After years of talking, we finally made it to the Roosevelt summer place on Campobello during the second week of August, 2009. This is a somewhat tricky trip because the area is remote (from the Boston area, we covered 950 miles in 5 days) and one needs to adjust expectations in terms of lodging and meals.
Wanting to remain in the US, we stayed two nights in Lubec at the Atlantic House, a perfectly acceptable small hotel and just minutes to the International Park. Were we to do it again, we'd spend the night before a park visit in Lubec but then head back down to the Ellsworth/Blue Hill area. As it was, we had enough time after Campobello to drive 45 minutes to Eastport, which has more going on and many more dining opportunities than Lubec.
The FDR house is largely original and very evocative. The introductory film is well-done and the docents do an excellent job. Anyone interested in FDR's life or even the history of how the wealthy vacationed in that long-gone era will enjoy the cottage.
By luck, our visit coincided with a 2 1/2-hour tide window so we drove to the end of the island and clambered down ladders and over slippery rocks to East Quoddy Light. The scenery is spectacular. We passed on the $10 fee to go inside the light with a guide as did everyone else we saw. Perhaps the group responsible for the site would have more success with more a more reasonable fee and group tours.
We also spent about 1 1/2 hours hiking one of the many trails in the park. We chose a beauty that ran along the water at the southwest end of the island. Much of it involved walking on a trail made of planks. We saw harbor porpoises, a whirlpool, and tide rips but no whales although the changing of the tide is said to be a good time to spot them.
Driving on the park's dirt roads, one's car gets quite dirty. The only functioning car wash south of Eastport was Ellsworth.
We had spectacular weather for our trip. Had there been rain and fog, the long drive, modest accommodations, and sometimes quite disappointing food, might be a downer for even the adventurous and accepting traveler.
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