Delightfully far from tacky and quite refined, you're not going to find a Hooters anywhere on Monhegan Island. Twelve miles from mainland, the tiny island offers a glimpse into pristine Maine. For $30, the Balmy Day II, the closest ferry to Bowdoin, leaves from Boothbay Harbor in the morning, sails around Ocean Point, and after an hour and a half cruise, arrives in the village of Monhegan. The second deck offers picturesque views of the midcoast region so long as you dodge the fog. Blankets and food available. Can get rocky.

The inlet between the village and Manana Island?a slice of land the size of Farley fields that supposedly has Phoenician or Norse inscriptions?harbors a few dozen lobster boats and yachts. The village itself inhabits just 65 residents comprised of lobstermen, artists seeking solitude, and of course a few New Jersey folks and the like "summering." Art galleries, cottages and inns, a few small general stores, seafood stands, and two coffee shops line the main dirt road that swings around the town meadow.

With just four hours before the ferry departs, use your time to explore because there is no camping allowed on the island. So, before poking your head into the village's galleries full of colorful landscape paintings, venture around the trails of the island and see some of Maine's highest ocean cliffs with your own eyes.

If you don't, you'll be disappointed when you realize the pretty white stuff on the cliffs in the paintings is actually bird crap.

For a suggested one dollar donation to a box, pick up a trail map. Or, just return it when you leave. Though the island is just a mile and a half by half a mile in size, it is heavily wooded by spruces and balsams. The 17 miles of trails encircle the island and are marked by small numbers on trees (most of the time). If you're up for a nice two-hour hike, head to the north shore at Green Point for views of Eastern Duck Rock and Seal Ledges and then head down the east coast (a.k.a. The Headlands) of the island by Pulpit Rock and Black Head (painted by Rockwell Kent in 1910) before heading back to town on trail seven from White Head.

For a shorter hike, from the village take trail seven by the lighthouse where you'll get views of the harbor, and maybe even the Camden Hills to the north. Though the lighthouse is closed and operates by computer, the Monhegan Historical and Cultural Museum is in the former keeper's house. After 20 minutes, the trail will end at White Head, where 160 foot cliffs tower over the coves filled with occasional harbor seals and pelagic birds (not seen on the mainland) like storm petrels?a reason why birdwatchers love Monhegan. The outlook is well worth the short hike.

For a view of the cliffs from the ocean, some days the ferry offers half-hour, round-the-island cruises for just $2. Other random days, it doesn't. Perhaps the captain has a lady friend on the island.

Other attractions worth checking out might be the Monhegan School (illustrated in numerous galleries on the island), a single room building overlooking the water on the outskirts of the village.

Also, the short Monhegan Visitors Guide handed out on the ferry mentions exploring Manana Island. It says, "Transportation by skiff across the harbor can usually be arranged with an Island child at Swim Beach." Island child? It's a small island, but it's not primitive. There's an ATM in the coffee shop. And don't forget, Alcoholics Anonymous meetings are held promptly at 7:30 p.m. Thursday-Sunday at the library.

For whatever reason that inspires you to journey east toward the Orient and reach this secluded island, remember this: like in Vegas, whatever happens on Monhegan stays on Monhegan.