Monhegan Island is not for the faint-hearted or the easily bored. There are no TVs, no cars, no bars and no shopping, save for a few small convenience stores. The weather is unpredictable and often foggy. The 1½-hour mail-boat ride from the mainland can be bumpy. Cell-phone coverage is spotty. The sole village remains small and limited in its services, with almost no cars. The few unpaved roads are lined with stacks of lobster traps. Do you smoke? You can't outside of the village.
But for a world that's almost completely removed from the bustle of the 21st century, this rock is a refuge. With dramatic granite cliffs, gnarled maritime forest and lush floral meadows, the island's isolated vistas have been attracting artists since the 19th century. To this day, Monhegan residents and visitors are drawn to plain living, traditional village life and peaceful contemplation.