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“A Rustic Getaway”
Review of Isles of Shoals

Isles of Shoals
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US$135.00*
and up
Portsmouth New Hampshire and Isles of Shoals...
Ranked #2 of 75 things to do in Portsmouth
Certificate of Excellence
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Attraction details
Owner description: Nine isolated, barren islands off the coast of New Hampshire.
Reviewed 8 September 2013

Star Island, of the Isles of Shoals off the coasts of Maine and New Hampshire, is truly a remarkable place. Primarily a church conference center, they also hold general conferences at the end of the summer season, and there are rooms to rent for those who just want to come out for a night. One can also simply ride over on the ferry in the morning and depart in the evening, but then you don’t get the “tours”.
Somewhere around 40 acres, this island has trails galore through the greenery–hedges of wild rose plants, sumac, some grasses, and very few trees–there isn’t deep enough soil to sustain trees. The hiking is wonderful, but there is a major caveat: WATCH WHERE YOU WALK! The island is granite, so even the trails are not level, and granite pokes up through the thin soil on a regular basis, lying in wait. Stop, look around, then pay attention to the trail again as you move.
Living conditions are rustic, but very comfortable. Bathrooms are down the hall, and if your visit is a week or more, you may shower on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays. Short term visitors don’t have that privilege–showers are fed by cistern water, which depends on rain.
We were visiting my sister-law, so we ate with the help down in the basement. The food was great and plentiful!
We enjoyed hiking, and we attended two guided walks: a Low Tide Walk, and a Botany walk, where experts in their fields pointed out the local flora and fauna.
Cell phones have some signal, but there is no TV. There is also no computer wi-fi, except in one room, for a price.
We thoroughly enjoyed our stay. The island is a wonderful place to step out of the mainstream for a while.

6  Thank Leon T
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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"star island"
in 66 reviews
"day trip"
in 18 reviews
"great trip"
in 11 reviews
"oceanic hotel"
in 4 reviews
"boat ride"
in 9 reviews
"thomas laighton"
in 6 reviews
"numerous trips"
in 2 reviews
"marine biology"
in 3 reviews
"private boat"
in 3 reviews
"other islands"
in 3 reviews
"main island"
in 3 reviews
"white island"
in 2 reviews
"snack bar"
in 6 reviews
"navy yard"
in 4 reviews
"like stepping back in time"
in 3 reviews
"guided tour"
in 5 reviews
"captain john"
in 2 reviews
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123 - 127 of 179 reviews

Reviewed 28 August 2013

I was elated to get the chance to go. Sadly I didn't think to look in to the weather or events at the island before I got on the boat. I quickly found my self in the middle of a die hard bible boot camp on a sun parched rock in 97 degree weather. People were packing them selves in like sardines in what scarce shade they could find. Those who braved the broiling sun were quickly mobbed by the hoard of nesting seagulls. All that aside it was still a surprisingly great trip.
From the moment you set foot on the island your absorbed in the ambiance of isle life. Though the building are worn and sad they were still enchanting and welcoming. You only had to move a few feet to find a different captivating view. Each section of the island had a personality all its own. Littered with varied unique structures and layers of history. By fare the most pleasant experience of the whole trip was rocking on the porch in the middle of the Atlantic watching the storms roll in.

5  Thank Eepsy
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 21 August 2013

This was our second visit to the islands. Each time we go we do not want to leave. Wish we could spend more time there.

1  Thank Harriett B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 14 August 2013

This was a very relaxing 2.5 hours ride!! Great views because we had a clear and sunny day!! I got great pictures of the different lighthouses, small islands, navel shipyard with a submarine and an old fort. There was some kind of sailboat event with about a dozen sailboats from the US and Canada going on. Very colorful sails made for nice pictures!! The captain gave us a good history lesson!! You can bring food aboard but they also have a couple of snack bars that provide alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks and snacks. Definitely worth the money!!!!!!!!

1  Thank 21LOVEtoTravel21
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Reviewed 2 August 2013

Loved our trip! Would do it again. Even though it was a less than great weather day we decided to go. The trip out was mostly uneventful. The narrator was great! When there was something to say, he said it. When there wasn't, he kept quite! He didn't feel it was his job to entertain us, the scenery and the history was enough! Right before we got to Star Island, the weather turned ugly and the waves got rough, and one of the members of our group of four did not feel well. Unfortunately, there were very few seats below deck, which is my only negative about the trip, more chairs could have been brought down, there was room. However, the captain realized that people were not enjoying this part of the trip, and rather than taking a leisurely trip back, we went at a healthy pace! Which everyone appreciated! Worth the price, worth the trip, recommend it highly!

3  Thank Sara08886
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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