Port Clyde, Maine
Maine Private Island
Imagine being picked up in the small fishing village of Port Clyde, Maine, riding just 3 miles out to sea, arriving on a magnificent 110-acre private island and finding yourself transported back to a simpler time when life had fewer distractions and a slower pace.
As you step into the beautiful historic buildings, you will find them filled with many artifacts and furnishings dating from the 1920s. Yes, there are modern amenities such as electricity, running water, a beautiful new kitchen, comfortable accommodations, cell phone service, and Wi-Fi Internet connection, but the buildings and many of the books, magazines, furniture and equipment provide an idea of what life was like at the beginning of the 1900’s. Step outside and you can see the beauty of the Maine coastline and participate in the plethora of possible activities or take the opportunity to truly relax and leave behind mainland worries.
What makes McGee special is the lack of distractions (e.g., no TV or radio) encourages people to focus on each other and to participate in shared activities whether it be walking around the island, playing games, going swimming, kayaking or rowing, preparing meals or just sitting on the Main House porch or in the living room with a blazing fire and just talking. These shared activities give people to have fun together and the time to get beyond the superficial. The resulting bonds are what keep families close for years to come.
Feeling active? Grab a kayak or canoe and go for a paddle around the rocky coves and beaches of McGee and neighboring Barter Island. Take a hike or comb the beaches in search of small treasures that the ocean deposits on the shores! If you like to swim, plunge into the refreshing salt water and then warm up in the waterside sauna or outdoor shower. Want to test your marksmanship ? There is a small target and clay pigeon shooting range on the island (n.b., there is a small charge for the ammo and pigeons).
Want to relax? Sit back in a rocker from the 1920’s on the huge, wrap-around porch with 180º views of the ocean and neighboring islands. You might see an osprey, a bald eagle, a seal, or other wildlife, with little but your own conversation to break the tranquility. You might decide to play the baby grand piano, nap in the hammock, read a book on the porch swing, or explore the many rooms of the historic buildings.
Enjoy competition? Gather a group together for a friendly game of croquet, volleyball, or badminton. You can up the ante with a little wager – the loser has to wash the dinner dishes! For a slower-paced option, there is a closet full of board games for all ages.
Hungry? Try gathering food from the island. You can fish off the dock, collect mussels from the ocean, pick raspberries and blackberries that grow wild on the island, or take the easy route – buy lobsters from a passing lobster boat. You can work together with your friends and family to create delicious culinary dishes in the newly remodeled kitchen.
Want a night time activity? Gather for dinner in the Cook House and then retire up to the living room in the Main House. Start a roaring fire to provide the perfect backdrop for board games, reading, and socializing. Or head outside to the porch to watch an extraordinary moon rise or some incredible star gazing!
If group activities and shared experiences form the basis for life-long bonds, then McGee Island is an ideal location for family reunions and small gatherings from 4 to 24 people.
Your vacation includes both McGee and Barter Islands. McGee Island is the larger of the two islands and has 3 residential structures: the Main House, the Cook House, and the Little Boat House. Barter is the smaller of the two islands, is undeveloped, and is accessible either by boat or by a natural land bridge that appears at low tide.
The two islands nestled close to each other to form a natural deep-water harbor that can accommodate yachts up to 60 to 70 feet in length. If you don’t have a yacht, don’t worry; our caretaker will be happy to transport you and your luggage and groceries from Port Clyde to McGee in our 10-person island boat.
The Main House is a beautiful, traditional, shingled summer home built in 1915. The interior walls were left exposed showing the beautiful wood that was used to construct the building. It has 9 bedrooms with two King, three Queen, and seven twin beds that can sleep 17 people. There are 4 full bathrooms equipped with original claw foot-era tubs as well as a relatively-new, partially-enclosed outdoor shower which tends to be the favorite place for bathing.
The Cook House, originally built in the late 1700’s, has a newly remodeled kitchen equipped with modern appliances and an outdoor BBQ gas grill. There are 2 dining areas in the Cook House. The breakfast table in the kitchen seats 6-8 and offers commanding views of the harbor. The adjoining dining room can seat up to 22 (more if everyone squeezes a bit). The Cook House also has full bathroom with a shower on the first floor and a large bedroom with 3 twin beds on the second floor.
The Little Boat House, also built in the early 1900’s, is located right on the water. It has a porch, a comfortable living room, a kitchen, and a bathroom on the first floor. The second floor has 2 queen beds. The Little Boat House is a favorite with teens as it provides a place where they can be on their own, yet is close enough to the Cook House for late night snacks.
If you’d like to spend a day on-shore, Port Clyde is a short 15-minute boat ride away. From there, you can catch the Laura B for a day trip to Monhegan Island, best known for its artists’ colony. The mainland also offers shopping in Freeport, the Lobster Festival in Rockland, and golf in Camden. On-shore excursions, however, are best limited to groups of no more than 8 to 10; the maximum number of passengers the island boat can carry, and must be completed within daylight hours.
There is a full-time caretaker on the island who is happy to show you how things work, where things are located, and answer any questions you might have.
McGee and Barter Islands have played a magical role in our lives. They have provided our clan with a place to congregate–where siblings, cousins, young and old can renew their bonds and create shared memories–while enjoying the spectacular beauty of the Maine coastline. We hope that you, your family, and your friends experience the same magic that brings us back, year after year.
There is a $400 per week charge for the island's caretaker who will ensure that you have the best possible time during your stay. Specifically, he is on hand to:
• help you with your luggage and groceries
• show you around the island pointing out the special places and letting you know how everything works
• take you out to local lobster boats so you can buy fresh lobster
• supervise and manage the target and skeet shooting
• help you with all of your other outdoor activities
• take care of anything you need to make your stay more comfortable
If, at the end you your stay, you wish to tip the caretaker, he, no doubt, would be appreciative, but doing so is completely discretionary.
Single Family Home with 2 levels
11 bedrooms, 6 baths, 5000 square feet
King, King, Queen, Queen, Queen, 2x Queen, 2x Twin, 2x Twin, 2x Twin, 2x Twin, and 2x Twin
24 guests maximum
Rockland (RKD), Portland (PWM), Boston Logan (BOS)
RKD = 20 minutes to Port Clyde, PWM is 2 hrs, BOS is 4 hrs
Ocean Front - It is a private Island!
Activities of Interest
- Swimming - water is in the 60's but feels good on a hot day
- boating - kayaking and rowing
- sports - volleyball, croquet, bocce / petanque
- games - lots of board games and cards
- fishing - mackerel are plentiful
- raspberry & blackberry picking when in season
- crabbing - kids can catch crabs from the dock
- hiking around & thru McGee
- shooting - there is a small target and skeet shooting range on McGee
Places of Interest
- Monhegan Island - take the Laura B Ferry from Port Clyde
- Rockland - Farnsworth Museum & Lobster Festival
- Camden - Golf & Spa at the Samoset
- Freeport - LL Bean & other shopping = 2 hours drive
Very special place... It felt like stepping back to 1910 to a high end private summer vacation island except with modern amenities. The ambiance created by the location and buildings made for a special extended family experience. We had small children with us who quickly readjusted away from computer life into the natural setting of open fields , real whale bones, small crabs in tide pools, lobster buoys and exploring island trails or paddling in kayaks. Needless to say, the adults enjoyed the same transition. The house is full of old books , furniture and antiques that bring you back to another era. Everything was very clean and in great condition. The plumbing fixtures and bed mattresses were all modern. This is not a reconstructed estate but an estate that has been lovingly preserved and only upgraded for modern comfort where needed while still preserving the wonderful atmosphere of another era. ”
Once in a lifetime...
Once in a lifetime, you should escape to a private island off the coast of Maine with your family and closest friends to remind yourself what life is all about. Hike along the glorious coast on soft grass trails lined with ferns and fragrant pines with bald eagles soaring overhead and dolphin jumping in the bay... gather in a cookhouse to enjoy a luscious lobster feast - knowing that you were out earlier that day buying them right off the lobster boats from an old husband and wife team that could have come right out of central casting. Play cards in front of a roaring fire, play guitar and stay up too late drinking red wine and retelling your favorite family stories. Ignore your email, turn off your phone, play croquet, row a boat, go for a crazy loveable tour of the coast with Don Winchenbach and Debbie Gagne (now THAT is an experience!) I 'wax poetic' because that is what McGee Island is ... a beautiful, poetic, perfect, idyllic place. I can't write it all down here - it's too much to put into words. We will never forget it, and we will be BACK! ”
- Outdoor Grill
- Pets (with Approval)
- Washer & Dryer
- Wireless Internet