About Islesboro

A 20 Minute Ferry Ride Away!

Islesboro is tucked up into upper Penobscot Bay, a long narrow island with views to the east of Castine, Eggemoggin Reach, and the neighboring island of North Haven, and to the west, fabulous sunsets over the Camden Hills. Native Americans were the first to spend summers on the island, fishing and clamming, as evidenced by shell-heaps scattered along the shore. Summer residents today still enjoy the island’s locally caught shellfish, at lobster bakes or in clam chowders.

Traditionally, Islesboro is best known for its quiet restfulness and now-rare small-town community pleasures.  There are miles of shorefront and numerous conserved properties that offer trails for walking.  The town beach at Pendleton Point, the southernmost tip of the island, is ideal for picnicking and those with kayaks, boats, and sailboats will appreciate the uncrowded waters, coves, tiny islands, and unobstructed views of eagles, ospreys, seals, and other wildlife.  Nearby Warren Island is the State of Maine’s only island state park, where camp sites must be reserved a year in advance. Hardy souls will appreciate the clean water for swimming and fishing.  A fine public library has wireless internet service and lots of good books for summer and winter reading, as well as interesting programs for children and adults all year long.  The Historical Society mounts art shows changing weekly in summer, and offers a permanent historical exhibit.  The Sailor’s Museum in the Grindle Point Lighthouse gives a glimpse into the island’s maritime history.  All summer long, local organizations sponsor fun community events from the much anticipated Baptist Church Strawberry Festival to the Rummage Sale, Library’s Book Sale, Sporting Club’s Annual Old Home Day with games, pie, raffles, and entertainment.  The sports minded enjoy golfing, tennis, and biking, and early morning jogs.  Boating lessons are available through the auspices of Big Tree Boating. And summer would be incomplete without ice cream at Bill Warren’s Dark Harbor Shop.  A very small handful of shops offer antiques, books, and small gifts.  The safety and peacefulness of the island, a place where children can go out and play, where mothers and fathers can doze on the porch with a good book, are its main features.
Since the 1850s, Islesboro has been a vacation destination as Bangor’s prosperous residents discovered that the island was quiet and cool in the heat of August, as it still is.  A sizable year-round population already on the island was engaged in shipbuilding, farming and maritime trades.  Islesboro’s sea captains, whose houses still line the main road, were as familiar with the islands of the Caribbean and the Mediterranean as they were with the harbors of Boston and New York.  In the 1890s, many Boston and Philadelphia families were joined by others from points south and built grand cottages at the south end of the island, many of which are now occupied seasonally by their fifth generation descendants.  Most islanders today are engaged in serving the summer community and more modern pursuits.  Retirees, writers, artists, and those who can commute electronically find the island a good place to live.  Newcomers find they can become as involved in the community as they have time and energy for, participating in town governance or community organizations from the churches to Islesboro Preschool and the K-12 Islesboro Central School.  Volunteers are always welcomed by the Fire Company, Ambulance Corps, and Library.  No end of good causes support the community and are in turn supported by it.  Two grocery stores, a post office, vehicle repair services, boatyards, construction companies, and an excellent health center further serve the island.
Take the  ferry from Lincolnville Beach (about 5 miles north of Camden on Route 1) and visit us soon!

or call our cell at 207.234.4040