With little more than 32,000 full-time residents, Washington County is a sparsely populated but spectacularly beautiful region of Maine. It is frequently called the “Sunrise County” because of its eastern-most position in the US, where the morning sun first shines on the 48 contiguous states. According to Wikipedia, the area is economically supported by small-scale fishing operations, tourism and the blueberry business—nearly 85 percent of the world’s supply of wild blueberries comes from Washington County.
This “downeast” area of Maine is one of the better places to truly get away from it all, while still having access to top-drawer accommodations, restaurants and shopping. The locals are friendly, welcoming and hardworking. Most still make their living from the fields, forests and sea. Those who do not are the many artists and crafters who have established enclaves, galleries and shops in Eastport, Lubec, Jonesport, Calais and Machias.
Washington County borders New Brunswick, Canada, and boasts a 700-mile coastline. Activities for the visitor abound—bird watching, moose spotting, hiking, camping, seawater kayaking, whale watching, riding a lobster boat through a large natural whirlpool called the Old Sow. Everywhere you turn you will find scenery to take your breath away, especially if you travel the Sunrise Trail, an 85-mile multi-use route that runs through the area.
Popular Washington County attractions include Campobello Island, site of the Franklin Delano Roosevelt Summer Cottage (open Memorial Day through Columbus Day); lighthouses at West Quoddy Head, East Quoddy, Lubec Channel and Whitlock’s Mill; the Moosehorn National Wildlife Refuge; the Petit Manan National Wildlife Refuge; the St. Croix Island International Historic Site; Fort O’Brien; and the Ruggles House. In the region’s northern reaches, those who enjoy fishing will want to try their hand at landing smallmouth bass, lake trout and salmon from Grand Lake.
For more information on the communities in Washington County, click on the town name below:
Eastport Roosevelt Campobello International Park
(Canada - Passport Needed!)