Still morning in Stonington, Maine

Gray day in Stonington, Maine, with almost no one in sight.

Gray day in Stonington, Maine, with almost no one in sight.

October in Maine offers colorful leaves and paths to lighthouses teeming with tourists, but some days during early morning hours are simply still.  Especially at Stonington.

Lone house in the water: Stonington, Maine

Lone house in the water: Stonington, Maine

One of our favorite places to visit in Maine, Stonington is a working harbor where more than 300 boats bring in some of the biggest lobster hauls in the state.  On any given day in the summer, you can expect to see lobstermen in full swing heaving heavy traps out of boats onto shore and tourists bustling around town, cameras in hand ready to capture shots of the town that time forgot.  It’s the oldness of Stonington that appeals to us — from buildings that have withstood blustery winds and frigid winters for years to the people who work the waters the way their fathers and grandfathers did.

The Opera House dominates the landscape of the town of Stonington, Maine.

The Opera House dominates the landscape of the town of Stonington, Maine.

But on this particular morning, a light fog settled on the landscape, covering both the shore and the waters in pale gray.

Small house in Stonington Harbor on a gray, lonely day.

Small house in Stonington Harbor on a gray, lonely day.

The town of Stonington, usually busy with tourists shopping, eating at restaurants, and being entertained at the Opera House, was empty . . . as were most touristy towns after Columbus Day, the unofficial start of winter in Maine.

This usually busy harbor with no one in sight (shore birds and seagulls excepted) offered only the sounds of frothy waves and flags flapping in the wind.

Empty now, but a busy rental in the summer:  Catbird Seat in Stonington.

Empty now, but a usually busy summer rental right on the harbor: Catbird Seat in Stonington.

Staring back and standing his ground!

Staring back and standing his ground!

We scanned the landscape for color anywhere we could find it — from the red of a life preserver . . .

Gray scene with life preserver:  Stonington harbor.

Gray scene with life preserver: Stonington harbor.

to the gold of lichens (or some such growth) on the banks.

Finding color on a foggy day

Finding color on a foggy day

We counted ourselves lucky to be viewing a wintry scene alone in one of Maine’s most active harbors.

No boaters in sight: Stonington, Maine

No boaters in sight: Stonington, Maine

Weathered but still standing: harbor house in Stonington

Weathered but still standing: harbor house in Stonington

Stonington pier on a gray day

Stonington pier on a gray day

Stonington, Maine:  looking good in any weather!

Have you been to Stonington?  We’d love to know what you think of this lobstering town Down East.

For more information:

Visit Maine has more info on Stonington.  For rentals, check out Island Vacation Rentals.  

For more of our travels in Maine, check out Autumn Down East.

About Oh, the Places We See

Met at University of Tennessee, been married for 47 years, and still passionate about travel whether we're volunteering with Habitat Global Village, combining work at Discovery with pleasure, or just seeing the world. Hope you'll join us as we try to see it all while we can!
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27 Responses to Still morning in Stonington, Maine

  1. For a Mainer like me I recognize the tone of this post.

  2. Sue Slaght says:

    Although I would love to see all of the lobster hauls coming in, the quiet of your photos is very appealing. Perhaps just coming back from bustling SE Asia makes me the serenity al lthe more appealing.

    • Thanks for your comments, because I feel the same way. Summers are quite hectic, and with few parking spots is hard to negotiate around this little village. We loved our quiet day, and the fog or mist or whatever it was just added to the ambiance!

  3. Jane Lurie says:

    You’ve captured the quiet beauty of Maine off-season. Terrific series.

  4. Tina Schell says:

    Lovely post about a beautiful place. Living in an environment that draws many tourists during the summer I always enjoy seeing tourist attractions in their off months. So much more peaceful and lovely, don’t you think?!

    • I agree with you about the enjoyment that comes by traveling off season. We found solace in standing alone on several piers, shores, etc. and just looking off into the distance by ourselves. It was a rare occasion, but one I’d recommend. Hopefully, I’ll write a post on the why people should travel to Maine in October — it may be against current recommendations, but we found much to enjoy!

  5. This is the first time I am hearing about Stonington and it seems very charming. I would love to explore this charming place, especially that area with the boats!

    • It really is a town that time forgot. Everything is “old style” when it comes to lobstering. And living, too, it seems. No one is in a hurry. The most exciting part of the day is when the fishermen return to the harbor with a catch. Ah, the life!

  6. Although foggy, your photos still capture the beauty!

    • Thanks so much. I’m becoming a fog lover, actually. It’s fun to capture those fuzzy, gray shots — and when else does that happen except on fogging mornings. (Of course, I’m working on getting up early before the fog rises!!)

  7. Love seeing working harbors, so thank you for sharing this one. Love the photos and the colors. Places like this have a special charm in off season and as well the benefit of being there without the throngs of visitors. Lovely.


    • You’re so right. We loved being there in the off season. However, I’d like to spend a week in that little house called Catbird Seat watching the action in the harbor each day. Stonington is worth a visit, for sure.

  8. Kelly MacKay says:

    I am going to look it up on the map. Can’t be that far from me.

  9. Another great capture of a gray day, Rusha. And the incorporation of colors such as the PFD added to the photos. –Curt

    • I’m beginning to think my professional photographer friend knew what he was talking about when he once told me he loved foggy mornings. Now, if I see a gray day, I’m out with the camera. Fog and ocean mist, too, I guess create an atmosphere that’s tentative at best, and I love it. (Just not in cemeteries!)

      • Laughing, Rusha. Especially in cemeteries! Where better to create an aura of mystery and danger. 🙂 Just kidding, sort of. But I agree totally on the fog. It can be more of an asset than a problem in photography. –Curt

  10. prior.. says:

    it doe look good in any weather – and the period after the opera house is interesting – I wonder if the opera is good there – and you are right – nice town in any weather

    • You ask good questions, and I really don’t know. We thought most things would still be open, but we could find only one restaurant and two shops available. Everything just shuts down after Columbus Day, even in a mild October! Thanks for taking a look.

  11. We spent a week just outside Stonington, but even in August, the water was too frigid for me to swim.

    • Thanks for taking a look at this post on one of my favorite towns in Maine. I agree — the waters probably aren’t for swimming. Evidently, though, they’re great for fishing and lobstering. A quaint place with lots of old-time scenery!

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