The Towns & Villages of Mount Desert Island

Mount Desert Island is the largest island off the coast of Maine. With an area of 108 square miles, it is the 6th-largest island in the contiguous United States, and it is the second-largest island on the Eastern seaboard, behind Long Island and ahead of Martha’s Vineyard. According to the 2010 census, the island has a year-round population of 10,615, and it is estimated that two and a half million tourists a year visit Acadia National Park.
French explorer Samuel de Champlain’s observation that the summits of the island’s mountains were free of vegetation as seen from the sea led him to call the island L’île des Monts Déserts (Island of Bare Mountains).
Another translation is “The Isle of the Lonely Mountains” because the mountain tops appear alone to approaching seafarers before any other land.
We invite you to explore all of the towns and villages of our beautiful island. We promise you’ll find something new and spectacular with every visit; from the bustling streets of Bar Harbor to the quiet corners of Southwest Harbor and Tremont, you’ll soon discover why Mount Desert Island is one of the country’s top destinations.
Seal Cove in Tremont, Maine

Seal Cove

One of many gems tucked away on the “Quietside” of Mount Desert Island, the village of Seal Cove is located near the more well known Bass Harbor.

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Bass Harbor in Tremont, Maine

Bass Harbor

The famous Bass Harbor Head Light sits on the southernmost point of the island, marking the entrance to this ruggedly beautiful harbor.

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Salsbury Cove in Bar Harbor, Maine

Salsbury Cove

A picturesque little village located on the northern shore of Mount Desert Island, Salsbury Cove includes its own tiny post office, a historic church, several vacation cottages and a marine biomedical research facility that offers public educational programs in the summer.

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Manset in Southwest Harbor, Maine

Manset

A small community within the larger town of Southwest Harbor, Manset includes a public dock & pier, quaint inns, and the Hinckley Yacht Yard.

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Southwest Harbor on Mount Desert Island, Maine

Southwest Harbor

The youngest of Mount Desert Island’s four towns, Southwest Harbor split off from Tremont in February 1905. It gets its name from its location at the southwest entrance of Somes Sound.

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Sutton Island, Maine

Sutton Island

Legend says that a local native chief sold Sutton, one of the five Cranberry Islands, to Ebenezer Sutton in 1755  for two quarts of rum.

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Pretty Marsh on Mount Desert Island, Maine

Pretty Marsh

This quiet residential area includes a scenic picnic area, picturesque coves, and small islands.

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Cranberry Islands on Mount Desert Island, Maine

The Cranberry Islands

Five islands — Bear, Sutton, Great and Little Cranberry, and Baker — make up the Cranberry group just south of Mount Desert Island, at the entrance to Somes Sound.

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Otter Creek on Mount Desert Island

Otter Creek

Located between Seal Harbor and Bar Harbor, just off of the Park Loop Road, the village of Otter Creek includes a restaurant, market and camping store/showers.

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Tremont on Mount Desert Island, Maine

Tremont

Mount Desert Island is divided politically into four towns, of which Tremont, in the island’s southwest corner, is the smallest both in size and population.

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