May 25th, 2012 | By | Category: Senior Travel

A Picturesque and Quaint Village

An image of many boats in the harbor of Vinalhaven, Maine, is an amazing site!  Vinalhaven Maine – the largest of the main islands in Penobscot Bay is located just 12 miles out of Rockland on the east coast of Maine.

Vinalhaven is located in the Fox Islands in Knox County, Maine. The population run just over 1,200 happy lobster lovers. It is home to a thriving lobster fishery and hosts a summer colony and is among many other super sites for seniors to check out.  Since there is no bridge to the island, Vinalhaven is accessible from Rockland via an approximately hour-and-fifteen-minute ferry ride across West Penobscot Bay, or by air taxi from Knox County Regional Airport.  Archeological remains indicate that the island was first inhabited 3800–5000 years ago by the Red Paint People.

Arriving in Vinalhaven

Here you’ll meet fishermen of Maine’s largest lobster boat fleet, retailers, skilled craftsmen and tradespeople, and creative artists and technicians whose businesses and services make a daily commitment to island life. Being off the coast of Maine, it is a working island of striking natural beauty.  Vinalhaven thrives as a community and greets thousands of visitors from around the world. Whether you come to Vinalhaven for a day or a season, you will find yourself captivated by this extraordinary place and the people who make it special. These links will help seniors to choose what they what to see and do in this unique setting. And those beautiful azure waters…and pines that dot the shoreline will fill your camera with many souvenirs to share back home.

History Abounds Along These Shores

The history of Vinalhaven has been shaped by its location on New England’s earliest highway, the sea. The first known visitors to discover the rich abundance of shell and fine fish in the islands’ waters were the Indian people who came here 3,800 to 5,000 years ago. Evidence of their visits has been discovered by archaeological digs on both the North and South Islands. Shell middens, stone tools and skeletal animal remains also indicate that the Abenaki and other Indians came later. European explorers are known to have visited these waters in the 1500’s, and in 1603, the English Captain Martin Pring is said to have sighted the islands and named them “The Fox Islands”.

Vinalhaven is one of only 14 year-round island towns and virtually the only one in Maine which retains commercial fishing as a principle industry. A vacation or visit to Vinalhaven gives you the opportunity to see Mainers at work in their traditional industries. The waterfront in Carver’s Harbor wakes up long before dawn as the men and women who work aboard hundreds of lobster boats head out to sea. Throughout the day, visitors to the waterfront wharves and docks can gain new appreciation for the time and energy required to succeed as a lobsterman.

The NY Times writes, “It takes a certain determination to visit the island of Vinalhaven, Me. Once you’ve made it to Rockland, halfway up the Maine coast along slow, winding Route 1, you’re still a 75-minute ferry ride away. The ferry fits only 16 cars, and reservations are limited, so it’s not unusual for motorists on a busy summer day to wait in line for two or even three of the six daily ferries to depart before securing a place on board.” It’s a worthwhile trek for seniors. Lane’s Island, across a bridge from downtown, has a 40-acre preserve managed by the Nature Conservancy with tide pools, rocky and pebble beaches and granite bluffs. Several old granite quarries are now swimming holes (one quarry is decidedly clothing optional).

Vinalhaven is at Sea

Mapquest shows seniors how to get from Rockland to the Island via ferry. You may, while you are there, go on over to the Arcadia National Park-Isle AuHaut which is another nearby island just to the east. Visitor blogs also provide good information for seniors on how many visitors spend time on the island. So seniors, why not make it a loaded trip by checking out the entire Maine coastline that has a plethora of activities and sights around every bend? Do enjoy Vinalhaven. jeb

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  1. […] Lamprophony and to me, Penobscot is one of them. I read recently in The Economist about Penobscot, Maine and wanted to do a little investigation on my own to see if maybe seniors might find the town and […]

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