December 12, 2017
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Magazine: Bar Harbor a top U.S. college town

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‘Hub of activity’; Coastal Living cites Acadia National Park in College of the Atlantic’s backyard

BAR HARBOR, MAINE — Bar Harbor, home to College of the Atlantic, is one of the top coastal college towns in the United States, according to Coastal Living magazine.

“The 350-plus liberal arts students consider the island’s Acadia National Park their backyard and research lab,” the Coastal Living article states. “For a taste of the college life, families can enroll in the annual summer Nature Camp, staying in the dorms and exploring Acadia’s tide pools and beaches with college professionals.

“And the town of Bar Harbor is a hub of activity—lighthouse tours, sailing classes, aviation adventures, and coastal bike trips keep the community buzzing year-round.”

The story also cites the college’s Turrets administration building, “a slate-roofed stone castle built in 1895, (which) now stands as the private college’s signature building … a bit of Gilded Age glory survives.”

“The Coastal Living recognition amplifies what our students, alumni and many friends in the Mount Desert Island community already know,” said college President Darron Collins ‘92. “Living here and studying here, with the Atlantic Ocean in our front yard and Acadia National Park in our backyard, makes this one of the world’s natural wonders, and a great spot for place-based higher education.

“We’re proud the youthful energy and exuberant year-round presence of the College of the Atlantic helps makes Bar Harbor special,” Collins said.

College of the Atlantic was founded in 1969 on the premise that education should go beyond understanding the world as it is, to enabling students to actively shape its future. A leader in experiential education and environmental stewardship, COA has pioneered a distinctive interdisciplinary approach to learning—human ecology—that develops the kinds of creative thinkers and doers needed by all sectors of society in addressing the compelling and growing needs of our world. For more, visit