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This architect-designed, cozy cottage on Mount Desert's quiet side has 3 bedrooms, 2 baths, sleeps 6 comfortably, with full kitchen and washer/dryer. Located on Mitchell Cove in Bernard, 10 minutes south of Southwest Harbor—you get the best of both worlds: the quiet and privacy to enjoy your family's time together, and immediate convenience to all the attractions of the island. Grocery, library, restaurants, water sports (canoeing, sailing, motor-boating, kayaking), swimming, and miles and miles of well-maintained hiking trails up some of the country's most beautiful and accessible mountains are within a 15-20 minute drive. And just a minute's walk down the property to Mitchell Cove brings you to half a mile of secluded and undeveloped private shingle beach. A home-base for your expeditions across the island; and a light-filled, snug residence for your family's together-time during your stay.
The master bedroom is on the ground floor; two bedrooms are upstairs, one with two twin beds, the other a single. A bath with shower is on each floor. The cottage has all modern appliances; has its own well-water and lots of hot water. Wi-Fi internet service is provided. A wide deck off the front balances the indoor and outdoor spaces and is great for sitting in the sun; a secondary deck off the kitchen has a gas-powered grill that's ready for use. In the main floor's living room, a cathedral ceiling beautifully shows off the grain and line of the golden pine boards. A wood-burning stove keeps the whole house warm on cooler evenings (many summers you won't need it much), and provides a natural center to game-playing, reading, or watching TV. The cellar has an Old Town canoe and paddles, which you're welcome to take down to the Cove.
The house is very much more than the sum of its parts. It's situated on the site of the old farmhouse that farmed the Mitchell Cove area in the 19th century, when the land was all open meadows. You'll notice that it's the 'right' spot for a house—up on a little rise, with a full cellar dug into the side of the hill, and a big green lawn spreading down toward the Cove. Past the lawn, and the old apple tree, there is still open meadow to the front of the house; but now pine trees hedge off the few neighboring houses, which are distant and completely hidden from view. To the south and west is Lopaus Point and thick pine forest. The house is nestled into the corner between the old meadows and the newer forest—you're very much in your own world without being in any way constricted.
Open air, wide space, freedom to move—and the elegant concentrated space of the house—that's the feel of being here.
You'll also notice lots of little architectural details that make spending time in and around the house a real joy. The house was designed specifically to capture and display the best virtues of Maine's coastal summer climate. It encourages you to experience the best of what it's like to be here. During the long summer days, it's light-filled and airy. You'll want to throw open the doors and let the cooling ocean breezes waft through. Take your work out on the deck; watch the kids play soccer on the grass. Or wander down to the Cove. At nights, it's a supportive, cozy enclosure that brings everyone together around the wood stove. Cook up a seafood feast. Gather round a board-game. Curl up and watch a movie on the TV.
The house works so well in part because the floorplan is both open and separated. Communal activities will center on the first floor, where the kitchen and living room flow into one another and keep everyone connected. But if you want to get some work done, or the kids need to start a summer-reading project, or someone just wants to be on their own, you can head upstairs, close the door, and concentrate.
The place is full of memories of people doing exactly this for fifty years. I'm sure you'll quickly find your own way of being right at home.
Rentals are normally from Saturday (4 PM check-in) to Saturday (10 AM check-out).
1/2 total payment due with signed Rental Agreement to reserve booking.
1/2 total payment due 6 weeks (42 days) prior to Check-in date.
7-night minimum stay.
Please let us know what you have in mind.
Policy available by contacting owner when booking.
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About the owner: My architect father designed the house as a summer home for my grandparents in 1970. We've been going there and loving it ever since. If you know Acadia at all, you know it's a very special place. And for us, this house embodies the same spirit: it's simple and rugged and historical (built on the foundation of the original farmhouse). And the more you get to know it, the more you appreciate the nuances of its unadorned beauty.
I grew up coming here for the summers with my grandparents. We fished and canoed and hiked and gathered mussels and ate lobsters and read books and did puzzles by the wood-stove on rainy days. My parents taught me to love the outdoors on these mountains. And now I'm introducing my own kids to this family-infused spot. I hope someday they'll do the same with their children.
I'm a northeasterner through and through. I grew up in Connecticut, went to boarding school in Boston, and college and grad school at Yale. Now I live and work in New York City. I spend my idle moments contriving ways to get back up to Maine.
Why the Owner Chose Bernard: It's hard for me to summarize how much Mount Desert, and this house on it, mean to me. The place is a center of my sense of myself and my family. I grew up in learning to know this place; coming back here is communicating with the traditions, memories, and histories that have generated the habits and outlooks by which I know who I am. It really is the case that the *place* binds and holds the spirit together.
More practically, I can't think of any other place where it's possible to do so much that's so rewarding so easily. Mount Desert is just *made* for vacationing--for serial enjoying and adventuring in reasonable, daily, family-sized chunks. Everything you'd ever want to do is within twenty or thirty minutes of your home-base; and it's all completely authentic and accessible.
We've spent weeks hiking day after day, non-stop, hopping all over the island, never exhausted, always eager for the next pondside vista or rocky scramble or heart-wrenching, ocean-yearning view from the top.
Other years we went slower, and spent lots of time tossing stones at the cove, and reading books by the fire, or doing puzzles at the card-table. It's hard to say what's more wonderful: breaking through the treeline atop Sargent Mountain, or wrapping yourself in the fog on the tide-stripped rocks of Mitchell Cove, or reading by the fire with the rain dripping down the pine boughs. The best visits are when you do all three!
As a parent of two children, quite young when they first visited, I really appreciated how the activities could be scaled to the age, energy, and interests of the group. It was fantastic at first to have Wonderland available, to make a simple out and back over flat land with an eight and a five-year-old. Or, when they were feeling whiny, to take the Jordan Pond loop trail, with popovers waiting at the end. Now it's fantastic to string mountains together and come home at sunset.
The Unique Benefits at this Cottage: I've said it all elsewhere on this site--but I think Mount Desert is just a very special place. I feel deeply rooted in the soil and rocks here. But it's not only because of my family's history. It's what the 19th century “rusticators” and Romantics and trail-builders felt too when they first came here. It's what inspired people like George Dorr to create Acadia Park as an act of spiritual preservation. There's something about the island and its way of being encountered that encourages this kind of bonding. I think the very best thing you can do if you choose to visit is to open yourself up to that whole-hearted connection.
And in my opinion, the best way to do that is to find the island on your own terms. That means, preferably, not being swept up into the elements that are part of the tourist pattern. Why be a tourist when you can be at home right from the start? That, for me anyway, is just what you're trying to avoid when you come here. Avail yourself of all the beauties, but do so in your own time, space, and frame of mind. This little house is an ideal anchor-spot for making that possible.