Mount Desert Island, ME, Guide and Information

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Mount Desert Island, ME Guide

About Mount Desert Island

Home to Acadia National Park and Bar Harbor, Maine’s Mount Desert Island is one of the most beautiful destinations in New England. Sculpted by glaciers millennia ago, the island is left with seaside mountains, long lakes, and Somes Sound. The beaches, ocean-side cliffs, and numerous hiking and cycling trails offer many opportunities to enjoy the unique setting, while Bar Harbor offers a unique selection of shops and dining options, from seafood—the local specialty—to foreign cuisine.

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The most exclusive, personal unique cruise in Bar Harbor

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Discover the treasure of Mount Desert Island’s southern shore on the Sea Princess’s unforgettable scenic nature cruises. Watch seals basking on East…

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Unpretentious breakfast & lunch joint long known for its wild Maine blueberry pancakes.

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  • +1 207-288-3586
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  • 80 Cottage Street, Bar Harbor, ME

f you're interested in sea kayaking while you're in Maine, check out our sister company, Coastal Kayaking Tours, Maine's premier paddling outfitter…

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Our extensive wine list includes exquisite bottles from around the globe. Our goal is to find the winesour customers like.

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Lobster bakes intown Bar Harbor.

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  • +1 207-288-2529
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  • 297 Main Street, Bar Harbor, ME

The Seal Cove Auto Museum fosters joyful experiences for people of all ages and interests. Our collection features some of the earliest automobiles…

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  • +1 207-244-9242
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  • 1414 Tremont Rd, Seal Cove, ME

Upmarket American eatery offering steaks, chops & local seafood as well as a bar & rooftop dining.

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  • +1 207-288-5214
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  • 102 Eden St, Bar Harbor, ME

At our working lobster pier in Southwest Harbor, Maine, you and your family will have a blast watching the boats coming in and the lobstermen…

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The Abbe Museum is a museum with two locations in Bar Harbor, Maine, on Mount Desert Island. The museum is dedicated to exploring the history and…

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  • +1 207-288-3519
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  • 26 Mount Desert Street, Bar Harbor, ME

Escape the crowds of Bar Harbor and explore the spectacular coastline of Acadia National Park. Sail aboard a classic Friendship sloop or a real Maine…

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Bright & airy cafe for seafood & American comfort fare is known for its early-bird specials.

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Peekytoe Provisions in Bar Harbor. Maine made specialty products including jams and jellies, pickled veggies, rubs and sauces, cheeses and meat, fresh…

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  • +1 207-801-9161
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  • 244 Main St, Bar Harbor, ME

Bar Harbor's best fun park offering ropes course, water slides, mini golf and much more.

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Visit us at http://www.cruiseacadia.com

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See Bar Harbor and Acadia National Park the Best Way, "From Above". With Scenic Flights of Acadia, you will gain a unique perspective of Bar Harbor…

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Seasonal, family-run restaurant serving locally caught lobster & crab dishes amid harbor views.

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With its roots firmly planted in tradition, FIORE Artisan Olive Oils & Vinegars has forged a new image of the modern artisan.

From a true respect for…

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  • +1 207-801-2580
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  • 8 Rodick Place, Bar Harbor, ME

A Little Mad celebrates dreams realized with whimsical, original and unique items that inspire one to always hold fast to your dreams.

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Fresh ocean air and stunning views surround you at the Terrace Grille, one of Bar Harbor’s premier outdoor restaurants overlooking Frenchman Bay and…

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Our fully narrated tours of Mount Desert Island are a fun, relaxing way to discover the unique treasures of the island. Enjoy our friendly guides’…

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Visit us at http://www.mainecoastalflight.com.Or

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  • +1 207-667-6527
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  • 1044 Route 3, Trenton, ME

Organic, Natural, and Health Food Store

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  • +1 207-288-8480
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  • 101 Cottage Street, Bar Harbor, ME

The Bar Harbor Tea Company sells all-natural, premium teas artfully blended in small batches in Bar Harbor, Maine.

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  • +1 207-288-8322
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  • 150 Main Stree, Bar Harbor, ME

The Criterion Theatre is a historic performance space at 35 Cottage Street in downtown Bar Harbor, Maine. Built in 1932 when Bar Harbor's summer scene…

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Visit us at http://www.harborhousemdi.org/.Or

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  • +1 207-244-3713
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  • 38 Herrick Road, Southwest Harbor, ME

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Looking to immerse yourself in the beauty of one of the world's most beautiful islands? Trust Acadia National Park Tours, four generations of…

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  • +1 207-288-0300
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  • 53 Main Street, Bar Harbor, ME

The Colonel's Restaurant is a casual family restaurant located in Northeast Harbor Maine. 

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Local hangout offering pub fare, TVs for sports & seasonal outdoor seating in a chill atmosphere.

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  • +1 207-288-0900
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  • 4 Rodick Place, Bar Harbor, ME

The most exclusive, personal unique cruise in Bar Harbor

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Lisa Hall's natural seaglass jewelry is inspired by her years of collecting seaglass on the Cranberry Isles beaches of Coastal Maine.

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Cozy nook serving pressed juices, smoothies & breakfast bowls in bright digs with outside tables.

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Microbrewery with daily tours & tastings of beers like blueberry ale plus housemade sodas for kids.

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Family-friendly spot dishing out pub grub, seafood & beer amid kitschy signage & nautical decor.

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  • +1 207-288-5077
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  • 19 Main Street, Bar Harbor, ME

Our classic inn & restuarant overlook the picturesque waters of Northeast Harbor, Maine. Our location is ideal for guests seeking a quiet location…

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The beautiful lakes and bays in and around Acadia National Park await you! As the first and only destination for all things paddle boarding in…

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Enjoy your Acadia National Park vacation at the beautiful Kimball Terrace Inn, located in picturesque Northeast Harbor just minutes from Bar Harbor…

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The Quietside of Acadia!

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  • +1 207-244-9264
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  • 329 Main Street, Southwest Harbor, ME

Fabricate® is a year-round "home away from home" for quilters, scrapbookers, cardmakers, collage artists, and family tree researchers. 

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  • +1 207-288-5113
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  • 64 Mount Desert Street, Bar Harbor, ME

A Bar Harbor staple for over 20 years, the Chart Room is a favorite of visitors and local residents alike. Our extensive menu includes perfectly…

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  • +1 207-288-9740
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  • 585 Eden Street, Bar Harbor, ME

Bark Harbor is your pet supply store, located on Main Street in Bar Harbor.

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  • +1 207-288-0404
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  • 150 Main Street #3, Bar Harbor, ME

A fine chocolate & coffee cafe in downtown Bar Harbor.

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  • +1 207-801-9179
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  • 240 Main Street, Bar Harbor, ME

Side Street Cafe is a friendly, casual restaurant in downtown Bar Harbor, Maine.  It's frequented by locals and tourists alike, who come to enjoy the

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Welcome to Sunrise Cafe! We serve up fresh foods daily and our specialty is sweet snd savory crepes. Swing in for breakfast to enjoy our coffee bar…

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  • +1 207-288-3948
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  • 1 West Street, Bar Harbor, ME

Experience the Bar Harbor region's best Fun Park and Water Slides! PLUS the areas only aerial park and ropes course! Wild Acadia offers affordable fun…

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The Chocolate Moose is located 1/2 block from Village Green in downtown Bar Harbor, Maine. We feature: Chocolates, Maine Wines and Confections.

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  • +1 207-288-5088
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  • 2 Derby Lane, Suite 1, Bar Harbor, ME

Simple option for creative American & Mediterranean bites, plus a full bar & live music.    

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  • +1 207-244-4550
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  • 4 Clark Point Rd, Southwest Harbor, ME

The largest animals on earth are found here. During our more than twenty-five years of operation we have had the great pleasure of taking over 1…

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Del Sol Bar Harbor 

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  • +1 561-573-6266
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  • 35 West Street, Bar Harbor , ME

Bar Harbor's best kept secret for cusual fine dining.

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Acadian Boat Tours offers nature cruises, fishing trips, and lighthouse tours in Bar Harbor. Come explore coastal Maine's rich wildlife and scenery…

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  • +1 207-801-2300
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  • 119 Eden St, Bar Harbor, ME

We pride ourselves on bringing you the highest quality fresh popcorn products featuring all natural Maine flavors.

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  • +1 610-509-0278
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  • 185 Main Street, Bar Harbor, ME

Elevated American fare, wine & cocktails served in a relaxed space featuring a deck with bay views.

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  • +1 207-288-3358
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  • 50 Eden Street, Bar Harbor, ME

Tin signs, toys & other collectibles line every inch of this all-American spot offering a vast menu.

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Trenton Bridge Lobster Pound® is located on Route 3 at 1237 Bar Harbor Road in Trenton, Maine, just before the bridge onto Thompson's and Mount Desert…

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  • +1 207-667-2977
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  • 1237 Bar Harbor Rd, Trenton, ME

Rated one of the 25 things to do in the entire state of Maine by the Bangor Daily News and consistently rated the number one thing to do at night in…

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Bar Harbor's most complete selection of quality arts and crafts by over 100 of Maine's leading artisans. Our unique collection can be seen in two…

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  • +1 207-288-4214
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  • Main Street Bar Harbor, Bar Harbor, ME

Clothing, gifts, sunglasses and more! www.coolasamoose.com - and visit us in Bar Harbor!

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  • +1 207-288-3904
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  • 118 Main Street, Bar Harbor, ME

Bar Harbor’s premier retailer for quality wine,
Maine craft beer and local fine cheese and charcuterie.
Located in the heart of downtown Bar Harbor,

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  • +1 207-288-1200
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  • 227a Main Street, Bar Harbor, ME

Wine & Cheese

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  • +1 207-244-3317
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  • 353 Main Street, Southwest Harbor, ME

A local favorite since 1986, Galyn's offers a relaxed yet elegant atmosphere, attentive service and consistently well-prepared food

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French techniques & local ingredients yield creative American fare at this warm, refined bistro.    

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Start your day with a hearty breakfast. After the sunrise from Cadillac Mountain. Jeannie's Great Maine Breakfast is located in downtown Bar Harbor…

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For as long as people have dreamed, they have been fascinated by the idea of flight, looking skyward with wonder and amazement. Today, ACADIA AIR

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Carter's Real Estate located in Northeast Harbor, Maine has been in business since 1968 providing full service real estate brokerage services to the…

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BRRR! Harbor makes only the finest Hawaiian-style shaved ice that's soft and fluffy, just like Mother Nature's own snow. With your choice of 80…

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We are a Gallery of beautiful local and Artisan Crafts. We carry an extensive selection of Fine Jewelry, Art, Ceramics,
Textiles & Leather Accessories…

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A Huge Variety Of Bamboo Bedding.
Sheets, Duvets, Pillows & More!

           

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Keep Exploring!

There's far more to be found in the Mount Desert Island, ME, area, so make sure to delve into all the categories:

Pick Up the Map!

Pick up the free Discovery Map® at locations throughout the Mount Desert Island, ME, area.

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Huge piles of seashells found throughout the island indicate that Native Americans inhabited Mt. Desert Island throughout the ages. The first recorded reports of Maine Indians living here, however, date back to the early 1700s, about a hundred years after the first European explorers arrived in the area. Known as Wabanaki Indians, these peoples lived off the land and water by hunting, fishing, gathering shellfish, plants and berries. They summered on the coast and wintered inland where they could hit the salmon runs upstream and find shelter from Maine’s harsh winter storms.

French explorer Samuel de Champlain is believed to have been the first European to have contact with the natives. On September 6, 1604, he and his crew crossed what is today known as Frenchman Bay and sailed up to the island. Within less than ten years later, French Jesuits established the first French mission in America without incident with the natives. Conflict occurred later with an English raid, spurred on by the dispute of the boundary between the French colony of Acadia to the north and the English colony of New England to the south. After about 150 years of conflict, the British finally took Quebec, a triumphant victory which eventually led to the demise of French domination of Acadia. More divisions ensued–this time between the British and the Colonists–during the Revolutionary War until all landholdings were eventually sold off and Maine became its own state–separate from Massachusetts–in 1820.

This, of course, is just a bird’s-eye view of Mt. Desert Island’s complex history. You can learn more–notably that of the significance of the Wabanaki–at the Abbe Museum in Bar Harbor. From spring through fall, you can visit the Abbe’s historic trailside museum at Sieur de Monts Spring in Acadia National Park. Step back in time to learn about how these indigenous people lived here from the early part of the twentieth century onward.

Early nineteenth-century industry at Mt. Desert Island revolved around farming, lumbering and shipbuilding. By 1850, the focus shifted more to the sea and fishermen; sailors, small fishing villages and shipyards became more commonplace. The quarrying of granite also dominated the scene, since not only did the island have this hard rock in ample supply but with such proximity to the sea, it was easy to ship it out.

As in many places in America, particularly on the east coast, outsiders began to discover Mt. Desert Island and appreciate its raw natural beauty by the mid 1800s. Artists and writers first came and subsequently revealed this glorious land to the rest of the world through their works. Renowned painters such as Frederic Church and Thomas Cole from the Hudson River School captured the wild land and seascapes on their canvases, inspiring people to come and experience this magnificent destination firsthand.

By the 1880s, wealthy industrialists from the big cities of the east came to visit and soon modest lodgings gave way to grander “cottages.” (People still refer to the island’s impressive houses and compounds as cottages today.) In no time at all, the Rockefellers, Vanderbilts, Astors, Fords and other illustrious families made their mark. Life in this down-home rustic land became exceedingly gentrified practically overnight.

Many of the great estates burned in a huge fire in 1947, an event that especially transformed the look of the little village of Bar Harbor. Filled with all kinds of restaurants, shops and bars, the Bar Harbor of today stands out as a lively destination for one and all. Take a look at your Discovery Map to locate many of the establishments and have fun finding others on your own.

In addition to Bar Harbor, Mt. Desert Island (also known as MDI) is peppered with all kinds of quaint towns, including Bass Harbor, Southwest Harbor and Northeast Harbor, to name a few. You can also count a bevy of lighthouses across the island as well as historical societies. There’s no end to the opportunities you can enjoy tracing the rich history of this fascinating island.

Best of all, sometimes the history of Mt. Desert Island is most delightfully experienced within its many historic hotels, restaurants and pubs. Whether you’re planning to stay or just stopping in for a drink or tea and popovers (as in the case of the Asticou Inn), a visit to at least one of the island’s historic properties is a must. Other favorites include Bar Harbor Inn & Spa, Balance Rock Inn, Bar Harbor Cottages & Suites and Claremont Hotel. Dine at Xanthus at the Claremont for one of the best fine dining experiences with a view on the island. The iconic Jordan Pond House within Acadia National Park also supplies stupendous vistas (of the pond and surrounding mountains). They serve popovers, too. (It must be a Maine thing!) Go ahead and slather them with butter and jam–you can always just hike it off.

Abel’s Lobster Pound, a family-run MDI institution since 1939, serves up delicious coastal feasts at their modest Somes Sound location. You can enjoy a shore dinner both inside or out and yes, the views are as pleasing as what you find on your plate. For a different serving of history, go to the Friar’s Pub at the Black Friar Inn in Bar Harbor. You can breakfast and dine here, sip on some brews or reserve a stay. If you love warm, cozy interiors trimmed in old wood paneling, floral prints and interesting collectibles, you’ll love this local’s favorite. Much of the embellishments have been procured from Mt. Desert Island residences of the finest standing and the end result is Old World charm par excellence.

Enjoy!