The little blue cottage at Heather Beach, overlooking the Northumberland Strait, is a terrific place for little kids, gentle ocean, warm water, bike riding, exploring the beach. And for grownups who like quiet, reading, painting, baking bread. It was moved to it's current location by barge in the 1930's and still has the antique, rustic charm [and lack of some modern features] of the original cottage.
. Most of our time is spent in the beautiful green and brown woods of the Catskill mountains. However, every summer for the past 25 years we have packed up and migrated north to Heather Beach on Northumberland Strait where it is exquisitely blue(URL HIDDEN)This rustic cottage has electricity, hot running water with an outdoor shower with a view of the ocean. There are two tiny bedrooms - one with a queen sized futon bed, the other with four single bunks. This is a terrific place for little kids, gentle ocean, warm water, bike riding, exploring the beach - gathering a bounty of clams and mussels for dinner! And for grownups who like it quiet, reading, painting, baking bread, and contemplating the deep blue sea. At low tide, you can walk for a couple miles on the edge of the world! This is not blanket to blanket, umbrella to umbrella beach but wild and authentic(URL HIDDEN)There is an efficient air-tight wood burning stove for the occasional chilly evening and a large covered porch overlooking the sea and incredibly beautiful sunsets many evenings!! That’s the Northumberland Straight with Prince Edward Island just barely visible 10 miles distant.
The regular season is summer – June through mid-September. July and August have the best beach weather. We have owned this since 1990 and enjoyed a few weeks every summer there, it’s our favorite place in the world! Late spring and early fall can be wonderful there, but you might have occasional need for the woodstove. While the calendar may only show open dates for the summer, if you are interested in the booking earlier or later, contact us.(URL HIDDEN) We never thought about sharing it until we discovered Airbnb. So when we decided to offer it, we saw it through new eyes - hey, we need to do work! It had been fine for our family, but not up to par for sharing. So in the summer of 2014 we got to work - cleaning, painting, wallpapering, etc. For the past 25 years, it’s been our very rustic beach retreat – with just an outhouse. That was fine for our family. In summer 2015 we had our first few Airbnb guests, and it was fine with them, too, we received favorable reviews. Nonetheless, we decided the time had come to invest whatever it took [a lot] to install a flush toilet. So now there is one - not luxurious, its located in an adjacent storage shed.(URL HIDDEN)The cottage still feels like a throwback in time. For example, In the photo of the wood stove, you will see that on the floor of the living room we have kept the antique linoleum, dating back to the 1930's or 1940's. We have kept the wood shingle siding despite the headache of continual need for painting. Most other cottages along the beach have gone to vinyl or aluminum siding.
. There's an airtight wood stove. A month earlier or later than the summer season can be great, or can be a bit chilly for swimming. Even in summer, once in a while the north wind blows in and a fire is welcome. We keep a supply of firewood for the wood stove(URL HIDDEN)It is beachfront. The beach is red sand, the water temperature in summer often gets up to 72 to 74 degrees. In 2015 one day the sea was 78 degrees. It varies quickly, and can be 76 one day and 68 the next. You have your own beach in front of the cottage, and, there's a public beach with a lifeguard a 10 minute walk to the east. The cottage is about 25 feet in elevation above the beach, so one can climb down the steep slope to the water, or walk 300 feet down the road to a public stairway.(URL HIDDEN)The shower: It's an outside shower that we find delightful - when the sun is high in the sky, the water spray makes little rainbows around you. And you're looking out across the Northumberland Straight to Prince Edward Island - heaven(URL HIDDEN)Getting there: We usually drive one of our Royces - 750 miles from our home in Woodstock, New York. Our favorite way, but more costly, is to take the overnight sleeper coach on Via Rail Canada. One drives to Saint Lambert, a few miles outside of Montreal, [free safe parking there] catches the sleeper coach about 7 PM. Dinner is served in the dining car. Sleeping in your suite on the train is most refreshing. You arrive Amherst, Nova Scotia the next morning [about 20 miles from the cottage] and pick up a rental car. If you're a train buff, and have the time, you can take the train all the way from Manhattan – Amtrak connects to Via Rail Canada in St. Lambert. If your time is limited, you can fly into Moncton, New Brunswick, 50 miles from the cottage.
One now needs a passport to cross the border.
. We host 8 properties in Eastern North America from Florida to Nova Scotia, ranging from off the grid “camping cabins” to upscale converted barns. All of them are retreats we originally purchased for our own use, because we loved the location and the cottage or cabin. Only later did we discover we could share them through Airbnb and other websites. It has been most satisfying to get the feedback from guests when they too, love staying at the properties. Here at Heather Beach, we received the ultimate positive feedback – one of our guests purchased a cottage on the same cul de sac after staying at our place. [Update – the same thing happened at our Florida cottage in 2016(URL HIDDEN) Having said that, we want to emphasize the cottage is simple, plain, not at all fancy or modern. We have been told it was brought to the current location on a barge from Pugwash, Nova Scotia in the 1930's, one of the first cottages on Heather Beach, at a time when one could purchase a beachfront lot for $50(URL HIDDEN) Trash, recycling, and composting must be separated, instructions will be posted.
Updates for 2018:
There is not wifi not cable television at the cottage. For wifi we use either the local library or the public site, known as the “CAP site,” both of which have free wifi and the use of computers. There is a TV with a DVD player. The bedroom with the bunk beds is fine for 4 kids - our four grandchildren age 4 to 9 are fine with it, but we only recommend 2 adults for that bedroom since it's tiny. There is a single sofa bed in the living room, so more than 4 adults is possible, but the cottage in small for that. Housekeeping makes the beds with linens on the queen bed, the sofa bed and 2 of the bunk beds. Bring your own washcloths and towels, and if you plan to use more than two of the bunk beds, sheets for them.
Other things to note
We live in a mountainous area where there are many places where we don't get calls on our cell phones. To contact us for anything time sensitive, text messages [to both of us] are more likely to get through than a phone call.
As we mentioned, we ask that you bring your own sheets and towels. Nova Scotia has trash, recycling and composting regulations that are stringent compared to the USA. Those, and the schedule for trash, recycling, and compost pickup will be posted on the fridge.
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Ulster County Community College AA
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Suny New Paltz BA
Washington University MSW
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Stage Manager - Opera and Musical Theater
Building Contractor, Woodstock, NY
Broker/Owner Century 21 office Woodstock NY
Please Note: Our home [not our Airbnb listings] is in an area with poor cell phone service, so do text both of us if you need to reach us promptly: and
Well, "retired" may be a euphemism - With help from my partner, Chloe Dresser, we host 7 retreats in North America. She and I have been collecting cool retreats for the past 3 decades, and now have discovered we can share them and not keep them just for our extended family. Guests seem to appreciate them them as much as we do, and the positive feedback is a big bonus.
Chloe still mamges our real estate brokerage, in case you are in the market for a country home in the area
Andrew Peck and Chloe Dresser.