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Weekend Getaways: North Haven

Christopher Churchill

North Haven, ME

Sometimes a single hotel can put a relatively unknown destination on the map—and so it was with the cheerful Nebo Lodge ($) and the three-mile-wide Penobscot Bay island of North Haven, an hour’s ferry ride from Rockland. The nine-room property has all the trappings you’d expect from a classic New England island escape—gray wainscoting, shady porches, cast-iron beds, and claw-foot tubs—but the imaginative food of chef Amanda Hallowell is reason in itself to visit. Summertime North Haven regulars such as novelist Susan Minot and artist Eric Hopkins have come to sample her hyper-local dishes—a peppered-mackerel Caesar salad and a pickle plate of sweet beets, celery, and fennel, to name two. What to do when you’re not eating? Live the pine-shaded, salty Maine fantasy, of course: bike the island’s 30 miles of roads, climb to the top of Ames Knob, laze on the beaches of Mullen’s Head Park, and explore pint-size Main Street. Find Ping-Pong and evening concerts at Waterman’s Community Center; made-in-Maine ceramics at North Haven Gift Shop (207/867-4444); and farther south, the new Fox I Printworks, which stocks quirky T-shirts silk-screened with lighthouses and tractors. Don’t leave town without a stop at the North Island Museum, where you’ll learn about the area’s evolution from a Native American territory to the lobster-fishing hamlet it is today. —Kate Sekules

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