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.
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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Bernard in Tremont, Maine

Bernard

One of the most beautiful and active fishing communities on the East Coast, the village of Bernard is located on the west side of a harbor, which looks across to the more well known village of 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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Mount Desert, Maine

Mount Desert

Today, the Town of Mount Desert consists in area of the middle third of the island and is the governing body for the distinct villages of Otter Creek, Seal Harbor, Northeast Harbor, Somesville, Hall Quarry, and Pretty Marsh.

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Hulls Cove in Bar Harbor, Maine

Hulls Cove

A few miles before you reach Bar Harbor, you come upon a small cove of Frenchman Bay named for Captain Samuel Hull, a sea captain from Connecticut who settled here in the 1780s.

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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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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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Seal Harbor on Mount Desert Island, Maine

Seal Harbor

Since the early 1900s, this area along the southern shore of the eastern half of Mount Desert Island, part of the Town of Mount Desert, has become home to the island’s most exclusive summer community.

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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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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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