Stones-2-Gems:  Earth - Science - Crafts - Two Geologists


Our summer weather is great for outdoor activities like hiking, kayaking, painting, bicycling, birding, photography, and beach combing. And rock hounding, of course! During heat waves well into 30sC or 90sF on the mainland, we have had clear skies, light breezes, and temperatures in the 20s C or 70s F. Say Ahhhh....

Stones2Gems Cottage

is a small island holiday cottage owned and maintained by Greg and Nancy McHone of North Head, on the island of Grand Manan, New Brunswick, Canada. It is quiet, private, very clean, and comfortable for 1 or 2 people, or a third person could use the futon. The cottage was completely renovated in 2009 with new floors, furnishings, and beds. This is a place where anyone can relax and enjoy a peaceful and inexpensive holiday, as well as perfect for the amateur naturalist, rock hound, writer, birder, photographer, or artist, with scenery that has attracted visitors for more than 150 years. Come to our friendly, peaceful island, far from the cares of your busy life. 


We rent it by the week (usually Sunday afternoon to Sunday morning), only to mature, non-smoking couples and individuals. If you are looking for just a few days on the island or a different week-long schedule, we will try to accommodate you before mid-June or after mid-September. Check the reservation calendar below, then contact us for special rates.


Rental seasons are normally June to October, but if you wish to visit another time, feel free to ask. The "high season" months are July and August, and for then you should make your reservation as early as possible -- see the calendar below.


Rates for 2015 will be $600 CND for a week with one or more days in July or August, which is competitive with other island cottages. Our price includes all taxes and fees. For weeks completely in June, September, or October, the rate is $500 CND per week. Reservations for more than one week have a $50 discount per week (but you handle laundry and necessary cleaning during your stay). As costs rise we must raise the rent, but if you come back next year we will charge you the previous year's rate.

Our location on a quiet side lane has no ocean view because it is set well back in a large private lot surrounded by trees. But it is only a short walk down to Pettes Cove Beach and Net Point, or up the hill to Swallowtail Head and Light. Pettes Cove is unspoiled, peaceful, and very beautiful. It is another easy walk past the ferry landing and through North Head village, which has an active fishermen's wharf, post office, restaurants, inns, small shops, and handsome old houses. Slightly farther west are the Saturday Farmer's Market, Stanley's Beach, the drug store, North Head Bakery, and island hospital.

The cottage is small, one bedroom with two new twin beds, a full bathroom with closet off the bedroom, and a front room with a full kitchen and living area, including a futon sofa and easy chair. It is not for large families or for extra guests to stay over. A well-mannered pet is OK, but you must agree to pay any related costs for cleaning or damage. A TV in the corner also plays DVD videos, with a small library of movies and books, and a telephone for local calls (bring your cell phone for long distance). We hope to have wireless internet starting in May 2015. The deck is partially shaded during the day, with chairs and a small table as well as a charcoal grill. Charcoal and lighter are provided. A clothes line is in the back yard -- no washer/dryer at the cottage, but a commercial laundromat is available down the island. For folks who find stairs to be difficult, please note there are 8 steps up to the deck and door.

It is always beautiful on Grand Manan, with ever changing skies and seas. Wild flowers are everywhere in June, including fields of colorful lupines. The best weather usually arrives in July, and it is commonly clear and mild through September into October. The warmest temperatures are in mid-July through mid-August, but evenings are cooler, and air conditioning is not needed or used by most island people. Breathe deeply -- our air has the moist, fresh, invigorating quality of the North Atlantic Ocean.

You will find no heavy traffic, no crowds, no tourist traps, no ugly developments -- just friendly people, small unspoiled villages, and outdoor nature activities. Wander with your camera, go hiking, kayaking, whale watching, or biking, or just relax at a beach or the cottage with a good book. Most things you need can be purchased or rented on the island. Life here is secure and peaceful, with fantastic ocean scenery everywhere you go.  

The stereo microscope on the small table can be used to examine stones, plants, shells, sand, and other small items. I collect and renovate microscopes, so let me know if you are interested in one to take home. 

Payment: At this time (March 2015) the American dollar is higher in value to the Canadian dollar, and we will calculate a payment in USD to match what the bank will exchange to CND (it constantly changes). Immediate payment of half ($300 CND) is requested to reserve the cottage, with the remainder due upon arrival. Refunds are possible up to 2 weeks before arrival (earlier notice is appreciated). Reservations are first come-first served, so contact us as early as you can for the days you want. Payment is by personal cheque drawn on a US or Canadian bank in USD$ or CND$ (made out to Stones2Gems), or by PayPal. Or cash, but only in person. No business or bank cheques, please. Sorry, no credit cards directly, but you can use them in PayPal ( is the PayPal payment address).

Contact us via email or postal mail  for reservations and to arrange payment. Our mailing address is: 

Greg and Nancy McHone


9 Dexters Lane

Grand Manan, NB E5G3A6 Canada


Please use email if possible; or call us at 506-662-3327 before 9 PM Atlantic time.

Every rental cottage has a few rules.

How to get here? See these travel directions

Get updates and information -- join our Stones2Gems Cottage Facebook page (click the Like button)

Nearby are many places of interest.

What to do when you visit? 25 activities recommendations.

When is the best time to visit? times to visit recommendations.

New to Grand Manan? Spend some time looking over the island website.

Here are some Questions and Answers about visiting Grand Manan

Here is a brief History and Geology of Pettes Cove.

See this new travel video on YouTube, about a visit to Grand Manan

scroll to the bottom to see a calendar of reservations and events


Click on the photo for a larger image


The cottage is set well back from Durant Drive, which does not have much traffic anyway. It was completely renovated in 2009.


The side deck has both sun and shade, with a table where you can sit for your morning coffee or a lunch break.



The small deck includes a charcoal cooker, perfect for grilling burgers or fresh seafood from the local market.



The kitchen has some new appliances and is fully functional, including a dishwasher.



The eating area has a table with a window that gets morning sunshine.



The living room has a comfortable futon, and a TV with cable hook-up that also plays videos and dvds.



Our sturdy stereoscope works well for examining beach stones, plants, and even your finger for finding that pesky little thorn. It is easy and fun to use, and very educational.


The bedroom has two beds with thick and comfortable mattresses, two night stands, and a chest of drawers.




The bathroom is off the bedroom. It has a closet for your clothes, tub with shower, sink and toilet. The tile floor, doors, and wainscoting are new in 2009. 




The front and side yards are large enough for strolling and outdoor games.


Ring necked pheasants abound on Grand Manan. This handsome fellow spends his days around the cottage, apparently looking for pheasants of the female persuasion. 



Walk to Pettes Cove Beach in 5 minutes, and to Swallowtail Head Light in about 15 minutes. Net Point Trail starts from the south western end of this beach.



Click on the map for a larger image

This is a Google Earth image of North Head village, with some places of interest labelled.


Here is a portion of a topographic map, showing the North Head area. Hole in the Wall Park is a private campground and park, just up the hill north of the cottage. There is a small access fee, and you can hike to interesting overlooks as well as to hole-in-the-wall itself.



Topographic maps are useful for hiking, biking, and kayaking. There is a folder of maps in the cottage for you to use.



This is a tourist map of the island, showing roads and villages. We have more maps at the cottage, and you can pick some up at the ferry ticket office as well as local shops.




The Grand Manan Trail Map. See the Guide to Grand Manan Trails for detailed maps and descriptions of the trail system.




The geological map show our division by the Red Point Fault into a western section of Triassic lava over sandstone, and an eastern section of much older metamorphosed "basement" formations. Plenty of interest for a rock and mineral collector as well. The Grand Manan Museum has a new exhibit room about local geology.


The Quoddy Loop takes you around the Passamaquoddy Bay area. It is a fine day trip from Grand Manan.




Plug in 15 Durant Drive, Grand  Manan, NB E5G 2A5 for a detailed street map of the cottage and other useful locations, using one of the map services below.

  MapQuest Maps

  Google Maps 

  Map Blast

 Check the local weather at:

  Environment Canada weather forecast

  National Weather Service doppler radar map


See below for a calendar of reservations and some island events: