January 28, 2015 by wilsonneelynyc
The third-largest island on the United States’ eastern seaboard, Mount Desert Island encompasses 108 square miles off the coast of Maine. Known by locals as MDI, the island’s rich culture and history have made it a favorite summer destination for generations of American families. Each summer, its local population of 10,000 residents grows significantly as vacationers arrive to enjoy MDI’s idyllic mountain landscape and peaceful shores.
Cadillac Mountain, the highest point on the island, with a peak of 1,532 feet, is the first point in the United States to be illuminated by each morning’s sunrise. Discovered in 1604, Mount Desert Island earned its name from Samuel de Champlain, a French explorer whose ship ran aground along the island’s coast. Inspired by its treeless summits, he gave it its original name, “Ile de Monts Deserts,” or “island of the bare mountains.”
Many MDI visitors come to experience the peaceful expanse of Acadia National Park, while Bar Harbor draws guests from around the world as the historic vacation town of a number of East Coast socialites. The island’s other main districts, Northeast Harbor, Southwest Harbor, and Bass Harbor, offer a variety of accommodations, fine dining establishments, galleries, and boutiques.