Things to do in Bar Harbor

Things to do in  Bar Harbor

The last stop before Acadia

Bar Harbor, a coastal city with plenty of old-fashioned charm, has been one of Maine’s most popular vacation destinations since the 19th century, when it was the retreat of choice for Rockefellers and Vanderbilts. Located on Mt. Desert Island overlooking Frenchman Bay, there are lots of things to do in Bar Harbor, especially in the summer months, when visitors hike to nearby Acadia National Park and enjoy daytime boat tours, before tucking into freshly caught lobster, local craft beer, and slices of blueberry pie. However, the area’s pine trees, lighthouses, and mountains are equally magical in winter.

Top 1 attractions in Bar Harbor

Acadia National Park

Located on Maine's Schoodic Peninsula and Mount Desert Island, Acadia National Park is a New England gem. You'll find diverse areas of the park to explore, from dense woodlands and vast lakes to the tallest mountains on the Northeast coast. Maintained by the National Park Service, Acadia offers endless options for exploration—from catching the first sight of sunrise in the US on Cadillac Mountain to camping on the remote shores of Duck Harbor to hearing waves crashing in the park's famed Thunder Hole inlet.More

Top activities in Bar Harbor

Savor Bar Harbor Culinary Walking Tour
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Acadia Full Day Private Tour and Hike
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Bar Harbor Bash Scavenger Hunt
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Bar Harbor Bash Scavenger Hunt

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Acadia's Ocean Path Self-Guided Walking Audio Tour
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90-minute Ghost Walking Tour in Bar Harbor
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All about Bar Harbor

When to visit

Summer is peak season in Bar Harbor, Maine, and neighboring Acadia National Park. Temperatures are at their warmest June–August, making swimming and water sports popular things to do. Travelers who don’t mind chillier temperatures often plan visits in spring and fall. Popular annual events include the Bar Harbor Music Festival in July and the Bar Harbor Fine Arts Festival in August.

Getting around

A car is the best way to get around Bar Harbor, Maine, and explore the surrounding area including Acadia National Park. Many tourists arrive in their own car, or fly and rent a car at the airport. Local public transportation is a good option for sightseeing, including the Bar Harbor Ferry and the free, seasonal Island Explorer Shuttle, which also offers convenient transportation into Acadia National Park.

Traveler tips

No trip to Bar Harbor, Maine, would be complete without visiting Acadia National Park. The main drive is called Park Loop Road, which winds along the coastline and offers dramatic ocean views. Some of the most scenic parts of the park are accessed more easily by bike, so consider bringing your bike to explore more widely. To avoid parking concerns or crowds, utilize the free, seasonal Island Explorer Shuttle to reach the park.

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People Also Ask

What is Bar Harbor known for?

Bar Harbor has coastal charm and boat tours galore. This Maine town is also a gateway to nearby Acadia National Park. A popular summertime destination since the 19th century, Bar Harbor is known for lobster boats, access to hiking trails, scenic lighthouse cruises, local craft beer, and whale watching.

How do I spend a day in Bar Harbor?

From hiking in nearby Acadia National Park to climbing aboard a scenic boat ride, Bar Harbor offers many ways to spend a day in Maine. Choose between popular activities including photography excursions, whale-watching cruises, and culinary tours focused on local flavors from lobster to craft beer.

What is the best month to visit Bar Harbor?

The best months to visit Bar Harbor are from June to August. The summer months in Maine offer the warmest temperatures and are a popular time to visit. Some travelers prefer to avoid the peak summer crowds of July and August, visiting in June or September instead.

How many days should you spend in Bar Harbor?

Plan on spending three days in Bar Harbor. Get a taste for the town through its thriving restaurants, scenic boat cruises, and hiking trails in nearby Acadia National Park. Don’t miss the chance to eat lobster and sample local craft beer.

How do you get to Acadia from Bar Harbor?

The town of Bar Harbor borders Acadia National Park. To reach Acadia from Bar Harbor, visitors can drive their own vehicle (with a parking pass), utilize the free shuttle bus system, or ride their bikes. Bike rentals are available in Bar Harbor and shuttles can accommodate bikes.

What should I not miss in Acadia?

Don’t miss driving Acadia National Park’s scenic Park Loop Road. Other popular activities include biking the car-free carriage roads, visiting Thunder Hole, and hiking to the top of Cadillac Mountain. Other top hiking trails include Ocean Path, Beehive Loop, Precipice, and Thunderdome.

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