Bar Harbor has a world renowned ambiance that blends seashore community, Down East character, and famous Maine Lobster. The town is situated on Mount Desert Island, right on the gorgeous Frenchman’s Bay. So if you’re looking for stunning coastal beauty and small town life, look no further. Here are the best things to do in Bar Harbor, Maine.
Along the rugged coastline of Maine, Acadia National Park offers ocean shoreline, coastal forests, remote islands, rocky mountains and historic lighthouses. It is undeniably the best thing to do in Bar Harbor. The park has 45 miles of historic carriage roads to bike and 125 miles of trails to hike, making it the perfect destination for the adventurous and outdoorsy alike. Among the park’s granite peaks is Cadillac Mountain, which is the highest point along the North Atlantic seaboard. From October 7 through March 6 of each year, it is the first place to view a sunrise in the United States.
RELATED: Acadia National Park Adventure
For 1.5 hours before and after low tide, you’ll see a land “bridge” appear that connects Bar Harbor to the western edge of Bar Island. Time your visit perfectly, and you’ll be able to walk across the mile trail and explore the tide pools of this unique landmark. You can find tide information here.
Originally created around 1880, people from all over the world have walked on the Bar Harbor Shore Path while enjoying the sights, sounds, and smells of the Maine coast. The trail begins at the Town Pier next to Agamont Park, goes a short distance to the East past the Bar Harbor Inn, then wraps around a point before continuing South for about half a mile along the eastern shore of Mount Desert Island. Make sure to stop at the town pier along the way to check out the beautiful boats!
Visiting Frenchman Bay is one of the top things to do in Bar Harbor, Maine and the best way to experience it is on a boat. You can take a sunset cruise in a sailboat, or hop aboard Lulu’s Lobster Boat to learn how lobsters are caught and prepared. Or, if water sports are your speed, you can take a coastal kayaking tour.
As home to the historic town clock and host to many of the town's open-air concerts and festivals, the verdant Village Green acts as Bar Harbor’s center. You can spend some time picnicking on the grass, or attend one of the free concerts from the Bar Harbor Town Band. They perform every Monday and Thursday night from eight to nine throughout July and most of August.
Bar Harbor’s Main Street and the restaurants and shops lining it are uniquely charming thanks to colorful, clapboard storefronts. Walk down it and stop at one of its many seafood restaurants (we recommend Galyn's or the Thirsty Whale) before grabbing dessert Mount Desert Ice Cream, which is known for its fun and flavorful combinations.
From mid-April through September, whales come to the Maine gulf to feast on plankton, fish, and sand eels. During this time, you can expect to see a variety of whale species, including humpback whales, orcas, sperm whales, sei whales, and pilot whales. Not to mention seals and harbor porpoises!
There you have it: seven of the best things to do in Bar Harbor, Maine. If you’re thinking about visiting this amazing town, be sure to check out our Acadia National Park Adventure. Or, tag us in your adventures @adventuretripr. Happy exploring!
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