Welcome to Star Island
Discover. Delight. Unwind — in a truly unique and beautiful setting where the stress of mainland life is left behind.
Explore the harbor in a kayak. Breathe in the sea air in a porch rocker at the historic Oceanic Hotel overlooking the Atlantic. Reflect during an inter-denominational candlelight service in the iconic Gosport Chapel. Whether your stay lasts a day or a week, you will find inspiration and plenty to do at Star Island.
Star is one of the nine Isles of Shoals located six miles off the coast of New Hampshire and Maine. Home to the Oceanic Hotel and a fishing village from the 1600’s, a visit to Star Island is a step back in time. Day trippers and boaters are welcome to visit and tour the island for the day, have a meal, or spend the night if there is availability.
The 43 acre island is owned and operated by the nonprofit Star Island Corp. For those who choose to “vacation with a purpose” during July and August, Star Island is an all inclusive retreat with family style meals, children’s activities and themed “conferences” including world affairs, social justice, natural history, and spirituality.
The June and September programs are geared to adults with topics that include birding, arts, music, writing, history, meditation, yoga, photography, and healing. Hike around the island, swim, play tennis, visit the marine lab, connect with nature and others.
Experience your best self at Star Island.
Star Island was founded on the traditions of Unitarian Universalism and the United Church of Christ. We strive to contribute to our world by providing a sacred and meaningful space for a vibrant intergenerational community. Our founders believed in liberal religious traditions, and we carry on with their mission today.
For over 100 years, people of all ages have gathered on Star Island for programs that combine a summer getaway with personal growth. You’ll have time to learn about important topics in today’s world and spend time kayaking, running, or playing a game of softball.
Starting April 1 every year, registration opens for overnights called Personal Retreats. These nights are perfect for people seeking that unique New England summer experience surrounded by the Atlantic Ocean.
Visiting for the Day
Travel out of Portsmouth aboard the Thomas Laighton or Rye aboard the Uncle Oscar to visit Star Island for a day. Boaters may also tie their dinghy up to our dock and come ashore. Once on Star, there’s a lot to explore or simply relax in a rocking chair on the front porch. Picnic space is available around the island and public restrooms are located in the hotel.
What to Do On Island
Star Island’s setting is both rich in history and access to nature. There’s a chance to learn, explore and relax. Visit the Vaughn Cottage Museum to learn about the history of the Isles of Shoals. Reach into the touch tanks at the Rutledge Marine Lab to investigate the Gulf of Maine ecosystem. In the Oceanic Hotel, anyone can sit back in the historic lobby, pick up a treat from the snack bar, or meander through the gift shop. Kayaks and rowboats are available to rent, and sports equipment is on hand for lawn games or a tennis match.
Star Island, a 501(c)3 non-profit founded in 1915, is a public charity governed by a board of directors elected from our membership.