Deer Isle and Stonington

Explore Deer Isle - Stonington and the Penobscot Bay Region

Deer Isle & Stonington:

Explore one of Maine’s most picturesque and unspoiled coastal regions, where retreating glaciers left behind an archipelago of nearly 60 islands. Connected to the mainland by a remarkable suspension bridge, Deer Isle is one of the more easily accessed and largest of these awe-inspiring islands (second largest of Maine’s 1000+ islands). Marvel at the breath-taking scenery of this spruce-clad island, where its rugged shorelines, shimmering blue waters, and undulating countryside beckon those seeking a retreat from the hustle and bustle of everyday life.

Stonington Harbor

Deer Isle, Maine is a quaint, peaceful island, in many ways frozen in time. Drive over the bridge, and you are in another world—the islands of Deer Isle and Little Deer Isle and many smaller ones beyond in Penobscot Bay.  You’ll discover Deer Isle Village, Stonington, Sunshine and Sunset . . . It’s real Maine, authentic and unpretentious and simple. 

Visitors are charmed by the picturesque harbor in Stonington, at the southern tip of Deer Isle. There you’ll see lobstermen tending their boats and traps. (Working fishing boats still outnumber visiting pleasure boats.)   And you’ll never forget the sight of the majestic schooners that tour our waters all summer long, dropping anchor to spend the night or just zigzagging in and out through the islands!  Walk farther, and you’ll be alone with the spruce-lined shore, the sparkling Atlantic, and the scores of islands dotting the horizon.

When you’re ready for “civilization,” you can stroll the quaint shops, galleries, inns, and restaurants that pepper the curves of the shoreline. Like Deer Isle itself, the businesses here are refreshingly real. You won’t find any chain stores, but you will find plenty of laid-back, friendly personalities with Downeast accents!

While a well kept secret from the average tourist, Deer Isle is reknowned in the artistic community for its oceanside haven, Haystack Mountain School of Crafts. For more than half a century, the world’s best artisans, writers, and photographers have made annual pilgrimages to Haystack classes and workshops. (Look for their work in the island’s galleries.)

Our visitors are often so enchanted by the quiet, friendly beauty of Deer Isle that they stay “on island” for their entire stay. Others choose to explore the many other island and coastal communities nearby, from the islands of Isle au Haut, Vinalhaven, and North Haven and the neighboring Blue Hill peninsula to Bar Harbor and Acadia National Park.

If you’ve ever taken a vacation and come home more tired than when you left, you need to experience a week or two in Deer Isle, Maine. The place to start is by reserving one of Island Vacation Rental’s beautiful homes!

 

Trails abound throughout the island, traversing fields of lupine, lush forest, blueberry barrens, and meander along inlets and coves or along pristine lakes.  In harmony with this idyllic setting, the town of Stonington is a century old fishing village at the southern tip of Deer Isle. Its stunning harbor shelters Maine’s second largest lobstering fleet. This charming coastal town is home to delightful restaurants, museums, theater, shops, galleries, antiques and more, providing just the right amount of activity to complement this peaceful setting.

Historic homes dot the cascading hillside down to Stonington Harbor, providing many with unsurpassed ocean views and charming accommodations from which to enjoy this scenic harbor town.  More privately situated homes are scattered throughout the island and offer an even quieter escape to relish this scenic hideaway.

Graced with the distinguished Haystack School of Crafts, the area has attracted a creative mix of craftspeople, artists, writers, photographers, and musicians, while preserving a treasured unpretentiousness that visitors and Mainers savor.

What to do on Deer Isle/Stonington:

Ames Pond:  A must see!  Lily covered pond w/ beaver, water fowl and other wildlife.  Located near end of Indian Point Road.  Nice walk for any in-town Stonington guest or visitor, worth a drive to, and favored location for artists and nature lovers.

Beaches - public:

Boating:  more info soon.

Bicycling: Ample biking opportunities available throughout Deer Isle, including a number of bike rental facilities.  Superior biking exists at Isle au Haut, part of Acadia National Park, and reachable by Isle au Haut Ferry, Stonington.  Hiking, too. 

Classes:  The Deer Isle area offers a variety of classes in art, crafts, exercise and more.  More Information.

Deer Isle Country Club:  (348-2379)

Events Calendar: Coming soon!!

Fishing/Hunting/Naturalist:  Expert guided Hunting, Fishing, and Nature Paddle Trips with Registered Master Maine Guide, David Cassidy.  Located on Deer Isle, Dave provides all-season, fresh water fishing (Trout, Bass, Pickerel, Perch, etc), including winter season ice fishing, on nearby lakes, ponds and streams.  Dave also provides guided hunting for white-tailed deer, duck and turkey, utilizing firearms, bow and blackpowder (season mandated).  Nature guided trips, too.  Call 1-207-348-7743 or  e-mail: davesguideservice@hypernet.com

Haystack Mountain School of Crafts: International renowned craft school specializing in a variety of craft media including clay, glass, metals, paper, blacksmithing, weaving, woodworking and more.  During the summer, Haystack faculty, artists, technical assistants and staff share their inspirations, ideas and work as part of an Evening Program Series.  Programs include slide lectures, musical performances, and readings of their work by poets and writers.  Auctions held at end of each session, offering work donated by session participants.  Click here to learn more about classes at Haystack.  Call 207-348-2306 or email  haystack@haystack-mtn.org

Hiking Trails: (see Island Heritage Trust below)

Inn on the Harbor - Espresso Bar: Inn on the Harbor is an 1880's Inn built out over the harbor in the center of Stonington village. From 11am until 4:30pm daily (May through December) their Espresso Bar is open to the public offering a delicious array of homemade desserts and great hot or iced drinks. Enjoy these delicacies inside or outside on their flower covered harbor deck. Watch the island's lobstering fleet and the wonderful Windjammers as they pass in and out of Stonington Harbor. 

Island Guided Tours: Captain Walt Reed provides a private bout tour of the area on his revamped lobster boat, The Gael.  Capt. Reed is a professional biologist and Registered Guide, and is affiliated with the Maine Island Trail Association and Island Heritage Trust.  Captain Reed is well versed in a variety of forums, and is pleased to tailor his tour of the area to reflect your interest, including but not limited issues relating to Deer Isle’s:  biology, geology, history, etc.

Island Heritage Trust:  A must do!  The Island Heritage Trust is dedicated to the conservation of significant open space, scenic areas, wildlife habitats, natural resources, and historic and cultural features that offer public benefit and are essential to the character of the Deer Isle area.  Through the IHT, many preserves, trails and lands have been made available to the public, and offer an incredible opportunity to experience the beauty of the area.  Be sure to visit the IHT website where maps and information are provided for the following preserves:  Barred Island, Crockett Cove Preserve, Mariners Memorial Park, Holt Mill Pond, Tennis Preserve, Reach Beach at Gray’s Cove, Settlement Quarry, Shore Acres Preserve and Causeway Beach.

Isle au Haut Ferry:  Shuttles passengers to nearby Isle au Haut, part of Acadia National Park, or on scenic tours that provide another venue for exploring Maine's beautiful coastline. 

Kayaking:  A must do!!!  The Deer Isle area is a kayakers paradise!!!  A variety of kayaking businesses help you safely explore this region by boat, kayak or canoe.  Old Quarry Adventures offers educational programs, kayaking lesson, guided tours, rentals and much more.  Granite Island Guide services offers guided tours.  Visit both of their website for further information.  Kayak rentals also available at Eggemoggin Landing Kayak Rentals and Finest Kind Canoe and Kayak Rentals.

Lily Pond:  A must see! Pristine Lake near downtown Deer Isle.  Provides warmer water for swimming, nice picnic spot, beautiful setting.  Pull in at entrance for Deer Run Apartments (off Rte. 15 just north of downtown Deer Isle.).  Will see signs for designated parking for pond.  Follow path through woods to pond (lake). 

The Granite Museum –  Explains history and interesting aspects of the earlier and current day area granite trade.  The Deer Isle – Stonington Historical Society - (more info provided soon)

Nervous Nellie's Jams and Jellies & Peter Berrits Sculpture: A must see!  Nestled on an old farm orchard, this idyllic setting of rustic outbuildings combines whimsical sculpture, homemade jams and a seasonal tea room.  Consider combining hiking at Tennis Preserve with your visit to Nervous Nellies – located within close proximity to each other.  Open year-round.

Putt-putt golf at Finest Kind Restaurant:

Pumpkin Island Light House:

Restaurants: more info soon!

Scenic Spots: more info soon!

Settlement Quarry: Pleasant walk up hill to former granite quarrying area, opening to elevated, picturesque views.  

Shopping:  more info soon!

Stonington Opera House: A must do!   Stonington Opera House Arts is a non-profit organization offering a full, year round schedule of film, performances, workshops and community events.  Be sure to check their calendar to see what is offered during your stay.  The 2006 season has a variety of events schedules that include:  play-reading series, community performances, bands, theater, opera, movies, art camp, comedy/vaudeville, dance, workshops, 2006 Jazz Festival, Lupine Festival activities and much more!!  Tours available of this nationally registered historic opera house, originally constructed in 1893. Open year-round.

Susie Q's Sweets and Curiosities: Gourmet coffee,  baked goods and gifts.

Tour of Galleries:  Those appreciating a variety of art will enjoy the Tour of Galleries, an assortment of artists' homes located around the island showcasing their own, unique style of art.  Open to the public. Printed guides available at the Island Information Booth or within businesses throughout the town Island.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Festivals and special events, such as the Lupine Festival, Annual Lobster Boat Races, Fish Fry on the Docks, The Regatta, Down East Race Week, Fisherman’s Day, art camps, lobster dinners, art shows, church suppers and socials, and much, much more provide a creative assortment of events to further heighten your stay.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Island Heritage Trust, an active conservation group, has facilitated the public accessibility to several noteworthy, scenic areas.