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 find them filled with items and furnishings dating from the 1920s. Yes, there are modern amenities such as a beautiful new kitchen, comfortable accommodations, cell phone service, and Wi-Fi Internet connection. But once you arrive, you find the beauty of the Maine coastline and the plethora of possible activities, offers you and your guests the opportunity to truly relax and leave behind mainland worries.
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 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 built in the late 1700s 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.
Accommodations: Your rental includes 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 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.
McGee Island is a great place to leave behind the hustle and bustle of daily life. There are no TVs or radios in the buildings. There is however, a Wi-Fi Internet connection for those who wish or need to stay connected. There also is mobile phone reception depending on where you are on the island (n.b., Verizon and US Cellular work best).
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.
Rates: The rates quoted are for groups of 12 or fewer. There is a charge equal to 1/24th of the base rate rounded to the nearest $10 for each additional person. There also is a surcharge of 20% for reservations made before February 1st for a rental date in a subsequent year (waived for groups larger than 20 people) and an additional $100 cleaning fee for guests who bring dogs.
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.