March 25, 2014

View our Maine coast from a Hardy Boat Cruise

A warm-weather visit to Midcoast Maine just doesn’t complete without spending time on the water. Hardy Boat Cruises in New Harbor offers regular sight-seeing cruises and trips to beautiful to Monhegan Island.

New Harbor is the perfect departure point for Monhegan Island. A day trip to the island consists of five hours on the island followed by a fun and informative Seal Watch on the return trip.  Hardy offers the shortest crossing distance to Monhegan Island, about 50 minutes one-way. Parking is just $3 a day, and the company strongly suggests you make reservations.

Another popular cruise is the Puffin Watch on Eastern Egg Island. As the boat heads out to the small, rugged island, the crew presents giant flash cards depicting the silhouettes of commonly seen bird species. The presentation also includes some history of Maine’s migratory sea birds and the story of the National Audubon’s Project Puffin.

Puffins are remarkable birds that had nearly disappeared from the Maine coast just a few decades ago. Thanks to the project, the puffin colony has been restored and continues to grow. A portion of every fare is donated directly to Project Puffin to support their ongoing research and stewardship of this fragile colony. To date Hardy Boat Cruises has contributed $117,000 to Project Puffin.

A separate Hardy cruise can take you and the family to visit harbor seals. Along with the wild life, you’ll see lobstermen hard at work hauling their gear. During the fall, Hardy offers a coastal cruise that gives passengers an amazing view of fall foliage.

Fare information and schedules are available on the Hardy Boat Cruise site. Reservations are encouraged for most of the cruises. The dock in New Harbor is about 14 miles south of the Newcastle Inn. Ask us for directions.

March 18, 2014

Got Game? Check Out The Golf Courses Near Newcastle

If golf is on your Maine vacation agenda, we can recommend two courses within easy driving distance of the Newcastle Inn.

The Wawenock Golf Club is a nine-hole, links-style course about seven miles south of the inn along Route 29. The Boothbay Harbor Country Club is a semi-private, 18-hole, championship-caliber course on Route 27 about 15 miles south of the inn.

The Wawenock Golf Club opened in 1928.
The fairways are generally open, with very few trees. The greens are moderately sized, average 5,000 square feet, and are relatively flat and moderate in speed. Water comes into play on two holes.

 There are alternate tees when playing an 18-hole round, and the course plays from 5,500 to 6,200 yards. Greens fees range from $25 for walking nine holes to $52 for 18 holes and a cart.

The course has a bar and grill, and the on-site pro gives lessons and clinics.

Boothbay Harbor Country Club underwent some renovation during the 2013-2014 off-season. The course features breathtaking vistas, challenging holes and a sea breeze blowing off the ocean.

Greens fees for 18 holes range from $50 during off-season weekdays to $95 on peak-season weekends. Carts are an extra $24.

Both courses have practice ranges to tune up your game before the round and bars to celebrate a great day on the course afterward.

March 11, 2014

Celebrate Something Special with Add-on Packages

The Newcastle Inn is a perfect place to celebrate birthdays, love, community and life, and we have special packages to supplement the fun.

Between April 22 and May 22 we help celebrate our community by offering a “Hospitality for Habitat” rate that also helps raise money for Habitat for Humanity in Maine. You enjoy the benefit of staying in a lovely room for 50 percent off the posted rate, and in return, you make a check donation to Habitat for Humanity for $35. Many guests donate $35 or more, for each night of their stay. This special offer is good on any room that is priced at $200 or higher. A two-night minimum stay is required. Offer available seven days a week.

If you’re celebrating a birthday during your stay, you can add our Birthday Celebration Package. The $50 package includes a birthday cake and a split of Prosecco. Add a beautiful bouquet of seasonal flowers for an additional $40.
For your cake, you can select a cake flavor (vanilla, chocolate or lemon), filling (chocolate ganache, white chocolate ganache or raspberry jam) and buttercream frosting (vanilla, chocolate, raspberry or maple). A gluten-free chocolate or carrot cake is available for an extra $5.

If you’re celebrating love, we offer a “Love Is In The Air” package for $100 that includes a dozen red roses, a heart-shaped box of chocolates and a bottle of Prosecco.

And finally, if you’re just celebrating life, we offer a special basket of goodies from King Elder’s Pub. For $75, you’ll get a $50 gift certificate to the pub, two pint glasses, a bottle of King Elder’s maple barbecue sauce, a shot glass and a pub baseball cap.

All packages must be paid for with cash, credit card or a Newcastle Inn gift certificate. Advance notice is required for the birthday, love and pub packages.

March 4, 2014

Farnsworth Art Museum Paints A Beautiful Picture of Maine

Maine’s mountains, lakes, rocky coast, islands, wildlife and hard-working residents are wonderful subjects for artists, and some of the best examples of Maine art are in the Farnsworth Art Museum.

The museum is in Rockland, a thriving fishing port about 40 minutes northeast of Newcastle on U.S. 1.

The museum has 20,000 feet of gallery space and has more than 10,000 works in its collection, which celebrates Maine’s role in American art. The museum’s Wyeth Center features the work of three generations of Wyeths, N.C., Andrew and James Wyeth.

The museum opened in 1948 with an endowment from Lucy Copeland Farnsworth, the daughter of William Farnsworth, a Rockland lime merchant who also founded the town’s water company.

In addition to its large permanent collection of art, photos and sculpture, the museum always has several special exhibitions. The summer 2014 exhibitions will include Shaker furniture and tools and a closer look at the work of the Wyeths entitled “The Wyeths, Maine and the Sea.” The special Wyeth exhibit opens April 26.

The museum has one of the nation's largest collections of works by sculptor Louise Nevelson. The Farnsworth's library is also housed in Rockland. Two historic buildings, the Farnsworth Homestead and the Olson House, and Julia's Gallery for Young Artists complete the museum complex.

The museum’s hours vary depending on the season. In April and May, hours are 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday through Sunday, and it is open on Memorial Day. Summer hours from June 1 through Oct. 31 are 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily. During the summer the museum also is open until 8 p.m. on Wednesdays and on the first Friday of each month. Admission is $12 for adults, $10 for seniors and $10 for students 17 and older.  Children 16 and younger get in free, as do Rockland residents and museum members.

February 24, 2014

You Can’t Get Newcastle Inn Coffee Anywhere Else

We try to make your stay at the Newcastle Inn a unique experience, all the way down to the coffee we serve.

Thanks to our Newcastle neighbor, Seacoast Coffee Co., we serve a unique coffee blend made especially for the inn. The Newcastle Inn Blend includes smooth, rich medium roasted beans of Columbia Supremo with a dark Italian roast that adds a full-bodied flavor with a hint of a sweet aftertaste. The Italian roast beans are a blend of coffees from South America and Indonesia, but the exact ingredients are secret!

We’ve been buying our coffee from Seacoast Coffee since we took over the inn in 2008. Seacoast was founded in 2005, and the owners have more than 40 years of experience in the local coffee business.

Our friends at Seacoast Coffee are artisan roasters, which means they prepare their beans in smaller batches and deliver the coffee within days of when it is roasted. The company’s coffees -- Seasons, Reserve and Preserve are 100% Arabica.  Seasons coffees are regular blends and flavored varieties.  Reserve coffees are our specialty line including straights, special blends and darker roasts.  Preserve coffees are certified organic by the Maine Organic Farmers and Growers Association and certified fair trade by Transfair.

You won’t find our Newcastle Inn Blend anywhere else. We serve it every morning, and guests can purchase 12-ounce bags so that they can enjoy a "taste of Newcastle Inn" at home. The cost is $10 a bag.