Local Lodging: Fireside Inn & Suites

Local Lodging: Fireside Inn & Suites - Stay Near French's Point Maine Overnight Accommodations

Much like our views at French’s Point, every room at this award winning inn and restaurant has a view of the beautiful Penobscot Bay.  Their double rooms boast 2 queen beds, air conditioning, a coffee maker, iron and ironing board, data ports, hair dryer, color cable television and voicemail.  Their suites include all the amenities of their queen rooms, but have a separate living room, two televisions, a sink, microwave oven, refrigerator, toaster and sofa.  These suites have either one queen size bed or one king size bed.  They also offer fireplace rooms that include all of the amenities of the queen rooms, but have a fireplace, a balcony and a massage chair.  Their Presidential Suite is a luxurious two-room suite with a 4-person hot tub, VCR, CD player, kitchen area with refrigerator, stove, microwave oven and toaster.  Barry, their wonderful Innkeeper is friendly, knowledgeable and ready to assist our guests in reserving their stay.  All rooms include: FREE hot breakfast served in their spacious lobby complete with fireplace and sun deck overlooking the Bay, and FREE Wi-Fi! 

 

Address: 159 Searsport Ave., Belfast, ME  04915 

Distance from French’s Point: 11 miles/18 minutes 

Number of rooms:  83 

Property Style:  Inn/hotel 

Restaurant on Premise:  yes 

Minimum Rental Duration:  n/a 

Contact Info: 207-338-2090; [email protected]            

Website:  http://www.belfastmainehotel.com/ 

 

Maine Oceanside Lodging Maine Oceanside Lodging Maine Oceanside Lodging

Recommended Local Lodging: Belfast Harbor Inn

Belfast Harbor Inn Beach View

French’s Point wants to make choosing your overnight local lodging accommodations easy and accessible to you and your guests looking for a place to stay in Midcoast Maine. One of our favorite Inn/Hotels near French’s Point, that we recommend to our guests, is the Belfast Harbor Inn.

“One of our favorite Inn/Hotels near French’s Point, that we recommend to our guests, is the Belfast Harbor Inn.” – French’s Point

Belfast Harbor Inn

Situated on US Route 1, the Belfast Harbor Inn overlooks Belfast Harbor and Penobscot Bay.  The hotel property and rooms are recently updated and in excellent condition.  The Inn recently added an elevator to make your check in and overnight accommodations easy and accessible!  The lodging rooms are relatively large – their largest at 377 square feet! This means you don’t have to pack light when your guests are coming to stay for your destination wedding.  The very welcoming staff at the Belfast Harbor Inn offers complimentary continental breakfast.  The rooms include a mini-fridge, microwave, coffee maker, air conditioning and cable television.  They have a pool and access to the rocky beach.  Pet-friendly rooms are available. With 10 types of hotel rooms, your guests will certainly find it a great place to stay.  

Address:  91 Searsport Ave., Belfast, ME  04915 

Distance from French’s Point: 11.9 miles/19 minutes 

Number of Rooms: 

Property Style:  Inn/Hotel 

Restaurant on Premise:  No

Minimum Lodging Rental Duration:  n/a 

Contact Info: 207-338-2740; [email protected]  

Website: http://www.belfastharborinn.com/ 

Lodging in Maine: Belfast Harbor Inn View of Penobscot Bay
View of the Penobscot Bay
Midcoast Maine Lodging Near Frenchs Point: Belfast Harbor Inn
Belfast Harbor Inn Room

A Weekend Winter Wedding Itinerary for French’s Point

Winter Wedding Coastal Maine French's Point
Winter Weddings at French’s Point are always a favorite of ours. Enjoy a weekend wedding celebration with family and friends, fireplaces and warm drinks! Go snowshoeing on our backyard trails, sledding, or relax on a sleigh ride with your newlywed! Whatever your favorite winter activity is, enjoy it here at French’s Point for your weekend winter wedding! Sample just a taste of what your winter wedding itinerary could look like at your French’s Point winter wedding…

FRIDAY

1:00PM Check in to French’s Point! Settle into your cozy room and take a deep breath.  An incredible winter wedding weekend lies ahead.

2:00PM Kick off the camaraderie and memory-making with a snowman making contest, some epic sledding down the West slope behind the farm or a horse drawn sleigh ride around the estate.

4:00PM Gather your wedding party, family and everyone participating in the ceremony for a rehearsal at your chosen setting to work out the jitters so everyone can relax on the big day.  Choose from a cozy setting inside the conservatory with broad views of the bay or a refreshing location at the Gazebo for a ceremony no one will soon forget!

4:30PM Meet at the bar at The Retreat for a cocktail to kick off the festivities as guests arrive for your rehearsal dinner. Enjoy the sunset from inside the warm Retreat.

5:30PM Enjoy a delicious rehearsal dinner in the conservatory.

7:00PM Cuddle up fireside around the fire pit on the cobblestone terrace in cozy blanket and reconnect with family and friends gooey delight of s’mores fresh off the fire.

10:00PM Get some rest! Tomorrow is going to be a big day.

 

SATURDAY

8:00AM Rise and shine, it’s your wedding day! Snowshoe the trails and along the shore in Sandy Point State Park or enjoy a morning yoga session for the wedding party and family lead by a local instructor inside the morning sun-filled Conservatory.

9:00AM  Enjoy a cup of hot coffee, freshly baked blueberry muffins, quiche, and fruit with your family at The Farm before you freshen up.

11:00AM Your wedding vendor team arrives to begin preparation at The Retreat. Pampering time begins for you and your wedding party with hair and make-up sessions with your chosen provider. Sit back and enjoy the hours leading up to your ceremony in your cozy and private top floor apartment in The Retreat.

12:00PM  Wedding party lunch delivered with popovers, chicken salad, and mimosas of course!

1:00PM The grooms party enjoys the game on the TV in the Recreation Room at The Farm while they begin preparing and dressing for the festivities. Don’t forget those wedding rings!

2:00PM  Time to put on your gown!  The Bridal Party and has pre-ceremony photos taken on the balcony overlooking the snowy picturesque estate.  Don’t forget your wrap!

The groom’s party arrives to relax in the Recreation Room at The Retreat and enjoys the distraction of a game of poker while waiting for pre-ceremony photos at The Retreat.

3:30PM The ceremony bell rings out over the bay and calls your guests to the ceremony location of your choosing:

  • The outdoor Gazebo
  • The Conservatory inside the Retreat House

The moment you’ve been waiting for is here! Your ceremony will commence with that storied stroll toward your beloved through the gentle Northeast snowfall.

4:00PM  Congratulations to the happy couple! Take your first photos as husband and wife, with your wedding party and family. Head outside to catch the beautiful sunset reflecting off of the glossy ice-filled bay of the Penobscot with your new spouse and photographer. We offer endless locations to capture this splendid light.

  • Your guests will warm up with a toasty beverage in the Lounge by the roaring fire, while they mix, mingle and enjoy cocktail hour with delicious stationary and passed hors d’oeuvres.

5:00PM  Before the dinner reception begins, gather your guests in the foyer and snap some group photos from the balcony. This is a beautiful record of the guests who were able to join you for your big day.

5:15PM Guests are ushered into the beautiful Retreat House Dining Room appointed with beautiful farm tables with cascading winter greens set for family style service. All the winter wonderland details you imagined for the reception start to come to life as guests find their seats.

5:30PM Before dinner, introductions of the family and wedding party followed by speeches. Cheers to the happy couple!

5:45PM  Dinner is served! Enjoy unique fare chosen by you, provided by your wedding catering partner of choice.

6:15PM Official cake cutting. Enjoy your first dance as a married couple in the Conservatory. It’s time to boogie!

6:45PM Cake is served alongside a warm hot cocoa bar!

9:50PM  One last call from the bar. Enjoy one last dance with your sweetie for the perfect ending to a magical day!

10:00PM The Unplugged After party begins with a laid-back vibe while guest remove their shoes and relax by the fireplace in the Lounge. Fuel the fun with delicious late-night treats with the arrival of a vintage food truck serving sausage subs, pizza, or warm cookies and milk!

  • Vendors begin preparing for the next day’s celebrations.

12:00PM  Retreat to your beautiful suite with your new spouse to reflect and celebrate this magical experience.

 

SUNDAY

8:00AM  The caterer arrives to prepare for the farewell brunch.  Begin your first day as husband and wife!

9:00AM Your guests can stop by The Retreat Dining Room one last time to say goodbye and enjoy a farewell brunch before heading home. Enjoy a beautiful, hearty buffet, or offer portable food and warm coffee to-go so guests can get on the road after they bid you farewell.

1:00PM Check out time. Pack up your gifts, snap one last picture with the snowy backdrop to immortalize the experience, and hit the road. It’s time for your next adventure!

Maine Coastal Winter Wedding at French's Point

Maine Winter Wedding at Frenchs Point Retreat

Winter Wedding at French's PointWinter Maine Wedding at Frenchs Point CoastWinter Wedding at Frenchs Point Maine

*Due to the Coast Guard sound ordinance and zoning restrictions, all amplified music must cease at 10:00 p.m and exterior lights extinguish at midnight when guests not occupying lodging at the estate must depart.

Photographers Featured: C.A. Smith Photography, Emilie Inc. and Michelle Stapleton Photography

A French’s Point Family Celebration

A family owned wedding venue on the coast of Maine | Photo by Spring Smith Studios

This weekend, we celebrate and honor family members that have made the sacrifice of service to our country. In reflecting on this, my mind wanders back to this past Veteran’s Day Weekend, when almost 60 of our family members came from near and far to French’s Point for an epic, three-day family reunion. This was such an appropriate time to celebrate because so many of our family have continued my grandparent’s legacy of service to our country in the military. My grandmother, her children and their spouses, her grandchildren and their spouses, and her great grandchildren gathered to celebrate family and reconnect after too much time apart. We celebrated the lives of my grandfather and grandmother; shared many meals; played lots of games (we’re a competitive bunch!); took the time to breathe the fresh, ocean air; went on an epic pirate treasure hunt; had family pictures taken to document this time together by the incredibly patient and talented Spring Smith Studio; and enjoyed evenings catching up in front of the fire enjoying s’mores and stories. It was a bittersweet time together that passed all too quickly, as all good things do. We send our gratitude out to all the American service men and woman across the world, and to their families, for keeping our country and loved ones safe, and protecting our way of life.

Film by our vendor friend Josh Swan from Media Northeast.

Featured photo by our vendor friend Spring Smith of Spring Smith Studios.

Living Legacy: Bernadette Tilton Douglas

Family-owned coastal Maine wedding venue | Photo by Spring Smith Studios

Family-owned coastal Maine wedding venue | Photo by Spring Smith Studios

When you visit French’s Point, you will pass a little cottage just before Beach Rose Farm. You may see a pretty older woman wearing a wide brim hat and a beautiful smile sitting on her bench. Likely, she will give you a friendly little wave as you pass. This sweetheart is my maternal grandmother, Bernadette Tilton Douglas, my Grand Mama. She has come to be a big part of the French’s Point story and is the heart of our family.

Bernadette was born on January 3, 1927, just a couple of years before the Great Depression hit the United States. She grew up in a small town in Central Maine. She was the next to youngest of 10 children born to my great grandmother, a school teacher and laborer in a woolen mill, and my great grandfather, a lumber jack. She experienced a childhood filled with love, but also more than her share of challenges and tragic loss. She lost two siblings in childhood: one was hit by a car, and the other died of scarlet fever. This sickness almost claimed my grandmother’s life as well, but she was able to make a full recovery. Her father died in a work accident, as was so common in those days.

Family-owned coastal Maine wedding venue | Photo by Spring Smith Studios

In spite of the challenges she encountered early in her life, my grandmother persevered. She studied to be a Registered Nurse as part of the Nursing Cadet program starting in Waterville, Maine, and then completed her training in Baltimore, Maryland during World War II. After the war ended, she went on to work as a nurse in a hospital. She married my grandfather, Merle Smiley Tilton, a decorated Marine and war veteran, on June 28, 1946. Together, they raised six children. My mother Bonita Tilton Brooks is the oldest of the brood. After her children started leaving home, Bernadette went on to work in the maternity ward of the hospital. She was well-suited for this job because there is nothing she loves more the wee little babies.

Grand Mama bought the little cottage at French’s Point and has been spending May through October with us each year. This has been an incredible gift to our family.

In 1982, my grandfather had a massive stoke, and my grandmother became his fulltime caregiver. He was not an easy ward. The horrors he experienced in combat tormented him. Not long after his stroke, my grandmother set off on a cross-country adventure to the west coast with my grandfather in tow. This was an immense undertaking. She continued to care for my grandfather until he passed in 1999. During her time in Idaho, my grandmother also helped care for my young cousins (three handsome, busy boys) who lived nearby. They have shared with me the immeasurable love she invested in them and impact this had on them as children.

In 2001, after a brief courtship, she married a childhood friend and veteran, Edgar Douglas. These two enjoy their retirement years; traveling and experiencing adventures together. In July of 2012, Grand Mama bought the little cottage at French’s Point and has been spending May through October with us each year. This has been an incredible gift to our family. My four small children have enjoyed wonderful times with their great grandmother who loves them immensely. She goes home to Idaho to live with my aunt in the winter months.

Family-owned coastal Maine wedding venue | Photo by Spring Smith Studios

This past November, almost 50 of our family members came from near and far to French’s Point for an epic, three-day family reunion over Veteran’s Day Weekend. This was such an appropriate time because so many of our family have continued my grandparent’s legacy of service to our country in the military. We celebrated Edgar, who passed away at the age of 93 after 15 years of marriage to my Grand Mama. It was a bittersweet time together that passed all too quickly as all good things do. Bernie, as her friends call her, is her happiest when she has a small baby in her arms and is surrounded by the ruckus of family. As the grandmother of 14 and the great grandmother to 14 children, I was so happy to see her heart so full of love that weekend. Those memories will stay with me for my lifetime.

Bernie’s devotion and love for her family as well as her faith in God have kept her family together, loving and respecting each other in spite of the challenges they have faced. My Grand Mama has taught us all many lessons through her example. She is loving, strong, resilient, faithful, loyal, practical, frugal, and generous beyond measure. We are blessed to call her Grand Mama.

All photos by Spring Smith Studios.

Family-owned coastal Maine wedding venue | Photo by Spring Smith Studios

French’s Point Family Pirate Treasure Hunt

Family-owned coastal Maine wedding venue | Photo by Spring Smith Studios

Family-owned coastal Maine wedding venue | Photo by Spring Smith Studios

Family-owned coastal Maine wedding venue | Photo by Spring Smith Studios

 

Over Veteran’s Day Weekend, our family had the opportunity to bring together almost 60 of our family members for an epic family reunion here at French’s Point. As part of the festivities, my father and mother, long-known by our family as the Pirate King and Queen, orchestrated a 2-hour pirate treasure hunt around French’s Point. From the smallest swabs to the biggest buccaneers, the event was enjoyed by all. We had the most wonderful time and made some incredible memories together. I hope you enjoy the pictures!

All photos by Spring Smith Studios

Living Legacy: Bonnie Brooks

Living Legacy: Bonnie Brooks | Spring Smith Photography

Meet my mother Bonita Tilton Brooks!

I wanted to tell you about a very special person here at French’s Point…. my mother, Bonnie. She’s a big part of what makes French’s Point so beautiful. Read on to find out how.

Mom grew up in Sidney, Maine. She was the oldest of six children born to a Marine and a pediatric nurse. Bonnie was a busy and energetic child… traits which remain to this day, along with her youthful exuberance. She and my father raised three children (my brother, sister and me) here in Maine. She is the very best grandmother to my children (Bristol, Bailey, Camden and Payton) who love their Nonnie without limits. A farm girl from childhood, Bonnie has leant her green thumb, indelible work ethic and love of the beauty of nature to the French’s Point Estate since we purchased it in 2002. At the time, the nearly 20 acres upon which our venue sits was primarily free of any landscaping. Aside from the beautiful wild blueberry fields, there was very little other grounds work. She has invested love, countless hours and so much sweat equity to make this venue beautiful for our visitors.

Mom’s dedication to the physical beauty of this environment and the vision she has had for the grounds have shaped the enhancements made over the last 11 years. She has established terraces, overlooks, the acres of formal gardens, an organic produce garden, and an orchard. Bonnie has been the visionary and the nurturing, loving heart behind it all. The family jokes that we rarely see my mother’s beautiful smile (which I am blessed to have inherited) because her head is always in a shrub, bush or garden from sun up to sun down.

From the beginning Bonnie has felt a connection to this land that is evident not only in the beauty of her landscaping, but also in her passion for each living thing here. There are so many incredible stories about Bonnie’s ties to French’s Point, but this one is my favorite:

There were originally four red oak trees that the church had planted to the west of the Estate around 1885. Over the course of time, three of the trees fell to disease or storm damage. Only one remained when we began the restoration of French’s Point Estate in 2006. One major limb was split from 100 years of campers climbing up by the dozens for photos. The roots of the tree were wrapped around the posts upon which the Estate sat which were being replaced with a full foundation. Ultimately, we decided that the tree had to go. Bonnie climbed up into that tree and would not come down until we agreed to save the tree; her own little sit-in. It worked. We let the tree stay and over the years she has lovingly repaired it and continues to care for it. This tree, which we’ve dubbed the Family Tree, resembles the most beautiful bonsai tree when seen silhouetted against the sunset. From two vantage points on the property, you can see the beautiful shape of the heart formed by the major limbs of the tree… this is so appropriate because this tree’s protector has a heart that knows no equal.

You will likely see Bonnie when you visit French’s Point. She will greet you with that lovely, welcoming smile. As one of your hosts, she will do everything in her power to help you enjoy your time here with us.

Contact us today to see our Family Tree and meet Bonnie!

All photos of Bonnie by Spring Smith Studios.

Living Legacy: Bob Brooks

Living Legacy: Bob Brooks | Spring Smith Photography

My father, Robert Nash Brooks turns 70 years old today!

As a child, I have many vivid memories of time spent with my family here on the shores of Penobscot Bay. To me, my dad has always been a larger-than-life hero of our adventures together… our safari leader as we cut trails through the woods around our camp, our strapping rail road worker while we fashioned stairs to our beach trail out of railroad ties he could carry on his shoulders, our briny pirate captain of our tiny Boston Whaler when the motor had failed to get us to shore after a trip across the harbor.

This legend, my father, was born of humble means to a loving family in central Maine. He attended University of Maine at Orono, went on to serve in the Army, and marry his high school sweet heart, Bonnie. Together, they had three children, two girls and a boy.

Dad filled our childhoods with memories of our time together in this magical place: French’s Point. Thinking back, we were always working on projects together as a family. We became a great team; leaning on each other’s strengths to reach whatever objective we set for ourselves. Dad’s an engineer by trade, and he’s excels at problem-solving, which he taught us while working together. As a family, we encountered some real heartache and he is the glue that keeps us together.

In 2002, I got a call from my father saying that he had a “project” for me. I moved home, and together as a family, we began restoring the Point and giving it new life. The past 14 years have been full of long days and many, many blessings, as our family has grown and our dreams have changed. We have worked hard and invested ourselves fully in this place we love, and no one more so than my father, who has a work ethic to be envied. He is strong and determined; perseverance is his personal life code.

My father and I have always been close. I consider that a miracle because we are alike in many ways and that can present challenges! We share a similar personality: we are determined, undeterred (those who love us would say “stubborn”), kind, thoughtful, a bit shy, but with a big heart and appreciation for people. We are protective of the things we love and believe in. My father approaches, what would seem an unsurmountable task, with a pragmatic optimism. In the 80’s, he was known to use the phrase “Piece-o-cake” more than any other in his vocabulary.

The time spent shoulder to shoulder with my dad building this business has been the gift of a lifetime. It’s always feels so appropriate to me that my father’s birthday falls so close to Thanksgiving. My gratitude for being blessed with the gift of being his daughter, knows no limits. I wake up in the morning each day, grateful for so many things (partially because he instilled a strong sense of gratitude in me as a child). And always, above many things, I am honored to be his daughter. He has steered our ship around some unbelievable rocks and into safe harbors. I can’t imagine going on this journey with anyone beside my pirate captain at the helm. Happy birthday, Dad!

All photos by Spring Smith Photography