The coastal towns of Stonington and Deer Isle, linked by bridges to the mainland, are bastions of lobster and stone.
For generations, Stonington has hosted a giant lobster fleet – more than 300 boats in all. More lobster – in terms of pounds – is landed in Stonington than at any other Maine port. But even as fishing flourished here, another industry was carved out of the region’s islands. Granite was blasted and hauled up from quarries on Deer Island and from smaller islands nearby in Penobscot Bay. Although that huge industry has faded, granite is still mined in the area.
Things to Do in Stonington & Deer Isle
Want an unusual hike? Travel to the 98-acre Crockett Cove Woods Preserve on Deer Isle and stroll through a fog forest. The densely packed red spruce – the dominate tree in the Woods - combs the coastal sky and seem to keep the swirling ocean fog in place. Mosses, ferns and lichens are common.
Other hikes are available on lands owned or overseen by the Island Heritage Trust. You can visit woods, overlooks and small islands, including the popular Barred Island Preserve.
Isle au Haut Boat Services offers daily trips to the Acadia National Park landing at Duck Harbor on Isle au Haut, where there are trails perfect for day trips. In addition, the boat service offers lobster-fishing tours, lighthouse tours, and Seal Island Puffin cruises.
Stonington and Deer Isle are steeped in the arts. Artist’s studios and shops can be found throughout both towns, many of them an outgrowth of the renowned Haystack Mountain School of Crafts in Deer Isle. The school is perched on a steep hillside above the water. If you come during the summer, you can arrange a tour of the unique facilities. Some studios to consider visiting are Geoffrey Warner Studio/Owl Furniture; The Turtle Gallery, the Deer Isle Artist Association and Nervous Nellies, a wonderous jam kitchen and gallery.
Opera House Arts at the Stonington Opera House offers an ongoing calendar of movies, concerts and other events. The restored and historic opera house was built in 1912.
Restaurants in Stonington & Deer Isle
Looking for restaurants in Stonington and Deer Isle? Check out Aragosta, Stonecutters Kitchen, the Harbor Café, The Cockatoo Portuguese Restaurant and 44 North Coffee. For more, check here and scroll down our list of regional businesses below.
Where to Stay in Stonington & Deer Isle
Places to stay in Stonington and Deer Isle include Boyce's Motel, Stonington; Inn on the Harbor, Stonington; Pilgrim’s Inn, Deer Isle; The Inn at Ferry Landing, Deer Isle; and the Deer Isle Hostel, Deer Isle. For camping, check out Greenlaw’s Camping & RV Park in Stonington. They have primitive camping sites and full hook-ups, in addition to hot showers and a pickleball court. For more suggestions, scroll down our list of regional businesses below.