose for a photo against the backdrop of the long ramp leading to the light, and visit the gift shop for souvenirs. 

There’s little Owls Head Light on a cliff up a short flight of stairs. Owl's Head is another cute community in our Midcoast neighborhood. It is located between the inn and salty sophisticated Rockland, and a great place to stop for lunch! Check out the Owls's Head General Store, consistently voted to have one of the best burgers. In Rockland, at the end of a mile long breakwater, there is a house turned museum where the keeper once braved many fierce storms. If you’re spending the day touring lighthouses and taking in the scenic drive between stops, pick up oysters to crack open by the Atlantic. At our restaurant, The Causeway, we serve Aphrodite and Ice House Oysters, two varieties harvested right here on the peninsula. They are so fresh and clean, a little lemon is all you need to enhance the flavor of the sea. 

Our innkeepers, staff, and neighbors are more than happy to share their favorite places to eat and adventure; we can help with itineraries and journeys of discovery all over MidCoast Maine. When you are a Craignair guest, you become a Maine local, if only for a little while. Book your Craignair Inn room today!