Published December 26th, 2011

Not too long ago, we featured a few historical figures who were born in the midcoast and went on to achieve fame and fortune. But the region’s reputation as a haven for the well-to-do is anything but history.

The midcoast’s scenic coastline and cool ocean breezes continue to attract celebrities to this day, many of them escaping the big cities for private summer estates tucked into the area’s tranquil harbors and islands. Among the famous names “from away” with a soft spot for Maine are:

John Travolta and Kelly Preston – The star of “Grease” and “Pulp Fiction” has been summering on Islesboro with his actress wife and family for years. Rumor has it that fellow resident Kirstie Alley, Travolta’s co-star in “Look Who’s Talking,” convinced him to purchase a home on the secluded island. Today, Alley’s home is up for sale with a price tag of a cool $2.35 million.

Don McLean – The classic rock singer-songwriter, best known for crooning the iconic “American Pie,” has a hilltop home just outside Camden. Called Lakeview, the Georgian-style house overlooks Megunticook Lake from two hundred private acres.

Genie Francis and Jonathan Frakes – After years playing the “Laura” of “Luke and Laura” on “General Hospital,” Francis took a breather from acting to open a home furnishings store in Belfast. She ran it with her off-screen husband, actor Jonathan Frakes, also known as the bearded Cmdr. William T. Riker on “Star Trek: The Next Generation.” Francis returned to soaps but continues to own the store and summer with Frakes in Belfast.

Martha Stewart – Travel anywhere near Seal Harbor, the site of the domestic diva’s summer home, and you’re sure to hear a Martha story or two. Stewart has owned a home in the town, just south of Bar Harbor, for more than 10 years, and on occasion opens her gardens for public viewing. Her lavish “Skylands” estate was once owned by the Ford family.