100 Reasons You Should Live On MDI


  1. Yearly belt sander races at Atlantic Brewing.
  2. The Bar Harbor Barter And Swap Facebook group where you can buy everything from a winter coat to a pink Vespa.
  3. Soft shell lobster access (they are yummier).
  4. Dozens of hikes you can do in under two hours.
  5. Lots of community volunteer groups where you can do good.
  6. Local libraries with awesome events and convenient hours.
  7. Excellent bakeries.
  8. Carriage roads as a four-season experience.
  9. Winter chili cookoffs.
  10. Community lunches at Neighborhood House.
  11. Accessible caves near (or partially in, depending on the tide) the ocean.
  12. Within one hour of an international airport and…
  13. Within 20 minutes of a regional airport with regular flights to Boston and New York.
  14. Lots of smart people around to be friends with (College of the Atlantic, Jackson Lab, MDI Bio Lab, and other large employers attract intelligent people).
  15. Great school system (some people live here JUST so their kids can go to school here).
  16. Indoor and outdoor climbing for kids and grownups.
  17. You can get discounts for wearing pajamas in public during the annual Pajama Sale (usually one Saturday in November, heads up).
  18. There’s really good ice cream, no matter what your taste.
  19. It’s dog friendly, not just with trails but in many stores, restaurants, and hotels/bed and breakfasts.
  20. You can roll out of bed and watch the sunrise on Cadillac Mountain…and if it’s winter, you can even sleep in a bit.
  21. Lots of cool running races from 5ks, half-marathons that take you through parts of Acadia National Park, a relay around the whole island, and the MDI Marathon.
  22. You can get a local discount at many locations.
  23. You have two movie theaters to choose from right here on the island.
  24. Sit near the harbors and watch boats come and go (bring a picnic too).
  25. It’s easy to entertain family/friends that want to come to visit you (and trust us, they will).
  26. There are so many places to swim in the summer, plus some indoor pools in the winter.
  27. There is a thing called “The Flamingo Festival” in Southwest Harbor in August.
  28. Bar Harbor’s 4th of July celebration is rated one of the top 4th of July in the country!
  29. You don’t have to make any special trips to experience the fall foliage.
  30. Lots of the coffee shops have apartments upstairs, so you can sort of re-invent Friends if you have roommates.
  31. You’re always about 10 minutes away from a really spectacular view of something.
  32. There’s a fun mix of people who have been here “forever” and just moved here last year.
  33. Lots of childcare options, from in-home daycares, Kid’s Corner, and daycare at the Mount Desert YMCA.
  34. Wood-stacking parties in the fall.
  35. The Acadia Night Sky Festival in September.
  36. Many parts of Acadia National Park are open year-round.
  37. The Village Green in Bar Harbor is a great place to people watch, listen to live music, eat ice cream, etc.
  38. You’ll discover the many different ways there are to eat lobster: tacos, mac & cheese, ice cream…)
  39. In addition to eating lobster, you can also race them at the Bar Harbor 4th of July celebration.
  40. There are local CSAs and farm shares to participate in during the summer.
  41. Low rate of crime–you don’t have to think twice about walking down the street by yourself.
  42. People may wave at you, even if they don’t know you.
  43. We don’t get life-threatening storms (just roof-threatening snowstorms and the occasional high winds).
  44. The beaches are a great place to go hunting for sea glass.
  45. Trick or Treating on Ledgelawn Ave in Bar Harbor is “a graveyard smash” (and super safe-they shut down the road!)
  46. You can rub elbows with the famous (at least in the summer), like Martha Stewart and Dick Wolf), who also have houses here.
  47. We have really cool wildlife (and you generally don’t have to fear for your life if you encounter any).
  48. From July to September if you can create a “tourist ego” and do all the fun stuff you “forget” to do if you’ve been living here a while.
  49. We race beds through the streets of Bar Harbor once a year.
  50. If you freelance or need office space, you have plenty of options for renting a space.
  51. Lots of options for fitness classes all over the island, from Harbor House, the YMCA, Destination Health, and more!
  52. You can hear live music pretty much whenever you want in the summer months and lots more in the winter than you’d expect.
  53. You will have at least one friend who has a boat.
  54. A community theater recently performed “Shrek the Musical” and it was awesome.
  55. Eat pizza and watch a movie at the SAME TIME (in a theater). They also have beer/wine.
  56. Ice-fishing.
  57.  First Friday art gallery nights in Bar Harbor and Thursday art gallery nights in Northeast Harbor (seasonally).
  58. Acadia National Park has been voted the Best National Park for Kids (USAToday, 2016).
  59. Sailing school for people of all ages.
  60. Cool abandoned trails, including an overgrown funicular area (used to go up Cadillac Mountain) and a plane crash site (yes there is debris still there).
  61. Diver Ed and his League of Underwater Superheros finding amazing sea creatures and doing cool underwater projects.
  62. 100+ non-profits mean you can find a cause you can support, financially, through volunteering, or both.
  63. Seawall and Hunters Beaches as very cool pebble beaches.
  64. Little Long Pond is one of the most beautiful ‘dog parks’ anywhere.
  65. Multiple great breakfast options, whether you want diner food or lobster benedict.
  66. Popovers, the amazingness of the food, and the fact they are available at multiple locations.
  67. You can treat yourself to a variety of spas, massage therapists, and other pampering services.
  68. We were ranked one of the top 16 places to live in Outdoor Magazine in 2015.
  69. Great playgrounds, including one in Town Hill and one in downtown Bar Harbor.
  70. Continuous learning options like Adult Ed, Acadia Senior College, and College of the Atlantic (you can audit one class per semester gratis if you are a resident).
  71. College of the Atlantic has inexpensive vegan and non-vegan lunch options and is open to the public. Plus they have great programs there like lectures and programs run by students the public is open to participating in.
  72. Bar Harbor Barter and Swap, the prolific local Facebook group, have an in-person sale where people can buy tables and sell things. Admission to the event goes to a different local cause every year.
  73. Ice skating in the winter on local ponds (most have at least one shovel on-site and the community collectively keeps them shoveled off and accessible).
  74. Carriage trails are groomed for cross-country skiing and snowshoeing by volunteers (follow the Friends of Acadia on Facebook for trail grooming statuses).
  75. Several local craft markets throughout the year with lots of different offerings and price points so you can support local artists.
  76. You can see seals and other marine life right from shore.
  77. Side Street’s rockin’ New Year’s Eve party that’s fun without breaking the bank.
  78. Lots of fun youth activities through the MDI YMCA, Camp Beechcliff, Artwaves, and more.
  79. Just like you’ll have a friend with a boat, you’ll have a friend who wants to have a bonfire late in the summer.
  80. Not only is it a great place to raise a child, but there are great resources throughout pregnancy like labor and newborn care classes, prenatal yoga, and support groups.
  81. You will have at least one friend with a truck (if you don’t have one yourself), and one of those friends will also have a plow on said truck.
  82. Practice your kickflips on the new skatepark in Bar Harbor (right next to the ballfield).
  83. Lots of happy hour options throughout the year.
  84. Cool networking events, like a business after hours on a whale-watching boat.
  85. We have our own version of an Oktoberfest every year, as well as a Beer Festival in January.
  86. There are lots of salons around, where you can get facials, mani/pedis, haircuts, and even eyelash extensions.
  87. If you love to bike, there are plenty of repair shops and other resources for you.
  88. Plenty of Plein air opportunities, whether you’re dabbling or a professional.
  89. You’ll have a combo of fresh water, ocean, AND mountains surrounding you.
  90. Experience all 4 seasons (good and bad, and sometimes in the course of one day).
  91. It’s a safe place to live and raise kids.
  92. Transportation help with Island Connections, Bar Harbor Shuttle, Island Explorer, and more!
  93. You can become a master of the hook game at Dog & Pony and impress people.
  94. You’re always 1-2 degrees of friendship away from any one person.
  95. If being an early bird isn’t your thing, you can get discounted shopping done the later you stay out during Bar Harbor’s Midnight Madness Sale in December.
  96. There are plenty of on-island mechanics who can help repair/maintain your vehicle(s) (and we have some island towing options, too).
  97. Our local newspaper (published weekly) is community-owned.
  98. Bar Harbor was voted one of Newsmax’s 50 best small towns in America in 2016.
  99. There is absolutely no shortage of amazing food here.
  100. People are just nice. At least, we like to think so!

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