There are plenty of options for exploring Maine’s history and natural beauty, whether you’re visiting Cape Neddick Lighthouse or kayaking off the shores of Acadia National Park. One of those options includes touring the Isles of Shoals. Located just off the coast of southern Maine on the state’s New Hampshire border, the Isles of Shoals are one of the area’s most popular places to visit, offering both stunning scenery and a fascinating look into New England history.
Tour the Isles of Shoals
The Isles comprise nine islands, the most well known being Appledore, Smuttynose, and Star islands (craft beer drinkers are more than likely familiar with Smuttynose Brewing Company). The Isles of Shoals history is steeped in fishing culture, as many of the islands’ inhabitants have been fishermen. American history icon John Smith first named the islands in 1614, before the area was settled.
Today, a number of tours are offered from nearby Portsmouth Harbor, exploring the history and wildlife of these beautiful islands. The islands are still dotted with historic structures, docks, lighthouses, and Star Island’s Oceanic Hotel.
Isles of Shoals Steamship Company
Offering both Portsmouth Harbor cruises and trips to the Isles of Shoals, Isles of Shoals Steamship Company is a great choice for exploring the islands.
For a full experience of Star Island, try the Extended Star Island Walking Tour. Walk Star Island with a knowledgeable guide and learn all about its fascinating history that includes John Smith, Captain Edward “Blackbeard” Teach, the Oceanic Hotel, and more.
If you’d rather stay on the boat and learn about both the Isles and Portsmouth Harbour, sign up for the Isles of Shoals & Portsmouth Harbor Tour. For more information on all the great cruises offered by Isles of Shoals Steamship Company, visit their website.
Portsmouth Harbor Cruises
Portsmouth Harbor Cruises offers several different trips, including one to the islands. Their Isles of Shoals tour takes passengers by Appledore, Smuttynose, Star, Lunging, and White islands. According to the company’s website, the tour lasts about 2.5 hours, and passengers are encouraged to bring their binoculars for birdwatching!
If you want to enjoy a romantic evening on the harbor, try Portsmouth Harbour Cruises’ Wine Cruise! The cruise takes place at sunset and features a variety of wine, snacks but a beautiful tour of the harbor.
Cruise maps, times, and tickets can be on the Portsmouth Harbor Cruises website.
Enjoy Picturesque New England Coastline from the Comfort of Your Room
Located just north of Portsmouth in York, ME, Dockside Guests Quarters & Restaurant offers their guests an unforgettable stay in one Maine’s most scenic towns. Surrounded by the beauty of York Harbour and New England coast, you would be hard-pressed to find accommodations as scenic and inviting as those at Dockside Guest Quarters. Our rooms feature great amenities, like private baths and decks, views of the water, fireplaces, and more. Plus, you’ll be only minutes from area’s best attractions and towns, like York Beach, Portsmouth Square, the Town of Ogunquit, and more. Start planning your Maine vacation today.