The Cracked Mug Monhegan: A Magical Island Getaway In 2024

I am so grateful that the stars lined up for my trip to Monhegan Island and placed me at the The Cracked Mug Monhegan Guesthouse for an overnight stay.

This hidden gem, nestled near the picturesque Monhegan Island harbor, offers postcard-like views of nearby Manana Island, complete with sailboats dotting the blue water and the sight of seagulls gliding through the air.

As if enjoying the spectacular surroundings of this Monhegan Island AirBnB isn’t enough, add in some warm hospitality and great food, and you have an idea of what you’ll find at this island retreat.

Read on to find out why I recommend the Cracked Mug Monhegan above other Monhegan Island AirBnBs and rentals.

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The Cracked Mug Monhegan, a gray tile house with a bench out front, is a top rated guesthouse  AirBnB on Monehegan Island.
This guesthouse on Monhegan Island looks plain on the outside but the hospitality, views and food are incomparable.

History of The Cracked Mug Monhegan

Monhegan Island, located about 10 miles off the coast of Maine, is only a mile and half long and less than a mile wide.

Despite its small size, Monhegan has long been used by those who make their living from the sea, starting with Indian tribes who fished for cod from hollowed out canoes. The British also used it as a fishing camp prior to the settlement of the Plymouth Colony.

In the 1800s, the island’s fishermen began to build “fish houses” on Monhegan to support the lucrative cod fishing industry that sprung from the rich fishing grounds in the Gulf of Maine.

According to records, William Studley built a fish house in 1845, which can be seen in this picture from the 1880s, showing how they dried cod on the top of lobster traps.

In the early 1900s Andrew Peterson ran a fish market in the building, but by 1930 the structure had fallen into disrepair and the owner tore it down.

The land where the fish house once stood is where the Cracked Mug Monhegan stands today, a site that is known locally as “Studley Field.”

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Extra Touches At The Cracked Mug Guesthouse

The Cracked Mug Monhegan feels like a home away from home the minute you walk through the door. AirBnB Superhost Melanie spreads her magic to make everyone feel like they’ve known each other forever.

When I was there, Melanie helped newlyweds celebrate their nuptials by popping a bottle of Champagne (with the traditional knife) on the porch.

Melanie, wearing a white apron, holds a bottle of Champagne to honor newlyweds that were staying at the Cracked Mug  Monhegan.
Melanie, at The Cracked Mug Monhegan, holds up a bottle of Champagne she popped open with a knife for newlyweds.

One of the most delightful things about the Cracked Mug Monhegan is the “pillow menu” that is provided to guests. As Melanie says, she is “bed serious” about guests getting a good night’s sleep at the Cracked Mug.

To make that happen, she has hand-picked the softest-ever eucalyptus sheets provided by Sheets and Giggles and uses (delicious) premium down comforter duvets.

But more importantly, guests at the Cracked Mug will find fresh pillow cases on their bed and get to pick their “perfect pillow” from the linen closet. Whether you like a goose down filling (yes), a thick memory foam, or even an aromatic chamomile or lavender, you’ll find something that will give you a good night’s sleep.

I’ve learned through my travels that there is nothing more important for a good night’s sleep than a pillow. In fact, I almost packed my own pillow because of how important it is to me.

Melanie’s pillow menu was a blessing! With the delightful sea breeze coming in through the windows, I could not have been more comfortable.

If you enjoy historic hotels and first-class accommodations, check out my other lodging reviews.

The Guest Rooms At The Cracked Mug Monhegan

The Cracked Mug Guesthouse has three guest rooms, which are named after Melanie’s sons.

Two of them (the Anthony and the Alexander) have Queen beds and feature views overlooking the Monhegan harbor, the isle of Manana and Muscongus Bay.

The picture at the top of this post is my view from the Anthony Room, which was absolutely stunning.

A bedroom showing a queen sized bed with mint green decor and two windows.
The Anthony Room at the Cracked Mug offered great views and delicious ocean breezes.

The third room, the Bradley, has 2 twin beds with a trundle and offers a partial ocean view out one window and the church from the other.

All rooms share a full bath in the hallway, as well as a ½ bath downstairs.

There is also a brand new water view shower outside, and Melanie offers Cracked Mug robes to wrap up in.

The Deck The Cracked Mug

Since I was busy walking and exploring everything there is to see on Monhegan Island, I didn’t get to spend as much time on the deck as I would have liked, but it offered both sun and shade, depending on your preference.

The deck makes the perfect space to enjoy your first cup of coffee (or even your entire breakfast if you wish), or just spend an afternoon reading.

I wish I would have had more time to just sit and watch the boats in the harbor and the seagulls on Manana Island.

The sun set behind Manana Island turning the clouds bluish and pink. There are gray houses in the foreground.
The back deck at the Cracked Mug is the perfect place to watch the sun go down behind Manana Island.

And the deck was definitely THE place to watch the sunset!

Where The Magic Happens

The kitchen and dining room are where most of the magic happens at the Cracked Mug Guesthouse.

This room is a bright and sunny place and usually a beehive of activity, reminding me of an old-time grandma’s kitchen.

A kitchen shot of the Cracked Mug with checker board floor, tan woodstove, and blue cabinents.
This is where the magic happens at the Cracked Mug Monhegan Guesthouse.

In addition to the wonderful meals and baked goods Melanie makes for her guests, she also offers a special hand-packed picnic to go that includes an artisanal sandwich, gourmet cheese and crackers — and homemade cookies. (Only $25!).

Her in-house specialty, CM* Smoked Salmon, can also be included for a minimal fee.

Melanie packs the whole picnic for you, including napkins, silverware, cups, and even a blanket.

With very little planning on your part, you can have a romantic lunch to go and look like a real hero. (Hint to the guys out there).

Breakfast At The Cracked Mug

It’s hard to decide what my favorite part of staying at the Cracked Mug Monhegan was, but breakfast rates very high.

I LOVE eating a breakfast, and Melanie prides herself on her 5-star, 3-course breakfasts.

I found out during my stay that in raising four sons, Melanie helped feed the 140-person football team and staff, so cooking for a tableful of guests is nothing new for her.

A morning at the Cracked Mug begins by picking out a mug from Mel’s cabinet that “speaks to you.” There is a story behind every coffee mug, and the selection ranges from nautical themes to fine china.

Your special mug is than filled with freshly-pressed Barnacle Blend coffee from Monhegan Coffee Roasters, a local business.

A mug with a blue anchor, and a plate of breakfast food, pineapple chunks, an egg, potatoes and guaquamolie.
My three-course breakfast included an egg, potatoes and fruit, along with homemade granola and a pastry.

Once that’s done, the guests at this Monhegan Island guesthouse enjoy the first course, which is usually something sweet like Cinnamon Scones or made-from-scratch Belgian waffles.

The main feature is always an egg dish that ranges from quiche to eggs poached over spinach, to any one of a number of other delectable dishes.

Melanie also makes her own granola with roasted pecans and coconut, and serves it alongside Greek yogurt and fresh blueberries.

You’re definitely ready for a day of hiking after a hearty breakfast at the Cracked Mug Guesthouse.

Location Of The Cracked Mug Monhegan

The Cracked Mug Guesthouse is located at 5 Church Lane in the center of the community of Monhegan. It sits across the road from two landmark buildings, the church and the Monhegan House.

This Monhegan AirBnB rental is close to major trailheads, stores and restaurants, plus offers wonderful sunset views over the harbor and Manana Island.

A small white truck sits in the foreground, with a church and large gray building in the background.
The view from the front porch of the Cracked Mug shows the church and the Mohegan House Hotel.

Nite Nite Fatty’s On Monhegan Island

Melanie has a new enterprise at her Monhegan guesthouse which is growing in popularity by leaps and bounds.

The concept behind this endeavor was to provide the residents of Monhegan Island with a post-dinner dining option.

This proved to be an excellent plan, considering the island’s lack of eateries open past 5 p.m., especially for those craving something sweet.

This simple idea has now grown into a full after-dinner dessert bar featuring whatever Melanie and her crew bake that day.

A woman in a red t-shirt with a white apron on stands behind a counter filled with freshly made cakes and pastries.
This is just a sample of one night’s offering at Nite Nite Fatty’s for those on Monhegan Island with a sweet tooth.

You can find anything from vintage sheet cakes, warm cookies, cream puffs with mascarpone, fruit pies, in-season strawberry shortcake, old-fashioned root beer floats, homemade waffle bowls, and freshly-churned ice cream!

People begin lining up at Melanie’s side kitchen door a little before 6 to be the first in line to try her delectable treats.

Nite Nite Fatty’s is open 6 p.m. to 8 p.m., 7 days a week, and will also make birthday cakes or other special orders upon on request.

A woman in a green shirt stands behind a bar full of pastries while two other women stand in the doorway. The floor is black and white diamonds.
The first customers for the night come into buy some baked good at Nite Nite Fatty’s at the Cracked Mug Monhegan.

You never know what you’ll find at Nite Nite Fatty’s, except that Friday night is “Pie Night,” so expect delicious homemade pies, fresh from the oven.

From what I saw, the Nite Nite Fatty’s dessert bar at the Cracked Mug isn’t just a place to grab a dessert after dinner.

It’s an experience and a destination all its own.

It’s amazing to see all of the people who gather and chat while waiting in line, and is just another way that Melanie spreads her magic and joy.

A chalkboard sign that says Nite Nite Fatty's with a list of what's for sale including coconut cream pie.
The sign for Nite Nite Fatty’s announcing that evening’s dessert menu.

My Favorite Things On Monhegan Island

Even though the island is small, I was surprised at how much there was to do on Monhegan.

Most people come for the hiking trails, and I was lucky that my trip in mid-June allowed me to see so many wildflowers and flowering shrubs.

I enjoyed seeing the rocky cliffs and water views, but my favorite hike was Cathedral Trail through beautiful pine-needle laden paths lined with massive ferns.

You don’t have to look hard to find dozens of Fairy Houses on that trail, but if you do take your time and look, you’ll find many more houses that are hidden.

The Lobster Cove Trail was also fun, taking me by right by Monhegan Brewing Company and out to the rusted remains of a shipwreck.

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Returning to visit with my new friends at the Cracked Mug at the end of a day of hiking was something I will never forget.

Wrap-Up Of The Cracked Mug Monhegan

The Cracked Mug Monhegan Guesthouse was created with the purpose of providing travelers with authentic, honest, joyful hospitality—and it definitely succeeds.

Melanie’s love for the island, its history and and its beauty is obvious, and she loves sharing it with her guests.

Whether you seek solitude, artistic inspiration, or a romantic getaway, the Cracked Mug Guesthouse on Monhegan Island will provide you with an unforgettable experience.

I can’t think of a better way to embrace everything Monhegan Island has to offer, than to relax and get spoiled with the warm hospitality of the Cracked Mug.

This is also one of the only Monhegan Island rentals to accept guests year-round.

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