Harbor Hill Cottage is a beautiful, year-round home in the still-active fishing village of Southwest Harbor, on the “quiet side” of MDI. Our house was built in the 1930s and has been lovingly maintained and restored. Its distinctive Craftsman-style architecture (elegant, sloping roof; cedar shingles; exposed wood beams; stone hearth) sets it apart from the houses surrounding it. Colorful gardens bloom around the house from late spring through early autumn. A deck, linking our kitchen and backyard, affords shifting views: In June, lupines grow thick and wild in the fields surrounding our property. In cooler months, glimpses of harbor appear beyond the slope of those fields. In the true dark of the MDI night sky, you might see the Milky Way – or a meteor shower – without ever leaving the Cottage.
Near neighbors on our lovely street include a church founded in 1792 and the oldest burial ground on MDI (open to the public and historically interesting). Walk a quarter mile from the house to downtown Southwest Harbor, where you’ll find excellent restaurants and cafés, both casual and formal; a food market selling fresh, local goods; a wine and cheese shop; galleries and gift shops featuring local artists and artisans; an excellent public library (which will loan to visitors); a full service bicycle shop; a hardware store; a pharmacy; and a post office. Pass through downtown and walk a little farther to find a pond that teems with frogs in summer, and with local skaters in winter (whole families around here know how to play ice hockey, and they’ll let you join, if you’re able). Set out on foot from the house in another direction to reach the scenic Causeway -- an old, stone footbridge from which you can watch dramatic shifts in tide, or see fog curl in from the sea; or in yet another direction, to watch fisherman and lobstermen haul their catches onto an active dock, and to eat at the adjacent lobster pound. Also within short walks from the house are a full-service gym, offering affordable one-day and weekly passes; a health care clinic; and the free Island Explorer Bus.
From our home, you can explore much of MDI without a car. Many bikers will find roads on this side of MDI too narrow and bumpy for comfort, but it’s possible to load bikes (your own, or bikes you’ve rented from the shop in town) onto the Island Explorer Bus. With or without a bike, you can use the Bus to reach many points of interest on MDI – in Bar Harbor and Acadia National Park -- including: the renowned Acadia Carriage Trails (for walking, biking, or a ride in a horse-drawn carriage); various hiking trailheads; Jordan Pond House (known for its popovers and tea, with exquisite park views); Sand Beach (splendid views, icy ocean surf); Echo Lake (for a swim in a family-friendly setting, with changing rooms, toilets, lifeguards); the park’s Loop Road (exquisite views, right from the comfortably upholstered seat of the free bus!). That said, some places on MDI are more easily reached by car than by bus; MDI is thoroughly laced with hiking trails, and the bus doesn’t reach them all.
On the first floor of our house, you’ll find:
• LIVING ROOM with cathedral ceiling, exposed wood beams, a fully-functioning stone fireplace, and an assortment of books we’ve loved over the years (including plenty for children and adolescents, and several on Acadia and Southwest Harbor; if you like, you can read up on the local church and burial ground, and on families whose names you’ll still encounter, all over MDI . . .).
• SITTING ROOM, also with exposed wood beams and with a newly installed 43” cable TV and Xbox system (for gaming and movies).
• DINING ROOM that seats six.
• KITCHEN with all the appliances and supplies you’ll need to cook at home.
• MASTER BEDROOM with queen-size bed and ample closet
• BATHROOM with combined shower and tub
And, up a short flight of steps:
• BEDROOM with two twin beds and walk-in closet.
• BEDROOM with double bed and closet;
• BATHROOM with shower.
Up another, short flight of steps:
• ATTIC ROOM, which we have yet to put to any particular use, though its window affords the best view of the fields behind the house (and, in cooler months, the harbor). A venturesome child might take some books up here to read . . ..
Outside, through the kitchen door:
• DECK with brand-new grill and ample outdoor seating (table and chairs, benches).
Down a short flight of steps from the dining room:
• BASEMENT with washer, dryer, and clothesline.
We love this home and its setting, and we hope you will, too! Please contact us if you’d like to inquire about rental.
Keywords: Classic shingled home, gardens, large yard, historic neighborhood in old fishing village