Hike 'til you drop
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.
- Hiking and Walking
debjanec's General Tip
Fondest memory: One morning we rose before dawn to drive in darkness to the summit of Cadillac Mountain. There we shivered in the cold waiting to be among the first in the US to see the sun rise. Afterwards we went for hot coffee & blueberry pancakes at Jordan's Restaurant on Cottage Street in Bar Harbor. A great way to start the day and a special memory of our time in Maine
travelmad478's General Tip
Fondest memory: I visited Bar Harbor in June, when the milkweed all over the island was in spectacular bloom. Everywhere you looked, spiky purple flowers were covering fields and meadows. The effect was really magical.
Explore Acadia National Park! ...
Favorite thing: Explore Acadia National Park! The centerpiece of Mt. Desert Island is the main section of Acadia, which is one of the most pleasant and user-friendly national parks I've ever been to. It is full of hiking trails that serve all skill levels of hikers. A driving loop takes you all around the perimeter and offers dozens of opportunities to stop and explore little areas. In the main section of the park, there is a stable, a botanical garden filled with native plants in many habitats, and a lovely restaurant (the Jordan Pond House). Other bits of national park are also scattered around many smaller locations around Mt. Desert Island. From these, you can canoe and kayak, hike some more, take bikes or horses along the island's many miles of dirt/gravel roads, or just wander around the ocean's edge, poking into the endless tidal pools. To use all of the park's facilities, buy a weekly pass that allows your car to enter all areas (about $10). You can find out more about this park at http://www.nps.gov/acad/.
Fondest memory: I hiked every day around many of the park's well-maintained trails. This photo was taken on top of Cadillac Mountain, the highest point on Mt. Desert Island. (I cheated and drove up, but you can hike or bike if you have the energy.)
There are several things I'd...
Favorite thing: There are several things I'd recommend to do in the Bar Harbor area. It's good to just walk around Bar Harbor and view the area first. The rest of the time I'd spend in Acadia National Park and visit Cadillac Mountain, Otter Cliffs, and Jordan Pond. If you had extra time you could visit other areas near Bar Harbor or take a trip to the quieter western side of Mount Desert Island and see the areas around Bass Harbor or Northeast Harbor.
Fondest memory: My best memory of Maine was an early morning hike to Otter Point in Acadia National Park with a park ranger at 7:30 a.m. Wow!
Shopping, or just window shopping
Favorite thing: There are some wonderful-looking shops in Bar Harbor. You'll be able to purchase almost anything you need here, including books, clothes or just gifts for those at home.
Take a ride on a sailboat. ...
Favorite thing: Take a ride on a sailboat. The harbor is just full of them. It is lovely, especially when the fog rolls on in.