McGee & Barter Islands are located about 20 miles south of Rockland, Maine. The islands nestle together to form a natural deep-water harbor large enough to accommodate most yachts and power boats.
While Barter Island is undeveloped, McGee Island has three residential structures, the Main House, the Cook House, and the Little Boat House with beds for up to 24 people. (N.b., all three buildings are part of the rental. They are not rented separately.)
The Main House was built between 1913 and 1915. It has nine bedrooms which can sleep 17 adults / kids. There are four full bathrooms each equipped with a full-length bath tub plus there also is a partially-enclosed outdoor shower which is the most popular place for bathing.
The living room is a favorite gathering place in the evening as it has ample seating, lots of board games and a large fireplace that radiates warmth into the room. There also is a baby grand piano for the musically-inclined and for family sing-alongs.
The Main House porches, some covered and some sun-drenched, are another favorite gathering spot where people can talk, read a book, lie in the sun, or just gaze out on the Atlantic Ocean and neighboring islands. The front porch also offers a wonderful vantage point for watching the full moon rise and for marveling at the Milky Way unobstructed by the mainland’s light pollution.
The original portion of the Cook House was built in the late 1700’s and later expanded. The kitchen was remodeled in 2011 and is equipped with modern appliances. It has a kitchen table that is the focal point for breakfast and lunch and a separate dinning room – the site of many lobster dinners – that can seat up to 24. The Cook House also has a full bathroom with a shower and a large bedroom upstairs with three twin beds.
The Little Boat House, built around 1915, is located right on the water. It has a porch, a comfortable living room, a kitchen and a bathroom on the first floor and a large bedroom with two queen beds upstairs. This building is a favorite with our teenagers as it provides them with a place where they can be ‘on their own,’ yet close enough to the Cook House for late night cookie raids.
McGee offers visitors a number of activities. Walking around McGee Island looking at and occasionally collecting the flotsam and jetsam is popular though best done at half tide or lower. It also offers people the chance to see Ospreys and views of islands stretching into the Atlantic Ocean and truly spectacular sunsets.
Berry picking also is popular as McGee is blessed with a plethora of raspberry and blackberry bushes. The berries typically are most abundant from mid-July to mid-August and provide a delicious diversion while walking around the island.
Games such as croquet, volleyball, and badminton are favorite activities for people feeling a competitive urge. These games also have been the source of fond memories especially for the elder generations on those rare occasions when they actually beat the younger generations in a game. There are kayaks for paddling around one or both of the islands; an activity that can take 40 to 90 minutes depending on conditions and effort expended.
One of the nice attributes of McGee is the ability to leave behind the hustle and bustle of daily life. There are no TVs or radios which allows people to truly ‘get away.’ The Main House, however, does have Wi-Fi Internet service for those who need to stay connected. There also is cellular phone reception, but it can be problematic (n.b., Verizon and U.S. Cellular seem to work best). We recommend guests switch their mobile phones to the Wi-Fi Internet if they want more reliable reception.
McGee and Barter Islands offer people a relatively unique vacation experience. Many people express concern they wouldn’t know what to do being on an island for an entire week – especially without a TV or radio. The strange thing is that is what makes this place so special for family gatherings. The lack of distractions causes people to look to each other for entertainment. The group activities, whether it be walking around the island, playing games, making meals, or sitting on the porch drinking cocktails, give people the opportunity to talk with each other, to catch up, and to have shared experiences that form the bonds that keep people close. Additionally, it offers people the opportunity to enjoy a exceptionally beautiful vista and coast line. It truly is a great place for a friends and family gathering.
Tax rate 8% of rent tax rate
Cleaning fee $400 per stay
Re. the cleaning fee - normally it is $400. Guests are permitted to bring dogs, but the cleaning fee in that case would be $500
The per person rate - it applies only to groups larger than 12 people, not 10, and it actually is equal to the base rate divided by 24 and rounded to the nearest $10. The per person rate for May, for example, would be $170 (i.e., $3,995 / 24 = $167 which is $170 when rounded)....Read more
As featured in USA TODAY and recommended by Travel + Leisure in its annual Villa Guide:
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