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Matinicus Island Vacations

Traditional Beach Camps On the Ocean Next To Markey's Beach, Matinicus Island

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View from deck at KOHLS Beach Cottage More Photos View from inside NORRIS Beach Camp More Photos

The Boston Globe’s travel writers have described  Matinicus as “rugged, but beautiful, with sweeping ocean views and sandy beaches…….one of the last places in Maine where the old Down East lifestyle survives in anything like it’s pure form…….unspoiled and unpretentious”

harborMatinicus Island, the most remote island in Penobscot Bay (22 miles offshore)  is rarely visited by tourists, and is considered a working island, not a tourist island.  Our beach camps, right on the ocean’s edge, have for over 40 years been available to individuals and families seeking a place off-the-beaten-track who understand that in trade for the occasional shortage and uncertain timetables that island living imposes they will experience remote solitude, secluded sand beaches and an intimate look at the Atlantic ocean.

If you are considering Matinicus Island, you are already familiar with key Matinicus internet bullet points:
  •  Matinicus is the most seaward remote year-round island community in Maine,
  •  Matinicus has a reputation, mixing truth, fiction, and wishful thinking, as a pirate island with a smuggling history
  •  Matinicus  has an undertone of threat in defense of the island lobstering territory (this does NOT involve visitors) and a history of vigilant protection of Matinicus for Matinicus people.
  •  Matinicus is remote and you can’t always get what you want when you want it out there
  •  Matinicus feels special to the visitor and resident, and unlike almost anyplace except Matinicus.  

You, as a visitor, will become part of that specialness, part of an elite group of summer vacation adventurers who can, as the islanders say,  'make it at Matinicus'.  

mapBeach camps are a summer housing category in danger of extinction on the East Coast.   With our KOHLS Beach Cottage and NORRIS beach camp, we are attempting to to continue the classic beach camp tradition:  location at the edge of the beach and directly on the ocean, open kitchen shelving, basic indoor bathroom at KOHLS (electric incinolet and classic outhouse at NORRIS) with indoor showers as well as outdoor showers with ocean views.   The three bedrooms in each house are furnished with twin beds (2 rooms) and a queen bed (1 room).  The thread-count of the sheets is what you decide to bring, as sheets and towels are an item the guests are asked to supply for themselves.
Matinicus, with luxurious sand beaches, and its remaining beach camps has been favorably compared to Nantucket Island in the 1950’s, a quiet period at Nantucket long before the billionaires pushed out the millionaires.  (Money at Matinicus is only good to buy baked goods at the island bakery and lobster in the harbor, and the Matinicus dress code is extreme casual, manual work-a-day.)
geoffgirlsWhile Matinicus has a few cars and some gravel roads, most of which are more jeep trails than roads, it's a walking island, mainly, with an Island Taxi Service to pick up and deliver you and luggage.  There are many appealing remote beaches only accessible by foot, and rarely visited, unless you bother to go see and comb the beaches there for interesting treasures washing in from all over the world.    Most people at Matinicus work harvesting lobster, a hard labor which begins before dawn, so that by 5:00 p.m. the island quiets down, and by dark, the day has ended.

There is something comforting about being at home with your family group next to the ocean as dusk settles (there IS electricity!).  

Matinicus' sandy beaches are nearly unique in rocky Maine, and the camp location right on the ocean, next to sandy Markey’s Beach, is prime and very convenient for families.  On a good beach day, you can be first to arrive and last to leave, with the house nearby for lunch and attending to your kids.

We'd like potential guests to think less in terms of  'amenities' and more in terms of what Matinicus does NOT offer, as it is the absence of commercial distractions and unnecessary amenities (except WIFI and fax machines, which the houses do have)  that makes a visit to the island memorable.