The SpaceThis architect-designed, cozy cottage on Mount Desert's quiet side has 3 bedrooms, 2 baths, sleeps 6 comfortably, with full kitchen and washer/dryer. Located on Mitchell Cove in Bernard, 10 minutes south of Southwest Harbor—you get the best of both worlds: the quiet and privacy to enjoy your family's time together, and immediate convenience to all the attractions of the island. Grocery, library, restaurants, water sports (canoeing, sailing, motor-boating, kayaking), swimming, and miles and miles of well-maintained hiking trails up some of the country's most beautiful and accessible mountains are within a 15-20 minute drive. And just a minute's walk down the property to Mitchell Cove brings you to half a mile of secluded and undeveloped private shingle beach. A home-base for your expeditions across the island; and a light-filled, snug residence for your family's together-time during your stay.
The master bedroom is on the ground floor; two bedrooms are upstairs, one with two twin beds, the other a single. A bath with shower is on each floor. The cottage has all modern appliances; has its own well-water and lots of hot water. Wi-Fi internet service is provided. A wide deck off the front balances the indoor and outdoor spaces and is great for sitting in the sun; a secondary deck off the kitchen has a gas-powered grill that's ready for use. In the main floor's living room, a cathedral ceiling beautifully shows off the grain and line of the golden pine boards. A wood-burning stove keeps the whole house warm on cooler evenings (many summers you won't need it much), and provides a natural center to game-playing, reading, or watching TV. The cellar has an Old Town canoe and paddles, which you're welcome to take down to the Cove.
The house is very much more than the sum of its parts. It's situated on the site of the old farmhouse that farmed the Mitchell Cove area in the 19th century, when the land was all open meadows. You'll notice that it's the 'right' spot for a house—up on a little rise, with a full cellar dug into the side of the hill, and a big green lawn spreading down toward the Cove. Past the lawn, and the old apple tree, there is still open meadow to the front of the house; but now pine trees hedge off the few neighboring houses, which are distant and completely hidden from view. To the south and west is Lopaus Point and thick pine forest. The house is nestled into the corner between the old meadows and the newer forest—you're very much in your own world without being in any way constricted.
Open air, wide space, freedom to move—and the elegant concentrated space of the house—that's the feel of being here.
You'll also notice lots of little architectural details that make spending time in and around the house a real joy. The house was designed specifically to capture and display the best virtues of Maine's coastal summer climate. It encourages you to experience the best of what it's like to be here. During the long summer days, it's light-filled and airy. You'll want to throw open the doors and let the cooling ocean breezes waft through. Take your work out on the deck; watch the kids play soccer on the grass. Or wander down to the Cove. At nights, it's a supportive, cozy enclosure that brings everyone together around the wood stove. Cook up a seafood feast. Gather round a board-game. Curl up and watch a movie on the TV.
The house works so well in part because the floorplan is both open and separated. Communal activities will center on the first floor, where the kitchen and living room flow into one another and keep everyone connected. But if you want to get some work done, or the kids need to start a summer-reading project, or someone just wants to be on their own, you can head upstairs, close the door, and concentrate.
The place is full of memories of people doing exactly this for fifty years. I'm sure you'll quickly find your own way of being right at home. Guest AccessGuests have the cottage to themselves. Interaction with GuestsA caretaker who lives 10 min away will be your on-site contact. Feel free to contact him or owner at any point during your stay. The NeighborhoodIt's hard for me to summarize how much Mount Desert, and this house on it, mean to me. The place is a center of my sense of myself and my family. I grew up in learning to know this place; coming back here is communicating with the traditions, memories, and histories that have generated the habits and outlooks by which I know who I am. It really is the case that the *place* binds and holds the spirit together.
More practically, I can't think of any other place where it's possible to do so much that's so rewarding so easily. Mount Desert is just *made* for vacationing--for serial enjoying and adventuring in reasonable, daily, family-sized chunks. Everything you'd ever want to do is within twenty or thirty minutes of your home-base; and it's all completely authentic and accessible.
We've spent weeks hiking day after day, non-stop, hopping all over the island, never exhausted, always eager for the next pondside vista or rocky scramble or heart-wrenching, ocean-yearning view from the top.
Other years we went slower, and spent lots of time tossing stones at the cove, and reading books by the fire, or doing puzzles at the card-table. It's hard to say what's more wonderful: breaking through the treeline atop Sargent Mountain, or wrapping yourself in the fog on the tide-stripped rocks of Mitchell Cove, or reading by the fire with the rain dripping down the pine boughs. The best visits are when you do all three!
As a parent of two children, quite young when they first visited, I really appreciated how the activities could be scaled to the age, energy, and interests of the group. It was fantastic at first to have Wonderland available, to make a simple out and back over flat land with an eight and a five-year-old. Or, when they were feeling whiny, to take the Jordan Pond loop trail, with popovers waiting at the end. Now it's fantastic to string mountains together and come home at sunset. Getting AroundA car is very useful. The Island Explorer shuttle bus is free and has routes covering most of Mount Desert and Acadia Park. There's an Explorer stop right in Bernard--about 5 minutes down the road from the property. Other Things to NoteRentals are normally from Saturday (4 PM check-in) to Saturday (10 AM check-out).
7-night minimum stay.
Please let us know what you have in mind.