10 Greatest Escapes in America

Get away without going far away. These amazing destinations are fun, beautiful, and just a few hours from home.

By Charles Runnette


Great Escape: Isle au Haut, MaineIsland Oasis
Isle au Haut, Maine

Live out your nautical fantasy at Keeper's House Inn, a romantic seaside B&B that's beside a working lighthouse built in 1907. The only way to get to this haven, six miles off the coast, is by mail boat. After just one visit to the inn, where there's no phone or e-mail, and no more than 10 guests, you'll never again want to face the madding summer crowds of the typical Maine tourist town.

After breakfast, borrow a bike from the inn and go exploring. More than half the island is part of Acadia National Park and features 18 miles of shore and forest trails. Take the road to Isle au Haut village (population: 45), a lobster fishing hamlet, for a trip back in time: Popsicles at the general store cost 27 cents, and the town hall hosts square dances.

Nights at the inn are lit only by the glow of gas lamps and wood-burning stoves. After a dinner of fresh local seafood and peach pie, fall asleep to the sound of the waves lapping the rocky coast, and dream about coming back next summer. Rooms, $310 to $385 a night per couple (May 20 through October 23; includes meals); keepershouse.com