Perhaps the coolest village in Maine, Bar Harbor has a long and engaging history. The largest population center on Mount Desert Island, Bar Harbor is a tourist Mecca for folks drawn to the beauty of Acadia National Park. Mount Desert is the largest of Maine’s many islands and was originally inhabited by the Abenaki Indians, who named the place Pemetic (“sloping land”) in honor of the splendid mountains perched right on the ocean.
Samuel De Champlain introduced this remarkable landscape to western civilization around 1604 and renamed the location Mount Desert…or ‘island of barren mountains’. One of the island’s greatest attractions is Cadillac Mountain – the highest point here where the sun’s rays first strike America each day…also named by monsieur Champlain, and you may not be surprised to learn that he eventually moved on to Detroit, lol!
Bar Harbor’s biggest draw is its exceedingly pleasant summer climate, which has been a vacation draw since the late 1800’s (the town’s first name was Eden). Unfortunately nature and mankind have contributed to a series of spectacular fires that decimated the area up until 1947. In spite of modern crowds, Bar Harbor retains much of its charm today – there are many spots where the tourist hordes don’t get in your way for such a small place and it has many inviting nooks and crannies that beckon your attention.
Acadia National Park in Maine is located mostly on Mount Desert Island. Between the towns of Bar Harbor and Bass Harbor, the park boasts a 20 mile loop road tour around mountains and along t…