To celebrate my birthday this year, I wanted to do something special and different. When we found some availability in the always-busy and incredible Nebo Lodge, we jumped on it! The night before we were headed for North Haven, Aaron managed to surprise me with a backyard party with our family! I wasn’t expecting it at all making it a complete shock and wildly uplifting, I couldn’t believe he planned this and that everyone showed up for me!
That day, he and I spent the day together working, and mid-morning I received a text from my sister in law asking us over for dinner. This isn’t anything unusual, we love going to their house to spend time so we agreed. When we got there, Aaron’s father, aunt and grandmother were pulling in (not so usual) and then I see Raechelle, my sister in law who invited me over, pulling out of the driveway! My thought was, “Didn’t you invite me over to your house for dinner? Where are you going!?” We walked around the back of the house and found tables set up with appetizers, flowers, lobster pots, etc. I was floored! This was one of the best nights of the summer for sure.
The next day I was riding on a high, we decided to take the later ferry and had breakfast in Rockland. The ferry ride is one hour of pure beauty! Both sides of the vessel have a view of the azure water glimmering like diamonds on the surface. We’ve made this journey many times so it felt comfortable and exciting. I read my book, stopping to look out the window often and going to the upper deck to feel the sunshine on my face.
When you step off the ferry on North Haven, it’s not a far jaunt to Nebo Lodge. You head down Main Street to the left, take your third street on the right and they’re at the top of the hill. Easy access to the center of town! We checked in and everyone was so very welcoming, despite the busy time of day. Because many of the people on the ferry are checking into lodging right at the same time, it can be a little hectic. If you’re hungry, you could always stop for a bite at the Calderwood Hall before to give other guests the chance to get settled.
Nebo Lodge feels like a seaside cottage in Maine should. Bright, airy and updated but with vintage touches like the beautiful antique furniture. I love that their art is from local artisans and that you feel like you’re coming home when you return at night.
We hurried to get ready as we had a ‘ball’ to attend! Not really, but the barn supper at Turner Farm sure felt like it to me! I have wanted to attend this event for a few years now and to attend it for my birthday was a dream come true.
The barn supper is exactly what I hoped and absolutely, positively magical. There is school bus transportation to and from Nebo Lodge which is perfect. You can set up your reservation online before hand – every Friday evening from June 29th-August 31st. Find more information here.
As the school bus chugs along the dirt road, you get views of the island then finally, glimpses of the beautiful farm and as you go over the hill you see the barn in all it’s glory. Twinkle lights strung from the rafters and a delicious welcome cocktail as you arrive.
Aaron and I walked the property, drinks in hand, in awe of the beauty. I can’t wait to bring our family back next year! There was a charcuterie board for appetizers full of veggies from the farm, salami, and cheeses. As we all were seated down this long, family-style table I was enamored.
We had eight courses sourced from the farm (only one of the courses had meat so I ate almost everything). And dessert? Divine. There was a great selection of wines and the view was so dreamy looking out over their farm land and onto the ocean as the sun set. By the time the sun sunk low on the hills, the barn was glowing and buzzing with voices of fast friends. It was magical and romantic, I couldn’t have asked for anything more. The school bus escorted us home and it felt like we floated all the way home, giddy from the wine and an enchanting evening.
The next morning we enjoyed homemade granola and espresso on the deck. There are two lovely outside porches with seating that you can read a book or take your lunch outside. The granola was so good they have it available for purchase in the rooms. I loved that they had a basket of locally sourced snacks + glass water bottles in each room too. Everything about this place leaned towards the sustainable side – all glass + metal dinnerware, glasses in the room with a carafe full of fresh water for drinking. It was nice to not to have them wasting plastic non-stop like some resorts do.
I journaled about my last revolution around the sun and wrote down goals and intentions for the year ahead. We didn’t have a plan for the day but I knew I wanted to head to the beach. Nebo Lodge has bikes available for guests so Aaron and I packed up some towels, a book, water and set out for the other side of the island.
The sun was so warm, the breeze and shade cool. It felt like September does, even though it was just the first day. Through my huffing and puffing, I must have forgotten about where we were going because we took a wrong turn. I knew it because we almost passed a farm that I wanted to go to but it was the opposite direction of where we were planning on going. So we stopped at the farm and ended up meeting the sweetest woman, she told us about her farm and I snuggled her corgi. We told her we which beach we were headed to and since it was getting later in the afternoon, she kindly offered up the beach on their private family land. Such a sweet gesture.
We rode our bikes down the dirt road, down the grassy field and onto a beautiful little secluded cove. We had it all to ourselves and it was beautiful. This is what I love about Maine – how many parts of it are still so untouched by human hands. Hours passed as we soaked in the cold water with the sun on our backs. I read and listened to the sounds and smiled. It was really special.
Once we were back in town, we debated eating at Nebo Lodge because they have an amazing dinner menu but decided to get oysters + wine there, then to grab a brick oven pizza at Calderwood Hall. The big white building was glowing from the inside and you could see almost every booth filled with happy people. It felt like the whole island was inside these walls with laughter and conversation filling the air – it was Saturday night and this is one of two restaurants on island so I saw why! This place is darling with awesome food. I highly recommend for lunch or dinner and one of my favorite little things is that they have a sign that reads:
ALL COUNTRIES OF ORIGIN
ALL SEXUAL ORIENTATIONS
WE STAND WITH YOU. YOU ARE SAFE HERE.
North Haven Brewing Co. is right below Calderwood and also worth a visit. Their ale is brewed on island by old friends. They serve flights, pints and growlers from their tasting room.
After dinner, Aaron and I walked back to Nebo Lodge, noticing the clarity of the sky and brilliance of the stars. North Haven is such a sleepy little island and we didn’t see a single car pass us by. We were so mesmerized by the stars that we laid down, right there in the middle of the street where we could see the sky high above between two tall trees. I couldn’t think of a better was to welcome 26.
Nebo Lodge will forever be a special place in my heart. I want to come back to North Haven every summer with Aaron and our family.
North Haven is an amazing island to visit for a day, a weekend or a whole vacation. It’s quaint and you feel the essence that’s it’s a small town but everyone is very welcoming and there is plenty to do!
Here are some recommendations we received from Nebo Lodge:
Farmer’s Market – Many local businesses and farmer’s participate in the farmer’s market every Saturday morning from 9:30-11 AM just up the street from Nebo Lodge in the baseball field across from the church.
North Haven Mercantile – Selling island made wares from multiple local residents.
North Haven Gallery & Gift Shop – Located on Main Street just across from the Post Office, you’ll find pottery, housewares, books, notecards and postcards along with some clothing items.
Ames Knob – Short little hike to a peak so you can take in the view of the island
Mullins Head Park – Home of Big Beach and Boy Scout Beach which are both beautiful
Calderwood Hall Market & Pizza Shop – Mentioned above, it’s amazing
North Haven Brewing Co. – Also mentioned above and worth a stop!