Northeast Harbor, Maine, has one of the most beautiful protected harbors you will find on the coast of North America. It is located on the south central part of Mount Desert Island at the entrance to Somes Sound, the only naturally formed fjord on the east coast of the United States. Visitors are often surprised to learn that the village is actually part of the municipality of Mount Desert in Hancock County, covering 25,699 acres with an approximate population of 2,109 (year 2000 census). This side of the island is referred to as the “quietside” for its more relaxed pace from that of the Bar Harbor side.
Northeast Harbor has long been a popular summer destination for wealthy visitors coming from places like Philadelphia. The rugged yet peaceful and removed setting provided the ideal combination for those wanting a lifestyle far away from the city and the masses of people. The cool waters, rocky coastline, and many smaller out islands made for an ideal setting for a day’s sailing as well.
One of the most famous names on the island is “Rockefeller.” Resident John D. Rockefeller, Jr. played a critical part in the formation and development of Acadia National Park by building the Carriage Roads (1915 – 1933) and donating over 11,000 acres of land.
Northeast Harbor has several interesting boutiques, art galleries, and places to eat. While visiting, find time to visit the harbor and just sit for a while, taking in the beauty that surrounds you.
Of particular note are Asticou Azalea Garden, Asticou Terraces, and Thuya Gardens on the north and east side of the harbor. These are all exceptional places, of unique design and beauty, that should be fit into your schedule while in the area.