Right now, it’s important to continue to stay at home and practice social distancing. We hope you’re using this time to daydream a bit about your next trip. Our goal is to provide some ideas you may find inspiring or useful for a future trip.
Bar Harbor is at once an outdoor lover’s paradise and a picture-perfect seaside town. From the amazing Acadia National Park to the charming streets of downtown Bar Harbor, there is something for everyone to see and do. Hike, climb, stroll, and shop to your heart’s content in this charming New England gem.
We’ve highlighted just five of the hundreds of things to do when you visit Bar Harbor, Maine.
- Love the Lobster: Whether it’s learning all about the crustacean at the Oceanarium, taking a lobster boat ride on the Lulu Lobster Boat, or enjoying a traditional Maine Lobster Bake, this town is all about the lobster. The Oceanarium offers a two-part, hour-long program on lobsters that includes little known lobster facts while the Lulu provides an in-depth look at the life of a lobsterman and the lobster, as well – the coastal scenery while cruising is a plus! As for the lobster eating part, there are plenty of ways to enjoy the lobster – try a traditional lobster roll or a visit to Stewman’s Lobster Pound, which is about as authentic as you can get.
- See the Stars: As one of the biggest dark sky locations in the East, Acadia National Park is a great place to see the stars in the night sky. Top spots in the Park include Sand Beach, which has a convenient parking lot; Jordan Pond House, which offers the added bonus of the stars reflecting on the pond and the piece de resistance – Cadillac Mountain. During the summer months, the mountain stays open until midnight so stargazers can drive up and catch the sky show!
- Cross Over to Bar Island: If you want to see the reason it’s called Bar Harbor, wait until low tide and you’ll see the land bridge, which is actually a gravelly sandbar, that will take you across to Bar Island. Once on the island, you can hike and walk the trails and enjoy the surrounding views. Check the tide schedule, plan about an hour or so on Bar Island and head back across the land bridge before the tide rolls in!
- Explore Acadia: From sunrise to sunset, Acadia is an all-day playground. If you are adventurous, hike to the top of Cadillac Mountain and watch the sunrise. Then it’s your choice for the day – bike the 45 miles of carriage roads, drive the 27-mile Park Loop Road, hike the myriad of trails (from easy to not so easy, there’s about 100 to tackle), or relax at Sand Beach. As we mentioned earlier, the stargazing here is amazing. Things not to miss here are the rush of Thunder Hole and the view of Otter Cliff.
- Take in the Town: Lots to do here from foodie tours to museums and live music. Take a three-hour culinary walking tour that not only offers plenty of food but history and lore of the town, as well (mainefoodietours.com/bar-harbor). There’s also a Bar Harbor Happy Hour Tour with a focus on appetizers and Maine craft beer. Or, visit the Abbe Museum and learn all about the people and culture of the Wabanaki, Maine’s Native people. Other museum options include the Bar Harbor Historical Society and the George B. Dorr Museum of Natural History. There’s plenty of shopping and eateries and the nightlife hops here, as well. There’s plenty of bars with live music and some laughs can be had at ImprovAcadia. On Monday and Thursday evenings, the Bar Harbor Band offers free outdoor concerts on the Village Green.
While exploring Bar Harbor, make a colorful cottage or cozy cabin at Narrows Too or Mt. Desert Narrows your home base.