The SpaceSandpiper Cottage is a circa 1903 Maine island cottage directly on the ocean. This is a laid-back cottage for laid-back folks. Relax on our hammock, Adirondack chairs, lounge chairs, or cushioned mats directly on our shorefront ledge while enjoying views of the Atlantic Ocean, Jewell Island, Fisherman's Cove, and the house on The Bluffs where the 1987 movie "The Whales Of August" was filmed (starring Bette Davis, Lillian Gish, Ann Southern, and Vincent Price--we have the film in our cottage DVD library). Crack open fresh lobster on the picnic table overlooking the ocean. Or paddle around the cove on our standup paddleboard or Walker Bay 8-foot dinghy. (You can launch from the Fisherman's Cove boat launch beach, which is a hundred feet or so from the cottage. Please use life preservers.)
Kitchen includes refrigerator, stove, microwave, toaster, coffee maker, and electric griddle.
Sleeping accommodations include first floor bedroom with full bed and twin bunk bed, futon sofa bed, and second floor queen bed in the Crow's Nest loft accessible by ladder (the loft and ladder are for use by adults only, please).
We opted not to get internet or cable television in our vacation cottage, to encourage our children (and ourselves) to enjoy the outdoors, explore the island, nap, fish, read a book, play board games and card games, and otherwise unplug and unwind. (Also an excellent excuse for guests to avoid work and email while on vacation.) However, we do love movies, and have a flat panel TV, DVD player, sound bar, subwoofer, and decent collection of DVDs for kids and adults (including the movie "The Whales of August," which was filmed in the house on The Bluffs, which you can see from the cottage). Also, if needed, the island library offers free WiFi and internet access on the covered, screened-in front porch. We have a telephone for local calls.
Since our cottage is located on ledge directly on the ocean, our bathroom features an environmentally-friendly and sanitary Incinolet electric toilet, which can be used year-round. Simple to use, you: (1) drop a disposable bowl liner (provided) into the toilet bowl before every use (which catches all waste plus toilet paper); (2) flush the bowl by stepping on the floor pedal; and (3) push the start button to incinerate all waste automatically. (We plan to add a second traditional flush toilet and other renovations in the future, and note that our current pricing reflects a pre-construction discount.)
Rates reflect 9% Maine lodging tax. Guest AccessGuests bring their own groceries, which can be purchased nearby in Portland at grocery stores such as Trader Joe's (which also sells beer and wine), Whole Foods, Hannaford, Micucci, or Rosemont Grocer. Some of these grocers offer concierge services to assist with grocery orders, and delivery to Casco Bay Lines or shipment by ferry to Cliff Island.
Cliff Island has extensive property in conservation land, permanently protecting its rural atmosphere. There are sandy beaches, a tidal swim cove (Griffon's Cove), rocky shoreline, and trails for walking, running, and biking. The island is the only year-round island in Casco Bay that has all unpaved roads and, while cars are allowed, most people walk, bicycle, or use golf carts for transportation. There is also a local taxi run by Chester Pettengill ((PHONE NUMBER HIDDEN)), a friendly life-long island resident who typically greets the ferry (he has painted buoys on his minivan antenna), or you can walk to the cottage on the dirt road from the ferry terminal (a 10 or 15-minute walk).
Residents lobster, work on local island-related businesses, or commute to the mainland for work. You can buy the freshest lobster straight off the boat from our wonderful neighbor or other fishermen who live year-round on the island.
As its name suggests, Cliff Island has rocky ledges and cliffs (in addition to sandy beaches), including oceanfront ledge in front of the cottage. Our cottage and shorefront ledge are not "child-proof," and there is a ladder to the loft bedroom (for use by adults only), so please be responsible and carefully supervise any children at all times in and around the cottage and keep them away from the edge of cliffs or the ledge. Interaction with GuestsNew to AirBnB in 2016. We live nearby on the mainland in Portland, Maine near the ocean, and are available by telephone. We are happy to provide recommendations for award-winning restaurants in the Old Port and answer any questions. The NeighborhoodCliff Island is a year-round island in Casco Bay, and the last stop “down the bay” on the Casco Bay Lines ferry. Shaped like an “H,” the island has extensive property in conservation land, permanently protecting its rural atmosphere. The island is the only year-round island in Casco Bay that has all unpaved roads and, while cars are allowed, most people walk, bicycle, or use golf carts for transportation. Cliff Island is part of the City of Portland, Maine.
The community of Cliff Island consists of approximately 60 year-round residents but swells to nearly 200 in the summer. Residents are involved in a number of community organizations including the Cliff Island Association (CIA), the island library, the Cliff Island Historical Society, and the Cliff Island “ACE” organization (Athletics, Conservation and Education), which runs a wide variety of events for year-round and summer visitors involving the environment, athletics, exercise, arts & crafts, and entertainment activities.
Cliff Island has a library, schoolhouse, post office, tennis court, church, community hall, several sand beaches, a ballfield, two playgrounds, and a small grocery store and cafe (cash only) that is open from May through October.
Explore sandy beaches, hunt for hermit crabs and shells, or fish from the shore or ferry dock. Buy lobster fresh off the boat from a local island lobsterman. Getting AroundFerry (Casco Bay Lines)
Cliff Island is accessible year-round by ferry from Portland, Maine on Casco Bay Lines. Bring binoculars, snacks, and beer, wine, or other beverages of choice to enjoy on the 60- to 90-minute scenic cruise through the islands of Casco Bay (the cruise could run a little longer on a busy holiday weekend if there is a lot of freight to unload, but the Casco Bay Lines ferry schedule is usually pretty accurate). Watch for harbor porpoises, seals, bald eagles, osprey, and other marine life. Ferry captains often provide interesting historic information about the islands. Keep an eye out for Fort Gorges, a former U.S. military fort built on Hog Island Ledge in Casco Bay, Maine between 1858 to 1864, which is now a park accessible by boat only and was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1973. The ferry stops at other Casco Bay islands en route between Cliff Island and Portland.
Water taxi service is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, approximately 20 minutes from Portland, Maine to Cliff Island.
If arriving by airplane at Portland International Jetport (PWM), a taxi or Uber driver can bring you from the airport to the Casco Bay Lines ferry terminal in Portland.
For guests with their own boat, we have a deepwater mooring in front of the cottage, and can provide further information on request. Our cottage is approximately 20 minutes from downtown Portland by boat.
Cars remain in Portland, where there are various parking lots and garages available. (Some nearby parking lots are around $10/day, but some garages are as much as $50/day, so check around, and leave plenty of time to walk to the ferry terminal and browse shops and restaurants in the Old Port.) The Casco Bay Lines and City of Portland websites have links to parking maps with some rate info, and you may find other info online to find the best rates and options. The parking garage at the ferry terminal is expensive and often full, so please plan ahead.
Chester Pettengill ((PHONE NUMBER HIDDEN)), a year-round resident of Cliff Island, provides a taxi service on the island, and he typically greets every ferry.
Cliff Island is approximately 2.5 miles long, and around 1 mile wide at the widest point, and is very walkable on the dirt road that encircles the island or on trails. Our cottage is approximately a 15-minute walk from the ferry terminal. Other Things to NoteGuests bring their own groceries. The small store and cafe on the island has a very limited selection and variable hours, and accepts cash only.
There is an ATM in the Casco Bay Lines ferry terminal in Portland, but no ATM on the island, so bring cash if you wish to buy lobster.
There are a number of options for buying groceries for your stay on Cliff Island. Contact the service desk at the store of your choice for specific shopping times and fees.
The Whole Foods store in Portland calls itself Maine’s only Certified Organic Grocer, with the largest selection of natural and organic products in the state. Whole Foods offers personal shopping services and island deliveries Monday through Friday. You can call the store to place your order. Ask to speak to a member of the provisions team for details and schedules.
Portland also has a Trader Joe’s, the original Californian based importer, who took the 1950’s and 60’s cultural fad of Tiki chic to new heights. TJ’s now prides itself on providing fresh and imported foods of value and quality from coast to coast in the U.S. You can call the local store.
When you’re in Portland, you’re also in the home of one of New England’s largest supermarket chains, Hannaford. The company was founded in 1883 by Arthur Hannaford, who sold fruits and vegetables from a produce cart on the docks of Portland. The company now has stores through New England and New York State and is one of the largest supermarket chains in the country. When you finish your shopping, the store will box your groceries and deliver them to Casco Bay Lines, who will deliver them to the island. They offer island delivery on Tuesday.
Rosemont is a neighborhood market that offers gourmet products, local meats and cheeses, fine wine and beer, freshly baked breads and produce. Rosemont offers island delivery year-round to the islands. Check out the Rosemont website for locations to their area stores, one of which is directly across the street from Casco Bay Lines.
For over 60 years, the Micucci family has been offering the finest imported Italian foods. At Micucci Grocery, you will find a quality wine selection, a full deli, pasta, cheeses and premium imported foods. Micucci’s is in walking distance from Casco Bay Lines. For more information, check out the Micucci website.
Portland Farmer’s Market
The origins of the Portland Farmers’ Market reach back to 1768, and it continues the tradition of providing local grown and produced fruits, vegetables, grains, meats and poultry. The market is open year round on Wednesdays and Saturdays. Check the website for the location and hours.
Shaw's Supermarket Westgate
Shaw’s Westgate offers grocery delivery service on Tuesdays. When you finish your shopping, the store will box your groceries and deliver them to Casco Bay Lines, who will deliver them to the island.
Maine Grocery Delivery
Maine Grocery Delivery is an online grocery store that can shop at multiple locations and deliver groceries to Casco Bay Lines for delivery to the island. Contact them by email or telephone before placing an order online to arrange for island delivery.
Standard Baking Co.
Directly across the street from the Casco Bay Lines ferry terminal in Portland is Standard Baking Co., a family owned and operated business that has been part of downtown Portland since 1995. Handcrafted and baked throughout the day in their 12-ton, stone deck oven, you’ll find traditional French baguettes, hearty German Vollkornbrot, fragrant Focaccia, and all-organic Miche, made from 100% Maine grown and milled whole grains. Hand-rolled croissants, pain au chocolat, brioche, and scones are prepared in plain view in their open production bakery and often served still warm from our ovens. Everything they make embodies their commitment to artisanal methods, natural ingredients, and delicious food. We always stock up on delicious baked goods for the ferry ride and breakfasts on the island (we highly recommend the chocolate corks, croissants, morning buns, berry buckles, and other pastries).
Old Port Spirits & Cigars
Also conveniently located across the street from the Casco Bay Lines ferry terminal in Portland is Old Port Spirits & Cigars, where you can buy local craft beers, wine, and spirits for the ferry ride and the island.
Jenn's Cliff Island Store and Cafe
There is a small grocery store and cafe on Cliff Island that serves pizza, soups, sandwiches, ice cream, and a very limited selection of beer, wine, and grocery items. Hours vary. Cash only.
Water supply is from a well. We advise guests to refill a water container for drinking from a water supply a short distance from the cottage. There will be a full container at the cottage upon arrival. Otherwise, the well water is fine for cleaning and bathing. (We are planning a new water filtration system and other renovations, and note that our current pricing reflects a pre-construction discount.)