Guide to North Haven, Maine | Eat, Play & Stay

Rolling fields, pristine woods, and a classic coastal village make North Haven a favored summer island escape.

By Yankee Staff

Jun 22 2021


The village of North Haven as seen from the water, with the ferry terminal in the center.

Photo Credit : Mark Fleming
Located about 12 miles off the coast of Rockland, Maine, the island of North Haven is blessed with open, rolling fields and a picturesque main village that sits on a thoroughfare across from the neighboring island of Vinalhaven. North Haven, in fact, used to be part of Vinalhaven (which at 23 square miles is about twice its size, with more than three times the number of year-round residents), until the smaller of the so-called Fox Islands seceded in 1847. Though North Haven has long been a favored summer getaway for some of the country’s wealthiest and most influential families, there are no mansions, just farmhouses and “Cabotville,” a cluster of funky cottages near Pulpit Harbor, on the northern side of the island. On the southern side is the ferry dock and the village of North Haven, which is home to, among other things, the island’s community center, a first-class art gallery, a small brewery, and a family-run boatyard founded in 1888. Note: While there is daily ferry service from Rockland to North Haven, the last boat to the mainland leaves at 3:45 p.m. Given that there are limited lodging options on the island (and finding a last-minute room is unlikely!), be sure to plan your trip well, and keep an eye on the ferry schedule.

Guide to North Haven, Maine

Hopkins Wharf Gallery, North Haven.
Photo Credit : Mark Fleming

Things to Do on North Haven, Maine


Among North Haven’s most deeply rooted families is the Hopkins family, which includes the nationally acclaimed artist Eric Hopkins. His brother, David, who is also an artist, runs the Hopkins Wharf Gallery on Main Street, which spotlights artists with island connections in an ever-changing collection of work. Eric Hopkins’s daughter, Eva, manages the adjacent North Haven Gift Shop, which has evolved from a general store in the early 1900s into a purveyor of creative and unusual finds as well as classic souvenirs. And just up the road is North Haven Mercantile, which opened in 2018 and is devoted to Maine island–made clothing, textiles, crafts, and more.

North Haven Historical Society

With its extensive collection of historical photographs, manuscripts, and other materials, the society’s archives building — newly built in 2008 — is the place to go if you’re looking into possible family connections to North Haven. But right next door are some attractions that will delight any history buff: a shed of vintage boats; a barn with farming equipment, carriages, and bicycles from days gone by; and the North Island Museum main building, where exhibits include a re-created kitchen and sitting room filled with antiques.


Since the late 1990s, North Haven Conservation Partners has helped ensure that some 200 acres of land and several miles of shoreline are protected. Many of its properties make for beautiful strolls, including Sage Woods, which has a network of trails on about 10 acres next to the island golf course, and Burnt Island, a 74-acre park that’s accessible by foot at low tide and features a trail that circles the entire island. For views of Penobscot Bay and the Camden Hills, look for the short hike from the village that leads to North Haven’s highest point, Ames Knob. And if you have a bike, there’s a fine bit of sand at Big Beach in Mullen Head Park, located on the eastern side of the island about 10 miles from village center.

Where to Eat on North Haven, Maine

Calderwood Hall

Situated in a c. 1908 building in the heart of the village, Calderwood Hall has more than one way to quell the munchies. In one corner is a small farm market and a bakery where you can find coffee, fresh-made pastries, and sandwiches alongside locally grown veggies and other grocery staples. There’s also a restaurant and bar — with about 80 seats indoors and some picnic tables outside — that serves made-to-order pizza, salads, and homemade desserts. Bonus: In the same building is North Haven Brewing Co., which was launched by three islanders in 2016; its small-batch beers are on offer both in the Calderwood Hall restaurant and in the brewery’s own small tasting room. (Days and hours vary quite a bit for all these establishments, though, so check online in advance.)

Nebo Lodge

The restaurant at North Haven’s only inn happens to be worthy of raves from the New York Times and Food & Wine. It serves elegant comfort food that both satisfies the locals and lures the many visitors who arrive each summer. While the dinner menu is always changing, expect locally raised meat and produce and North Haven lobster and farmed oysters, plus bread baked in-house. Reservations are essential.

Where to Stay on North Haven, Maine

Nebo Lodge, North Haven.
Photo Credit : Mark Fleming

Nebo Lodge

Overnight stays on exclusive North Haven were rare until the opening of this gracious old inn within walking distance of the ferry. There are nine airy, coastal-chic rooms (some with private baths), featuring decor by North Haven native Angela Adams. Bike rentals are available — even more reason not to bring a car. Plus: high-speed Wi-Fi!

Turner Farm

Nebo Lodge’s sister business, the organic-minded Turner Farm, offers an unusual, close-to-nature opportunity with its one-off campsite, equipped with a dome tent and a queen-size bed and overlooking the Fox Islands Thoroughfare. There are other, more upscale lodging options on the farm’s property, too: the three-bedroom Guest House and an attached one-bedroom apartment; however, both of these do require a minimum one-week stay in summer. Have you ever been to North Haven, Maine? Let us know!