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“It was Pretty Nice”
Review of Monhegan Island

Monhegan Island
Certificate of Excellence
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Attraction details
Owner description: A square-mile rock off the coast of Monhegan that is home to 70 residents.
Reviewed 25 September 2007

I went to Monhegan Island on a boat ride from New Harbor. I thought that the boat ride was very nice and the ship captain did his best to make the trip enjoyable. The island itself was quaint, although I don't think spectacular. It was just a nice little getaway. The lighthouse on the island has an excellent museum. This seems like the type of place to just get away from it all, slow down, and just relax. Nice to see. I took the trail to Whitehead and the views of the cliffs are peaceful.

5  Thank angeleyes27
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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273 - 277 of 278 reviews

Reviewed 28 June 2007

To me, this place is pretentious and seems a bit of a delusion. There are six to seven figure island homes situated high on some of the peaks. One house advertised for sale at 700K when I was there. The tallest structure on the island is a modern microwave tower sited next to the mythic Monhegan Island Lighthouse, which is now totally automated and powered in part by solar panels. Oddly, the artists don't paint this structure into their work. Fish Beach is part tourist restaurant, part artist hang out, part outdoor cafe. Fish Beach is also sort of polluted with trash. Maybe this is historical. The local stores sell the trinkets you'd expect to find in any Maine resort town. There are also the art galleries with paintings selling for a few hundred to a few thousand dollars. That's rustic, for sure. What keeps being touted as a "place lost in time" is probably long gone -- it's already the victim of stealth gentrification -- it seems to be more about the marketing for tourism, and the maintenance of the illusion of a rustic way of life, which is sustained artificially -- in part for those islanders who don't want the complexities of modern living, and in part to support the tourism business which swings seasonally on a fulcrum of perceived novelty. From what I saw, there is really nothing that unique about this place in terms of culture or physical geography that you wouldn't find on, say, Peaks Island, where the streets are paved but there is actually less traffic congestion. Also, even though the outside appearance presented is that of old Yankee ingenuity and provisional resourcefulness, people obviously have their cable TV, internet, cell phones, and all the advances of modern civilization, including for some, large bank accounts and mainland homes with real automobiles. They just don't have cars or paved roads when they get to Monhegan to lead the centuries old rustic life they always dreamed about. The real estate overdevelopment on the island, like in many Maine coastal regions, will be obvious to visitors.

33  Thank soiforgot
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 14 August 2006

We took the Balmy Days II from Boothbay Harbor to Monhegan Island and it was certainly the highlight of our vacation! In fact, the next time we visit Maine, we plan to stay on Monhegan Island! It is absolutely beautiful. The only "down side" was that we had a 1 year old and a stroller and didn't know until we were on the boat that strollers would be difficult to maneuver on the roads. We managed a bit of walking with the stroller and then dropped it off near Hot Fat's Fish and Chips stand, where the owner of the stand was kind enough to keep an eye on it while we hiked to the Lighthouse. I highly recommend visiting this island and taking as many pictures as you can!

12  Thank DanetteA
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
A TripAdvisor Member
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Reviewed 22 July 2005

We visited Monhegan Island at the end of June. We took the Balmy Days II out of Boothbay Harbor and found the trip to be quite enjoyable. On the island, we hiked to the Cove and to the Headlands. The best photographs from our whole vacation on the East Coast were those we took on Monhegan. It was very diverse and the wildflowers and trees were beautiful. We would have liked more time on the island. Except for hiking, photography or art, there is not much to do on the island. That might be a problem on a rainy day but it was fine for our foggy day. We saw many artists with easels in the fields. Bring cash - - some stores do not take credit cards.

20  Thank A TripAdvisor Member
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 6 June 2005

no wonder so many painters and artists decided to enjoy this island's graceful nature!

there's plenty to see here & keep you busy for a long weekend:
the lighthouse on the middle of the island, the whitehead cliffs, deadman's cove overlooking the nigh duck, manana island, lobster cove, cathedral woods

we missed the seals but saw plenty of birds and bird-watchers, lobsters and lobster fishermen, art and artists.

and by the end of the stay we were saying "hi" to everyone on the island as we crossed paths.

we went there for memorial weekend in may 2005, and stayed at the island inn, which i would highly recommend.

skip martha's vineyard. go to monhegan instead and be charmed!!

24  Thank tonebone
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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