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Staying Overnight in Portsmouth

May 18th, 2015


A lot of our summer guests choose to spend the night before or after their program on Star Island, especially if travelling a great distance, in Portsmouth, NH — and often as close to the dock as possible. To help you with your summer plans, here’s a collection of area hotels listed by distance from the Portsmouth dock located at 350 Market Street, Portsmouth, NH 03801.

Walking Distance

Sheraton Harborside Hotel

(.1 mile)
250 Market Street, Portsmouth, NH 03801

Residence Inn

(.2 miles)
100 Deer St, Portsmouth, New Hampshire 03801

Hilton Garden Inn

(.2 miles)
100 High Street, Portsmouth, NH 03801

Hampton Inn and Suites

(.3 miles)
23 Portwalk Place, Portsmouth, NH 03801

Ale House Inn

(.4 miles)
121 Bow Street, Portsmouth, NH 03801

The Hotel Portsmouth

(.5 miles)
40 Court Street, Portsmouth, NH 03801

The Inn At Strawbery Banke

(.5 miles)
314 Court Street, Portsmouth, NH 03801

Martin Hill Inn

(.8 miles)
404 Islington Street, Portsmouth, NH 03801

A Taxi Cab Will Do


(1.1 miles)
1000 Market Street, Portsmouth, NH 03801

Holiday Inn

(1.1 miles)
300 Woodbury Avenue, Portsmouth, NH 03801

Best Western

(1.4 miles)
580 US Highway 1 Bypass, Portsmouth, NH 03801

Anchorage Inns

(1.5 miles)
417 Woodbury Avenue, Portsmouth, NH 03801

The Port Inn

(1.5 miles)
505 US 1 Bypass, Portsmouth, NH 03801

Fairfield Inn

(1.7 miles)
650 Borthwick Avenue, Portsmouth, NH 03801

Homewood Suites

(1.7 miles)
100 Portsmouth Boulevard, Portsmouth, NH 03801

Motel 6

(2.4 miles)
3 Gosling Road, Portsmouth, NH 03801

Comfort Inn

(2.5 miles)
1190 Lafayette Road, Portsmouth, NH 03801

The Wentworth By the Sea

(3.5 miles)
588 Wentworth Road, New Castle, NH 03854

Wrenn’s Nest Village Inn

(4.9 miles)
3548 Lafayette Road, Portsmouth, NH 03801

Getting to the dock

Links to directions are located beneath each hotel listing above. If you’d like more details about getting to Portsmouth and the dock, click here for that post.

Star Island Seeks Sustainability and Environmental Education Intern

May 8th, 2015

The Sustainability and Environmental Education Intern will work to implement Star Island’s sustainability initiative (the Green Gosport Initiative) by engaging and educating staff and guests about environmental issues in order to increase awareness, inspire behavior change, foster a sense of environmental responsibility, and to promote the culture of reduce, reuse, recycle across the island community.
This will be accomplished by:

  • Leading behind-the-scenes sustainability walks highlighting island systems such as water, power generation, compost, and gardens.
  • Offering weekly presentations to create an open and ongoing dialogue with guests and staff about island sustainability.
  • Tracking parameters such as daily water use, waste separation efficiency, and power usage and communicating results and progress through a “dashboard”, daily updates, and announcements to guests and staff.
  • Developing informative and creative outreach materials: posters and displays about island sustainability and current projects (ex: green energy project).
  • Organizing sustainability programming (events, activities, and projects) for staff and guests.
  • Working with other interns and staff to identify projects related to energy use, waste management, and water conservation; working to implement these projects through systematic social marketing campaigns.

Internship Site: Star Island, Isles of Shoals, NH
This is a residential position on Star Island. Star Island is part of the Isles of Shoals, a small group of islands just off the coast of Maine and New Hampshire. The island is home to a seasonal conference center serving nearly 300 guests and operated by just over 100 staff members. Star Island is a great place to be a part of a dynamic community, experience island living, and enjoy a unique natural environment.
Sustainability on Star Island
The Green Gosport Initiative (GGI) is Star Island’s sustainability program. The GGI focuses on supporting the concepts of reduce, reuse, recycle across the island, but also describes the general approach to island energy, water, food, and waste systems.
Here are some highlights: In the fall of 2014 Star installed the largest off-grid solar array (micro-grid) in New England. The upcoming season is the first year in the island’s transition to solar, and the expectation is that the array can provide up to 60% of island power demand; the goal is to use only 5,000 gallons of diesel in 2015. In 2014 Star installed a rainwater filtration system, which, in addition to reverse osmosis and boat water deliveries, provides drinking water for the island. In the upcoming season Star is working on designing a resource recovery center, which will serve as the operations hub for managing food waste (poultry flock and compost), on-island resource recovery (cardboard shredding and glass crushing), and recycling. Additionally, the island is in the process of designing and receiving approval for a wastewater treatment facility upgrade, which will include water reuse in toilets. Click here for more information about Star Island. Click here for more information about Star Island sustainability.

Desired qualifications/skills/coursework:

Recent graduate or student pursuing degree in environmental studies, sciences, or related field; Proven communication skills and ability to speak publicly in group settings; Ability to both work independently with limited supervision and work collaboratively in group settings; Safe, cooperative, respectful individuals who will thrive in the close working and living quarters of Star Island’s remote setting.


Kristen Simard, Environmental Services Manager at Star Island.

Start and End Dates:

June 8, 2015-August 28, 2015 (exact start/end dates are flexible)

Time Commitment:

36-42 hours/week
Compensation: $1500 stipend will be provided in 3 monthly payments. Position also provides the opportunity to earn 3-6 credits through the intern’s institute of study. Room and board is provided, including all meals, dormitory-style accommodations in staff quarters, and a rustic island environment. Island residency is required 5-6 days/week with transportation to and from the island provided from Star Island’s dock in Portsmouth, NH. Upon completion of internship, can apply to work both through ‘end of season’ (mid-September) and into ‘close-up’ (October). During internship contract, there may be opportunities to make additional income.


We will be accepting applications through May 27, 2015

How to apply:

Submit (as PDFs) a resume, cover letter, and two references (professor or work/internship supervisor name and contact information) to email hidden; JavaScript is required.

Your Guide to Getting to the Dock

April 21st, 2015


You’ve registered for your stay on Star Island this summer and now it’s time to figure out how to get the dock in Portsmouth. Your GPS is great, and here are our suggestions for travelling to the Portsmouth, NH area and hopping aboard the M/V Thomas Laighton out to Star.

Before we get started though, please note the final destination is 315 Market Street, Portsmouth, NH 03801 – the Isles of Shoals Steamship Company.

Walking | Driving | Bus, Trolley, Taxi | Airports

If You’re Walking

The best option for those staying in downtown Portsmouth. Simply meander over to the Isles of Shoals Steamship Co. dock at 315 Market Street. Look both ways when crossing the street.

Click here to view a map for walking from Market Square/Downtown Portsmouth to the Dock

If You’re Driving

From the North (Maine): Head on down I-95 and use exit 7 once you cross over the bridge into NH. At the end of the ramp (the stop lights), take a left onto Market Street. Go through three sets of lights. Try to be in the left lane by the third light. After this last light, you’ll approach an intersection with a blinking light, take a left into the Isles of Shoals Steamship Co. lot at 315 Market Street.
From the South and Points West: Make your way to I-95 and head towards New Hampshire. Taking I-495 through Massachusetts is usually a good option. Once in New Hampshire, take exit 7 (the last exit in NH). At the end of the ramp (the stop lights), take a right onto Market Street. Go through two sets of lights. Try to be in the left lane by the second light. After this last light, you’ll approach an intersection with a blinking light, take a left into the Isles of Shoals Steamship Co. lot at 315 Market Street.
Parking: Parking for program guests is provided at the Isles of Shoals Steamship Co. lot. Star Island charges guests $12 for each night a car is parked. This charge is added to room and board bills.

Driving directions from a few major cities:
Boston, MA
Burlington, VT
Manchester, NH
New York, NY
Portland, ME
Providence, RI
Worcester, MA

If Someone Else is Driving

Bus: Bus transportation into Portsmouth is regularly served by C&J Trailways and Greyhound.

Click Here for Greyhound Website | Click here for C&J Website

Greyhound will drop off passengers on Hanover Street in Portsmouth, which is about a three minute walk to the Isles of Shoals Steamship Co. dock. (Walking directions: When you get off the bus, go up and over the hill along the parking garage. At the intersection, cross the street and head left. Walk straight. Keep going past giant salt piles. The dock is on your right.)

C&J will take passengers from South Station and Logan Airport in Boston to their terminal in Portsmouth. The C&J Terminal is not walking distance to the dock in Portsmouth. C&J also has a bus that runs directly from New York City to Portsmouth daily. From the bus terminal, you have two options:

Trolley: COAST operates a trolley that can bring people from the C&J bus terminal in Portsmouth closer to the dock. The bus picks people up right at the bus terminal, and after about a 25 minute ride, will stop in Market Square — the center of downtown Portsmouth. The dock is about a five minute walk from Market Square. (Walking directions: take a right when you head off the bus. Take your first left. Walk down this street, crossing over to the right side at any time. Continue past the giant salt piles. The dock will be on your right.)

Click here for COAST Portsmouth Trolley Schedule
note the weekday and weekend schedules

Taxi: If you’re staying at a hotel away from the downtown area of Portsmouth, or need a lift from the C&J bus terminal, one of several taxi services will be able to help you. Check out Annie’s Taxi, Blue Star, Market Square Taxi for information and rates. Inform your driver that you are headed to the Thomas Laighton dock, which is 315 Market Street.

If You’re Flying

Portsmouth is between three airports of varying sizes. Boston’s Logan Airport is about 50 miles to the south. Manchester’s Manchester-Boston Regional Airport is about 45 miles to the west. Portland’s International Jetport is about 50 miles to the north.

Logan: The easiest option from Logan is to pick up the C&J Trailways bus which has regular service to all terminals. Then follow the directions from C&J.

Manchester: Arrange a ride through East West Express. This commuter service will bring you to the same terminal as the C&J bus in Portsmouth.

Portland: Check out the Greyhound bus schedule to get from Portland to Portsmouth. Amtrak also has a train that goes from Portland to Dover, NH (about a twenty minute car ride from Portsmouth).

If you are travelling to and from Rye Harbor aboard the Uncle Oscar, please click here for directions.

Where to Stay in Portsmouth

Looking for a hotel to stay in before or after your stay on the island? Click here to find a list by distance from the dock.

Art Groups Invited to Experience Star Island

April 9th, 2015

The Isles of Shoals have been known for centuries as a naturally beautiful haven for creative people. From painters to poets, people have found a uniquely inspiring quality inherent in spending time on these islands, including Star Island.

Now is your chance to follow in the footsteps of painter Childe Hassam, novelist Nathaniel Hawthorne, and poet Celia Thaxter. Explore Star Island as an artist and attend one of the following summer programs that prompt you with creative endeavors, provide you with worthwhile adventures away from the distractions of mainland life.

And if you’re new* to Star Island, enjoy 30% off room and board when attending the full length of either of the following summer programs. How? With our Group Discount. You and your friends, whether part of a formal or informal group (an artist society, a book club, a writing group, etc…), simply need to select “Group Discount” when registering.

Star Arts

Arts Conference Icon

Saturday, June 20 to Saturday, June 27

This week-long program is great for someone who wants to be surrounded by people pursuing a variety of creative options. Workshops include music, writing, photography, visual arts, theater, and dance. The morning after you arrive on island, you’ll have the chance to choose from any of the workshop options to focus on for the rest of the week. Star Arts is a supportive environment that caters to beginners and professionals. Develop new skills, or stengthen the ones you already have.

Click here to register

Island Watercolor Intensive

Watercolor Icon

Saturday, August 1 to Wednesday, August 5

Spend a few nights on Star Island and delve into the world of watercolor painting. The expansive ocean views, rocky coastline, and historic buildings will serve as ready subjects for your paintings. People of all skill levels are invited to participate.

Click here to register

* New to Star Island means that you’ve never attended the full-length of a summer program before. So even if you’ve only come for a day visit, you’re new to us.

Sustainability Brings Focus to Star Island

April 8th, 2015


When we recently shared information with the press about our upcoming Earth Day event (click here to learn more), we didn’t imagine so many media outlets would pick up the story. But that’s exactly what happened. Check out the following links for stories, and click here to learn more about our Green Gosport Initiative — our program focused on sustainabiliy.

A Solar ‘Microgrid’ On Star Island May Be A Model For The Mainland

New Hampshire Public Radio

Region’s largest off-grid solar array holds out microgrid hope

Nashua Telegraph

Star Island announces completion of solar array

Star Island solar installation to help with energy

Washington Times

How to supply power to an island

Block Island Times

Our sustianability initiatives help us thrive as a summer destination for families, individuals and youth with a variety of programs focused on themes including arts, religion, international affairs, and social justice. Click here to see a list of the summer programs that call a sustainable Star Island home every summer.

Star Island Seeks Intern for Vaughn Cottage Museum

April 2nd, 2015


Star Island, an historic island off the Maine and New Hampshire coast, seeks an intern to assist our seasonal Museum Curator in operating and organizing the Vaughn Cottage Museum and Library during the summer of 2015.

Duties may include any of the following:

  • Complete projects relating to record keeping and PastPerfect
  • Transfer paper data to PastPerfect system
  • Inventory collections against PastPerfect records
  • Staffing museum during open hours by greeting guests, answering questions, maintaining security of items, and providing customer service.
  • Learn Star Island and the Isles of Shoal’s fascinating history as a 1600s fishing village, a famous 1800s resort and present day conference center.
  • Lead historical tours of Star Island and/or Appledore Island (tour themes are general island history and ghosts & graveyards).
  • Special projects as assigned by Program & Outreach Coordinator.

This internship is paid a $1,000 stipend, and is provided room and board while on island in dormitory style housing. Island residency is required 6 days per week with a specific schedule coordinated with the Program & Outreach Coordinator.

The dates of the internship are flexible with a preferred start date around June 8 and end date around August 28, 2015.

Desired Experience:

  • Working knowledge of PastPerfect.
  • Currently enrolled in museum studies or library science program at an accredited university or college.
  • Interest in New England history.

Physical demands:

  • Requires standing, stretching, bending, walking, lifting, climbing stairs, and transporting equipment; working at a computer; must be physically and mentally capable of functioning in a fast-paced work environment in a community setting.
  • Must be able to lift up to 50 lbs.
  • Must be able to walk around island with uneven and rocky terrain.

To Apply:

  • Please send a cover letter and resume to email hidden; JavaScript is required by April 30.
  • Please include contact infomration for two professional references.

Star Island To Announce Completion of Solar Installation At Earth Day Event

March 31st, 2015


This Earth Day – Wednesday, April 22 – the non-profit Star Island Corp. will host an engaging and informative evening with Star Island leaders titled “Going Green”. The public is invited to this presentation on the innovative environmental initiatives underway at Star Island.

Click Here to RSVP

The Earth Day event will be held April 22
At the Discover Portsmouth Center
10 Middle Street, Portsmouth, NH
5:30 to 7 PM
Refreshments provided
Click Here for Directions

Learn about the island’s new solar installation — New England’s largest off-grid photovoltaic array which will produce an estimated 60% of the island’s energy needs beginning this summer. The event will include a discussion by Star Island Facilities Director Jack Farrell, and Environmental Services Manager Kristen Simard from 6 to 6:30 PM. They will highlight programs for energy and water conservation and reuse.

Living with limited resources, Star Island has made it a priority to reduce energy and water use, collect rain water for use in showers and laundry, capture and reuse heat from generators, minimize waste, and grow a portion of the food for the thousands of guests that vacation on Star Island each summer. Farrell says, “Star Island is a role model for other communities. We are able to make changes and see the results immediately. Our ability to use our limited resources wisely allows us to be an example for others.” Efforts like these have positioned Star Island at the forefront of sustainability practices in New England. Star Island was recently awarded the Island Institute’s prestigious Island Energy Innovation Award for its accomplishments.

“We are excited to demonstrate the many ways Star Island is going green,” says Joe Watts, Star Island’s CEO. “We have invested years to find creative ways of living lightly on our island, and we want to share what we’ve learned with others.” Joe Watts will be available to answer any general questions about Star Island and its summer programs throughout the evening.

The open house will include live music by local singer/songwriter Dan Walker. Enjoy a lime rickey and network with other people interested in energy issues.


“Going Green” is made possible through sponsors Wentworth Greenhouses, CrossCurrent Communications, Five Maples, and the Portsmouth Garden Club.

Star Island is one of the nine Isles of Shoals located six miles off the coast of New Hampshire and Maine. Home to the historic Oceanic Hotel and a fishing village from the 1600’s, a visit to Star Island is a step back in time. The 43 acre island is owned and operated by the nonprofit Star Island Corp. During the summer months, Star Island welcomes families and individuals to explore Star’s rugged beauty for a day or take part in weekly programs with a variety of themes such as spirituality, world affairs, ecology and the arts. Star Island is an all inclusive vacation retreat where guests are encouraged to unplug and connect with each other and nature.


Green Gosport Initiative

Click here to learn more about the sustainable efforts Star Island has undertaken and plans to take through our Green Gosport Initiative.

Hear Our Story

Click here to listen to a report from NH Public Radio about our initiatives.

Next Page »

Our Mission

Our mission since 1915 is to hold and maintain Star Island and such other property as the Corporation may hold or acquire, as a center for religious, education, and kindred purposes consistent with the principles of the Unitarian Universalist Association and the United Church of Christ.

Our Vision

Our vision is to create on Star Island an environment that frees all who come to renew spiritually, explore matters of consequence, and gain knowledge about the world as it might ideally be.

Contact Star Island

Phone: (603) 430-6272
Fax: (603) 430-6270
Island Phone: (603) 601-0832
Staff Email Address List

Star Island Corporation
Morton-Benedict House
30 Middle Street
Portsmouth, NH 03801

Get directions to the office

Content © 1999–2015 Star Island Corporation. Clouds photo © Axel Rouvin.
Other photos © their respective owners.