Secluded Maine Family Getaway at the Inn at Diamond Cove
There is something about Maine, a vibe I’ve been trying to articulate in my head for a while now. Is it the beautiful surrounding wilderness or unique coastlines? Or maybe the people who go out if their way to be friendly to you, the kind of people who make you feel content and safe. Is it seafood… the lobster and assortment of fresh fish to taste fresh from the ocean? It surely is a special place, different from anywhere else we’ve visited.
Confession: I’ve always preferred traveling to big cities, craving the hustle and bustle; I love to shop and be able to stop whenever I want to get anything my heart desires at any moment.
But as my kids are getting older I’m beginning to realize that what I really crave is quality time as a family.
I want to go on long walks, watch them explore and see them come to life in their surroundings. I want to imagine, pretend, and dream with them. I want to create memories as a family that bring us closer and make us stronger as a family unit.
Our trip to Great Diamond Island gave us just that.
About Great Diamond Island
Great Diamond, an island so remote there are no cars, no shops or boutiques, hardly any paved roads… or people for that matter. In fact, according to Wikipedia, there are only 77 residents on the whole island. This was exactly the trip we needed to feel “off the grid”, explore nature, relax together, and spend quality time as a family.
Now as you read this, don’t get me wrong, I love being in nature, but I don’t like SLEEPING in nature. Camping is not our thing because in my opinion, I’m still on “mom duty” with all the chores- and normally more- on those types of trips.
Inn on Diamond Cove
We stayed at the Inn on Diamond Cove, a former army barracks renovated into a brand new hotel on the island. I’m not kidding when I say, the whole set up was perfect. We took a short 30 minute ferry ride to the island, tickets for our whole family cost around $20. The ride was magical for the kids, it was an EVENT, riding in a boat, seeing the waves and watching Portland slowly disappear as we sailed away from port. When we arrived at the island, we were greeted by a staff member to help us get all our belongings loaded and shuttled to the hotel.
An Inn with Sophistication and Class
The Inn itself is so well decorated and classy. Walking into the main lobby and dining area, we were impressed by the elegance and attention to detail as everything seemed to preserve the historic character of the building. Our suite was complete with a full kitchen bigger than the kitchen of our first home, spacious living area with a pull out couch, separate bedroom with a king size bed, and a bathroom with a walk-in shower and separate toilet room. The whole space felt more like a home than a hotel. The best part: a walkout balcony with steps that led to a winding path in the woods that takes you straight to one of the five beaches along the island, with a playground along the way. We felt so at home at the Inn and truly enjoyed every minute of our stay.
Hotel Features: Activities to Enjoy for the Whole Family
Before the trip, I wondered what we would do for two whole days on a remote island, and now I only wish we had booked an extra day… or two. The hotel offers so many activities: swimming in their heated pool, a playground with the longest swing chains we have ever seen, restored turn-of-the-century bowling alley with duckpin bowling, ping pong and a pool table, as well as old-school arcade games- we couldn’t get the kids to leave they were having so much fun. There are tennis courts, a fitness gym and yoga studio, endless trails to hike, run or even ride with bikes available from the Inn. There are board games to borrow and play in the lobby, which was a big hit for our whole family. And of course, if you are hungry or thirsty, Grab-and-Go pantry items, Starbucks coffee and drinks are always available in the lobby bar, or poolside Cabana bar during afternoon hours.
What to Eat: Dining on Great Cove Island
For dinner, we ate at Diamond Edge Restaurant, a short walk from the hotel and nestled right along the shoreline where the ferry comes and goes. It is the perfect spot for non-hotel guests to take the ferry from Portland and visit for an evening to eat a delicious meal while watching the sky change over the water’s edge as the sun sets.
We LOVED eating as a family at Diamond Edge Restaurant. The outdoor surroundings were perfect for our kids if they needed to stretch their legs before or after the meal; and the casually elegant ambiance, tasty food and drinks made for a beyond pleasant experience for the adults. For starters, we had the Maine Farmers Board and Tuna Poke. The kids loved the crackers, specialty meats and maple glazed nuts, while Matt and I devoured the cheeses with our wine and everything in the Tuna Poke. For dinner, all the kids wanted hot dogs and pizzas, they gobbled them right up; Matt ordered lobster, yes he ate the entire meal himself, and I ordered the delicious Summer Market Salad with salmon. We ended the evening with a cup of coffee and Berry Cobbler with ice cream. It was perfect.
Each morning we ate breakfast right at the Inn on Diamond Cove. We sat peacefully on their patio right outside the hotel lobby and tried blueberry pancakes, avocado toast, lobster omelet, and the farmer’s breakfast; everything was so tasty and more food than we could possibly need. I love eating a big breakfast in the morning and taking it easy as we sip our coffee and slowly wake up.
We spent the majority of our days swimming in the heated hotel pool… well, at least the kids and Matt swam. I laid on a lounge chair sipping a cool drink from the Cabana Bar and reading a good book I promised to finish before summer ends. It was the most relaxed I’ve felt in a long time.
Late afternoons, we loved walking around the island and discovering each of the five beaches along the coast. Now, the beaches at Great Diamond aren’t your typical Florida sand beaches- but if you remember, Matt & I aren’t really “beach people”. This was more fun for us- the ground has rocks, shells and small pieces of washed up glass that the kids loved finding along the shore, skipping stones and climbing around the larger rocks along the water. We stayed active and had so much fun taking pictures of all the scenic spots. Along our trail walks, we saw a number of wild turkeys and deer.
Before we left, the hotel’s GM, Mr. Manny, as we called him, took us on a golf cart ride around the island and that sure was a highlight for the kids. We were able to get to know Mr. Manny quite well during our stay and learned a lot about the island life from him: like how islanders can use instacart to get their groceries easily delivered, or what you do
if you need to hire a repair man to come to the island. How no one locks their doors and the friendliness of the locals. The more we learned, the more fond we became of the island.
Exploring nature, the quietness of our surroundings and slower pace lifestyle is my kind of island life.
“Worth a Visit, Worth a Lifetime”
When driving around Maine from the Great Diamond Island, we read the same sign a few times: “Worth a visit, worth a lifetime” it’d say. There’s just something special about this place; and when you see if for yourself you will know exactly what I mean when I say there’s something indescribable about Maine that you have to experience to understand.
Maine is worth the visit… I guarantee you will want to come back… maybe even to stay.