Not all of Mount Desert Island is taken up by the wilds of Acadia . In fact, the half dozen small villages hugging its shores are a mix of fishing communities and playgrounds for the rich and famous. As summer resident Samuel Eliot Morrison once said, to live in Bar Harbor  you needed “money but no brains,” to live in Northeast Harbor you needed “brains but no money,” and in Southwest Harbor you didn’t need either.
Times have changed a bit since then—money, and lots of it, is definitely required to spend much time in both Northeast Harbor and Southwest Harbor, the twin anchorages on corresponding sides of Somes Sound, a deep, glacially carved fjord that cuts the island in half. Of the two, Northeast Harbor is a bit more upscale, with yachts crowding out the harbor and upscale galleries and antiques shops lining Main Street. Southwest is calmer, with small boutiques and fishing vessels thrown into the mix.
At the tip of the fjord, Somesville was the first settlement on the island, dating back to 1761, and still has a number of historic buildings. The fishing villages of Bass Harbor and Tremont, to the west, are your best options for quiet seclusion, while Seal Harbor is the former location of Rockefeller’s cottage, and provides an air of refined quietude.