Upon reaching Nautilus Island its winsome character is as captivating as its storied contribution to the American Revolution. Nautilus Island is a refuge upon Penobscot Bay and marks the head of Castine Harbor. The 300-foot dock provides comfortable access to the shore at low tides and marks the safety of the gentle cove and stone beach. A cluster of buildings found amidst century-old sugar maples greet guests upon their arrival to Nautilus. The Cape Cod Cottage and tennis court sit above the Sugar Shack, vineyard and Boathouse. The Boathouse has remained virtually unchanged for over a century and is a popular place to picnic with your friends and family. Lobsters, clams, mussels and oysters are harvested from the waters around the island and a lobster or clam bake is available upon request. The island prospers under stewards who savor the autonomy of island life, and guests who are seeking the luxury of a private island are welcome.
Rates: Cape Cod Cottage: Starting at USD 3,500 per week. Main House: Starting at USD 12,500 per week. Entire Island: Starting at USD 16,000 per week. Rates are set according to season and the number of guests. However, the most preferred arrangement entails the rental of both houses and reserves the island for your exclusive use. Rates for long weekends, special events, or rental by small parties are quoted upon request.
Location: Nautilus is a 38-acre private island located in Castine Harbor, Maine, on Penobscot Bay, looking across the bay at Islesboro and the Camden Hills. Only a 5-minute boat trip from the private docks in the Town of Castine it is a world away. The island is less than a one-hour drive from Bangor, Maine and its international airport.
Accommodation: The Cape Cod Cottage, a century-old structure, is a 3-bedroom home with an open kitchen/living room, large bath with shower and claw-foot tub, dining room and fireplace. It has splendid views of the sugar maples, vineyard, orchard, gardens and shore. Outside is a porch with a barbecue, dining area and herb garden. The cottage accommodates up to 8 guests and can be rented separately.
The main house on the bluff has 5 bedrooms, 3 bathrooms (2 with walk-in shower, 1 with large claw-foot tub) and accommodates up to 10 guests, all on the second floor. On the first floor there is a library with TV, powder room, large living room, office with internet, fax and copier, foyer, butler's pantry with laundry, professional kitchen, and formal dining room with a table seating 14. Artwork adorns the Maine House with works by Maine Artists. There is an outside wraparound stone terrace culminating at the covered round terrace with spectacular views of Penobscot Bay. Sitting there on the bluff is mesmerizing, and one could easily spend the day there after an al fresco breakfast. A wide stone staircase leads to the terrace with the private infinity pool , spa and grill area. The island is self-catering and rates include a boat captain, caretaker and a midweek linen change and cleaning. Our staff will assist with provisioning, sightseeing, island amenities and boat shuttles to and from the mainland. All-inclusive rates including full staff, chef, etc., are available upon request.
Dining and Provisioning: We can assist with planning for guest provisions and can have an initial shopping list prepared for your arrival. The very finest organic meats, produce and seafood are available daily, all locally sourced and sustainable. Our mainland dock is located at our lobster pound restaurant in Castine, which is where we will greet our guests upon arrival. Our lobster pound boasts a great downeast Maine menu and offers indoor and outdoor dining. There are 28 beers on draft, 14 local Maine brews, and 14 well-chosen European and Belgian beers, ales and lambic. This, paired with a well-stocked bar and a good wine list, makes for a fun lunch or dinner directly over Castine Harbor.
Activities: There are walking paths and beaches, and hiking around the island is everyone's favorite pastime. Go looking for sea glass on the shore or view the prehistoric shell middens where indians had their seafood meals for centuries. Next to the Main House are the remains of the Revolutionary War battery captured from the British by Paul Revere during the Penobscot Expedition of 1779. Other activities are digging for clams, collecting mussels, pulling lobster traps with our boat captain, fishing in the bay or off the dock, visits to other harbors in the island boat for lunch and sightseeing, sailing aboard the classic sailing yacht "Guildive" with Captains Zander and Kate (75 year old William Hand motorsailer, 60 feet), or taking day trips inland. Car service and driver can be arranged, or use your rental car. There is a tennis court adjacent to the Cape Cod Cottage and a private infinity pool and spa at the Main House. Castine offers historic walking tours, a working lighthouse, 2 museums, 2 libraries, 2 banks, charming shops, restaurants, a grocery shop, the oldest post office in the USA, and one of the oldest 9-hole golf courses in the country. There is a golf cart at the mainland dock for Nautilus Island guests to use. The island's launch and captain will deliver guests to and from the Castine dock upon request.
Best Time to Travel: Nautilus Island's season runs from May to late October. However, those seeking the ultimate in quiet and natural beauty may want to think about a month or two in the winter. This is the perfect place to write, paint, read, or simply reflect in front of one of the many fireplaces, keeping guests warm against the winter snow.
How to Get There: Fly into either Bangor International Airport or the smaller airport at Trenton, as these are the closest, both a 45-minute drive away. Vehicles can be rented at either airport or transportation can be arranged otherwise. Portland Airport is another option at 3 hours away. Nautilus is easily accessible by land. Arrival by sea is the most appealing and historic means of reaching the Nautilus, as excellent anchorages exist for yachts of all sizes. The island is also equipped to accommodate chartered helicopters operating from the nearest major airport.