Charleston Style and Design

SUM 2013

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LEISURE Fringe Benefts Maine's Midcoast peninsulas offer natural beauty, rustic inns and great seafood STORY AN D PHOTOS BY CHAR LES AN D MARY LOVE T here's a Maine for everyone. There's one for people whose idea of bliss is to retreat to a small seaside inn, where they can paint or read a book while being serenaded by the lazy drone of dragonfies. But there's also a Maine for extroverts, one that holds the promise of a day spent sailing, antiquing or relaxing with friends at a dockside lobster shack. Fortunately, geography allows these two types of people to come together in one place, as we discovered on a recent midsummer trip through a small part of Midcoast Maineā€”a region that extends from Bath to Belfast. Now, this part of Maine might not look large on a map, but you could spend a week exploring it. That's because the coastline is defned by a fringe of peninsulas. Few, if any, bridges connect them, so if you happen to be at the bottom of one, it might take an hour to drive back up to the main highway (U.S. 1) and down the next one. But, as they say, the journey is everything. There is simply no better way to get a feel for rural Maine than to drive her two-lane coastal roads. 120 CHARLESTON STYLE & DESIGN | SUMMER 13 Wiscasset and surrounds Wiscasset claims to be "the prettiest village in Maine," and the boast is understandable. Its white clapboard churches, Federal-era homes, dollhouse-like antique shops and art galleries cluster on a hill overlooking the broad Sheepscot River. The village was settled in 1663. In the early 19th century, it was the busiest seaport north of Boston and a center for lumbering and shipbuilding. Twenty-one private homes here date to late 17th and early 18th century and are on the National Register of Historic Places. News this summer is that the Museum in the Streets, a United States-based organization dedicated to preserving cultural heritage, is erecting a circuit of panels that describe the town's landmarks. Wiscasset has many excellent art galleries and antique stores. Among our favorites was the Wiscasset Bay Gallery, located on Front Street, the village's "main drag." The gallery is a venue for high-quality 19thto 21st-century American and European artists, including maritime painters from Maine and nearby Monhegan Island (wiscassetbaygallery.com). Up the hill on High Street, the Musical Wonder House is a one-of-a-kind showcase for mechanical music players, including music boxes, player pianos and early phonographs. This mid-19th-century sea captain's mansion is packed to the rafters with more than 5,000 rare and beautiful instruments. It's the legacy of Danilo Konvalinka, a Yugoslavian man raised in Austria, who came

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