One of Midcoast Maine’s best-kept secrets sits about five miles off the coast of Southport. That secret is Squirrel Island, a small and secluded isle cherished by those who live there. This peculiar place was named for its shape, which resembles a squirrel holding an acorn (from an aerial point of view). Even though it’s off the beaten path of Boothbay Harbor, this spot provides visitors with a great opportunity to do some exploring! Here are our favorite things to do on Squirrel Island, Maine.
Take note of these things to do on Squirrel Island, Maine, then be sure to consider the countless other attractions and activities available in the area. For a full-length list of the area’s best restaurants, outdoor adventures, and unique things to do, simply request access to our free Southport Vacation Guide! This helpful document features a hand-picked selection that has helped many visitors plan unforgettable Maine getaways. Get a copy today!
About Squirrel Island, Maine
Before journeying out to Squirrel Island, it’s best to become familiar with its history. This island has served as a “summer colony” in Maine since the 1800s. In 1871, the island was officially recognized as a village within the town of Southport. Since it is so small and residential, the island has never had an industry, and it only has a few facilities. Since the 1870s, residents have had to vacate the island each winter due to their above-ground pipes freezing over.
During the warmer months, the seasonal residents of Squirrel Island enjoy strolling the rocky beaches, playing tennis, boating, and eating at the island’s country club. Interestingly, residents are not allowed to own vehicles! There are plenty of paved sidewalks for these pedestrians, and a ferry boat takes people to and from Boothbay Harbor.
The Most Interesting Things to Do on Squirrel Island, Maine
Take a Cruise Out to the Island
Not many visitors know how to get to Squirrel Island, Maine! In reality, there are three scarcely advertised ways to reach this low-key destination: by Squirrel Island ferry boat (aboard The Novelty), by a Balmy Days cruise, and by personal boat. The best option for visitors is to embark on an hour-long Balmy Days cruise from Boothbay Harbor to Squirrel Island (from Pier Eight downtown). If that doesn’t work for visitors, The Novelty departs for Squirrel Island from Boothbay Harbor every three hours.
Walk Scenic Trails
The best way to spend time on Squirrel Island is to walk around and admire the summer residences. Most of the Squirrel Island real estate includes historic homes that boast unique coastal architecture. In addition to beautiful residences, there’s plenty of space to walk around. Squirrel Island, Maine, hiking trails lead to a library, a post office, a chapel, and beaches. We recommend packing a picnic in Boothbay Harbor or Southport, then enjoying it on a Squirrel Island shore! Be sure to bring food, since the only place to eat on the island is for residents only.
Stay Near the Things to Do on Squirrel Island, Maine!
Plan a trip to this secret island, then book a room at nearby Newagen Seaside Inn in Southport! This historic inn is off the beaten path, yet only a short drive away from attractions like art galleries and lobster shacks. Choose between a private cottage or a traditional guest room, both of which feature views of the ocean, premium amenities, and access to the inn’s on-property restaurant, The Pub. The resort is open between May and October, so don’t miss the chance to experience beautiful Southport this year!