Southwest Harbor, Maine

Picturesque Southwest Harbor, located on what is often referred to the “quieter side” of Mt. Desert Island opposite its more well-known (and more tourist-oriented) sister, Bar Harbor, epitomizes for many the romantic image of seafaring coastal towns that attracts visitors to Down East Maine.

Sleek, elegant sailboats and sturdy, practical fishing and lobster boats continually come and go in their pursuit of both pleasure and profit. Colorful boatyards housing Southwest Harbor’s renowned boatbuilding industry are clustered at the water’s edge. Tree-lined residential streets, with their charming colonial homes, extend back from the harbor, giving way to the town’s bustling business district.

Southwest Harbor’s Down East flavor doesn’t stop at the waterfront; it permeates the business district as well. A delightful variety of small shops line the main thoroughfares, where one will find an array of items indigenous to Maine as well as fine clothing, nautical gear, gifts, and arts and crafts. 

While many who visit know it as a charming getaway destination, Southwest Harbor is, in truth, one of Maine’s leading commercial fishing harbors. Its boatyards are home to a number of boatbuilding firms, many of them known throughout the world.

The picture-perfect beauty of Southwest Harbor—graceful boats under sail, lobster and fishing boats entering and leaving the harbor, distant islands on the horizon, and fir-topped hills
rolling gently down to the sea—is just the beginning.

Southwest Harbor is a place of traditions—those from long ago and those in the making today.
For more information about Southwest Harbor and all it has to offer, go to