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Maine Attraction

Camp out as nature intended on Mount Desert Island

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To many street-weary urbanites, one of the best things about Mount Desert Island in Maine -- along with watching the sunrise from the tallest mountain on America's North Atlantic coast, the pink-granite-and-crashing-surf vistas that Thomas Cole painted, the quaint lobster-boat villages, and the scrumptious lobsters themselves -- is how pristine the place is. People have been vacationing here for more than 200 years (the island is only an hour's drive from Bangor), yet the island is so ecologically sound that when you wade into a lake up to your waist you can still see your toes. The two National Park System campgrounds here are exceptionally clean and spacious, but if you're disinclined to sleep outdoors, stay at the elegant turn-of-the-last-century Ledgelawn Inn in Bar Harbor. And for dinner, drive over to experience yet another impressive attraction: Thurston's Lobster Pound in Bernard, where diners start lining up as early as five o'clock.

DETAILS Blackwoods and Seawall campgrounds in Acadia National Park, 800-365-2267 or www.acadia.national-park.com ($18 per night); Ledgelawn Inn, 800-274-5334 (doubles start at $95); Thurston's Lobster Pound, 207-244-7600.


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