The approach is everything. You catch the mail boat from Deer Isle for a 45-minute cruise past rocky, mostly uninhabited islands to Isle au Haut, year-round population 70. And then there's the jeep ride to the lighthouse on unmarked roads lined with balsams and the occasional snowshoe rabbit. The remoteness of the Keeper's House--a five-room, electricity-free inn (don't worry, there's running water and a gas stove)--may well be the main attraction, but it's far from the only one. The rooms are done with soothing Yankee understatement--pale seaside colors, white-painted furniture, faded florals, candles for after dark--and the three simple meals served each day are perfect fuel for exploring the half of the island that's part of Acadia National Park. Some even say that the working 1907 lighthouse next door is haunted.

KEEPER'S HOUSE, Isle au Haut, Maine; 207/367-2261; doubles from $280, including meals; open May 15-October 31.