A bridged island in Penobscot Bay, the towns of Stonington and Deer Isle offer visitors a look into the unique culture of downeast Maine. Stunning, unspoiled physical beauty abounds on the island and supports commercial and recreational activities. Stonington and Deer Isle waters are home to a working fleet of more than 300 lobster boats and, in the summer, recreational boating and kayaking.
The foundation of the economy remains the lobster and fishing industry, with a unique sense of place attracting artists and sightseers. In the late 1800’s, granite quarries from the island supplied stone to historic structures including John F. Kennedy’s memorial at Arlington National Cemetery. Today granite is still quarried on the island.
In addition to being the state leader in pounds and dollar value of lobster landings, Stonington and Deer Isle host a vibrant artistic community. Internationally known Haystack Mountain School of Crafts, located in Deer Isle for more than 40 years, has encouraged native island craftsmanship and attracted fine craftspeople to the island. Galleries throughout Deer Isle and Stonington display the works of many highly accomplished artists of woodworking, painting, and pottery. Opera House Arts at the Stonington Opera House, located on Main Street at the top of Stonington’s commercial fishing pier, is a unique professional and community theater with a year round schedule of live theatre, music, dance, and film events.
The island hosts an array of hiking trail opportunities, well maintained by the Island Heritage Trust local conservation group, including the Crockett Cove Woods, which consists of 100 acres of self-guiding trails and bird watching opportunities. The area provides a large number of ecotourism opportunities; the Wreck Island Preserve, as well as other island preserves in the archipelago between Deer Isle and Isle au Haut, feature open fields and spruce with views of Stonington and Mount Desert. A vibrant working waterfront is present on the island and supplies local restaurants with fresh lobster. The Isle au Haut mail boat travels from Stonington Harbor and provides access to the Isle au Haut station of Acadia National Park.