Thursday, June 13, 2024

Mount Desert Island, Maine

Frenchman's Bay from Bar Harbor


 There is more to see on Mount Desert Island than Acadia National Park. There are several small towns that have their own charm and attractions.

Bar Harbor



The largest town on Mount Desert Island is Bar Harbor. It is the gateway to Acadia and it is mostly a tourist town. In fact, it is the place that cruise ships stop when they visit the area. That being said, there are some excellent restaurants that stay open during the off-season. Vacationland Coffee Roasters was open early, serves a great cup of Java, and has a friendly staff. Ben and Bill’s Chocolate Emporium provides an amazing selection of ice cream flavors, including a lobster ice cream. Lunch Bar Harbor serves great sandwiches and a wonderful clam chowder. 

Northeast Harbor


The village of Northeast Harbor is a small enclave on Mount Desert Island. It is the summer home of members of the Rockefeller family, and many of Philadelphia’s rich and famous. The Salt Market offers great coffee and pastries, and the Milk and Honey Kitchen has an excellent selection of sandwiches for lunch.


Seal Cove Auto Museum

1910 Piece Arrow

On the western side of the island is the Seal Cove Auto Museum. Richard Cushing Paine Jr. was a local doctor, and the son of local business owners. He collected classic cars during his life. In 1963 he created a museum to protect, care for, and grow the collection. Today, the museum houses around 200 cars and other motor vehicles, focusing on the era from 1895-1925, when cars were known for their brass decorations.

1904 Pope Hartford

1910 White

1916 Saxon Model 14

1909 Corbin

1904 Knox

1912 Maxwell Mascotte

Maine Granite Industry Historical Society

This small museum is dedicated to preserving the history of the mining and production of granite in Maine, and on Mount Desert Island in particular. There are two large rooms whose walls filled with historic photos and newspaper articles. Here there are displays of the tools used to quarry granite, to cut it to size and to polish it. There are also samples of stone from the many different quarries on the island. A third room serves as a workshop where demonstrations and classes are held.

Quarry Tools

Carving Guide for the Seal of New York City

Map of Quarries on Mount Desert Island

Finished and Unfinished samples of Granite

Acadia National Park is certainly the main draw on Mount Desert Island, but there is a lot more to do and see once your are there. So come to Maine and enjoy your time there.

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