Every kid who has ever watched or read Swiss Family Robinson has dreamed of living on his or her own private island. Now’s your chance to get marooned – in Maine. There may not be any ostriches to ride on this island, but there’s plenty of lobster and blue-water views!
Spectacle Island is five acres of private land in Frenchman’s Bay, close to Acadia National Park on Mount Desert Island. The Longmaid family, Mount Desert Island natives, have owned the Spectacle since 1977. The hand-carved, post-and-beam main house was completed last year, and now A.J. Longmaid and Jaime Austin host groups (of up to 12) looking to escape.
“Spectacle Island has a very calming, laid-back, away-from-it-all feel,” says Jaime. “Although we are just a boat ride from tourism and everyday life, it is a great spot to just enjoy life, family, and friends.”
The island holds the main house, a beachfront bunkhouse, and a host house. The facilities are totally off the grid. Solar power provides one third of their energy needs. The rest comes from a generator. “Our generator runs only 2 to 5 hours a day, not 24 hours, to supplement enough energy for living,” Jaime says. Spectacle’s environmental goals for the future include using more renewable power so they can stop relying on the generator.
In the mean time, they keep energy usage love with low-voltage lighting. They use low-volume toilets and protect the bay by using non-toxic cleaning supplies. They are recyclers, of course, and also offer organic and local dining options. Key word: local. Jaime says the one thing Spectacle guests should not miss is a lobster bake on the beach.
To work off all that crustacean-cooking-goodness, there are multiple hiking and biking opportunities in Acadia, not to mention kayaking and swimming right off the shore of Spectacle Island. Whales have been known to travel just offshore, so keep one eye open while you’re napping on the beach.
Come back tomorrow for more on Spectacle Island’s accommodations and rates.
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