Historical Inn on the Shore of Phillips Lake
After the Revolutionary War, the federal government parceled out the tree-speckled land surrounding Phillips Lake to soldier John Phillips as compensation for his service. Because of its ideal location along a 30-mile stretch of road between Bangor and Ellsworth, the property’s clapboard estate became the only place in the area for food, drink, and lodging for weary travelers. Over the years, it evolved into The Lucerne Inn, a Georgian-style mansion on the National Register of Historic Places that offers the same hospitality—plus a few extra modern luxuries—as when the first guests checked in nearly 200 years ago. Today, Fodor’s calls The Lucerne Inn “one of the most famous and respected inns in New England.”
Husband-and-wife innkeepers Steve and Rhonda Jones welcome guests to their homey estate, furnished with antique period pieces. The junior suite is equipped with a roaring gas fireplace and a queen-size poster bed. The executive suite’s colonial wood furnishings contrast with a jetted tub. An included bottle of wine or prosecco completes the romantic ambiance, and a complimentary breakfast the next morning includes pastries, bagels, and fresh fruit.
Thanks to its location atop a sloping hillside that overlooks Phillips Lake and a forested mountain range, the inn boasts scenic views from many of its patios and gazebos. You’ll find some of the best vistas at the inn’s restaurant, where lace-trimmed windows frame sunsets over the lake. Complementing its wine and beer menu, the restaurant cooks New England fare, from buttery Maine lobsters to duck breast in mulled cider.
Greater Bangor, Maine: Historical Attractions amid Rustic Countryside
The quiet burg of Dedham sits just 13 miles south of Bangor, one of Maine’s most populous cities. Here, the Bangor Museum and Center for History houses more than 10,000 prints documenting the history of the city since the 1840s. Historical clothing, including suits, handbags, and shoes, illustrates 20th-century New England life. The museum also displays war artifacts such as an apothecary chest, soldiers' handwritten letters, and battle swords. To continue exploring the area’s history, head 20 miles south to the Fort Knox Historic Site, home of a 19th-century military fort designed to guard against British naval invasion.
Founded in 1896 and now the oldest continually operating community orchestra in the country, the Bangor Symphony Orchestra has hosted rousing performances of traditional ballets, classical concertos, and popular ringtones. The orchestra, located 15 minutes north of The Lucerne Inn, infuses its performances with educational elements to fulfill its mission to inspire young musicians.
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