ELLSWORTH is Hancock County's Shiretown and, curiously, the nation's second largest city, taking a back seat only to Los Angeles. We're talking about square miles here, not population even at the height of tourist season. We're thinking that whoever staked out Ellsworth had serious delusions of grandeur. What evolved is a bit more humble, but a whole lot nicer than any big city. Especially Los Angeles.

COMING INTO ELLSWORTH on the Bangor Road you'll see a turnoff to the Branch Lake Camping Area, a fruit and vegetable market, the Rock Shop, a place that builds canoes, the Nice Twice Resale Shop, and the North Winds Stove and Fireplaces shop.

A right turn onto the Red Bridge Road will take you to Millmark, a company that can sharpen anything with an edge.

Back on Rte 1A, you'll see Atlantic Landscape and Construction, Tracy's Karote Studio, Moto-Car, The Party Store, Storage Plus, a turnoff to the Ellsworth Industrial Park, Ellsworth Physical Therapy, Off Road (six-and eight-wheel recreational vehicles), New Land Florist, the All in the Family Resale Shop, Woodland Studios (silk screening and embroidery), Falls Market, and Old Whitney House Antiques.

S BAKER INTERIOR DESIGNS is on your left. Owner Sheila S. Baker is an expert at manipulating elements of interior space to create balanced, harmonious, stylish designs that are conducive to comfortable living.

Down the road to your right is a riverside park.

Just before the Mill Mall is a Dunkin Donuts. In the Mill Mall, is Sylvia's Cafe (which offers free home fries with most breakfast specials) and a Sears outlet.. For the area's best deals on furniture, check out the Furniture Warehouse and Discount Sleep Shop. Other mall businesses include a beauty salon and barber shop, the Craft Barn, a University of Maine educational center, Sleepers, Willey's Gun Shop, and a bank. Just beyond the mall is a YMCA and Friend and Friend (recreational vehicles).

In addition to holistic occupational therapy for the full range of conditions normally seen by this discipline, RAVEN HILL INTEGRATED THERAPIES, provides the only Certified Hand Therapy available in Downeast Maine. It shares a building at the fork with Realty of Maine.

A right onto Church Street wil take you by the Acadia Naturopathic Clinic.

If you stay on 1A, at the light (and the S.K. Whiting Pocket Park), you can turn right onto Main Street. (This is also Route One; you would turn here if you are going to Blue Hill or Bucksport).

Looking for something hot? Just up Main Street, The Mex has been serving its memorable sauce since 1979. Call 207-667-4494.

If you know what's good for you, you'll food shop at John Edwards Natural Foods. He stocks all the best stuff, and at prices you can afford. Call 207-667-9377. In the lower level, Josh the Artist has an interesting gallery.

Ellsworth Chiropractic on Main Street is the place to go for a body tune-up. Michelle LaPlante, D.C. offers a wide range of chiropractic and natural treatment options, focused on using the body’s own natural healing abilities.

The Grand Auditorium provides the Downeast region with a wide range of theatrical services - everything from live productions and classic films to special programs for children. The local Gilbert and Sullivan Society performs here. Call 207-667-9500.

The Grasshopper Shop (Ellsworth, Bangor, Camden) is unique for its wide variety, says co-owner Ken Schweikert. On hand are perhaps 1,500 different greeting cards, 2,500 different ear rings, 100 designs for T-shirts. Schweikert says he deals with at least 1,000 vendors.

You can find clothing for men, women and children at Vicki’s Second to None Thrift Shop.

The RIVERSIDE CAFE may not be beside the river exactly (it used to be, but it moved a while back to its present Main Street location), but we can heartily recommend the food. Yankee Magazine called the Riverside's crab cakes ”New England's Best.”

Nearby, Main Street Citgo provides a broad range of automotive services, including Transtech, a service that replaces virtually every last drop of your transmission fluid. There's a mechanic on duty here seven days a week.

A left just past Maine Street Citgo will put you on Franklin Street.

Sea Glass Infusion is situated on Franklin St. behind the Riverside Cafe.  They offer remarkably beautiful jewelry created from Salt Water washed sea glass found along the Downeast coast.  Owners Randy and Heather Ingraham are some of the nicest and most talented folks you’ll ever meet.  Stop on by and check out their great shop and let them know you saw their ad in this year’s Captain D.207-667-0505

Linda Keady’s Celtic Rainbow located within The Main Grind at 192 Main Street is a great gift shop specializing in Celtic jewelry, music and most anything  Celtic-related. 207-667-9779.  She also has her original  location on West Street in Bar Harbor. 207-288-3860 stop by either location and let them know you saw their ad in this year’s Captain D.

At The Main Grind, School Street goes to the right. (Curiously, there is no school on this street.)

Over on School Street, the Union River Gallery promises to provide Ellsworth serious, year-round exposure to fine art and fine crafts. Limited edition prints from renown artists and poster prints are available. The gallery also offers complete custom framing services. Call 207-667-7700.

The guys at Computer Plus are whizzes when it comes to fixing pc's.

Want gourmet Ice Cream? Look no further stop by 13 School Street in Ellsworth and See Sarah at Morton’s Ice Cream. Located on the same property as Union River Gallery, there is plenty of parking space. You’ll find the best DownEast Ice Cream, Italian Gelato and Sorbet. They also Serve Coffee Tea and  some Pastry to compliment your Ice Cream Selection.

Other Main Street businesses hereabouts include Bar Harbor Bicycle, Terra Cotta (Stylish Things), the Calypso Restaurant, J&B Atlantic, Studio 3, For The Fun of It (toys), the Bud Connection, and Rooster Brothers (kitchenware).

Ellsworth has kept a vibrant downtown despite the arrival of big box stores south of town. She has done this in part by providing products and services unavailable elsewhere. In the building just beyond Beal's Gifts and The Bud Connection, there is Appletree Books (rare, old, and used books and antiques), Hair by Marie, the Wild Card Pottery Open Studio, and The Yoga Place and Traditional Karote.

Across the Street, CLEONICE is an authentic Mediterranean bistro.

At the light, a left onto Water Street will lead you past Lee's Gifts, Coastal Interiors, Pepper's Pub, Jalysa's Closet, a bank, Mike's Grocery, The Clock Infirmary, a psychic, and Moe's Barbecue at the Ellsworth Waterfront Park.

PIONEER PRINTING on Water St. does very good work both fast and inexpensively.

From the light, a right will put you on State Street.

Take the heat off your feet. Stop by and see the folks at Shoegazer, Ellsworth's newest shoe store.

Ellsworth has an excellent used book shop, The Book Shelf, on State Street. The owners here take their inventory seriously.

The Congregational Church on State St. is a handsome example of early New England church architecture. Check out the Scandinavian motif on the nearby city hall. Across the street, the Tilsdale house, a classic Federal-style home built in 1817, has been converted into a modern public library.

Locals say the State Street Market takes the best sub sandwiches in town. They also say that Charlie’s Pizza makes the best (and least expensive) pizzas in town. Our advice: Don’t follow the money; follow the locals. Charlie’s delivers anywhere in the area. Call 207/667-3189. Further up State Street, look for the
Dirigo Montessori School and Tom's Terrific Tattoes.

Just off Main Street on South Street by Rooster Brothers, the LOBSTERPOT RESTAURANT combines excellent service with locally grown foods, homemade desserts, and fresh seafood. Ellsworth’s only riverside restaurant, the Lobster Pot is within comfortable walking distance of the municipal wharf.

On the Blue Hill Road, the Col. Black Mansion (1824-1828), also called Woodlawn, is a three story, brick Federal country house with a columned portico and balustrades that was built as a combination home and office by John Black, a young land agent from England. It took three years to build, as the bricks came by sea from Philadelphia and the skilled workmen from Boston. Three generations of the Black family lived in this house, and it remained virtually unchanged throughout their ownership. The estate, with all the original rich furnishings, decorative objects, and historical artifacts, was bequeathed to the public by the grandson of John Black in 1928 and has since been administered by the Hancock County Trustees of Public Reservations. Located at the rear of the house are a restored country garden and a carriage house filled with interesting old carriages and sleighs. It is open June 1 - Oct. 15, Monday-Saturday, 10-5. Admission.

If you come into Ellsworth on Rte 1 (the Bucksport Road), the first place you'll come upon is Annegret Cukierski's Big Chicken Barn. Here there are some hundred thousand old books and 21,000 magazines—the largest assort in all of New England. Downstairs, 34 dealers provide a vast assortment of antiques and collectibles.

Not far from here is the Breezy Maples Farm, where you can get horseback riding instruction or tack supplies.

Talk about nice—at COUNTRY CRAFTS Maudine Cunningham sells unique Maine crafts on consignment without taking a cut for herself. Her idea is to create good word-of-mouth and to help the crafters, many of whom are elderly folks on limited fixed incomes. The result is great Maine-made crafts at heretofore unheard-of attractive prices.

Further on is Patton Pond Camping , Out of Town Auto, and the Sunset Motel with its brightly painted cabins.

The Surry Road is to your right. Further on, look for Mountain View Auto Sales and D's Motor Sports on your left. You'll come to a place that does chair caning.

Haffas Farm began life as Halfass Farm, a name rejected by Ellsworth city fathers as too raunchy to adorn a local roadside sign. To owner Claire Wallace, it was just a play on words; seems that half of her animals are donkeys. That and the fact that the farm is a part-time thing; its operation, she admits, can be a bit halfass. Being an unusually good-natured and accommodating person, however, Claire changed the name. Visitors are welcome to stop by to see her friendly critters.

Look for C&C Marine.

After a dozen years in the furniture refinishing business, David Conary has opened a gallery at DOWNEAST REFINISHING that can only be described as a unique cross between a new furnture showroom and an antiques shop. Featured are remarkable pieces of furniture he has lovingly restored and refinished.

Watch for Ellsworth RV, Helping Hands Garage, the Auto Colony, Springer Gymnastics Center, Bill's Towing, Silks & Tapestries, the Twilite Motel and the Homestead Motel, and the Court House Gallery.

If at the Rte 1A (Bangor Road) light you turn left onto Main St., you'll pass Harry Jones Real Estate, Emerson Energy Fuels, Angelo's Pizza, the Ellsworth Farmers' Market, and the turnoff to Maine Coast Memorial Hospital. Stay right on the Washington Junction Road and you'll come to The Junction, home of DOWNEAST DIRECTIONS (Internet publishers), and Gladstone Under the Sun (Maine Munchies processing plant). Beyond Downeast Directions is Downeast Graphics, P.M. Painting & Auto Body, and Tracy's Auto Body. This is a fine way to bypass downtown Ellsworth if you're in a hurry to head further Downeast.

EMERSON ENERGY FUELS is a friendly, family-owned company started in 1998 by Larry and Betsy Emerson. The people of Ellsworth have come to depend upon Larry's reliable service.

BACK ON HIGH STREET (this also is Route 3, the Bar Harbor Road, the road to Acadia National Park) you’ll pass Windsor Chairmakers, Simon Pierce, the Ellsworth Motel, and Cadillac Mountain Sports.

A right on Pine Street across from Cadillac Mountain Sports will take you by Striking Gold Jewelers and down to Atlantic Art Glass.

Atlantic Art Glass at 25 Pine Street in Ellsworth is one of the coolest places we’ve been to for authentic art glass. Their glass blowing operation is open to the public to stop by and view. Ken and Linda  the owners are right out straight producing some of the most beautiful and colorful glassware to be found around the Downeast area. They may not have much time to talk , but  encourage folks to stop by and shop for a one of a kind creation. Call for days and time open 207-664-0222

Back on High Street, look for Crystal Clear Family Pet Center, Subway, Denny's, an Irving station, and two banks.

The UPS Store At 216 High Street in Ellsworth is the place to go for all your mailing and shipping needs. Receive Faxes , packages , as well as to ship back home . They have both black and white and color copy machines as well as a notary service.

Across High Street from L.L. Bean is Reny's, a discount department store billing itself as the ultimate outlet. Nearby is Martha's Diner, the High Street Barber Shop, Ellsworth Photo, and a Movie Gallery. Also on hand are a Shaw's Super Market, a Curves (fitness center), a Dollar Shop, Country Cottage (gifts), and a Wendy's (fast food restaurant). The Ellsworth Chamber of Commerce has its Information Center here.

The HIGH STREET BARBER SHOP, across from L.L. Bean, is Downeast Maine's premier alternative money source. Examine North America's newest currency, the beautiful "Amero” or the latest issue of the decade old “Liberty Dollar.” Open at 6 a.m. Monday thru Friday. Call 207/460-3135.

Further on, look for Hancock Dental, L.L. Parks Furniture, Mainely Music, Town and Country Real Estate, L.L. Bean (factory outlet), a bank, Merrill Furniture, Jasper's Restaurant & Motel, Sacred Hoop Thrift Shop, Complete Tire, and Town Auto, MrQuick's Oil Lube, a UPS Store, and Harmon Tire.

L.L. Bean's Ellsworth Outlet offers returns and seconds at reduced prices as well as first-quality merchandise. (Nationally, factory outlets move around $6 billion worth of merchandise each year. New England has more outlets than any other region of the country.)

Sharing a building with L.L. Bean is the Monroe Salt Works, which includes seconds and irregulars at reduced prices in its new High Street store. The company is unique; it has taken the ancient technique of salt glazing and combined it with modern technology to produce stoneware both beautiful and durable. At the peak of firing, handfuls of rock salt are thrown into the white-hot kiln. The vaporized salt combines with the clay to produce an extraordinary finish. Call 207-667-3349.

COMPLETE TIRE at 204 High Street is a lot more than a tire store. It offers complete underbody and brake repair, exhaust systems, and complete lube jobs. These guys get it done right.

Across from Complete Tire is Foster Street which leads to an insurance agency, a bank, and Jim's Auto Repair.

JIM'S AUTO REPAIR can solve just about all of your car problems. On hand are cracker jack mechanics and a good body shop. Jim does State Inspections. He'll even sell you a nicely reconditioned pre-owned car and finance it for you.

Back on High Street, look for Town Auto (which can can fix you up with a clean, late-model rental) McQuick's, MedNow and the Maine Coast Mall. In the Mall, there is a Hannford’s Super Market, Maine Coast Cinemas 1 & 2, a beauty shop, the Glory Christian Book Store, a pet store, and an oriental restaurant. Hereabouts also is a Coffee Express, Olympic Shoes, and a Fashion Bug. Up front, there's Jack’s Jewelry, Mr. Paperback, Frankie's Cafe, a Radio Shack, Gold Star Laundry, and a Marden’s, (which sells deeply discounted merchandise of all descriptions).

Behind McQuck's is MedNow, a place you can go for immediate medical assistance. Perhaps you'll feel better about getting sick away from home if you realize you can get excellent medical treatment without an appointment. MedNow is open 363 days a year (it's closed Thanksgiving and Christmas) and provides in addition to urgent assistance comprehensive and on-going family and individual health care, including diagnostic x-rays and electrocardiograms. There are even fine laboratory facilities. They welcome medicare and Blue Shield patients, and Visa, MasterCard, American Express, and Discover. They also are members of the Trade Exchange. Call 207-667-4655 for more ßinformation.

People come from miles around to visit FRANKIE’S CAFÉ in Mr. Paperback. The food, the ambience, and the friendly service is unsurpassed.

Hannaford's Super Market has the best beef in town and no-nonsence prices. Marden's sells one-of-a-kind, liquidated stuff at rock bottom prices.Look for the Holiday Inn right next to the Mall. The Holiday has it all—indoor tennis court, pool, exercise room, live entertainment in the lounge, full-service restaurant—Pete and Larry's Lounge— everything under one roof!

Mr. Paperback is a Maine family business operating throughout the state since 1963. On hand are both hardcover and paperback books. The people here are specialists at special order and hard-to-find titles.

Nearby there is a Friendly's Restaurant, a KFC/Taco Bell, and a McDonald's.

TAKING THE LEFT FORK you stay on Route One and head toward points Downeast.

If you like New York-style, thin-crust pizza, you’ll love the offerings at Finelli's. At the Acadia Village Resort it is now possible to rent accommodations for short periods of time. There is a lot to like here—bedrooms for the kids, whirlpool baths, VCR’s, a playroom, a fitness room, a pool, tennis indoor or out. Once here you many end up staying put for your entire vacation.

If you stay on Route 1, you'll quickly come upon Eastland Lane which leads up to the Ellsworth Tennis Center. )This place is a whole lot more than the name implies. Besides tennis, there are racketball and wallyball courts, a complete fitness center, a big childrenâs play area, a juice/espresso bar, and much more), and The Smoke Shop.

If you work up a healthy appetite working out, check out nearby Helen's Restaurant. Originally in Machias, Helen's for half a century has been famous for its pies.

Movie lovers will want to know about ENCHANTED VIDEO. On hand here are lots of tapes (for 99 cents) for people still using VCRs, and more TV shows on DVD than are available elsewhere. Just about everything can be either rented or purchased.

GLASSOURCE will help you with your window needs.

If cars excite you, check out the possibilities at EAST COAST PERFORMANCE on the Douglas Highway. Here you'll find all the add-on accessories to make your car or truck something really special.

The Douglas Highway, Rte 184, will lead you to Lamoine State Park. You'll pass Linscott Marine Service, Pro Auto Center, the Lamoine Kennel, and Christina's Gallery.

Back on Route One, Jordan's Snack Bar is famous locally for its fresh onion rings. The food here is unusually good and reasonably priced.

Coastline Homes offers a wide selection of custom Maine-made modular homes, spec homes and land packages.

In its 12 large greenhouses, you can find pretty much whatever you want at SIMON'S HANCOCK FARMS AND GARDENS. This is where we buy our fresh strawberries.

The White Birches in Hancock features an 18-hole, par-thre course lighted for night play. It sports Downeast Maine's only island green. (it has set local tongues awaggling with its frequent drag shows.).

SCOTTIE'S BOOKS is a really good used book store. Owner Michael Riggs has had a deep and long-lasting love affair with books, and he displays them intriguingly. The store derives its name from Michael’s pet and store mascot, a Scottish Terrier.

Since 1950, SARGENT'S MANUFACTURED HOMES has been in the business of offering high-quality, affordable manufactured housing

If you're into foreign cars, check out the selection at Car Market on Route 1 in Hancock. On hand are some cherry Volvos, Saabs, and BMWs. Call 207/667-9200.

At Maine Made Gifts & Crafts, Debby Ciampa takes great pride in the many unique, one-of-a-kind handmade items she handles. Debby consistently underestimates the value of her time; most often her prices are lower than you'll find elsewhere. Right now she is featuring American Girl Size doll clothes.

SHIRLEY'S GIFTS, YARNS & CRAFTS has in inventory more than 2,500 different hand-knitting yarns They come from all over the world--from the Orient to Europe, from South American to Norway. Incidentally, Shirley also carries 40 flavors of jelly bellies. Call 207-667-7158.

Just down the road, you'll come to the spot where Ray Murphy, the world's foremost chainsaw sculptor, holds court. Murphy is an immensely talented artist, creating magnificent beasts from raw blocks of wood with his trusty chainsaw. He bills himself as the Wild Mountain Man, but beneath his rough exterior lies the heart of a poet. He got his start back in his lumberjack days when he impulsively carved a bathtub from a fallen log, much to the merriment of his fellow loggers. They aren't laughing any longer. Ray went on to become famous, taking his art all over the country, racking up well over a million miles on his big bus. He has held crowds spellbound by carving people's initials on wooden belt buckles--while they were wearing them. Robert Ripley featured Ray in his syndicated column after a chainsaw-banishing Ray carved the entire alphabet onto a common lead pencil.

At the Tideway Market, you can stay on Rte 1 or turn left towards Franklin. (Try eating here; you'll think you're at home.) The second option leads you to Franklin Memorial Park, which sports a galamander, a large-wheeled vehicle once used for hauling great slabs of granite.

On Rte 182, you'll go by R.E. Thomas, Inc. (welding), Precision Auto Body, the Coastal Recycling Center, Richard's Garage, Hancock Cycle, and Hansen Motors. Look for a left onto Rte 200, which goes through Eastbrook to Waltham. On this road is DJJ's Live Bait and Tandoor Asian Food and Imports.

HANCOCK CYCLE & SLED at 211 Franklin Road creates beautiful custom-built bikes and provides Harley parts, accessories, and service. Also owner John Craword provides ATV and snowmobile parts and service.

Back on Rte 182, look for the Green Dooryard Nursery. Further on, Rte 182 kturns into a scenic highway providing a shortcut to Cherryfield. You'll go by the Frankin Trading Post and Maple Knoll Pizza. Eventually this road winds through some lovely woods and by several appealing ponds including Tunk Lake before reaching a picturesque picnic area.

Keith Herklotz has had a lifelong love affair with clay. As a small child, he found clay in a brook near his home and used it to fashion countless objects. He was an apprentice potter in Connecticut, Japan, and Ohio. How he works in his own studio in Franklin, doing business as Down to Earth Pottery. All his work is oven-safe, lead-free, affordable, and functional.

If you take Route 182, you just might come across Catherine. She is easy to recognize; she has no head. Legend has it that if you don't offer her a ride, you'll soon die. There are several veresions of the tale, but most agree that she usually appears on foggy nights in a flowing dress, most often around Catherine's Hill or Fox Pond. Hundreds of people have reported seeing her, including many who had never heard of her. It really seems like strange things are happening here.

If you stay on Rte 200, you'll come to the local historical society's museum, which is housed in an old Baptist church and in an old post office. On this road is Hog Bay Berries, a 20-acre blueberry field where you can pick your own, BeattieWood Shade Gardens, which specializes in hostas. On hand are some 90 varieties of this hardy, perennial, shade-loving plant. Prices are very reasonable. Near-by is Hog Bay Pottery, where you can see the distinctive dinnerware of Charles Grosjean and the award-winning woven rugs of his wife Susanne. This also is a good place to see birds--eagles, hawks, and cormorants are often present. Keep going on Rte. 200 and you'll come to Spring Woods Gallery, Paul and Ann Breeden's place. There are oils, acrylics, and watercolors by the Breedens and a nice assortment of native American pottery, jewelry and instruments.

Ounce for ounce, sea vegetables are higher in vitamins and minerals than any other class of foods, according to the folks at Maine Coast Sea Vegetables in Franklin. They offer four varieties -- alaria, dulse, kelp and laver, all of which are hand-harvested, sun-dried, and packaged without further processing. The idea may seem a bit strange to some of us, but people all over the world have been ingesting seaweeds for centuries. Evidently, they have reaped great nutritional benefits in a highly enjoyable fashion. Maine Coast Sea Vegetable's products can be found in many Downeast stores. Call 207-565-2907.

If you stay on Rte 1, you'll come to RUTH AND WIMPY'S KITCHEN where quite often you can get the area's best deal on a lobster dinner. Here also is Hancock’s foremost celebrity Wilbur the Lobster, the world's biggest lobster sculpture. A few years ago, Roadway Express included Wilbur on its list of the 12 most interesting things to see in the United States. The 20-foot, fiberglass creation has been the subject of countless articles and mentions in tourist-related publications. Kirstie Alley offered Wimpy a blank check for Wilbur, but he turned her down. "That’s our logo," he pointed out.

At DEBBIE'S BLUEBERRY WARE FACTOR OUTLET AND GIFT SHOP, you can find lovely pottery pieces with minor flaws at greatly reduced prices. Debbie is a real person--she's Debbie Butterwick, and she's the artist who designed the copyrighted blueberry motif that adorns the pottery her company produces. What started as a hobby has grown to employ a couple of dozen people and enjoy nationwide sales. If you like blueberries, you'll love her shop. Here you'll find blueberry fudge, blueberry soap, blueberry candy, blueberry napkins, wrapping paper, bags, even blueberry jewelry. The shop is a real factory outlet with genuinely low prices. Recently, they have extended their line of Maine-made gifts--all at factory outlet prices. Call 207-422-644I.

With an eye towards blending natural beauty with structural practicality, DENNIS J. KING MASONRY, INC transforms granite, brick, marble, and fieldstone into dramatic architectural elements.

Country Rose Marketplace handles both new and pre-used merchandie at very affordable prices.

The incredible log building on the left is a 6,000 sq. ft. Scandanavian Scribe by the Wooden House Company of South Ryegate, Vermont. Some of the logs here have diameters of more than two feet. It houses The Hungry Bear Restaurant, a distributorship for the California Motorcycle Company, and the No Frills Oil Company, as well as apartments and offices. Up the road is Chipper's Restaurant and Merchant's Automotive.

At the Collector's Shop, Fran Warford will provide you her 10 percent dealer's discount on purchases of over $5 if you ask for it.

Hancock. Here there is a nice park and memorial to Pierre Monteux, who founded the famed Pierre Monteux School for Advanced Conductors and Orchestra Players. during the summer, free concerts are held the last Wednesday of June and each Wednesday of July. Donations are accepted. A free children's concert is held in mid-July. Call 422-3931 for details. Tickets for the regular Sunday concerts are $7. Full symphony orchestra concerts are held the last two Sundays in June and all of July at 5 p.m. ($15 donation) and Chamber concerts those Wednesdays at 7 p.m. ($8 donation).

Hancock has a nice little park with benches, an old gazebo, a pair of cannon, and markers honoring Hancock men who served in all the wars—from the Civil War through the Persian Gulf.

Still on Route 1, Hancock Homes is along this stretch.

Watch for the right turnoff to Raven Tree Gallery and Crocker House Country Inn. "Maine: An Explorer's Guide" gives the Crocker House Country Inn credit for providing top quality at moderate prices and for having features that are appealing to children. (Near-by is the nation' second smallest post office.

Le Domaine, a French restaurant in Hancock, is one of but two Maine eateries that Fodor's singles out as one of its Choices. This place is expensive, but might well be Maine's best restaurant. Nearby is
Mano's Market and the Sulivan Harbor Farm Smokehouse

MANO'S MARKET on Rte 1 is, in a word, extraordinary. The hearty sandwiches made here are the best in the territory. You can get whole dinners to go, along with beer and wine to wash them down. The folks here support local merchants and use organic products whenever possible. They also do catering.

Further on a road to the right leads to the Tidal Falls Restaurant and Gull Rock Pottery. The stonework made here is wheel-thrown and hand-decorated and far from cheap; there is, however, a seconds table featuring slightly imperfect pieces at reasonable prices. The view of Mount Desert Island here is unsurpassed.

BACK AT THE MAINE COAST MALL, the right fork puts you on Route 3, the road to Mount Desert Island and most of Acadia National Park. The first place you come upon is a McDonald's and beyond that the Eagle's Lodge Motel, an Agway, Branch Pond Marine, and the Ellsworth Car Wash.

Across the way at the Triangle of Rtes 1 and 3, look for Jerry Jordan Opticians, a discount cigarette shop, the Hancock Chimney Cleaners, and ATA Karote.

Birdsacre Sanctuary, adjacent to the Stanwood Homestead Museum, is a 130-acre home to many species of birds. Often injured birds are brought here for rehabilitation. Open year-round, there are well-marked walking trails. (The museum, which is open mid-June to mid-October and charges a small fee, is a memorial to Cordelia J. Stanwood, ornithologist and author. Here there is an impressive collection of mounted bird specimens.) During the summer, Birdsacre presents a children's story hour that features meeting Ollie, Birdsacre's famous barred owl, a story about Ollie or Ms. Stanwood, a nature trail walk, and refreshments.

At China Hill, you can choose between Szechwan, Hunan, Mandarin, Cantonese, and American entrees.

At the Bangkok Restaurant, youâll find authentic Thai cuisine.

The Colonial Motor Lodge provides 10 percent discounts for Canadians and seniors.

KONA'S is Downeast Maine's best sports bar.

Lowe's and Home Depot both have big box stores near here. Near here is the Global Beverage Warehouse.

Further on, look for Ellsworth Giant Sub and the Blueberry Hill Dairy Bar. Continuing down Route 3, you'll see Pat's Pizza, Evergreen Home Solutions, Associated Builders, the Christmas Shoppe, Maine Motors, Super Shoes, Crazy Dave's Pit BBQ, a Walmart, Coastal Car Care, and an RV repair place

ELLSWORTH GIANT SUB offers more than 60 varieties of sandwiches, but for you they'll make whatever you like. There's plenty of parking; busses and campers are welcome. They're open Monday thru Saturday year round. After lunch, drop by the Blueberry Hill Dairy Bar next door for dessert..

David Matz, chef/owner of CRAZY DAVE'S PIT BBQ, uses a secret blend of hand-selected native Maine hardwoods to create a flavorful smoke ring true to the venerable craft of old-school smoking. You can't find better BBQ ribs anywhere. His fancy rig enables him to do mobile catering.

At the Maine-ly Maine Gift Shop, there is a sale room where items are marked down 50 to 70 percent. While you're there, check out The Old Salty.

Watch for Timberland Acres RV Park

he people at MAINE'S OWN TREATS offer free samples of the most popular of the 26 varieties of jams and jellies they make. This shop is billed as having the state's largest inventory of Maine-made food products. While you're there, you can pick up a free mail order brochure. Call 207-667-8888.

Factory Outlet Cannon
carries both first-run and irregular towels, sheets, bedspreads, comforters, etc. at 20 to 60 percent off regular retail. (New England is the factory outlet capital of the world; there are more than 1,200 such establishments.) Beyond here is the Ice Cream Outlet

The Great Maine Lumberjack Show has nightly shows from mid-June to the end of August/Labor Day. Timber Tina puts on quite a show you won’t want to miss. Located on Route 3 in Trenton. It’s a must see!

Vokes Golf,
mini-golf and nice driving range (where you can hit ball off real turf)

Near here are a karote place and Country Keepsakes gifts

If it’s barbecue you crave, go next door to the Maine Luau. Besides ribs and sweet corn, Betsy Pal keeps on hand more brands of Maine beer than just about anybody around.

MOOSE CROSSING RESTAURANT serves what most locals agree are the best breakfasts in town.

Across the road are the Acadia Gateway Motel and Cabins

Turn left onto Rte 204, and very quickly you'll be at the Bar Harbor Golf Course, an 18-hole, public, championship layout that's tough enough to challenge the finest players. The 600-plus yard 18th hole is an"untouchable"-- from the back tees, nobody has ever reached it in two. Call 207-667-7505

For over 20 years, COASTAL BUILDERS on Rte 3 across from the Mud Creek Road has been providing the area general contracting services. The area dealer of Prestige Homes, Coastal Builders can build your garage, deck, or complete custom stick-built home.

Nearby are the Country Store Antiques and the Old Dutch Treat ice cream, J&P’s Farm Market, weathervanes and cupulas..

The Acadia World Traders carries Downeast Maine’s largest selection of imports from Bali and other Indonesian islands.

Driving past the Acadia Zoo, you may see buffalo grazing in the pasture. The park, which charges an entrance fee, has more than 100 creatures, both local and exotic. It houses what probably is Maine's largest petting zoo. Pony rides are very inexpensive here.

J&P’s Farm Market is much more than fresh veggies. It opens in April with seasonal plants, provides lobster and other goodies throughout the summer, and stays open through the Christmas wreath season. Co-owner Peter Mayo insists he "strives for perfection" in everything he does.

Sewing by the Sea a first-rate fabrics shop.

The last time we were in The BLACKSHEEP TRADING CO., we saw this classic Grateful Dead concert poster for just $6. Never know what you'll find there, all kinds of sheepskin stuff plus old tin advertising signs, genuine Indian moccasins, and wonderful old photos. This is where I buy my cool, outback leather hats. Definitely worth the stop.

Watch for Woodshop Cupulas and Acadia Weasthervanes, Hapana Disc Golf, Unique Antiques, Bar Harbor Weathervanes, Cathy’s Restaurant, and a place offering bi-plane and glider flights.

A great way to see Acadia National Park is from up above. Acadia Air, Inc. at the Hancock County Airport provides sight-seeing flights at reasonable prices.

The Trenton Lighthouse Restaurant is the place that locals as well as visitors go for great seafood, steaks, salads , sandwiches and burgers. Highly respected, they have a reputation for serving some of the finest food in the Downeast.  Homemade daily specials and desserts, and wine and beer are offered. Located on Route 3 in Trenton, near the Bar Harbor Airport. Call 207-664-6008.

Behind the restaurant, TOMIKI does Arctic wildlife paintings, innuit profiles, and Native American art. Tomiki is deeply engaged in an effort to save the polar bear from the ravages of global warming.

Nearby, STAMPZ 'N STUFF offers the area's best selection of stamping and scrapbooking supplies. This is a place to let your imagination run wild.

The Trenton Market Place IGA generally has the area's lowest gas prices.

Watch for Scenic Flights of Acadia, the Granite Shop Plus, the Bar Harbor Airport, Lunt's Lobster Pound, Stuffed Goose Sub Co., Open Hearth Inn, Narrows Too (campground), the Downeast Lobster Pound, the Bar Harbor Chamber of Commerce Information Center, The Curiosity Shop, and the Trenton Bridge Lobster Pound.

Thompson Island, which separates Mount Desert Island and the mainland, has still another well-stocked information center and a nice picnic area on saltwater.

Questions or comments? Send them along to Captain D.