Monhegan Island, Maine
Give in to splendid isolation

From the March 26, 2001 Issue of New York

If it's a jazzy, high-octane getaway you're after, steer clear of this little hobbit paradise halfway up the coast of Maine. Dial-tone telephones didn't arrive on Monhegan until the eighties, and the roads are not really roads at all (no cars allowed) but gravel paths lined with daffodils and stands of wild lupine. Some 60 people live here year-round (it's only 1.7 miles long), mostly within shouting distance of one another. The population swells in summer, when boatloads of painters (notably Jamie Wyeth) arrive, attracted by the sweeping ocean views and the pristine qualities of the northerly light. Get a room at the Island Inn, a rambling Cape Cod structure with a newly improved restaurant and lawns rolling down to the sea. Ask for a corner room and a map of the hiking trails, and set off to discover your muse.

The Island Inn, 207-596-0371 (rooms start at $75); ferries leave from Port Clyde several times a week, 207-372-8848; on the drive up, visit the Farnsworth Museum, 207-596-6457, on Route 1, in Rockland, which has an entire building devoted to Wyeths.