Bar Harbor, Maine, has been known to people all over North America as an almost “Eden” like destination ever since the landscape artists of the Hudson River School of the 1850's traveled here to paint atmospheric vistas for the rest of America to see. As you may have read on the History page, Bar Harbor was actually called Eden from 1796 until 1918. Today, perhaps because of the wide reach of the Internet, people from the world over travel here to relax and enjoy the unique blend of ocean, mountains, seafood, and a sense of “Down East” community.
Within the 28,800 acres of Bar Harbor, are the smaller villages of Hulls Cove, Salisbury Cove, and Town Hill. But for most visitors, the Bar Harbor “experience” is much larger than this. Private transportation, or even the freely provided travel resource called the Island Explorer shuttle bus service, provides us the opportunity to explore a much larger area and indeed, we should.
Bass Harbor is a working fishing community and has the famous Bass Harbor Head Light, part of Acadia National Park. Somesville, the oldest settlement on Mount Desert Island, sits at the northern end of Somes Sound. A well known spot here is the picturesque arched walking bridge. Southwest Harbor sits at the southern entrance to Somes Sound and is a well known boat building community. This is a great place for sunset views across the ocean with the light hitting the top of Cadillac Mountain. Early morning views can be great as well with fog coming in from the Atlantic. Northeast Harbor has a beautiful protected harbor with million dollar yachts. There is a real sense of peace here and gorgeous places to see such as Asticou Azalea Garden and Thuya Garden.
Take a chance and venture further. Islesford, a village on Little Cranberry Island, has a small section of Acadia National Park with the Islesford Historical Museum. The real treat will be looking back at the majestic views of Mount Desert Island. You owe it to yourself to see and capture this in your memory.
Now consider visiting Winter Harbor, located on the mainland and part of the Schoodic National Scenic Byway. It is also viewed as the host village for the Schoodic Peninsula section of Acadia National Park. This is a gorgeous place to visit that has unique ocean views and is often the place to witness crashing waves arriving from the open Gulf of Maine. There are many who prefer this area for its less traveled ambiance.
Whatever you do, wherever you choose to visit, find that sense of discovery that every child knows. Life is for learning. It is what makes us feel alive. Make your journey a fulfilling one!
Photos: Autumn | Harbor View | Bar Harbor | Village Green | Lobsters
Main Street | Shore Path | Twilight | Firefly Lane | Main Street | Foggy Night
Sunrise | Harbor Night | From Schoodic
The Free Island Explorer Shuttle Bus Service makes regular (in season) stops at the Bar Harbor Village Green. From here, you have access to a variety of places on Mount Desert Island, in Acadia National Park, and on the mainland.
Bar Harbor Town Pier GPS Coordinates: Latitude 44.392087; Longitude -68.204052
Take Time to Discover