by Michael Blanding
The kids may start off complaining about forgoing their television and electronics-but they’ll end up falling in love with the simple rhythms of nature: the wind, the trees, and the water crashing on the rocks of this granite island 7 miles off the New Hampshire coast. Star Island is technically a religious retreat center, but there’s no proselytizing here unless you count conversion to a simpler way of living.
The one hotel is a 19th century grand Victorian that once served as a magnet for artists painting the island’s natural beauty. Rooms are simple with modest furnishings and irregular water pressure (all rooms are offered a pitcher full of hot water in the morning for bathing). Televisions are non-existent and don’t even think about getting a Wi-Fi signal. Even so, kids easily fall into the spirit of the place, wandering among the fields and tide pools or taking advantage of tennis, Frisbee golf, rowboats, and other diversions provided by the retreat center. There is a reason that families keep returning here year after year to dip their toes into a more relaxed existence, if even for a short time.
Our Editor Loves
- Unspoiled natural beauty
- Hearty family-style meals
- A dose of simplicity
- Water Sports
- Children Programs
- Free Breakfast
Not modern in any way. Your room may or may not have an outlet and the floor will not be level. The place is great to escape the world. Get some lobster rolls at the Gosport Grill and enjoy the scenery and people. The staff is the friendliest there is. Personally it is 20 Stars for me but the dining hall is far from fine dining and it is pretty rustic in places so others may not feel the same. Like great summer camp for adults and families.
My wife and I have spent the same week on Star Island for 28 of the last 30 years. It is our favorite week of the year. The location, 8 mile out in the ocean and surrounded by other islands, is simply breathtaking. The pace is what you want to make it. There is enough to keep every minute filled, yet enough space so you can set your own pace. If you have never been there, try a day cruise and tour to get a s nose of the place. You will come back.