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Celia Thaxter's Garden

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Address: Appledore Island, Isles of Shoals, Portsmouth, NH 03801
Phone Number:
+1 603-862-5346
Recommended length of visit: More than 3 hours

Step back in time, and experience the unique beauty of Celia Thaxter's...

Step back in time, and experience the unique beauty of Celia Thaxter's Island Garden! Restored and maintained by the Shoals Marine Laboratory on Appledore Island in the Isles of Shoals, the garden is accessible to the public during pre-arranged Garden Tours each summer (June-August, see website for dates).

The tour includes time in the flower garden - perfect for avid horticulturalists! - as well as a walkabout to view and learn about the numerous historic sites on Appledore Island. The island's rich cultural history dates back to the late-19th and early-20th centuries, when it was home to the Appledore House Hotel. The current island garden is an accurate recreation of the garden that Celia Thaxter documented in her book, "An Island Garden." Thaxter was a renowned poet, author, gardener, and daughter to the hotel's founder.

Celia Thaxter's Garden Tour participants (34 people per tour) will be transported to and from beautiful Appledore Island aboard the vessel "R/V Gulf Challenger." Passengers should plan to meet the vessel at the Judd Gregg Marine Research Complex adjacent to the US Coast Guard Station on New Castle Island (5 minutes from downtown, Portsmouth, NH).

Limited, free parking is available at the New Castle dock location.

A gourmet, buffet lunch is included during the tour. Dietary restrictions and food allergies can be accommodated.

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TripAdvisor Reviewer Highlights

Read all 7 reviews
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  • 5
  • 1
    Very good
  • 1
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There is nothing like this island garden anywhere nearby.

It is not easily or quickly accessible yet if you love history and gardening and don't mind the wind and the boat trip, it is beautiful.

5 of 5 bubblesReviewed 4 weeks ago
Aleka M
Dover, New Hampshire

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7 Reviews from our TripAdvisor Community

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Showing 7: English reviews
Dover, New Hampshire
Level Contributor
22 reviews
5 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 4 weeks ago

It is not easily or quickly accessible yet if you love history and gardening and don't mind the wind and the boat trip, it is beautiful.

Thank Aleka M
dennisport, ma
Level Contributor
11 reviews
4 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 11 December 2015

this is a destination trip with groups. on Appledore Island, so requires a boat trip. there are organized trips for garden maintenance as well as viewing of the garden

Thank Janet C
Hooksett, New Hampshire
Level Contributor
36 reviews
15 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 18 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 1 October 2015

This summer I finally made the trip to Appledore Island offered by the Shoals Marine Laboratory (Cornell/UNH partnership) and it was perfect. I've read Celia Thaxter's books and poems and her family is part of NH history. I so enjoyed seeing the garden that she created that has been brought back to life - with many of the flowers she... More 

3 Thank Robin V
southern Maine
Level Contributor
27 reviews
9 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 16 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 9 July 2015

Before you go you must read a little about Celia Thaxter and her home on the island and her interest in gardening and the birds. She had so many wonderful historic people as her guests. There is little that remains of her home and even the garden can look lonely for her, but loving hands of volunteers keep her memory... More 

4 Thank rcmsauve
Portsmouth, New Hampshire
Level Contributor
27 reviews
10 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 17 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 22 April 2015

It has been a few years since we visited Appledore on our boat. You can only get there by private boat or a ferry boat out of Portsmouth Harbor. Very pretty and of course being on a small historical Island is exciting.

2 Thank DLC1943
Portsmouth, New Hampshire
Level Contributor
82 reviews
12 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 57 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 3 February 2013

The reviewer below seems to think that Celia Thaxter's Garden is a bakery in Kittery. Ha! It's a garden on one of the islands of the Isles of Shoals. You can only get there by tour boat or private boat. It's wild and windswept, but they don't have pastries.

6 Thank alborealis
Level Contributor
13 reviews
4 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 30 January 2012

Whether you are taking out or eating you will really enjoy this place.. Cafe menu items are delicious and bakery has a good selection of day to day items and specialty cakes. A must if you are hungry in kittery maine

2 Thank Onejudi

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