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Monhegan, Maine

As I mentioned last month, one of my favorite daytrips for a beautiful summer day in Maine is to take one of the many ferries out to an island off the coast.  This blog will talk about a day trip to the island of Monhegan.

Monhegan has long been a destination for artists.  There is something different and magical about the quality of light on the island. There have been wonderful paintings done by Edward Hopper, Jamie Wyeth, George Bellows, and Rockwell Kent among many, many others.

 

You can access the island via ferry from Boothbay Harbor, New Harbor, or Port Clyde for about $36 round trip.  Do be sure to bring a sweater or sweatshirt for the ferry trip.  Even on the hottest day in August, crossing the open water can be a very chilling experience. Do not plan on bringing your vehicle.  Monhegan is a walker’s island and cars are not allowed on the ferries.
After the relaxing ferry ride, you have a choice of at least three ways to spend your time on the island.  You could take a leisurely walk about the area near that dock that includes a few businesses, Bed and Breakfasts, eateries, and homes. Another choice would be to take the leisurely tour of Cathedral Woods Trail which is to the left of the dock area.  A more active way to spend your time on the island, rewarded by spectacular views, is to turn right down the road after the dock and walk the perimeter of the island. 
 
There are several places to have lunch; most are of the take-out variety and feature wonderful seafood dishes that you can enjoy at a picnic bench.  I usually opt to have a sit down lunch at The Island Inn before I wander through town investigating the shops before boarding the ferry to head to the mainland.
Again, don’t forget your camera!
Some web sites to check out are:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Monhegan%2C_Maine#Notable_people

Vinalhaven, Maine

One of my favorite daytrips for a beautiful summer day in Maine is to take one of the many ferries out to an island off the coast.  This blog will talk about a day trip to the island of Vinalhaven.

 

I take the ferry out of Rockland.  It leaves about every 105 minutes and the schedule can be found at http://maine.gov/mdot/ferry/assets/docs/schedule/Vinalhaven.pdf.  There is no need to bring your car for a day trip.  Vinalhaven is very walkable for that time span.  The fee for walk-on passengers is $17.50 for a round trip ticket.  The ferry trip itself takes about 75 minutes.
The Chamber of Commerce site, http://vinalhaven.org , says, “Vinalhaven Island lies twelve miles off the coast of Maine, and is the state’s largest off-shore community.  It is known for its striking natural beauty and for being home to one of the world’s largest lobster fishing fleets.  We have a year-round population of about 1200 people, and welcome many more from around the world in the summer months.  The village of Vinalhaven is located on Carver’s Harbor on the southern end of the island, a short walk from the Maine State Ferry Service terminal.”

 

When I first arrive on the island, I head for lunch at either Greet’s Eats (a takeout stand on the right as you head into town) for a wonderfully fresh lobster roll called one of the best in the state by DownEast magazine or to the Harbor Gawker which is one of the few restaurants downtown.  To work off the hearty lunch, I continue down Main Street and then bear right onto Atlantic Avenue towards Lane’ Island preserve.  This is a wonderful public space with open fields, picnic benches, and assorted hiking trails – all with wonderful views of the water.

 

On the way back to the ferry – and the mainland – stop for an ice cream at a wonderful ice cream/candy store on your right as you head to the ferry.
A great brochure that shows the island and its many trails and parks can be found at http://vinalhaven.org/20142015brochure.pdf 
And don’t forget your camera!
Scott Handville, Assistant Library Director
Photos courtesy of Google Pictures