Quiet beach in Islesboro, Maine

Islesboro, a small island located off the coast of Maine is the perfect peaceful summer getaway. This popular New England summer destination is the perfect place to refresh and renew yourself in a serene setting. Perhaps the most unique attribute of this island is the process of getting here. Islesboro is only accessible via ferry from Lincolnville, Maine. The 3 mile 20 minute ride is scenic and peaceful. Visit the following website for rates and a schedule.

Islesboro, Maine ferry

Great views of Grindle Point Lighthouse as you arrive on the island

Grindle Point Lighthouse - Islesboro, Maine

A rental for a week on the island is the ideal setting for relaxing, reading, painting, enjoying nature, and taking in the beautiful landscapes around you. You can browse a list of available vacation rentals on the Island Property website. Rentals are typically only available during the summer months. Prices vary depending on size and location.

We often saw deer right outside our bedroom window!

Deer in Islesboro, Maine
Deer outside our window in Islesboro, Maine

During the summer months, the population soars from a year-round population of just 550 to a tourist population of over 3000. During this time, several seasonal businesses open including the Dark Harbor Shop (a casual cafe and souvenir shop), and the Snack Shack (quick snacks and meals). Additionally, year-round businesses like the Island Market are available for grocery shopping and prepared snacks. A community center featuring a cafe, fitness center, and ongoing events recently opened its’ doors.

Seaglass – Nature’s Gemstones

I had the opportunity to live on this beautiful island for a year. Some of my favorite things to do during the warmer months included: playing tennis, strolling along the scenic rocky beaches, and collecting Sea Glass. The Sea Glass found on the island is very old and well tumbled due several natural attributes including the rocky coastline and the age of the island. For those of you who don’t know, Sea Glass is the ending product of glass that has had decades to tumble along the rocks. The resulting glass resembles a gemstone due to the shiny, smooth appearance and feel. On a sunny day, the glass appears to glisten in the sunlight.

Searching for Sea Glass on one of the town’s public beaches

Searching for Sea Glass at an Islesboro, Maine beach

Check out this old bottle stopper I found on one of the beaches. This stopper was a rare find that could be over 100 years old!

Old bottle stopper found in Islesboro, Maine

A few of the gorgeous water views around the island

Scenic beach in Islesboro, Maine
Beautiful forest and water views in Islesboro, Maine
Scenic water views in Islesboro, Maine
Beautiful scenery in Islesboro, Maine
Pretty beach in Islesboro, Maine
Cloudy day in Islesboro, Maine

The real beauty in vacationing to Islesboro is being surrounded by nothingness. The isolated location makes for a relaxing trip. Peaceful green forests, beautiful ocean views, and quiet rentals lend to a prime destination for a laid-back summer getaway. Islesboro is a fantastic destination for anyone seeking to escape the congestion and traffic in nearby cities like Boston and New York.

Interesting Tidbit: Islesboro is home to the first recorded solar eclipse in North America. Be on the lookout for the commemorative plaque, located on the northern portion of the island.

1st Solar Eclipse site in Islesboro, Maine

A Great Day Trip from the Island

There are many charming coastal towns to explore in Mid-Coast Maine. One must visit area, if planning a day trip off the island, is definitely the quaint, beautiful town of Camden. This coastal town is home to a picturesque downtown where you will find specialty shops, galleries, local restaurants (my favorite – Camden Deli), and access to the waterfront. The landscaping and scenery in this town is amongst the most beautiful I’ve ever seen. The amount of trees is astonishing! Also be sure to check out the beautiful waterfall.

Watefall in Camden, Maine

The combination of mountain and harbor views provides a truly idyllic setting, hence the town’s slogan, “Where the Mountains Meet the Sea.” While you are in Camden, venture out to Camden Hills State Park, an absolutely gorgeous state park featuring over 30 miles of scenic hiking trails.

Camden Harbor Maine - View from a hike

The highlight of this state park is the incredible vista of Penobscot Bay and Camden Harbor from the top of Mt. Battie. You have the option of either taking the auto road or being adventurous and embarking on a short (1 mile), but intense hike up to the 800 ft summit. This challenging hike offers rewarding scenery at every angle, not to mention a fabulous workout! Check out my Camden Hills State Park blog post for more beautiful photography!

Other Great Day trips from Islesboro

Lincolnville, Maine – There is a small beach right off the ferry and a handful of tourist shops to browse around.

Bar Harbor, Maine – Home to Acadia National Park.

Belfast, Maine – This scenic town features a walkable downtown with plenty of restaurants and local shops.

Bangor, Maine – The largest shopping destination in the area complete with a mall containing most of the staple stores.