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“Paradise. Wish we could have stayed longer.”
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 26 August 2011

My husband and I took a day trip to Monhegan from Boothbay Harbor and the whole time I was wishing we didn't have to get back on the ferry to return to the mainland. In the future, we will return here and stay for a while.

Why? Because it is a beautiful island devoid of cars or crowds--just natural beauty as far as the eye can see. I'd love to be able to spend days--if not weeks--here exploring the hiking trails and just kicking back and relaxing. However, it isn't for everyone, and I think that's why it has been given such inconsistent reviews.

First, to call this 'an attraction' is kind of misleading. It's not an attraction--it is an island where real people live. If you want to spend a day (or more) hiking and enjoying the natural beauty of the island, then go here. If you want to spend a leisurely hour or so poking around in artisan's shops (or roadside stands), then go here (but bring cash--we didn't. Ooops!) If you are a photographer or painter, then DEFINITELY go here. I took my camera and could have stayed for days, just clicking away. But if you are expecting a tourist destination, stay in Boothbay or any of the other perfectly lovely Maine coast towns. We did that, too, and had a lovely trip.

But we'd love to go back to Monhegan and rent a little cottage for at least a week if not much, much longer. Maybe some day!

A final note: I'm including a photo of the public restroom, as it seems many of the reviews on here lament the lack of sanitary facilities. This concerned me, as I have the bladder of a small chipmunk! However, there are facilities, as you can see, and personally I'd happily pay fifty cents (or more) per use. It's like that in most European cities (and it costs more there, too!) Between the restroom on the boat and these restrooms, even I was fine. Additionally, while they do not have restrooms of their own, many of the little shops have a map hanging up to direct tourists like me to the facilities. I find this to be very helpful and welcoming. Thanks residents of Monhegan island, for preserving such a beautiful place and sharing it with people like my husband and I--if only for a few short hours.

8  Thank elbodans
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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257 - 261 of 277 reviews

Reviewed 13 August 2011

well, i have lived in maine for 16 years and been to many coastal sights. my fiancee suggested a boat trip to Monhegan, an island community about 11 miles off the mainland.
The weather was perfect. We left on the Balmy Days II out of Boothbay. There are several other departure ports in New Harbor and Port Clyde.
MOnhegan is rustic. THere's electricity and a few restaurants and shops. Ice cream, lots of art (of questionable quality, frankly). Numerous well marked hiking trails. The boat was clean, serviceable with a small bar, bathroom, and the trip took 90 minutes. The boat waited there for us and there was also a 30 minute optional tour around the island. This was only $3 a person and was well worth it. The ocean side with 160 foot cliffs is spectacular. The trails are well marked; the # 1 -the Cliff Trail is considered very diffficult but it wasn't; i'm a marginally in shape 56 year old and my fiancee and I and a Boston Terrier did it with no problem. There are no cars allowed if they arent already there. As long as you are respectful people are pleasant. . As the small pamphlet guide says it is not a theme park. But it is stunning. highly recommended.

8  Thank chimayred
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 11 August 2011

if you're looking for a place where you can forget the rest of the world Monhegan Island is it. beautiful scenery, a very good museum and easy/challenging walking trails. off the beaten path and worth the ferry ride.

3  Thank MVFM
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 6 August 2011

We took the 9am Hardy Boat to Monhegan island. It took about an hour to get there. They had tasty cinnamon rolls from the cupboard and a selection of beverages.

Once we disembarked we made a b-line to Lobster cove. From there we hiked nearly all the way around the island which had amazing views. Some of the more rugged hiking is not for your average tourist and requires stamina and skill to accomplish. Once we completed our hike around the island we headed back into town and stopped at Carina II which serves sandwiches was quite mobbed as it was one of the only places to get a bite to eat. The sandwiches were alright, but the bacon was burnt to a crisp which was disapointing, but we needed the nourishment as I was at a point of being bonked (no energy left). There are some cute shops which my wife enjoyed shopping at, but I enjoyed sitting outside relaxing after our hike. The Barnacle has the best selection of beer at the best prices. You can't drink beer on their deck, but there are two picknick tables nearby. We happily enjoyed some Gearys summer ale while waiting for our boat departure.

We only stayed for the day returning on a return 3:15pm boat back. However I felt that the hiking trail around the island was worth the visit. I look forward to returning. I do feel that this is not the place for people who want to be pampered. If you can deal with how basic the island is and enjoy it, its perfect.

6  Thank chr1sj
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 2 August 2011

I went to Monhegan 30 years ago and it was close to magical. Went back in July of this year. There are no public bathrooms and the only thing close to public was part of the Monhegan Inn and they charged 50 cents and there was no running water. It seems that the residents of the island are happy for tourists to support the businesses and artists on the island but don't care about providing basic services. My friend and I discussed the absence of public bathrooms on the porch of the Island Inn and were verbally attacked by some women who must have considered the island her's personally and her husband who was physically threatening. I doubt I'll ever return.

8  Thank atrb
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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