The road to Southwest Harbor — Photo courtesy of Amber NolanMaine has no shortage of pristine wilderness areas, but perhaps the most well known is Acadia National Park, which boasts more than 47,000 acres of mountains, shorelines, and lakes. The town of Bar Harbor (on Mount Desert Island) borders the park, making the summer colony a popular place to bunker down. It’s also a busy cruise port during the summer and fall, and as the town fills with travelers, many head to sleepy Southwest Harbor for its classic New England B&Bs. At the Kingsleigh Inn, it’s all about the details and personal touches in each of the eight appointed guest rooms. Overlooking the quiet harbor, the B&B offers impeccable service and exquisite cuisine.
The Inn is located in the heart of the fishing village, situated among restaurants and shops and less than a 30-minute drive from the main entrance of the park. Each afternoon, freshly baked sweets are served in the lounge, and early evening wine and hors d'oeurves in the dining room encourage guests to make new acquaintances. A wrap-around porch overlooking the yard, cozy fireplace in the lounge and games and music in the dining room add to the traditional B&B atmosphere.
The owners take pride in “the art of breakfast” with a three-course meal consisting of a sweet and savory option, fresh fruit and juice (which they call the “breakfast shot”), local cheeses, and herbs picked from the garden. Locally-caught lobster and house-smoked salmon frequently make their way to the breakfast menu, and each meal finishes with an irresistible dessert (third course). A small refrigerator in the kitchen is also available for guest use.
The view from the inn — Photo courtesy of Kingsleigh Inn
Fresh flowers, sound machines, and individually controlled air-conditioning units in guest rooms are just some of the extras the inn provides. The 800-square foot Turret Suite grants panoramic views of the harbor and includes a living area, a telescope for star gazing, a four-poster king bed, gas fireplace, and hardwood floors. Room décor differs in each, and some include private balconies. All rooms come with en-suite baths, DVD players, port wine, homemade chocolates, and heated flooring in the bathrooms.
With so many amenities and welcoming owners, the Kingsleigh Inn makes a wonderful homebase for those exploring all that Acadia National Park has to offer. In the fall, the foliage is dazzling and in the summer, ranger-led walks, talks, and amphitheater programs are available daily. Kayaking, hiking, fishing, boating, and birdwatching are just a handful of activities visitors can participate in, and Southwest Harbor offers several museums and tours of the area.