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7 must-see places in U.S. for nature lovers

July 12, 2011, 7:06 a.m.
colorful kayaks in front of misty harbor

Photo: icemomo/Flickr

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Bar Harbor, Maine

Bar Harbor, Maine, is a haul of a drive to get to (about five hours from Boston) but is worth every mile. The picturesque little town is home to Acadia National Park and is chock-full of hiking trails. In the late 1800s and early 1900s, it was a summer getaway for the rich and famous who dallied away the warm season with garden parties, yachting and carriage rides up Cadillac Mountain, the highest point on the East Coast of the U.S. within 25 miles of the sea and the first place in the U.S. to see the sun rise. Today Bar Harbor is a popular destination for tourists and a wonderful place to get away from the demands of everyday life. There are plenty of campsites in the area (thanks to the proximity of Acadia National Park) and no shortage of luxury hotels, including the Harborside Hotel, Spa and Marina. If you find yourself in town, make sure to swing by the Udder Heaven ice cream shop and the attached Bay Gulls Bagel shop (both are owned by friends of mine).