Bar Harbor is the East Coast’s loveliest celebration of man and nature. It crowns a gentle rise by a bay on an island full of natural superlatives. The highest mountain on the Atlantic Coast and the only fjord south of Canada are here, in the oldest national park in the East. Although chartered in 1796 as a fishing village, tourism took hold before the Civil War. By 1880, it was a renowned summer resort. Soon after, some of America’s wealthiest families–the Rockefellers, Astors, Pulitzers–began building palatial “cottages” as summer retreats, and donating land for what became Acadia National Park in 1919.
Today, most of the island is preserved in its natural state. Bar Harbor is the largest town. Blocks of trim human-scaled buildings house a wealth of galleries and specialty shops displaying New England arts, crafts and gourmet products, plus diverse nightlife and enticing restaurants. Many historic and contemporary lodgings reflect a genteel yesteryear in prime locations downtown and along the shore.
For more information, check with the local Chamber of Commerce.
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