Completed two years ago, River Tide faces south on a tidal cove off the St. George River estuary, in the heart of Mid-Coast Maine, and has over 350 feet of shoreline. The location on a dead-end lane is peaceful and secluded, but close to the lobstering villages of Tenants Harbor and Port Clyde, and an easy drive to vibrant Rockland and Camden.
After visiting Maine for more than twenty years, Jen and Philip designed the three-bedroom house as a quiet and inspiring year-round retreat, lovely in the fall or early summer and well as in the traditional vacation months, where we could bring family and friends. We used traditional local materials - a hemlock timber frame, birch flooring, and white cedar shingle - and were looking for a Craftsman style with a contemporary emphasis. The house is high-ceilinged, light-filled and uncluttered, but warm and intimate. Views from every window across the grass to the water only 75 feet away are framed by mature oaks and spruce. The tide is a constant mesmerizing presence, as its 11 foot range moves twice a day from an open expanse of water lapping on granite rocks, to a variety of water birds feasting in the shallows, to clam flats, and then back again. The tidal estuary is a mile or more across at this point, and can be quite choppy, but our cove is sheltered, and great for swimming (for the hardy), kayaking, and paddle-boarding.
In the house each of the three bedrooms has access to a deck or screen porch overlooking the water. The stunning master bedroom with its soaring hammer-beamed ceiling is designed so that you can look out over the water and watch birds from the king-size bed as the sun rises. A door off the bedroom leads to a second-floor deck, good for star-gazing and late-night conversations. The other two bedrooms, with a queen and a full bed respectively, are in the original cottage, now fully renovated and joined to the new house. Both have sliding doors onto a screen porch, with steps leading towards the water. While we limit guests to six, an additional child might be fine. A younger child might want to sleep in the pull-out sofa bed next to the master bedroom. We don't allow pets.
The kitchen connects to the living and dining areas, and is large and with stained concrete countertops, stainless steel appliances, and a gas range. It is ideal for family cooking projects, whether for a pancake breakfast at the counter, or preparing for an outside sunset dinner.
There are two bathrooms, one with a tub and shower, and the other with a shower. There is also an outdoor shower. There are two flat screen televisions with Roku and Netflix, wireless internet, and a phone with unlimited US calling. Sheets and down comforters are hotel quality,. We have a large front-loading washer and dryer. There are family games, puzzles and a variety of books. An appealing high-efficiency woodstove complements electric heat in the shoulder seasons and the winter. A dining table seats eight comfortably. Binoculars support those with a bird-watching habit. A 5' by 6' Geological Survey map in the kitchen hallway allows you to plan your days.
Outside there's a picnic table, a grill and a fire pit, a hammock, two swings, and Adirondack chairs beside the water. Kayaks (two sit-on-top and three sea kayaks) are provided. On calm days you might paddle down towards Port Clyde, or across to Cushing.
Nearby on the peninsular there is a range of public beaches with sand, rocks, tide pools, and walks in the woods. For eating out you can sit beside the dock at Luke's down the road in Tenants Harbor, eating a range of traditional Maine fare, or try the Happy Clam, with its German menu in addition to lobsters and fried clams, drive or bike a couple of miles further to Port Clyde, where a range of eating possibilities keep you entertained as, perhaps, you wait for the ferry for a day trip to Monhegan Island, the much-loved artists' retreat. Towards South Thomaston, maybe three miles away, McLoons Lobster Shack is probably the most picturesque setting for eating a lobster that you'll ever come across.
If you are looking for more sophisticated diversions, Rockland is a real cultural magnet, with excellent restaurants (one favorite is Suzuki's Sushi Bar, often with amazing local delicacies), interesting stores, a lovely Art Deco movie theater, the impressive Farnsworth Art Museum, and a unique mile-long granite breakwater leading to a lighthouse. And if you want to go a little further afield, you can visit Camden, with its many shops and harbor full of impressive sailboats, or walk in the Camden Hills. We can recommend the owner of a 35 foot Cape Dory who will take you and your friends for an evening or a day sail. Or you can go south to Damariscotta, which apart from being a totally lovely little town, has the original Remy's, the most amazing general/department store you will ever find, where you can buy whatever you forgot to bring on your vacation, and thousands of things you never knew existed.
Because we are fairly new to the business of renting our vacation home to guests, we hope you will call us with any questions or suggestions during your visit. We want to make your stay as pleasant and memorable as possible. We love River Tide, and want you to love it too. While we live in the Boston area, we have local connections and are able to take care of any concerns quickly.