Head to Star Island this Summer!

If you live on New Hampshire’s seacoast, you probably spend a chunk of your summer at the beach. While I love a relaxing day at the beach with a good book, some snacks, and plenty of sunscreen, by the middle of summer, I am over the traffic, the crowds, and the parking (fifteen dollars?). So, here is an equally (arguably, more) fun way to get on the ocean this summer: head to Star Island!

On a bright, hot Sunday afternoon, thanks to the Isles of Shoals Steamship Company, my mom and I hopped aboard the Challenger and headed out to sea. The boat departed from the docks on Market Street in Portsmouth and headed out on the Piscataqua River.

The Challenger!

The ride to Star Island was about an hour. We snagged prime seats right on the bow (that’s the front of the boat for the non-boaters in the audience) and soaked up the sunshine, cool breeze, and salty spray. Bravely, I took a hundred pictures clutching my phone tight as I stood precariously on a moving motor boat.

Once we made it to the island, we only had about 45 minutes to spend, which we quickly realized was not long enough! We had packed sandwiches, cucumber slices, and figs so we found a pretty spot to sit for a quick picnic lunch. Aside from walking the perimeter and taking more pictures, we managed to accomplish nothing else during our short stay.

Isles of Shoals panorama, captured from Star Island

In the future, we’ll choose a longer day visit and swim off the docks and rent kayaks. The island also has a playground, bird watching, board games, and a tennis court if you’re into any of that. Of course, we did manage to find time for ice cream before heading back to the boat.

Ice cream does taste better on the ocean.

On the ride home, we took advantage of the boat’s $6 margarita special.

Again, somehow much tastier on the ocean.

If you do journey to Star Island this summer, bring a sweater! It got very cold on the boat and I was happy to have one. Also, my final words of wisdom, don’t make the same mistake that I did: bring a quarter so you can help feed the chickens!

For 25 cents you can help feed these cute little guys!

Fun fact: chickens are my favorite animal!

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