Visit to Isle au Haut: A narrative tour around the island
Getting To Turner Cove:
Airports and approximate driving distance to Stonington, ME:
Boston (~6 hours*)
Manchester, NH (~5 hours*)
Portland, ME (~ 3 hours*)
Bangor, ME (~ 2 hours*)
*These times are approximate DRIVING times, and does not include time for stops
*This summer there may be delays at the Deer Isle-Sedgwick bridge due to repair work (expect up to 15 min delay depending on time of day)
*We recommend that you allow an hour margin in Stonington. You won’t want to miss the boat, and summer weekends are busy!
Direct Driving Route:
Take 95N (Maine Turnpike) to Augusta
Exit 113 for Route 3E from Augusta to Belfast
Follow Route 1/3E from Belfast to Orland
Right on Route 15 and follow to Stonington
In Stonington, Left on Sea Breeze Ave to Isle Au Haut Ferry Service
Possible Places to visit en route:
Kittery Rest Area (Tourist Info, restrooms, picnic area)
LL Bean & outlets, Freeport, Maine
Lake St. George State Park, Between Augusta & Belfast (swim & picnic)
Moose Point State Park, near Belfast (picnic, loop trail)
Fort Knox & Penobscot Narrows Bridge Observatory near Bucksport
Ferry Service & Schedule: http://www.isleauhaut.com
Note on packing: When you pack, think like you are flying in terms of the bag limits! It is better to have a few large pieces than many small ones.
Bikes: You are welcome to bring bicycles of your own, but know that there is a fleet of bikes included and available to you at Turner Cove.
Getting around on the Island: The road around the Island is 12 miles long, and a mix of dirt and pavement. Walking, running, and biking are primary modes of transportation. If someone comes by and offers you a ride, it is okay to take it, really! We have the truck at the Cove, so if you need a special assist, let us know. There is no taxi or rental service on the Island. Vehicles generally only come to the Island once, and they only get carted off when there is no more life in them. Vehicles have to be registered, but there is no inspection required, so you are bound to see some interesting rigs!
Planning your Meals: There is a small grocery store on the Island where you can purchase basics and a range of fresh, frozen, and canned products. The selection is limited, as are the store hours. We have discovered that the best way to proceed is to plan meals in advance, and have your list, empty big bins & cooler ready for a “provisions stop” on the way to the Island.
We keep basics on hand for you like salt, pepper, and sugar, paper towels, and toilet tissue. If you discover during your stay that you are missing that one “thing,” don’t hesitate to ask if we might have one to spare!
There are several grocery stores en route to the Island where you can find a full range of products. A few include:
Hannaford’s, 93 Lincolnville Avenue Belfast, ME 04915 (207) 338-5377
Hannaford’s, 53 US Route 1, Bucksport, ME 04416 (207) 469-3282
Trade Winds, Hannaford, South Street, Blue Hill ME 04614 (207) 374-5137
Food for thought as you shop . . . we’ll obviously take care of the trash, and there is recycling of cans and bottles on the Island. There is no place that accepts & refunds for the “returnable” bottles, so they can be recycled or carried off Island. Since there is no dump, we recycle what we can, compost what we can, return shells to the sea, and try our best to minimize secondary packaging. We appreciate your “green” thoughts.
Lobster? We can arrange for you to get lobster from one of the local fishermen. If you love lobster, it just doesn’t get any better than this.
What should we pack?
Clothing: The weather in July and August tends to range from highs of 80 degrees to crisp evenings of 60 degrees. Key things to pack include sneakers or other shoes for hiking, water shoes for exploring the rugged shore, and layers from bathing suit, shorts, pants, sweatshirts, and rain coats. You won’t need fancy clothes!
Linens: You’ll need sheets to put right over the clean house sheets. (2 full beds & 1 twin in the Main House, or 1 full bed in Little Red). You’ll also want to pack bath towels and swim towels. We’ll provide a bath mat and kitchen towels.
Money: There is no ATM on the Island, but everyone accepts cash! Small bill cash (up to $20’s) and checks are your best option for “on Island” purchases and a couple businesses accept major credit cards.
Places to Spend the Money: Not many! The general store, the Inn at Isle Au Haut, and The Sea Urchin gift shop each have an assortment of gifts, art etc. There is also a “web cafe” and fine chocolate shop called Black Dina Chocolate (we’ve tested. . .it is awesome), and the occasional lobster bake or craft fair that will be advertised in town during the summer.
Other Things You Might Like: Camera, Hobby things, Flashlight, insect repellant, first aid kit, binoculars, guides to wildlife/birds/stars (there are great starry nights), In case of rain you might want large trash bags to cover any luggage that is not water resistant
What else is on and around the Island?
Wildlife: Bald Eagles, loons, gulls, eider ducks, deer, fox, rabbits, seals, fish, and of course the lobsters!
Library: There is a Public Library on the Island in the town hall building, and there is wireless access in an around that building. (NOT that we recommend that you bring any work, it’s vacation!)
Church: There is one “general purpose” Christian church on the Island that has one summer service on Sunday. Ted Hoskins is usually the minister, and he’s a wonderful, interesting person if you are inclined. The Church is otherwise unlocked so you can go in and see it at other times as well.
Things you’ll find at Turner Cove: In addition to the spectacular views . . . Bikes, knapsacks, board games, puzzles, and books, fully equipped kitchen, paper towels, toilet paper, dishtowels, bath mat, hand soap, and dish wash soap will be provided.