Acadia National Park, Bar Harbor, Maine & Mount Desert Island
Acadia National Park, in Maine is located on rock-bound Mount Desert Island with soaring granite cliffs, sand and cobblestone beaches. Mountains carved by glaciers thousands of years ago rise from the ever present sea. Lakes, marshes, evergreen forests and meadowlands abound. The ocean makes it presence known everywhere by sight, sound, and smell. Here is nature at its very best. With between 3 and 4 million visitors per year, this makes Acadia National Park one of the most visited national parks in the United States.
Restaurants, lobster pounds, hotels, motels, cottages, cabins, bed and breakfasts, inns, art and craft galleries, museums, nature cruises and whale watching, tours, shopping, and much more can be found in the various villages and towns located on Mount Desert Island around the fringes of Acadia National Park.
Bar Harbor, Maine with a year 'round population of less than 5000 is considered by many as a gateway village to Acadia. Where the millionaires' "summer cottages" of the late 1800s' and early 1900s' once stood today's visitors will find inns, bed and breakfasts, hotels, vacation guest houses, cafés, formal and casual restaurants, and streets lined with galleries, boutiques, craft shops, and other unique attractions.
Southwest Harbor, Maine is considered the "quietside" of Mount Desert Island as well as being the second largest town with a population of around 2000. This large fishing village overlooks Somes Sound (the only natural fjord on the east coast of the United States) and is rated in the top 10 commercial fishing harbors in Maine. Boat-building is the main industry on the "quietside" with some of the world's finest crafts coming from here. Tremont, West Tremont, Bernard, Bass Harbor, and Seal Cove, Maine are all also "quietside" villages. A wide variety of lodging, dining, museums, arts and craft shops, festivals and other attractions abound on the "quietside" in addition to serene atmosphere everywhere.
Northeast Harbor, Maine, a low-key town, adorned by stately summer homes and boats rocking at the waterfront, sits on one of the best protected deep-water ports in the state. Visit the formal Thuya Gardens mixing formal English flowers beds with simple Japanese influences, and the Asticou Azalea Gardens each June with more than 21 varieties of azaleas. The town's antique store and old bookshop are a 'must visit' while here as is the Great Harbor Maritime Museum with it display of the island's historical artifacts. Tennis, golf and sailing are popular summer activities.