Known as the “Blueberry Capital of the World," Machias is a powerhouse of good food, adventure and fun.
Nearly 95 percent of the world’s wild blueberry crop is harvested around Machias, making it the perfect spot to take in a blueberry festival, blueberry farm tour, and of course, a slice of blueberry pie. The area is also well known for its scenic views and beautiful surrounding wilderness.
We often get asked for recommendations on what to see while visiting family and friends at Maine Veterans’ Home in Machias. Here are our top 5 recommendations:
5 Places to Stop While Visiting Maine Veterans’ Home in Machias
1. Wild Blueberry Land
Located in nearby Columbia Falls, Wild Blueberry Land attracts visitors with its dome-shaped blue building designed to resemble, you guessed it -- a blueberry. The bakery and gift shop is owned by blueberry farmer Dell Emerson, who worked for 53 years at the University of Maine’s wild blueberry research farm, and his wife, Marie, a chef and former culinary arts teacher. Wild blueberries from their farm are used in the pies, muffins, scones, jams, jellies, baking mixes, candies, teas, coffee, ice cream, salsa, dressings, smoothies and more at the shop.
2. Machias Wild Blueberry Festival
Each summer, Machias celebrates the powerful little fruit that put them on the map with the Wild Blueberry Festival. Centre Street Congregational Church, UCC, rolls out the blue carpet each August with crafts, food, entertainment, contests and all things blueberry. That includes blueberry pancakes, blueberry cheesecake, blueberry ice cream and even, blueberry sausage -- called a ‘taste sensation’ when served with sauteed onions and peppers. Blueberry farm tours are also held during the festival each year at the local Welch Farm.
3. Down East Sunrise Trail
The 89-mile, off-road trail is a popular destination for hiking, biking, snowmobile and ATV riding. Running through Machias and along the entire Downeast coastal area, it provides scenic views of coastal mountains, forests, open wetlands and blueberry barrens. Along the way, 28 bridges span tree-lined streams and salmon rivers.
4. Roosevelt Campobello International Park
Don’t miss out on stopping by the only national park jointly shared by two countries. Roosevelt Campobello International Park is known as a legacy of friendship and international cooperation, jointly administered, staffed and funded by Canada and the United States. Preserved on site is the magnificent summer home of Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt, along with an indoor museum and outdoor nature park. Tour the flower gardens and explore the walking trails, beaches, bogs, forest and ocean headland.
5. Helen’s Restaurant
A favorite spot to eat for locals and visitors is Helen’s Restaurant. The family-owned restaurant opened in 1950 and is well known for its Downeast fare of boiled lobster and fish chowder and award-winning pies. The restaurant’s famous slices of pie have been featured in several national magazines, including Life Magazine in the 2010 article “In Search of America’s Best,” in Rachel Ray Every Day, in National Geographic Traveler and more.
Maine Veterans’ Homes is an independent nonprofit organization with six locations throughout Maine, each providing compassionate care to our honored veterans.