Bar Harbor, which shares Mt. Desert Island with Acadia National Park, is a quaint town of 5,000 year-round residents on Frenchman Bay. It serves as an entryway to the mountains and cliffs of neighboring Acadia National Park.
Sights to Visit
Take some time and wander around the village, checking out the Village Green and the College of the Atlantic’s Turret Seaside Gardens, as well as a stroll along the Shore Path (hitting this trail in time for sunrise is an unforgettable experience). Check out the sailboats in the harbor and breath in the clean salty air.
Stop in at the Abbe Museum, which has Native American artifacts and information spanning thousands of years of history. The museum has partnered with the Smithsonian Institute due to the significance of its holdings.
Strolling around downtown Bar Harbor, you’re sure to find plenty of options for quality seafood – you won’t have fresher lobster or chowder. More than 5,316,000 lobsters are eaten in Bar Harbor every year. Shops serving ice cream, fudge, and local fare are plentiful. There are many wild blueberry fields in the area, so check out the blueberry pancake options at a local café.
Where to Stay
Lodging accommodations are plentiful, including hotels for every budget, numerous B&Bs, and cottages overlooking Frenchman Bay.
Renting a bike is a great way to explore Bar Harbor. The free shuttle service, Island Explorer, is also available to get you to many attractions.
Tours and Excursions
Book a whale watching tour as this area is essentially a highway for these massive mammals, especially humpback and finback whales. Try sailing on a windjammer boat or take a ride on a lobster boat.
Acadia National Park
Acadia National Park is a short drive from Bar Harbor. Visit the Hull Visitor Center; it’s an excellent place to chat with the park rangers and prepare to navigate the 50,000-acre sprawling park.
If you enjoy hiking, you will want to trek up Cadillac Mountain, the highest peak within 25 miles of any coast in the U.S.
Thunder Hole is an incredible natural phenomenon; it’s a break in the rocky shoreline where incoming waves are funneled up a narrow channel, creating geyser-like spray. Be prepared to get wet if you choose to walk the path to the cavern head. Hold on to the handrails as the water makes the ground slippery.
Acadia has 125 miles of hiking trails with incredible views at every turn.
Best Time to Visit
The summer season is defined by warm days and cool evenings with an average daily high temperature above 66°F; winter sees average temps remaining around freezing, with lows plummeting below zero. The shoulder season months (spring and fall) temperatures averages in the 50s and 60s. Fall colors and fewer crowds make for a lovely trip in September or October.
Give us a call when you are ready to visit Bar Harbor, we’ll help you plan the perfect trip!