Bar Harbor, Maine – an unlikely presidential haven

Maine is not only known for lobster, the novelist Stephen King and the poet Henry Wadsworth Longfellow – get ready - it’s also where donut holes were invented. Isn’t that worth a mention?

You’ll be anchored off Mount Desert Island, the largest island off the state’s coast, but with only about 10,000 people living there. However, it is very famous -- and has been for over a century.

The last sitting president to spend a vacation on Mount Desert Island was Barack Obama in the summer of 2010, and he wasn’t even the first! He was the fourth US president to escape the city heat of Washington, D.C. for a cool respite on this Maine treasure.

The island has also been known as home to Acadia National Park since 1929, thanks to John D. Rockefeller and some of his wealthy peers who helped preserve the island as a park in 1916.

Bar Harbor, where you’ll be spending a day, is one of four towns on the island and its 5,000 townsfolk have always been a little laissez-faire about its celebrity status. They’re used to seeing famous visitors in their shops and markets.

After all, Susan Sarandon inherited a home here, and is a regular summer resident; Martha Stewart owns an estate in nearby Seal Harbor; and you just might bump into actors John Travolta and his wife Kelly Preston, or fellow actor Chris O’Donnell who own seasonal homes close by in Islesboro.

Ever since Samuel de Champlain, the French explorer, stopped by the island in 1604, it’s been a bit of an eden – in fact, Eden was Bar Harbor’s first name by its British settlers, until 1918.

Now you can enjoy some lobster and ‘fixings’ and be delighted by this walkable town and its surrounding 125 miles of trails that are ideal for strolling and cycling in the crisp Maine air.