Car-Free Destinations for Your Big Summer Trip
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Just 12 miles off the coast of Maine, Monhegan Island has always been a haven for artists looking to escape modern civilization in the summers. Today, you can still find original artwork done by locals and inspired by the island in Monhegan's shops and galleries (try visiting the Lupine Gallery or Ruth Zachary Photography). Of course, it was nature that brought the artists in to begin with, so it's worth exploring the 17 miles of wooded trails that wind their ways through the island and along the rocky shores. Whichever path you take, make sure to stop at the Monhegan Historical & Cultural Museum, located in the lighthouse keeper's house on the grounds of an 1824 lighthouse. End the day with fresh-from-the-sea lobster or chowder from the on-island fish markets.
Getting Around: There are no paved roads, and you're kindly asked to leave the mountain bikes at home, so you're hoofing it while you're here. But because the island is just 1.5 miles long by a half-mile wide, walking shouldn't be too much of a problem.
Getting There: There are three jumping-off points for getting to Moneghan by ferry: Port Clyde, where you can catch the Monhegan Boat Line; New Harbor, where you'll find the Hardy Boat Cruises; and Boothbay Harbor, via the serenely named Balmy Days Cruises.
FYI: If you're planning on hiking along Gulf Cove, near the back of the island, beware of slippery rocks: Visitors have been known to fall into the ocean (sometimes fatally).