Matinicus Island Vacations

Traditional Beach Camps On the Ocean Next To Markey's Beach, Matinicus Island

aliceDeck NorrisInterior
View from deck at KOHLS Beach Cottage More Photos View from inside NORRIS Beach Camp More Photos
Our beach houses are set on the ocean’s edge just as close to the water as possible. Both have picture windows across their entire lengths so the ocean view is with you at all times.  The settings are separated and private and each is a one minute walk from a large sandy beach.

Rentals are by the week (we do make exceptions during May, June, September, and October---three night minimum?----so please ask, we’re easy to deal with)  Houses each have equipped kitchens, three bedrooms each, and indoor bathrooms with showers, as well as outdoor showers (NORRIS beach camp’s indoor bathroom has an incinolet toilet).  Blankets, pillows, appliances and cookware is provided.  There is electricity!   You provide towels, linens, and food.


The Norris Beach Camp was built in 1954 as close to the ocean’s edge as common sense and absence of zoning setbacks would permit. Kohls beach cottage was built in 1969 taking the same advantages of the oceanside site.  There’s been no storm damage over the years.  Norris Cottage is a classic beach camp with rustic touches, that include exposed beams and stud walls in places, open concept, half-walls separating sleeping rooms that don’t reach the ceiling, and many 50’s era details.

NORRIS has a new furnace that will keep the chill out early and late season.
Special features of the NORRIS BEACH CAMP include an oceanside deck looking out to open sea, and a master bedroom, sunny, facing due East, with a full ocean view (see photos). Two smaller bedrooms are furnished with twin bed sets (4 beds, plus queen in master bedroom) A large couch in the living area might allow for an extra guests to sleep, so 7 persons would be maximum occupancy at NORRIS. 

The overall style of the Norris beach camp might be called “retro” had any attempt been made to re-create the 1950’s, but in fact Norris Cottage is genuine: a 1950’s period Maine island oceanfront camp.  The floor area is 32’ X 22’ plus attached master bedroom 18’ X 12’ plus outside deck area.

A beach camp:  for one thing, the furniture is mismatched, comfy, and old-fashioned. If you bring a pet, you won’t likely harm anything in the house. The well water is heavily filtered, but contains an iron content that will stain white laundry, so don’t bring white laundry or linens to wash in the washing machine provided, please bring colors.  The kitchen sink at NORRIS is an antique large single bowl cast iron farmhouse sink. Indeed, some of the metal on the base of floor lamps reveal oxidation from the salt air, which is no surprise given the beating the camp can receive in a winter storm, not an issue during the summer season.  The mattresses including the queen-size are mostly dated post-2000.

Supplementing the indoor shower is an outdoor shower (with hot water and a great view, for when returning from the beach full of sand).  The indoor toilet is an incinolet(instructions posted next to it) and there is also a fully functional, traditional WIFI enabled outhouse, which many guests prefer.  There is no flush toilet.   NORRIS beach camp is old-fashioned, and has the best view of the lobster boats returning to harbor after hauling traps offshore.


Kohls is a bigger place (40’ X 28’ plus decks) and is somewhat insulated with heat that will keep the place cozy early and late season.   Kohls cottage is larger than NORRIS beach camp, and accommodates more people for entertaining, and has an interior finish that is slightly suburban, not rustic like NORRIS.  It’s big enough for two families to share.  It will sleep 8-10 people, if some of them are children.  This house is located closest to the beach.  The setting is very private.  There’s a bathroom with shower and an additional outdoor shower (also with hot water), washer and dryer and equipped kitchen.

One bedroom has a queen bed.  Twin beds in each of two more bedrooms and futons in the living area.  There is also a large lawn area right on the ocean   On the beach side, in complete privacy, is a large outdoor deck with built-in seating facing the ocean and sunset.  KOHLS is spacious, airy, comfy, easy to use, with great views from all the many windows.

Many family reunions take place on Matinicus.  Two houses to rent makes it possible for an extended family group to take both and accommodate a large group with two kitchen facilities.  
Weekly rentals begin Saturdays at 12:00 p.m. and end the following Saturday.   One week’s rent is required in advance to reserve.  A balance is due on or before June 1.


Refunds will ONLY be given for cancellations made prior to June 1st and ONLY if we can re-rent the time you reserved.



The well water sometimes has iron that will stain white clothing in the washing machine.  Kohls has a dryer, both houses have washing machines.

Drinking water can be
a) brought to the island in one or more 3-gallon jugs,
b) refilled at the Island Bakery or Church or
c) the house tap water is filtered and we have additional ceramic filters that for some people achieve adequate drinking water quality.

Other issues:   Buoys guests have collected hang in the rafters, and guests sometimes leave stuff that proves to be useful, like towels and sheets and food.

There is no store on the island (but you can fax orders to the mainland  Shaw’s Supermarket who will pack and deliver and fly over the groceries and water for you at reasonable cost)

Cell phones don’t work well until you wander nearer the beach, but there’s WI-FI internet.  The outdoor lighting is poor, but it’s easy to see the Milky Way.  Law enforcement:  Young men who work on the boats have been known to ride ATV’s in the wide sand at the beach, which is against Maine law.  Other Maine laws are broken at various times around the island.  Island residents mostly like it this way.  You are on your own at Matinicus, and this is an attraction for many.  However, in a medical emergency, the flying service can have you at Pen-Bay hospital quickly and the island EMT’s are well-trained.

Our maintenance concept is “housekeeping cottage” or as the British say, “self-catering”
and you are on your own and may find you have to improvise.  For example:  one guest, not locating a spatula in the kitchen since it had migrated down to the beach as a child’s toy, fashioned his own spatula using a flattened aluminum can and a driftwood handle.  Self-reliance like this is essential if you choose to go out to Matinicus Island.  But as a practical matter, Amazon delivers 2nd Day Air using the flying service, so you can get anything delivered.

You can put a broom and mop to the place and in quick order whatever mess the kids or the dogs made will be lessened.  Guests are asked to remove/recycle their trash and leave the place 'Broom Clean' as  turnovers on Saturdays are tightly scheduled, and in-between cleaning service can't be 100% guaranteed.

You have to do some menu planning as there is no store, just a bakery and pleanty of lobster (sometimes fresh eggs, sometimes halibut) available, but the mainland Shaw’s Supermarket will accept your grocery order by FAX in the morning and have the boxes flown out to you in the afternoon. This is how Matinicus Islanders live: never having to drive to the supermarket or hassle the parking, but having selection available anyway.  The taxi service can pick up.  We have garden carts and wicker pack baskets at the houses.