Campobello is a compact island (about 16km/10 miles long and 5km/3 miles wide) at the mouth of Passamaquoddy Bay. It's connected by a graceful modern bridge to Lubec, Maine, and is much easier to get to from the United States than from Canada. (To get here from the Canadian mainland without driving through the United States requires two ferries, one of which operates only during the summer.) This is a great quick trip into Canada if you're already in Downeast Maine; from Bar Harbor, Maine, it's about a 2 1/2-hour drive -- into another world that feels a century or more older.
Campobello has been home to both humble fishermen and wealthy families over the years, yet both have coexisted quite amicably. (Locals approved when the summer folks wanted to build a golf course, for example -- because it gave them a nice place to graze their sheep.) Today, the island is a mix of elegant summer mansions and simpler local homes.
Campobello offers excellent shoreline walks at both Roosevelt Campobello International Park and Herring Cove Provincial Park (tel. 506/752-7010), which opens from late May until mid-October. The landscapes are extraordinarily diverse. On some trails you'll enjoy a Currier & Ives tableau of white houses and church spires across the channel in Lubec and Eastport; 10 minutes later you'll be walking along a wild, rocky coast pummeled by surging waves. Herring Cove's thousand or so acres include a mile-long beach that's perfect for a slow stroll in the fog; camping and a good golf course with a pro shop. Watch for bald eagles and osprey, too.
Campobello Island is accessible year-round from the United States. From Route 1 in Whiting, Maine, take Route 189 to Lubec, then cross the free FDR International Bridge from the mainland onto Campobello.
In summer only, there's a second fun option, although it will cost you. From St. George on the Canadian mainland, drive down Route 172 to the dock at L'Etete. Board the free provincial ferry that runs year-round (operates on the half-hour 7am to 5pm, hourly until 10pm) to Deer Island's northern tip. Then drive the length of that island to Cummings Cove -- it's only about 24km (15 miles or 20 minutes' drive) -- and board the small ferry to Campobello. This second ferry is operated by East Coast Ferries (tel. 877/747-2159 or 506/747-2159; www.eastcoastferries.nb.ca) from late June through September, running once per hour from 8:30am to 6:30pm. The ride takes about a half-hour. The fare is C$16 for a car and driver, plus C$4 for each additional passenger and a small fuel surcharge (currently C$4). You can later retrace your steps for another C$16, or just drive on across the border into Maine. Remember: these ferry times are in local Atlantic time, one hour ahead of Eastern Standard Time.
The Campobello Welcome Center, 44 Rte. 774, Welshpool (tel. 506/752-7043), is on the right side just after you cross the bridge from Lubec. It's usually open from mid-May until early September, 9am to 7pm, then from around 10am until 6pm through mid-October.
Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.