Bar Harbor is the largest community on Mount Desert Island and the natural gateway to the scenic wonders of Acadia National Park, including Cadillac Mountain, Sand Beach, Thunder Hole, Otter Cliffs, Jordan Pond and many other points of interest, many of which may be seen via the 27-mile Park Loop Road.
The village of Bar Harbor is situated on a gentle hill overlooking the harbor of the same name and the pretty islands of Frenchmen Bay. The grand mountains of Acadia, most notably Cadillac and Champlain, rise just south of the town. The unofficial center of the town is the intersection of Cottage and Main streets, just uphill from Agamont Park and the Town Pier, and not far from the Village Green.
Walking is a great way to see the sights of Bar Harbor. The famous Shore Path is an easy stroll along the waterfront from the Town Pier to Wayman Lane, with lovely views of the Porcupine islands en route. Another interesting walk is across the sand bar at low tide to Bar Island, which affords visitors a fine view of the town, its shoreline homes, and the mountains of the park beyond.
Bar Harbor is home to a wide variety of specialty stores, antique shops, boutiques, outfitters, craft stores, and other retail shops and outlets. Shopping is very much a part of the Acadia experience, so take your time, breathe the fresh sea air, mingle with the summer crowds, and browse the stores to your heart’s content.
Art and music lovers will enjoy the many galleries, shows and festivals in Bar Harbor during summertime. Wander the streets and browse the shops of town to discover paintings and prints of island landscapes, colorful Native American art, Maine-made crafts, tourmaline jewelry, clothing and much more. Enjoy some laughs at a comedy club or watch a movie in the old time theater. Enjoy good food and drink at one of the many sports bars, pubs, and taverns. Check out the nightclubs and bars for live music and dancing.
For accommodations, choose an oceanfront hotel, a cozy B&B or historic inn, a private seaside or island cottage, a family run motel, a vacation rental property, or camping at a family campground, where you’ll be sure to find great Maine hospitality, clean and comfortable rooms, and pleasing amenities.
Bar Harbor features a fantastic range of dining experiences and something to satisfy most every taste and budget, from steaks and seafood to a variety of local favorites, international dishes, heart healthy fare, and vegan and vegetarian options, too. Enjoy fine dining, casual eating, pubs, cafes, and breweries.
There’s something to celebrate nearly all the time in Bar Harbor with a variety of events that are fun for the whole family, including the 4th of July, the Bar Harbor Music Festival, the Legacy of the Arts Festival, the Pajama Party, and nearly 100 other events in town and across the island.
Take a hike on one of the park’s 120 miles of beautiful trails, which range from short strolls to half-day walks to all day rambles. Ride a bicycle along the world-famous carriage roads that wind through the leafy woods past quiet ponds. Paddle a kayak in an ocean cove or canoe on a sparkling lake to enjoy the physical pleasure and the salty coastal air.
Tour the park on a narrated bus or trolley excursion to view the must-see sights along the Park Loop Road. Enjoy the sun and a refreshing swim at Sand Beach or Echo Lake, the park’s two popular swimming spots. Enjoy a picnic lunch overlooking the ocean. Look for hidden treasures hidden among the tidepools. Play a sporting round of golf at one of four outstanding public courses on the island.
Hop aboard a whale watching or puffin cruise to get a unique look at the beauty of Acadia and its bountiful marine, bird, and animal life. Visit one of the many museums to learn about the island’s native residents, antique cars, or Maine lobsters. Set sail aboard a majestic schooner for a windjammer cruise amid the islands and bays. Or try your hand at fishing for brook trout, salmon or bass in one of the island’s pristine lakes and ponds.
Getting around Bar Harbor and Acadia National Park is easy when you ride the fare-free Island Explorer shuttle bus, which operates ten routes linking hotels, inns, and campgrounds on Mount Desert Island and the mainland at Ellsworth and Trenton to destinations throughout the park and neighboring towns and villages.
Whatever you choose to do and see during your visit, you’re bound to have a wonderful time amid some of the most beautiful coastal scenery found anywhere.
For more information on Bar Harbor, contact: