Downeast Acadia - Downeast Maine including Mt Desert, Acadia Bar Harbor Region
The term "Down East" comes from the days when schooners were used to carry cargo along the coast. The prevailing winds here blow from the southwest, pushing sailing vessels downwind, to the eastward.
You'll discover three beautiful and very different sections of Down East/Acadia. The quiet beauty of Washington County, with hundreds of miles of rugged coastline stretching from the Milbridge area to Passamaquoddy Bay and up to Calais, reflects an era gone by. The eastern part of Washington County is "the road less traveled, "a place to get away from the maddening crowd. Vacationing here is tranquil and relaxing, whether you're sitting on the porch of a cabin listening to the loons or canoeing the St. Croix River. Fall foliage abounds in its brilliant colors. Cobscook Bay State Park or the Moosehorn National Wildlife Refuge offers trails and vistas where you can see eagles, woodcock, and a variety of flora.
A secret to truly discovering Washington County is leaving Route 1. Wander along roads leading to peninsulas and visit Winter Harbor, the Schoodic Peninsula, Steuben, Milbridge and Jonesport. From Jonesport sneak over to Beals Island and Great Waas Island for hiking trails. Historic Machias hosts the annual Maine Blueberry Festival each August. Lubec, the easternmost town in the United States, has a beautiful state park, West Quoddy Head, where a 90-foot cliff overlooks the Bay of Fundy. There's a new international trade port in Eastport, and the Passamaquoddy Indian Tribe has a museum on Route 190. The highest tides in the continental U.S. can be viewed in the Calais area; an excellent viewing spot is the park and boat landing on Route 1 in Robbinston. Come to the "Sunrise County" and discover the unspoiled beauty of Maine.
Mount Desert Island, one of New England's largest islands, is linked to the mainland and its vistas are indescribable. With seventeen mountains and four lakes, Acadia National Park and Bar Harbor are magnets that draw thousands every year. The Park and its 120 miles of hiking trails, colossal views from Cadillac Mountain, and the roar of Thunder Hole provide visitors with memory-filled vacations. Artists flock to photograph or paint the landscape. Bar Harbor's neighbors, Northeast Harbor and Southwest Harbor, attract visitors by land and by water.
The bustling resort town of Bar Harbor is a treasure of delights for all ages. There are art galleries and museums including the Abbe Museum, where you'll find native American artifacts. The July and August music festivals will keep you humming. Whale-watching cruises depart daily, and Maine seafood is freshly prepared at many restaurants.
The western side of Mount Desert Island, known as the "quiet side," offers a slower pace. Northeast and Southwest Harbors have ornamental gardens, estates, hundreds of sailing craft, the Wendell Gilley Museum and the Seal Cove Auto Museum, and the annual Oktoberfest.
A little further "Downeast" of Mt Desert Island is Winter Harbor and Schoodic Pennisula Area of Maine.
The East Penobscot Bay region, south of Mount Desert Island, is the third piece of this vacation puzzle called Down East/Acadia. Blue Hill, Brooklin, Castine, Deer Isle and Stonington make up this exceptional grouping of peninsulas and islands. Like fingers, these pieces of Maine land jut into the bay. Each village offers a glimpse of the way life should be. You'll find quiant B&Bs, scrumptious food, colossal vistas and quiet coves you'll fall in love with. Castine has the Maine Maritime Academy, Blue Hill attracts craftspeople and musicians, nearby Brooklin has the Wooden Boat School, on the island of Deer Isle visit the Haystack Mountain School of Crafts.
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