Pilgrim's Inn

purple lupines overlooking Mill Pond

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5 Best Things to do in Deer Isle in the Spring

Spring is such a magical time of year on Deer Isle. The ice and snow has melted and trees and flowers are blooming. You can hear the birds singing and see them resting on Mill Pond. There may still be a slight chill in the air but the sun on your face warms your soul from the long winter freeze. Sit in the relaxing Adirondack chairs on Pilgrim’s Inn lawn enjoying the view of Mill Pond. Read a book in the hammock under the shady trees. Watch the sunset over Northwest Harbor. There is always so much to do on a trip to Deer Isle and Pilgrim’s Inn it is hard to choose just 5. The weather in the Downeast Maine in Springtime is gorgeous, but the water can still be a bit chilly. So below is a list of activities that you can enjoy from the coastline or even indoors. Stay tuned for another featured blog about summer activities you can do on the Island!

Back of Pilgrim's Inn building with lupines in foreground

  1. Wings, Waves, & Woods Festival

This wonderful weekend festival is not your average festival. Wings, Waves, and Woods Festival is a compilation of birding, sightseeing, and nature. Truly a birder’s and outdoorsman’s dream. Island Heritage Trust puts together each year a schedule of events that include group hiking on our beautiful island trails while searching for and learning about local birds, as well as sea trips like the coveted boat ride out to Seal Isle on the Isle au Haut Ferry.

This year the festival takes place May 19 through May 21, 2023. See more information and sign up for events at Island Heritage Trust. And don’t forget to book your stay at Pilgrim’s Inn on Deer Isle and be close to all the action.

breakfast of pancakes, eggs, and bacon with fruit and coffee overlooking garden

  1. Visit a Sugar House

One thing you will be sure to enjoy with an overnight stay at Pilgrim’s Inn is Maine Maple Syrup! A fresh hot breakfast is included with your stay at Pilgrim’s Inn each morning. One staple we love to serve our guests is our Pilgrim’s Inn garden fresh raspberry pancakes with Maine maple syrup. Maine is one of the country’s top producers of maple syrup. We here at Pilgrim’s Inn use Jackman Maple Syrup out of Jackman, Maine. Though harvest season is typically late February through mid-April, there are several sugar houses throughout Maine open year-round you may visit to purchase maple syrup and maple treats. While visiting Deer Isle, you may check out Pop’s Sugar House in Ellsworth! You can also take home a taste of Maine right at the Pilgrim’s Inn gift shop where we sell small Jackman Maple Syrup jars and other gifts!

  1. See the Arts

Deer Isle has been come to known as a haven for artists and art-lovers alike. With Maine’s distinct beauty, artists have been drawn to its shores for over 200 years. Here on Deer Isle, the Haystack Mountain School of Crafts opened its doors in the early 1960s and has been welcoming creatives of multiple genres ever since. You may go on a tour of the Haystack school or take a class yourself! If viewing and purchasing art is more your speed, you are also in the right place. There are plentiful galleries located throughout Deer Isle. This is a spectacular Springtime activity to plan when the weather can be unpredictable. While staying at Pilgrim’s Inn, you can walk right across the street to the Deer Isle Artists Association which is open year-round, or see impeccable handcrafted jewelry at the Devta Doolan Studios on Main Street. The Turtle Gallery is also right up the road and is a guest favorite. From the moment you cross the Deer Isle bridge and all the way to Stonington harbor, you will find countless galleries or studios to welcome you through their doors.  See our blog “Visit and Shop the Galleries, Artists and Art Experiences in Deer Isle and Stonington” for more information on galleries in the area.

  1. Shopping

Who doesn’t love shopping on vacation? While Deer Isle and Stonington is not chalked full of big name retail stores (which is one reason many people enjoy it so), you will find a handful of darling gift shops and retail spaces lining Main Street and the historical harbor town of Stonington just six miles from Pilgrim’s Inn. Periwinkle, which you will find just a couple doors down from Pilgrim’s Inn, is a charming local gift shop in Deer Isle filled with trinkets, toys, clothing, and more, typically opening around June 1st.  One of our other favorite places to recommend is Nervous Nellies Jam’s and Jellies. Though you may receive a taste of their locally made jam or jelly while enjoying breakfast at Pilgrim’s Inn, you will not want to miss a chance to visit their gift shop and grounds. This is not just a gift shop, but an experience. Owner and local artist Peter Beerits has turned acres of land into “Nelleville”, an eclectic collection of sculptures to be immersed into. You may recognize our whale sculpture out back on the Mill Pond as one of Peter’s magnificent works of art.

In a hurry? Simply take a minute after breakfast to browse our Pilgrim’s Inn gifts and gear along with other locally made items available at Pilgrim’s Inn & Whale’s Rib Tavern gift shop. The Pilgrim’s Inn coffee mug is a must-have! Watch for new designs coming Fall 2023!


inside Rugosa Rose cottage featuring a couch and table with fresh flowers

  1. Farmers’ Markets

Food does not get much better than farmer’s market fresh. Every Friday morning, starting Memorial Day weekend, you may visit the Stonington Farmers’ & Artisans’ Market for fresh, locally grown vegetables and fruits, meats, seafood, baked goods and more! You may also find a nice collection of local flowers, crafts, jewelry, home goods, etc. There is also a Wednesday Night Market in Deer Isle just around the corner from Pilgrim’s Inn. For those of you that love to cook, Pilgrim’s Inn offers three pet friendly cabins in addition to their historical interior rooms. We suggest the beautiful Rugosa Rose Cottage with a private deck overlooking Mill Pond. These cottages come equipped with full kitchens including pots and pans and utensils. Stop off at the either of these Farmers’ Markets or the Blue Hill Farmers’ Market before you get to Deer Isle and cook yourself a farm fresh meal right from the comfort of our very own seaside cottage.



A stay with Pilgrim’s Inn allows you to enjoy all Deer Isle had to offer. Hope to see you in beautiful Deer Isle this Spring!

Relax. Explore. Restore.

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