President Obama Vacations in Bar Harbor, Maine and Acadia National Park

President Obama and his family are once again vacationing in a national park, this year choosing a quiet corner of America that for generations has served as a summer retreat for families with last names like Rockefeller, Vanderbilt, Morgan, Carnegie and Astor.

The first family is spending the next three days on Mount Desert Island in northern Maine, home to Acadia National Park and some of the most incredible scenery in the Northeast.

The president's itinerary hasn't been made public, but he is said to be staying at Holiday Inn's Bar Harbor Regency Hotel -- the Secret Service has blocked off surrounding streets -- and will probably take some time to explore the national park's 125 miles of hiking trails and 45 miles of carriage roads.

Video of President Obama golfing on vacation in Marthas Vineyard.
null

But the real highlight is likely to be a sunrise trip up 1,532-foot Cadillac Mountain. (The spot happens to be the place where nearly three years ago then-first daughter Jenna Bush got engaged. )

It's the tallest peak in the park and one of the first places in America to be hit by the sun's rays.

"There's something incredibly powerful and rejuvenating about that," said documentarian Ken Burns who did a six-part series The National Parks: America's Best Idea.

Stay Up to Date on the Latest Travel Trends from ABC News on Twitter

Just before the national broadcast of his documentary in September, Burns and his family joined the Obamas at the White House for a private screening. Burns showed a highlights hour of the show, including scenes where past presidents had been involved in the parks' creation, preservation and growth.

"He understood that the parks resonated in a way," Burns said. "He spoke very movingly about the trip that he took" as a child to the Grand Canyon and Yellowstone.

Last summer, the president recreated that trip with his daughters, although instead of riding a bus, they took Air Force One.

Obama Visits Acadia National Park

This summer's trip to Acadia and Bar Harbor is likely to be a bit more relaxed. Instead of the grand sweeping vistas that the western parks are known for, Acadia is a more serene, quiet spot. It doesn't draw the same crowds and is known for its rugged coast and dense forest.

Almost everybody in the 5,000-person town is talking about the Obamas' visit. Local news reports say that many residents hope to line Route 3 as the president's motorcade comes onto the island. Like other presidential vacations, there will be flight restrictions, and tour operators who offer scenic flights are upset about the loss of business after short notice of the visit.

Obama is the first sitting president in a century to vacation in the area, making his trip almost 100 years to day after William Howard Taft. Only two other sitting presidents have visited: Chester Arthur in 1882 and Benjamin Harrison in 1889.

If Obama wants a break from the natural beauty, he might want to consider a round of golf at the Kebo Valley Golf Club. It was founded in 1888 and is eighth oldest golf club in the United States. Taft played a round there during his visit and was reported to have ended the day with a score of 100.

While Acadia was a turn-of-the-century playground for the rich and famous, it was those same affluent people who led to the creation of the park and preservation of the land.

Page
  • 1
  • |
  • 2
Join the Discussion
You are using an outdated version of Internet Explorer. Please click here to upgrade your browser in order to comment.
blog comments powered by Disqus
 
You Might Also Like...