In the beginning of August I paid a visit to relatively unknown Monhegan Island – as a part of a camping road trip along the beautiful coast of Maine. Other destinations that I visited were Portland and Acadia National Park. There will probably be a blog post on one of those destinations later as well.
Monhegan Island is a tiny island about ten miles off the Maine coast. The place is only accessible by ferry, is not bigger than one square mile and consists mostly of rocks, woods and coastal cliffs. The landscapes are beautiful, as is the only village on the island: Monhegan. This village has a population than normally doesn’t exceed ninety. And some of the residents are only there during summer. It’s absolutely tiny.
There are no cars or paved roads on the island; the few vehicles are pickup trucks that transport visitors’ bags to their accommodation in Monhegan. All roads are gravel roads and that alone gives the island an alternative feel. To me, it did feel like stepping back in time. Most of the island’s residents are artists or artisans and, as a result, art galleries and craft shops can be found all across the village.
Monhegan Island, an Artist Colony
Monhegan Island has been a retreat for artist for more than a century. They are apparently attracted by the wilderness and calm atmosphere of the place, which, to be honest, I was too. The artist colony still exists; especially during summer. That’s when dozens of painters and writers flock to the island to work, and sell their work. You see, that is also the time when most tourists visit. As we all know, tourists spend money, no matter where they go.
I spent a full day there; hiking to the cliffs, visiting art galleries and all major landmarks on the island – the lighthouse, ice pond, fish market, beach, and cultural and historical museum. I had the best lobster roll at the small fish market. There probably isn’t a better place to have fresh seafood than on an island in Maine. Correct me if I’m wrong here.
My favorite place on the island, however, was the Monhegan Brewing Company. There are no bars on the island, but they do have their own brewery there.
When, after exploring most of the island, I had enough to drink, I strolled back to the small dock and waited to board the ferry back to the mainland, to resume my US RV rental holiday. On the way back, I spotted a magnificent bald eagle, a couple of harbor seals, a minke whale and a few porpoises.
I think it’s fair to say that Monhegan Island is on no one’s bucket list, but it sure is a beautiful place for a day visit, or for a short overnight stay in Monhegan!