Welcoming in so many ways: The doors of Castine, Maine

We’re not the first nor the only ones to declare Castine a tucked-away gem along the scenic coast of Maine.  Joining us in affirming the charm of this historic Down East hamlet  is Yankee magazine who named Castine one of the 10 Prettiest Coastal Towns in Maine. So it was with great pleasure that we took to walking the streets — not just to immerse ourselves in the ambiance of this tiny but impressive town, but also to look longingly (and enviously) at the architecture and doors of the village.

A Pinterest favorite is this home surrounded by trees of autumn splendor standing in the square of Castine.

A Pinterest favorite is this home surrounded by trees of autumn splendor standing in the square of Castine.

Our typical morning in Castine found us up before dawn, standing at Acadia Dock to greet the sun, and then hiking uphill to the open door (at 7 a.m. no less) of MarKel’s Bakehouse where the smell of hot-from-the-oven blueberry muffins and rich quiches greeted “the regulars” and visitors like us who quickly made friends.

Open for business: MarKel's Bakehouse near the Castine harbor

Open for business: MarKel’s Bakehouse near the Castine harbor

It would be easy to typify this town of predominately white clapboard homes as just another seaside village. But with the British, French, and Dutch all vying for dominance of Castine’s location at the mouth of the Penobscot Bay and settling troops and families in the village, the architecture took on a decidedly European look with embellishments not seen in other coastal Maine towns.  Some white homes in Castine boast painted doors.

But it’s not all white houses in Castine.  Colorful homes as well dot the landscape. Under renovation, this deep red home faces Water Street but opens its back to the beauty of the bay. Here are a few we loved.

Looking a bit like a fixer upper, this deep red beauty gets new doors and updated interior.

Looking a bit like a fixer upper, this deep red beauty gets new doors and updated interior.

Swaths of gray mark the age of this shingled beauty that blends in with the landscape.

At water's edge, a grey-shingled home greets the morning fog.

At water’s edge, a grey-shingled home greets the morning fog.

Dating back to 1796, this home is considered one of the oldest, if not THE oldest, in Castine. Its doorway remains one of its prettiest features, yet one of its darkest.

European styling with stone, plaster, and timber combined in the exterior.

European styling with stone, plaster, and timber combined in the exterior.

An inset door flanked by shutters and benches on the oldest cottage in Castine.

An inset door flanked by shutters and benches on the oldest cottage in Castine.

A few buildings are used for teaching and demonstrating crafts of yesteryear — like this place for blacksmithing with a distinctive red door.

Open only during summer months, this building houses equipment for blacksmithing.

Open only during summer months, this building houses equipment for blacksmithing.

Some cottages are quaint . . .

Gray cottage with black door

Gray cottage with black door

Yellow two-story with framed doorway

Yellow two-story with framed doorway

while others are quite elegant surrounded by walkways, hedges and formal gardens.

Elegant home and former antique shop -- one of the prettiest in Castine

Elegant home and former antique shop — one of the prettiest in Castine

But even among the finest, the largest, the cutest, and so forth, we found a favorite:  a simple, white Cape Cod with red door and stone wall facing the water.  Oh, to have a cup of coffee while sitting in the front window watching the boats sail past.

House with red door and rock fence facing Penobscot Bay

House with red door and rock fence facing Penobscot Bay

You know it’s Castine when even the typical becomes the extraordinary.

Every week, you can find more doors at Norm’s Thursday Doors.

 

 

 

About Oh, the Places We See

Met at University of Tennessee, been married for 47 years, and still passionate about travel whether we're volunteering with Habitat Global Village, combining work at Discovery with pleasure, or just seeing the world. Hope you'll join us as we try to see it all while we can!
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19 Responses to Welcoming in so many ways: The doors of Castine, Maine

  1. Amy says:

    It’s so beautifully and peaceful! Photos are very beautifully captured! 🙂

  2. Amy says:

    A beautiful set of doors, Rusha! 🙂

  3. Great photos!
    You wait until you get to Morocco, you’ll go door crazy! 😉

  4. jaybird says:

    Picture perfection:)

  5. Forget the wonderful houses and doors and just lead me to the Bakehouse! Then later I’d love some lobstah. 🙂

    janet

    • That Bakehouse was something else. We ordered first and then someone brought breakfast to you. The sitting room is crowded so you could hear people talking. Loved the accents and pretty soon people wanted to know where we were from. By the end of two weeks, we knew the regulars! Thanks for taking a look!

  6. M.B. Henry says:

    Looks lovely! One of these days I’ve got to visit Maine.

  7. Lots of fun homes, Rusha. My favorite was the cottage with the fancy roof line. –Curt

    • We liked that one as well, Curt. But then again, we liked them all. I did more walking each morning in chilly Castine than I ever do at home, and I chalk it up to wanting to see more homes! Love looking at them from the sidewalk and taking pictures. Better than magazines or home shows — and free!

      • Peggy and I also found the homes along the Maine Coast to be quite interesting. And so many of the older ones are huge, which I guess is what come from having a large family and surviving Maine winters! 🙂 –Curt

  8. ksbeth says:

    they certainly do look welcoming, i love looking at doors )

    • Thanks for the comment. I, too, love doors, especially since Norm started his blog posts called Thursday Doors. Now, when I’m touring, I snap away pictures of doors, windows, shutters, etc.! And having fun doing so! Best wishes for a beautiful spring where you are!

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