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Traditional Beach Camps on Ocean next to Markey's Beach, Matinicus

Bedrooms 3
Space 1,200 sq. ft.
Property type cottage
Minimum Stay 6 nights


About the property

3 Bedrooms, large central living area, not-quite-full bath, sleeps 6-10.

The KOHLS BEACH COTTAGE ON MARKEY'S BEACH sits in a private location well away from anyone else at ocean's edge, 50' away, and the sand beach is steps away. Picture windows along the length of the house keep the ocean ever-present. Lobster boats pull buoys outside the window. The sunrise and stars are clear over the night ocean. There's a private deck on one side and a grassy yard on the other. Washer, dryer, two showers (indoor and outdoor), furnace. The sandy beach is just a short distance (you can get there in a minute). Your dogs/cats are welcome.

Matinicus Island, the most remote island in Penobscot Bay is rarely visited by tourists, and is considered a working island, not a tourist island, but this beach camp, right on the ocean’s edge, has for 33 years been available for individuals and families seeking a place off-the-beaten-track who understand that in trade for the occasional shortage and uncertain timetables that island living imposes they will experience remote solitude, secluded sand beaches and an intimate look at the Atlantic ocean.

If you are considering Matinicus Island, you are already familiar with key Matinicus internet bullet points:

* Matinicus is the most seaward remote island community in Maine,

* Matinicus has a reputation, possibly mixing truth and fiction, as a pirate island with a smuggling history

* Matinicus has an undertone of past violence (that does NOT involve visitors) in defense of lobstering territory

* Matinicus is remote and you can’t always get what you want when you want it out there

* Matinicus feels special to the visitor and resident, and unlike almost anyplace except Matinicus.

You, as a visitor, will become part of that specialness, part of a type of traveller who can, as islanders say, 'make it at Matinicus'.

Beach camps are a dying housing type, but we attempt to keep the tradition: location at the edge of the beach and directly on the ocean, open kitchen shelving, basic indoor bathroom but the outdoor shower is popular, too. The three bedrooms are furnished with twin beds (2 rooms) and a queen bed (1 room), and futonr in the open living area that can expand sleeping capacity to if you bring children. The thread-count of the sheets is what you decide to bring, as sheets and towels are an item the guests are asked to supply for themselves.

Matinicus, with rare sand beaches, and its remaining beach camps has been favorably compared to Nantucket Island in the 1950’s, that quiet period at Nantucket long before the billionaires pushed out the millionaires. (Money at Matinicus is only good to buy baked goods at the island bakery and lobster in the harbor) Kohls is not precisely rustic, as the interior finish approaches, but does not quite achieve, a suburban feeling. The closeness to the ocean creates some challenges for maintenance: metal rusts quickly, for example.

Some people are naturally drawn to islands, and they bother with them because it removes you from the way that the automobile and roads and commerce define physical space and your agenda. While Matinicus has a few cars and some roads, many of which are more jeep trails than roads, it's a walking island, mainly. There are many remote beaches only accessible by foot, and rarely visited, unless you go see and comb the beaches there. Most people at Matinicus work harvesting lobster, a hard labor which begins before dawn, so that by 5:00 p.m. the island quiets down, and by dark, the day has ended. There is something comforting about being set up with your family group next to the ocean as this occurs, and the sense of closeness, remove, and privacy is something that you can't quite achieve on the mainland. Matinicus' sand beaches are nearly unique in rocky Maine, and the camp location right on the ocean is prime, the real essence of the experience, and why it can be successful, is the pleasure of being alone with your group with the vast ocean in front of you and little to interfere with your family plans. So visitors get to spend more and better time together.

We've rented since 1983, to probably 300++ guests/families, via our own website matinicusisland and have been with Homeaway since 2010 but Matinicus isn't 'home-away-from-home', it's different from home. We'd like potential guests to think less in terms of 'amenities' and more in terms of what Matinicus does NOT offer, as it is the absence of commercial distractions (and many conventional amenities) that makes a visit to the island memorable. I

A beach camp: for one thing, the furniture is mis-matched, 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 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.

A FEW CAVEATS: The well water sometimes has iron that will stain white clothing in the washing machine. Kohls has a dryer, both camps have washing machines. Buoys guests have collected hang in the rafters. The floor is uneven in places. 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 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. Lobster is the most fresh quality. Young men who work on the boats have been known to ride ATV’s on the wide sand on 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 a hospital quickly.

The 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. (The lost spatula has since been replaced, but we kept the guest's improvisation as a memento in the rafters). Self-reliance like this is essential if you choose to go out to Matinicus Island.

The simplicity of the beach camp concept is that you can put a broom to the place and in quick order whatever mess the kids or the dogs made will be remedied. 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 lobster available, but the mainland Shaw’s Supermarket will accept your grocery order by FAX in the morning and have the boxes flown out in the afternoon. This is how Matinicus Islanders live: never having to drive to the super market or hassle the parking, but having selection available anyway.

More Details

Member since: 2010
Speaks: english, spanish
Response time:
Within 2 days
Response rate:
Calendar last updated:
March 12, 2018

About Owner

We love Monhegan and Isle Au Haut, but liked the remoteness and remove and away-from-it-all feeling at Matinicus better and had an opportunity or two in the 1980's. It has been a great place to be with our families: no distractions.

Recently,(Dec. 2013) we visited the Crystal Cover State Park Historic District (California State Park, see:

to view the restoration of beach camps there from the 1940's and felt deep connection with that effort and hope Matinicus can retain much of that spirit.

In our past we have completed two historic renovations that have been listed on the National Register of Historic Places (Amos Chase Mill and House, Weare, NH,

This is our frame of reference: history, original building uses and historically respectful adaptations, preservation of setting and original building materials. Matinicus offers great opportunity if you have similar interests, as it has NOT been widely damaged by generic development.

Owner purchased this cottage in 1981

Why Owner chose Matinicus

The view. The feel of Matinicus, unlikely anyplace else. Right on the water, right next to the beach, Private. View of the boat traffic entering the harbor channel. Arguably the best ocean view cottage on Matinicus, but who's arguing? Matinicus has excellent beach combing, since there are few tourists, and most never bother with the remote beaches (many!) which can be full of interesting flotsam and jetsam. You often feel like the first person to be there. They really ought to make a park out of the island, since the remote location will tend to protect it from commercialization, we hope forever. We are State Park and National Park type of people, basically, and Matinicus is sort of like a park in its remote areas, but needs your help to remain so. But come see for yourself.

What makes this cottage unique

Sound and sight of the ocean and little else. Sense of isolation, which is a way to bring the family closer together. No commercial distractions for anybody in the group, which means, if you bring children, they are all yours for a few days. Matinicus has many remote beaches for picking up a great variety of unusual items cast off from boats from all over the world. There's something special about being so far offshore and off-the beaten-track and away-from-it-all that after a few days you'll experience and may like very much. This feeling is hard to find anywhere anymore, for reasons we all know.

Guestbook comments from the owner

Kohls house review. Hi my wife,daughter and I stayed there last Sept. We are 60. The owners made some improvements since then. This year I went for a week. Four days of solitude for me. Then my sister and her two daughters ten and eight arrived. The eight year old took pics of every flower she could find. The iPhone is probably full. The ten year old learned that even if she asked where are we going the answer is "that way" If you want a place where to can bond because you have to, do nothing , walk , swim, read ,make a fire on the beach, see stars as low as the ocean see chickens and have fresh eggs then this is for all ages. Don't worry, the kids even teens will love it. If your there when Eva's bakery is open even better. Huge whoopie pies and home made real blueberry ice pops. The website tells it straight. If you want new , modern, didn't like camping or renting a basic bungalow even though this is a real house then you may want to pass. The house is comfortable, warm , water is hot and the breeze terrific. My sister noted upon returning how well she felt there because of the minimalist environment. She has a huge modern home. Read the warnings about the water. Just bring a few gallons per person and then get more.Location is the best on the island. Fly in for the "Gilligan's island effect. I had the grandkids meet the plane later in the week for picking up stuff from Shaws and carry the over weighted wicker baskets of provisions back to the house. Twenty minutes at casual speed. If you need solitude go. If you want to party go. If you can't handle sand , no a/c don't. I can be reached at if you want more info. Ernst
Jun 2017
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Matinicus Cottage Accommodation and Amenities

Property Type:
  • cottage
  • Guests provide their own meals
Floor Area:
  • 1200 sq. ft.
House Rules:
  • Check-in: 4:00 PM / Check-out: 11:00 AM
  • Max. occupancy: 10
  • pets considered ...
  • children welcome
Location Type:
  • Beach
  • Beach View ...
  • Beachfront ...
  • Ocean View ...
  • Waterfront
  • Away From It All
  • Family
  • Backpack
  • Clothes Dryer
  • Internet ...
  • Local Maps
  • Telephone
  • Washing Machine
  • 4 Ring Stove
  • Coffee Maker
  • Cooking Utensils
  • Grill
  • Lobster Pot
  • Oven
  • Refrigerator
  • Toaster
  • Dining Area
  • seating for 8 people
  • 1 Bathroom
  • Bathroom 1 - toilet , shower
    Outdoor shower - outdoor shower
  • 3 Bedrooms, Sleeps 10
  • Bedroom 1 - 1 queen
    Bedroom 2 - 2 twin/ single
    Bedroom 3 - 2 twin/ single
    Other - 2 sleep sofa /futon
  • Books
  • Games for Kids
  • Radio
  • Beach Chairs
  • Deck / Patio
  • Outdoor Grill
  • Walkway to Water
  • Wood Deck
  • bay/sound
  • churches
  • marina
  • nude beach
  • playground
  • volcano
Leisure Activities:
  • beachcombing
  • bird watching
  • eco tourism
  • luaus
  • paddle boating
  • photography
  • walking
  • whale watching
Sports & Adventure Activities:
  • cycling
  • deepsea fishing
  • fishing
  • hiking
  • pier fishing
  • snorkeling
  • sound/bay fishing
  • surf fishing
  • swimming


Wonderful! 4.8/5 -
(6 traveler reviews)

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Traditional Beach Camps on Ocean next to Markey's Beach, Matinicus
average rating of 4.8333335 based on 9 reviews
Somerville, MA

Matinicus marvel

  • 5 of 5

We had the most spectacular time at Kohl's cottage.

We took the ferry with Capt Tarkleson. Really incredible views. Would like to fly in next time to mix it up. We had some trouble with the cart. As we hauled our stuff from the dock, the rim cracked and the wheel became unusable, but we managed just fine. We had all the time in the world.

Outside of that everything was perfect. We got milk from the sweet farmers, lobster from the fisherman's wife, library books from the mini library, eggs from some of the chicks and ducks, beach bonfires, puzzles, tons of tidepooling, met so many really friendly people, played with dogs, skinny dipped.....

Basically brilliant.

Thank you.

  • Submitted: Dec 16, 2016
  • Stayed: September 2016
  • Source: HomeAway
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Kohls Cottage, Matinicus, Fall migration

  • 5 of 5

This rental was just perfect for our purposes. We're birders, and Matinicus is great for birds during fall migrtion. Unfortunately it doesn't get the attention that other islands off the coast of Maine get (e.g. Monhegan). We're also campers, and this cottage was pretty upscale for what we're used to. Shame we couldn't share it with friends. The expansiveness was very welcome. Our dog Roxie was very happy as well, meeting all the other dogs on the island. The big-window view was perfect. We watched Great Cormorants, adults and juveniles, perched on Two Bush Ledge, but being shifted around by Bald Eagles. We hiked every available trail on the island, and spent some time on Markey's Beach and the beauty at the south end. We're anxious for a repeat next year.

  • Submitted: Oct 13, 2015
  • Stayed: October 2015
  • Source: VRBO, from HomeAway
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Fantastic Family vacation

  • 4 of 5

We actually visited a few years ago, but the website does not allow back-dating. We just loved being right on the water where we could look out the windows and see all the lobster boats going by. We had a campfire every night out on the rocks by the water and star-gazed. The kids were amused by the swing in the living room. Our family was unplugged from the world in every way, and it was great to re-connect. No TV, Wi-Fi, cell-phone, radio, or Fed-Ex tracking my spouse down with work. We enjoyed biking the island and eating fresh lobster. The only thing we didn't quite like was the water....we did go to the bakery in town for good drinking water. I DID love the outdoor shower, however!

  • Submitted: Jul 21, 2014
  • Stayed: July 2014
  • Source: HomeAway
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A comfortable cottage on a wild & gorgeous island

  • 5 of 5

I just love Kohl's. It's pretty much my ideal cottage. Love the big main room, the wood, those windows (even if we can't open them) with that view, the outdoor spaces on both sides, the deck, picnic table, and outdoor shower, and the short walk to Markey's Beach. Nothing is fancy, except the views. I've now been there three times, and hope to return there often.

We first went to Kohl's in 2008. The experience was fun to prepare for--we decided to take the plane from Owl's Head. What a great decision! The short, 15-20 minute flight is gorgeous. In addition to our duffle bags, the plane carried our banana boxes of food, bikes, and our friends' two husky dogs. The whole affair was relaxed and professional. The Katz family was wonderful in helping us figure out what to bring.

From the plane our island friend picked us up in his old pickup and drove us the five minutes to Kohl's Cottage. (On another trip, we used a taxi service from a local woman who is incredibly kind and told us who to buy lobsters from at the wharf, and what the bakery hours were that week. On our most recent trip, without kids, we just biked from the airstrip to the cottage.) The whole trip, from our doorstep in midcoast Maine to Kohl's, took just two hours.

My husband and I stayed the whole week with our young son who was newly walking. Other friends came at other times of the week to occupy the other two bedrooms. The cottage was perfect for toddlers--he loved poking his fingers thru the holes in the afghan on the sofa, playing bocce with us on the lawn, walking over pine needles and roots, and running after a frisbee on the beach.

The experience is equally quirky & comfortable, relaxed & wild.The cottage has laundry, and you can order addt'l groceries via fax on the mainland--it comes on the mail plane. When we weren't reading, painting, grilling, playing games, or oceangazing at Kohl's, we were at the beach, which is just a minute's walk through a lovely stand of woods. The beach is a pretty crescent, and at low tide you can walk clear around the point. The water is cold out there! The kids swam a bit, but mostly we just dipped to cool off.

We also loved exploring the island, mostly by bike. We found the bakery, the other beach, and many trails. Locals on the wide dirt roads passed us in dusty trucks or on ATVs--even ten-year-olds drove them--and smiled or just nodded. We found the weekly softball game and the music on the wharf. No tourists there. Go explore & enjoy!

  • Submitted: Feb 20, 2014
  • Stayed: June 2013
  • Source: HomeAway
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Stepping Back in Time

  • 5 of 5

Few places in the modern world still provide the chance to experience a simpler way of life in tune with the rhythms of nature. Matinicus is one of those magical places! The week there with my husband evoked memories of childhood summers at a remote logging camp in Northern Wisconsin on a big lake.. Anyone of a certain age, 60 in my case, who had a family cottage or cabin or who vacationed on islands that involved taking ferries will know what exactly what I am talking about. Getting there is an adventure. Being there is an adventure. The planning and effort involved has the feel of ritual preparation for “special time” that is totally different from the rest of one’s life. Looking forward to that time and looking back on that time is a sustaining touchstone in a year -- and in a lifetime. Or so it used to be. I did like the convenience and fun of getting there on a plane, though.

The owners were quite helpful in orienting us about getting there, what to bring and what to expect. We stayed in Kohl’s Cottage, the larger & more modern of the two. For my tastes, I might have preferred the old-timey, snug, spare atmosphere of Norris, but it was already booked. The location on the island seemed perfect– close to a sand beach and to the port. There is a sense of privacy even with the two houses fairly close to one another. Everything was clean & comfortable, but not at all fancy. This place is not for everyone. I know people who would adore Matinicus & the rustic accommodations as we did-- and others who would immediately reserve the first available flight off the island.

Days are lazy, but full. We got up early & went to bed early. We hiked & explored the island on foot, biked to Eva’s Bakery & elsewhere, enjoyed chats with local folks, hung out at the dock & enjoyed the action in the port, watched birds, beachcombed, read long novels, had long talks, worked a puzzle and cooked meals together. Swimming is only for the very brave! I gloried in ditching electronics for the week & telling people to call me only in a real emergency. I liked going car-free too. Ann, who drives the Mermaid Taxi, took us to & from the airstrip and also gave us good advice about the island.

Time on Matinicus truly was memorable and magical. This island -- & this property in particular -- is a place I intend to come back to and recommend to family and friends who share my taste for this kind of “away from it all” experience. This is a real find!

  • Submitted: Feb 2, 2014
  • Stayed: July 2013
  • Source: HomeAway
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Great location, everything promised was there.

  • 5 of 5

Please note that the arrival date is not correct. The calendar does not go back far enough for us to put in the date back in 2011 I believe.

Great to hear from you folks. We stayed at Kohls cottage several years ago and I can tell you it was one of the best, most relaxing vacations

that I ever had. My wife Marti and I enjoyed every minute of the two weeks that we were there. Every one we met on the island was cordial and friendly. The transportation was outstanding. WE walked the island from end to end several times and enjoyed Marki beach as well as the beach at the other end of the island.The bakery was a must stop on all of our walks. We have told all our friends what a great time we had and also all the stories about people we met. The store on the island opened a couple of days after we arrived so we didn't have to use the delivery service from Rockland.

I may be in contact with you later in the spring if my wife is interested in redoing our vacation. In the meantime enjoy the rest of the winter.

Very Best Regards

Lloyd Pomber

  • Submitted: Jan 31, 2014
  • Stayed: July 2013
  • Source: HomeAway
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Car: not necessary

Matinicus is an unspoiled, unpretentious island 22 miles off the coast of Rockland. It has two beautiful sandy beaches, a one room school house, playground, post office, gift shop, bakery, a harbor full of lobster boats, some artists, some writers, a handful of summer residents and few tourists. Visitors enjoy hiking, birding, beach combing, eating lobster, biking, fishing, and a slow-pace. Island can be reached by boat or Penobscot Island Air from Owl's Head. Your own car is not needed on the island. There is an island taxi service for help with luggage, etc.


Rates & Availability

Taxes and fees are additional

Additional information about rental rates

Weekly rentals begin Saturdays at noon. and end the following Saturday. One week's rent is required in advance to reserve.

Refunds will ONLY be given for cancellations made prior to June 1st and ONLY if we can re-rent the time you reserved. Otherwise, a credit for a future stay will be offered.

Owner's Cancellation Policy

  • 100% refund if canceled at least 60 days before arrival date.
  • Service Fee fully refunded on cancellations that qualify for 100% refund.

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