Located just off the east coast of Maine, Mount Desert Island was first discovered by explorers from Europe in 1604, and was first settled in 1762. Today the island draws a regular contingent of summer vacationers who come to enjoy a wide variety of outdoor recreational activities. Apart from enjoying a large selection of marine activities including scenic cruises, canoe and kayak excursions and all types of boating, visitors can also spend some time enjoying the extraordinary Thuya Garden Preserve where there are 3 gardens to admire and acres and acres of protected areas to explore. It is no surprise that such a beautiful location attracts many artists and you can look forward to visiting several galleries and studios in the quaint New England towns that dot the shores of Somes Sound. Certain attractions may be temporarily closed or require advance reservations. Some restaurants are currently offering pickup only. Hours/availability may have changed.


1.Asticou Azalea Garden, Mount Desert, Maine

Asticou Azalea Garden, Mount Desert, Maine
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Inspired by the grace and beauty of the classic gardens of Japan, the Asticou Azalea Garden on Mount Desert Island is nothing short of inspirational. The garden was established in 1957 by Charles K. Savage as part of the Thuya Garden Preserve and has grown ever more beautiful as it has matured. No two visits to the garden are ever quite the same as each month brings its own changes and rewards. Heralding the start of summer, you can admire a beautiful flowering cherry tree in mid-May, followed by the tapestry of colors of the flowering azaleas and rhododendrons from late May to June. As each month passes there is a succession of beautiful shrubs and trees to admire against the backdrop of a stunning reflective lake.

Asticou Azalea Garden, 3 Sound Drive, Northeast Harbor, ME 04662, Phone: 207-276-3727

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2.Thuya Garden Preserve, Mount Desert, Maine

Thuya Garden Preserve, Mount Desert, Maine
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Covering a massive 1400 acres between Northeast Harbor, Seal Harbor and Acadia National Park, Thuya Garden Preserve is one of Mount Desert Island’s most popular attractions. The Garden Preserve is made up of three separate gardens namely the Abby Aldrich Rockefeller Garden, the Thuya Garden and the Asticou Azalea Garden. Visitors can spend several very pleasant hours exploring the three inspirational gardens, or pull on their hiking boots to explore several trails which lead through the verdant preserve, through peaceful meadows and alongside Little Long Pond. Thuya garden features terraces filled with many beautiful trees, shrubs and floral borders, and is named for the white cedar tree, Thuya Occidentalis.

Thuya Garden, 15 Thuya Drive, Northeast Harbor, ME 04662, Phone: 207-276-3727

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3.Things to Do in Mount Desert, Maine: Somes Sound

Things to Do in Mount Desert, Maine: Somes Sound
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Located in the lower section of Mount Desert Island, Somes Sound is a very large and scenic deep body of water which was formed by past glacial movement. Back in the day, mariners used to seek protection from storms in the calm waters of the sound and a number of settlements were established along its shores. Today Somes Sound is a Mecca for water sport enthusiasts who can indulge in all their favorite activities. All kinds of boating are popular and canoe, kayak and sailing rentals are available at all the villages along the shoreline. You can join a guided kayaking excursion or hop aboard any number of scenic cruises for a different perspective of Mount Desert Island.

Somes Sound, Mount Desert Island, ME 04662

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4.Things to Do in Mount Desert, Maine: Acadia Repertory Theatre

Things to Do in Mount Desert, Maine: Acadia Repertory Theatre
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Your summer vacation in Mount Desert would be incomplete without visiting the popular Acadia Repertory Theatre. Located in Somesville, the Acadia Repertory Theatre is housed in the historic Masonic Hall, which is converted into an intimate performance venue each summer. The first show of the annual summer season kicks off in late June and is followed by a further three plays before winding up the season on the Labor Day weekend. In addition, the theatre produces a Children’s Theatre Program every Wednesday and Saturday morning during the entire summer season. The theatre showcases a diverse selection of playwrights from Shakespeare and Sophocles to Shaw and Neil Simon.

Acadia Repertory Theatre, 1154 Main St, Mount Desert, ME 04660, Phone: 207-244-7260

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5.Christopher Smith Galleries, Mount Desert, Maine

Christopher Smith Galleries, Mount Desert, Maine
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Wildlife artist and sculptor Christopher Smith strives to bring to life all the inherent beauty and grace of wildlife in their natural habitats. The artist holds a degree in biology, which he deemed necessary in order to be able to fully understand the anatomy of his animal subjects. To say that he has succeeded in capturing the essence of animals and birds in his work is an understatement, and the artist has become internationally renowned for his work. Visitors to Mount Desert are fortunate to be able to visit his gallery in Northeast Harbor, where they meet the artist and admire his completed works and works in progress.

Christopher Smith Galleries, 125 Main Street, Northeast Harbor, ME 04662, Phone: 979-777-2432

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5 Best Things to Do on Mount Desert Island, Maine



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