On the way back from summer school we visited the Bar Harbor labs. My dad was doing some research along similar lines that was being done at those labs. So we dropped in for a visit.
Fondest memory: My dad had some fat mice that got diabetes naturally. Bar Harbor labs also had a fat mouse. But theirs was different. Our mice where black and white and pear shaped - solid mice. The Bar Harbor mice were 'fluffy'. They hardly seemed to have any weight at all because their fat kind of spread out.
Here's a website where you can get a nice little walking map of Bar Harbor. It can be downloaded as a .pdf file.
Favorite thing: Because it lies on the eastern side of Mount Desert Island, away from the mainland, Bar Harbor is one of the first places in the United States to see the sun rise. (Not in North America, just in the United States). It's worth it if you're an early riser to get yourself a cup of coffee and head down to the harbor to watch the sun come up over the Bay. It's really beautiful, a great start to any day, especially if you're on vacation.
Everyone knows that the best wild blueberries come from Maine, and if you're in Bar Harbor, or anywhere in northern Maine, in August you'll find them growing absolutely everywhere. They grow in ditches on the side of the road, on hills, in the woods, on people's lawns. There are so many wild blueberries growing in Maine it's just silly. There are a few different varieties of blueberry bushes out there, both low-growing (scrubby, near the ground) and high-growing (big, tall bushes), so keep an eye out for both.
If you can find a spot where it's ok to pick them, I highly suggest doing so (don't do it in the National Park or on private property!). In fact we bought some ziplock bags and kept them in the car just in case we came across some. You can also purchase wild blueberries at many roadside stands and grocery stores.
Home to Bar Harbor, Acadia National Park, historic Bass Harbor Light and many charming towns and villages, MOUNT DESERT ISLAND is a natural wonderland, boasting more than 80 species of wildlife and 17 mountain peaks.
The largest town on the island is Bar Harbor, which began attracting summer visitors in the mid 1800's - mostly prominent families whol built lavish summer "cottages". The Rockefellers and others left a legacy for future generations when they established the land preservation trust that became Acadia National Park. Here you'll find Cadillac Mountain, the highest point on the eastern seaboard north of Rio de Janeiro.
The eastern half of the island is the most populated, with both Bar Harbor and the summer colony of Northeast Harbor. On the quieter western side are Southwest Harbor, the island's largest fishing village and other interesting and unique villages, including Bass Harbor, Bernard, Manset, Sewall, Somesville and Tremont.
There's lots to see and do in BAR HARBOR the gateway to Acadia National Park. Twenty miles south of Ellsworth via Route 3, Bar Harbor offers restaurants, shops, boutiques and galleries of all kinds, to visitors staying in elegant inns, hotels, B & B's, RV or Camp sites.
Sail Frenchman's Bay aboard the "Margaret Todd", with Cadillac Mountain in the background. Take an excursion boat to whale-watch amd sightsee or cruise to Canada via high-speed vessels.
In Acadia National Park which straddles Mount Desert Island, you can hike or bike along 120 miles of scenic paths.
Called Eden when founded in 1796 and renamed in 1921 for the sand bar which had accumulated in the bay, Bar Harbor's first Hotel was built in 1856, many others followed by 1880 and the town had acquired its national grand resort reputation. Affluent summer residents built sumptuous 'cottages' along "Millionaire's Row".
The Village Green, which lies between downtown Bar Harbor and the Atlantic Ocean, is a busy yet Idyllic spot. It is the perfect venue for a stroll, a picnic, or people watching. there are lots of places to spend money in Bar Harbor, but here you can just relax, soak up a few rays, smell the salt air, and wish that summer could go on forever.
Bored with just hanging out at the Village Green. Within a block you can find fascinating museums, quaint shops, fine restaurants, scenic hiking trails, natural or historical tours, and ships that will carry you around the bay or away to a foreign land.
Bar Harbor Maine
The beautiful natural harbor in Frenchman Bay, from which Bar Harbor gets its name, is a vibrant place, especially during the summer months. There are more opportunities for sailing, whale watching, sea kayaking, sightseeing and other activities than you can take advantage of in one vacation. Bring lots of money to do the touristy things. No money; no problem. You can still have a grand time just strolling along the shore, or sitting on an oceanside bench and soaking up the ambiance of this very special place.
Favorite thing: Here's a view of Frenchman Bay, with Bar Harbor out of sight to the left, taken from the road to Arcadia National Park. There are spectacular views from this highway, running as it does along the edge of the Bay.
Favorite thing: Another view of Main Street, looking back towards the top of town. Of course, there are many other streets to roam, but we just didn't leave ourselves enough time to do Bar Harbor justice. One thing you will notice is the lack of parking space. We were there in the early Fall, and late in the afternoon, and still the place was thriving. We did find a parking space down at the Bar Harbor Inn, and I guess there are other parking lots off Main Street if you know where to find them.
I couldn't decide if this tip belonged in the Local Customs, Transportation, or even Warnings and Dangers, so here it is!
Just be aware when you are windowshopping that you don't get mown down by these Kiddy Buggies going up and down the sidewalks, LOL! don't know what they really were, but I guess nannies/childminders taking the children out for a trip downtown, haha.
Favorite thing: the main street in Bar Harbor is, well, Main Street! Unfortunately my pictures don't do it the justice it deserves, as the lowering sun cast rather long shadows, but I think you'll see how nice the street is. This one has a glimpse of the Quarterdeck Restaurant, at 1 main Street.
Favorite thing: You really must walk around the dock area. From here you can get a ferryboat to Nova Scotia. On a day like the day we visited, the ferry trip would have been outstanding. Unfortunately we just ran out of time, and the sun was dipping ever lower in the early Fall sky even before we arrived.
Wherever you go, whatever you do, sampling the local beer is definite must.
What do the locals drink, what beer is most popular, which beer is hardest to find, does it come in a half pint glass just like grandma used to drink…or better still, a full pint glass like I drink??? These are all good questions that need to be answered...
Here on Mount Desert Island there are a number of good beers available that were born in the great state of Maine, but the one beer that holds fond memories for me in and around Bar Harbor is Geary's Pale Ale. I had this little beauty for the first time for lunch at the Docksider in Northeast Harbor and the joy of that moment in time has stayed with me ever since.
Favorite thing: Acadia National Park covers a large part of Mount Desert Island, where Bar Harbor is. Hiking oportunities are too numerous to list. We climbed The Beehive, which is a short climb up a steep cliff with spectacular views of the mountains & Bar Harbor at the top. A couple of other good hikes are The Precipice and the trails around Jordan Pond. Beware if you are afraid of heights: The Beehive and the Precipice are probably not for you if you get week in the knees in high places. We saw several panicked climbers on our hike. The Parks Service has installed short ladders and railings in some spots to aid the mostly inexperienced climbers who make the attempt. Even so, most people find the climb both physically and psychologically challenging.