Deer Isle is an enchanting place. Although reachable by bridge, the Island still retains the flavor of New England life in the 1950’s: rural, neighborly, safe. Our welcome sign could read “Welcome to Deer Isle, the way Life used to be”. A cluster of small communities with 2400 residents comprise the year-round population. Lobstering is the mainstay of the economy although the diversity of the Island’s businesses surprises everyone. Granite is still quarried here. Internationally renowned Haystack Mountain School of Crafts has brought many artists and artisans to the Island, many of whom have chosen to live here. Their galleries, studios and workshops dot the island. The Stonington Opera House has achieved national recognition as a year round performing arts center.
The new K8 school, built on the High School campus, is home to the Reach Performing Arts Center, a state-of-the-arts facility. The schools, churches and community organizations on the Island play central roles in bringing the community together throughout the year. Public suppers, festivals, craft fairs, boat races, basketball games and other sports events all contribute to a strong sense of community and island pride.
A wide variety of accommodations are available: inns, b&b’s, rental cottages and campgrounds. Restaurants, espresso bars, antique shops, gift shops, book stores and the galleries/studios of island artists offer a rich selection of places to visit. Island Heritage Trust and the Deer Isle-Stonington Historical Society provide glimpses into the history of the ancient people who first inhabited the Island and of the first white settlers.
The Island is a paradise for photographers, birders, kayakers, sailors, painters, naturalists, and anyone who loves the outdoors. We are fortunate to have 12 very diverse nature conservancies, many donated by generous residents. Several other conservancies are located on neighboring islands including Isle au Haut where Acadia National Park has its wilderness park. The mixture of spruce-covered islands, quiet coves, granite outcroppings, fields of wildflowers, lobster boats, windjammers, glistening waters and pristine winter snow makes a visit to Deer Isle, at any time of year, an enchanting experience.