Thurston's Lobster Pound, Mount Desert Island
Credit: Steven Radcliffe

Open from Memorial Day through mid-October, this lobster pound perches on stilts over a working harbor on Mount Desert Island. Flannel-wrapped locals come for the succulent shellfish and fresh lobster, which is dropped off by passing boats. Once you've chosen your victim and feasted, stay to sip a cold one and enjoy the sailboat-dotted harbor from the restaurant's screened-in porch. "This is the quiet side of Mount Desert Island," says Eve Overby, who summers nearby. "It's a backroads kind of drive from Bar Harbor to get here and full of local color."

Feet from the water: 0
The regulars: MDI locals entertaining their cousins from New York or Boston
What to order: Pitchers of Lobster Ale from Maine's Belfast Bay Brewing Co.