Bar Harbor, Maine
The sublime, rocky coast of Acadia National Park offers the first sight of daybreak to the
continental United States. The coastal breeze is chilly even during the summer months when
the sun rises as early as 4:30 AM.
Reflecting on my recent visit to Maine, I realized that the majority of my trip was planned
around Bar Harbor’s famous Acadian Puffins, Lighthouses, and Sea Birds Cruise aboard the
Eden Star. The tour was hosted by several Maine naturalists, and skirts the rocky Acadian coast for a beautiful 3-and-a-half hour ride. The tour highlights the histories of Maine’s Porcupine Island, the Cranberry Isles, and many historic lighthouses.
The boat journeys an hour north of Mount Desert Island, working its way to the Petit Manan Lighthouse. This lighthouse is famously known as a national wildlife refuge, serving as a nesting ground for many native birds, including puffins and razorbills.
Although the cruise truly captured the rugged beauty of the Maine coastline, perhaps my favorite sight was Winter Harbor Light; a lighthouse possessing mysterious histories of ghost stories and shipwrecks.
In the early 1940’s, sightings of disembodied spirits were recorded by lighthouse-keeper,
Bernice Richmond. Richmond lived in the lighthouse for many years, keeping a detailed log of
lighthouse goings on. She recorded surreal nightly visits of ghosts scratching at her windows
and shipwrecked sailors washing up on the jagged shores.
Richmond authored two books detailing the isolation she experienced on the island: Winter
Harbor, and Our Island Light. Hearing Bernice Richmond’s story alongside observing the fierce coastline of Maine is altogether surreal.
What I loved most about this Maine vacation was experiencing the beauty of New England
coupled with learning about the histories of local people and places.
The Atlantic Oceanside Resort served as a charming and historic resting place for my 3-night
stay in Bar Harbor. The Resort grounds include the The Willows, a beautiful estate dating back
The Willows houses 13 individual suites which can be rented year-round by guests. Each room
features ornate furnishings with original early-1900’s décor.
Northern Maine is truly a wild and wonderful place to visit. The quaint town of Bar Harbor
accompanied by the stunning Acadia National Park offers something for everyone.
© 2021 Tess Flinchum
Tess Flinchum is a freelance photographer from Roanoke, Virginia. She consults with small-businesses and individuals to provide photography which captures the energy and beauty in the fleeting moment.