Vinalhaven Travel Guide

  • Ferry Dock In Carvers Harbor Vinalhaven
    Ferry Dock In Carvers Harbor Vinalhaven
    by RonG58
  • Armburst Hill Wildlife Preserve
    Armburst Hill Wildlife Preserve
    by RonG58
  • Lane
    Lane
    by RonG58

Vinalhaven Highlights

  • Pro
    karenincalifornia profile photo

    karenincalifornia says…

     Quaint, just like it must have appeared 100 years ago, quiet, colorful, beautiful, produces good genes 

  • Con
    karenincalifornia profile photo

    karenincalifornia says…

     Few lodging accommodations on the island (also considered a plus), no nightclubs if you're the nightclubbing type 

  • In a nutshell
    karenincalifornia profile photo

    karenincalifornia says…

     A great way to spend a lazy day and gorge oneself on the best lobster rolls in Maine! 

Vinalhaven Things to Do

  • Bird watching....

    Vinalhaven is on the fly way south and north for great bird watching......eagles....ospray....goldfinches....ect

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  • Enjoy the sunset

    Sunsets and sunrise are magical on Vinalhaven. The colors splash everywhere. Best seen over the water.

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  • Beach Comb

    Granted, the beach combing here may not be as easy or as profitable as it is in more sandly locals, however, it can still be fun. I enjoyed finding the artifacts of lobstering, such as the lobster traps washed ashore in the picture below. I even brought a couple lobster trap bouys home with me and they are hanging in my garage as a souvenir. I...

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  • Swim in a Quarry

    It is rather difficult to swim in the ocean on Vinalhaven Island (believe me I tried). The water is extremely cold even in the summer due to the ocean currents sweeping down out of the north. Besides the cold even, the shallow areas of around 15 feet or less of water have prolific seawood growing from the ocean bottom. It doesn't sound that bad...

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  • Wildlife

    Overall, I was slightly disappointed with the amount of wildlife I saw while on Vinalhaven Island. There was some fantastic birding, I saw a couple harbor porpoises, lobsters (caught), and some tidal pool inhabitants, but that was really about it. Oh, and this crab pictured below. I saw him while wading (the water's coooold) around a tiny sand...

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  • Explore a Deserted Island

    One of my favorite things to do while at Vinalhaven was to kayak out to uninhabited islands and explore them. I know it sounds crazy, but when you are out there completely alone it feels as if you are the first person to walk upon that soil. At least until you find a stray lobster bouy or plastic bottle. Nevertheless, it is still rather amazing in...

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  • Kayak

    In my opinion, the areas around Vinalhaven Island and Acadia National Park represent some of the best eastern U.S coastal kayaking opportunities available (the only other comparable area would be the Everglades area of Florida). The combination of numerous uninhabited islands coupled with the rugged and relatively remote nature of the coastline...

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  • Huber Preserve

    There are about 16 preserves/parks to hike or explore on Vinalhaven Island. We explored about five of them; Huber Preserve and Lane's Island Preserve being our favorites.We biked to Huber Preserve also and had the entire place to ourselves one beautiful afternoon. We took a short hike through the Preserve's beautiful conifer forests out to the...

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  • Lane's Island Preserve

    Lane's Island Preserve is a great destination regardless of whether you are spending the entire summer on Vinalhaven Island or a single day. In fact, I think it is a must see for those only spending one day on the island. My wife and I rode our bikes to the Preserve and then took off hiking. First, we pretty much hiked the entire perimeter of the...

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Vinalhaven Restaurants

  • What is a lobster roll?

    So, what exactly is a lobster roll anyway? I know this sounds like a stupid question to you New Englanders, but you have to understand that when Californians hear "lobster roll" they envision lobster with farmer's market organic ingredients such as avocados, tomatoes, cilantro and scallions, tightly wrapped in a flour tortilla, diagonally sliced in...

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  • Make reservations or come early.......

    Right on Main Street this Vinalhaven gem is always delicious. Open in the season and into the fall. Run by Tori and Dennis Pratt. Tori is also the womens high school basket ball coach. She is the chef and has the great creative ability to make dining fun. From fish to soup to deserts it all couldn't be better. I really feel you can't go wrong with...

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  • Not Seafood

    I imagine that residents of the island appreciate going out for a dinner of something other than seafood, especially if you fish for a living. That is probably The Pizza Pit was started. We noticed that they have a special dinner every 3 days or so. When we were there it was meatloaf and mashed potatoes for a little while and then it was a Mexican...

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  • Watch the tide go out

    There isn't a lot of restaurant variety on Vinalhaven Island, but that isn't all bad because it means there aren't that many tourists. There are three readily available restaurants in the town of Vinalhaven, the Harbor Gawker being the best among them for seafood. We picked a table in the very back of the restaurant so that we could watch the tide...

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  • Lobster, Lobster, Lobster

    There is no better way to have lobster than to buy it fresh from the fisherman's Coop. It doesn't get any fresher than being caught that morning. And you are directly supporting the fishermen with no middleman. Duh.

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  • Best food on the island

    The best place to eat on Vinalhaven is the Harbor Gawker. It's a little place on Main Street with a few tables where you order from the counter. The menu is eclectic with a huge focus on seafood and lobsters. I didn't know it when I ordered and ate it, but this is the place where I ate the best lobster roll I would find in Maine. Yes, even this...

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Vinalhaven Transportation

  • Rockland - Vinalhaven Ferry

    The only way to get to Vinalhaven is by ferry. You catch it at Rockland (not Rockport, which is a few miles to the north, as my husband insisted - good thing I was driving and knew where I was going). No reservatons are required if you are going without a car. Mind you, these are tiny ferries. If you want to take your car, you'd better make your...

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  • Ferry service to Vinalhaven

    The best advice I can give is arrive early- you must be in line 30 minutes before departure time....be patient.....and bring a snack.....and a ginger pill from the health food store taken 15 minutes before departure will help with any sea swells.When you drive up get into the VH line with your car before buying your ticket. The line can fill up...

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  • Rockland/Vinalhaven Ferry

    I should emphasize that the return trip to Rockland from Vinalhaven operates in the same way. You must have a reservation for the return trip or wait in line and hope for the best. Locals say that frequently a return spot for your vehicle to the mainland is harder to get than to the island.The Navigator Motor Inn is a good place to stay in Rockland...

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Vinalhaven Shopping

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    Main street on Vinalhaven

    by karenincalifornia Updated Aug 11, 2006

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    Vinalhaven's population is only 1200, so the main street in town is rather short. You won't find the endless souvenir shops here that you can find in Bar Harbor (thank goodness). We did find a nice shop for Maine souvenirs (focusing on - of course - lobsters). It also had the most delicious fudge. I wish I could remember the name of the shop, but there are so few, I'm sure my description will lead you right to it. When you are leaving the ferry terminal, head to town (just follow the people). The shop is on the north side of the main street, and is one of the first shops you will reach once you get into the commercial area.

    What to buy: Of course I had to get a Vinalhaven T shirt. And some delicious fudge, which was the best we found in Maine.

    Related to:
    • Food and Dining
    • Beaches

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Vinalhaven Local Customs

  • Being chock

    In an area where everyone either is in the lobster business or is related to someone who is, what do 4th graders on Vinalhaven write about when they are given a creative writing assignment? Being a lobster, of course! I found the cutest link to stories written by 4th graders at Vinalhaven School: Island InstituteMy favorite was written by Hilary...

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  • Church for all

    What do you do if you are a small island off the coast of Maine with a small population and you have only only two churches? You have one church that is run by a man and caters to only one faith, and then you have another that is inter-denominational, open to all religions and you put a woman in charge. The Union Church of Vinalhaven has been open...

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  • Taken for Granite

    One thing you won't see on Vinalhaven are sandy beaches. That is because they are all granite rocks. In fact, Vinalhaven is just one big huge granite bump in the sea. Aside from lobstering, its largest industry historically was granite quarrying and cutting. The first granite was quarried in the 1820's and found to be a very high quality. Large...

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Vinalhaven Warnings and Dangers

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    by foggybottom Updated Apr 4, 2011

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    When hiking or exploring the beaches- mosty rocky ones.....be on guard for the seaweed covered rocks.....they are VERY slippery.....and the wet darkly colored ones are slimy and slippery too. Use cation when jumping from rock to rock or climbing down to the edge of the sea. One can easily end up soaked because of a slick step. Don't forget that the water is extreamly cold too.

    Related to:
    • Birdwatching
    • Hiking and Walking
    • Women's Travel

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Vinalhaven What to Pack

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    by foggybottom Written Jun 13, 2007

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    Luggage and bags: pack light if you are walking on the ferry on a day trip...the village is about 4 blocks from the ferry.

    Clothing/Shoes/Weather Gear: Bring layers of clothing....when the sun goes behind the clouds the temp can drop 15 to 20 degrees.....add in wind chill and water temps it can be down right nippy out there.....
    The temps can range 20 degrees also from mid island to the shore.

    Toiletries and Medical Supplies: band aids......

    Photo Equipment: as much as you can carry... this is a very beautiful island. Don't miss Lane's island.

    Camping/Beach/Outdoor Gear: There are many summer rental houses here.

    Miscellaneous: The weather changes very quickly here so be ready for the hot sun to the cool clouds and fog banks.

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Vinalhaven Off The Beaten Path

  • foggybottom's Profile Photo

    by foggybottom Updated Apr 4, 2011

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    Staying for a week on Vinalhaven is like living inside a Norman Rockwell painting. The people are friendly, the town is charming, life's pace is comfortable here. The 4th of July parade is America at it's best. The town is centered around a harbor filled with a large lobster fleet. If you like nature there are numerous walks through out the island. Lane's Island is a very beautiful walk highlighted when the sun is out and the wild flowers are in bloom. You must leave your city pace behind and slow down to read a book you've never had time to jump into or catch a sunset and a sunrise while listening to the sea gulls cry.

    Related to:
    • Hiking and Walking
    • Birdwatching
    • Women's Travel

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Vinalhaven Favorites

  • Hiking On Lane's Island Preserve

    Gunner and I spent a week on island and we really loved Lanes Island Preserve. Daily hikes and retrives on Sand Beach. Meeting Actor Michael York and his lovely wife

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  • Lobster Boat Captain

    If only I had a Lieutenant Dan, I too could be a Lobsterboat Captain.No seriously, lobstering is grueling work even in the summer. In the winter it is downright dangerous.

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  • Lobster Capitol

    On your way by ferry to Vinalhaven, you'll notice many brightly colored buoys floating in the ocean. They get denser as you approach the island. Being landlubbers, it took my family a couple of minutes to figure out what these were. They're lobster buoys, marking the location of the lobster cage. Each lobsterman (or lobsterperson, to be PC) is...

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Explore Deeper into Vinalhaven
Rockland Ferry
Transportation
Fishing
Things to Do
Historical Society
Things to Do
War of Rebellion Monument
Things to Do
Pawking in the Cawner
Transportation
R.I.P.
Local Customs
Bicycling
Things to Do
Map of Vinalhaven

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