This company run two different tours. A one hour short tour that explores the area of Bar Harbor and gives a decent potted history as well as taking you to some of the places where you can enjoy the spectacular scenery. The tour includes a 15 minute stop at the top of Cadillac Mountain which is fantastic but I wished that we had spent longer there. The cost of the tour was $15.
They also run a longer 2.5 hour tour which covers a lot more of the Acadia National Park which costs $19. Unfortunately the timings of this tour were not good for me.
Short tour departs daily at 10:00am, 11:00am, 02:00pm and 03:30pm daily
It was a gorgeous day and it made for a lovely walk along the shore that provides an excellent view of the Harbor. This path has been in existence for over 100 years. You can really admire the beauty of the area and as the path loops back into the village, it gives the first time visitor an excellent starting point from which to orientate oneself.
This should be on everyone's list of things to do in Bar Harbor!
I was researched places to go i bar harbor, but couldn't find a good website that had it all. If I did it was short and didn't have much of anything... Or long boring paragraphs of boring nothingness.. I found www.ilovebarharbor.com It was a great place. I found a hotel right next to the park and a list of the best places to eat. I stay connected with their blog now to read what is happening.
This is one of the most amazing animals watching I have ever had in my life (I must confess I have never been in a safari in Africa) and hopefully we have seen bunches of beautiful whales' tails. The trip takes two hours to go in open ocean and stop; the crew is high qualified personell in marine wildlife and will give you all information you might need. Temperatures there were about 5° C so bring your raincoat and long trousers at least. Actually I had also a wool hat and gloves, but I am a mediterranean girl!!!!
Anyway, the trip is bloody expensive (like every touristy trip in the US) but worths definitely!
We had a great time with this sea kayak tour company. Don't miss out on sea kayaking when visiting Bar Harbor, there just isn't a better way to experience the area. We got to sit and eat our lunch on one of the park's coastal islands which we had all to ourselves and we saw a bald eagle and some porpoise on out tour! Our guide was great and made us feel very comfortable on our first time sea kayaking.
Here is a description of the company form their website-
Acadia Park Kayak Tours offers ecological sea kayaking adventures in Frenchman's Bay around the Porcupine Islands. Frenchman's Bay is the body of water off the coast of Bar Harbor, Maine on Mount Desert Island where Acadia National Park is located.
We offer sunrise, morning, day, sunset, evening, overnight, and private tours.
Tour group sizes are limited to six people or less making ours the smallest groups in the area.
A special emphasis is placed on eco-friendly business practices and 5% of profits are donated to ocean conservation.
No former kayaking experience is required and all necessary equipment is provided.
A Registered Maine Guide leads all tours.
Gift Certificates are available for purchase online.
We sell our gently used kayaks at steep discounts.
There are tons of kayak rental outfitters on Mount Desert Island. We saw a brochure for Yak Man and decided to give him a try. Yak Man is one of the few outfitters on the water, so we showed up and didn't have to transport the kayaks anywhere. Yak Man only has sit-on-top boats, which are ideal for scuba diving, but if you want to stay dry, you should try somewhere else. Yak Man is on Bass Harbor and you can easily paddle to Bass Harbor Head Light in about 30 minutes.
Acadia National Park is a stunning intersection of sea-scoured shores, towering cliffs, and forested mountains. This is the first national park east of the Mississippi.
The Village Green in Bar Harbor is the starting point for some of the people who want to visit Acadia National Park. Just purchase the Park pass at the Ranger Station, this pass included your park entrance fee and public transportation; pick up a park map along with the Acadia Island Explorer shuttle bus schedule; study the map and talk to park rangers to decide which part of the park you want to visit, then wait for the scheduled bus at the Village Green.
Our family has been to Bar Harbor on several occasions.
We like to do outdoor things and have gone out on many of the sailing, sea kayaking, climbing, hiking, and boating tours that are available there.
Two outfitters or tour companies have stood out form the rest in our experience.
The first is Acadia Park Kayak Tours and the second is Atlantic Climbing School.
Our trip with Acadia Park Kayak Tours was much better than our previous sea kayak experiences with other outfitters.
The guide was vastly knowledgeable about the area, very professional and skilled and fun.
They limit their open tour group size to six people which is a lot smaller than the other place's groups.
With this company we were finally able to stop on an island.
We saw seals, porpoise, and bald eagles.
The guide also threw in a good dose of natural history and current environmental issues affecting the oceans and their business is very conscious about being environmentally friendly, which we really liked.
We liked Atlantic climbing school for basically all of the same reasons.
The guides were obviously highly skilled and very fun and personable.
Their business is very environmentally friendly.
Their groups are small and you get a lot of one on one instruction.
The climbing was awesome with some amazing views of the water.
Seeing the area through kayaking and climbing is much better than being on a bus or in a motor boat. The pace is slower and you get very close to the natural environment. It is quiet with no motors and with these two companies no big groups. You see a lot of wildlife because your small quiet group doesn't scare them off. The mountains and the ocean are the two things that really make this park beautiful and these two activities, with these two companies, are the best way to experience them.
Do you like beer, especially micro-brew handcrafted brews? Why not zip by the Bar Harbor Brewing company? They have both wine and beer tastings, and you might just enjoy the fare.
the Bar Harbor Brewing Company has been brewing up their magic for almost twenty years. Apparently, they've won quite a few competitions with their suds, which doesn't surprise me a bit. They had some seriously good beer.
This is a true microbrewery, they only produce something like 250 barrels of bottle-conditioned beer a year. There are four main beers that they brew and serve at Bar Harbor brewing,
1> Cadillac Mountain Stout
A full-bodied brew. Apparently it won an award from Men's Magazine as "the
best hard-to-find beer in America".
2> Thunder Hole Ale
This is a brown ale that I find similar to Newcastle Brown Ale. Very tasty, a
good choice if you like a brew with attitude
3> Harbor Lighthouse Ale
A slightly lighter ale, but still with character. My wife liked this one a lot.
4> True Blue
This one pays homage to the fruit of the northern Maine realm, the wild
blueberry. A medium ale that includes blueberries in the malt process.
It's definitely a niche brew, maybe a bit gimmicky... but still pretty good.
I listed MY favorite brew first, the Cadillac Mountain Stout.
Now, let's talk about their wines. They've just recently gotten into the wine business. Their vineyards are still maturing, so for now, they're making wine from imported grapes and grape juices. THAT probably tells you what you need to know. Their best wine (can't remember which one it was) was very very average, and I'm talking average for a locally-made wine that's not from a major or renowned wine region. Napa it ain't. :) Maybe they'll do better in another ten or so years when the vineyards start producing local grapes.
I'd stick with the beer and ale. :)
Anyone who has read any number of my pages KNOWS that we are suckers for historic cemetaries. They just have an air of peace and history that I find interesting. We've visited cemetaries all over the world, and they all have their own tone and setting. It could be a famous ground such as Bonaventure in Savannah, Georgia, or maybe even Saint Peter's (love that name) in Salzburg, Austria. Or maybe even one of the tiny local grounds in my home village of Miccosukee, Florida.
We found a nice one to look around in Bar Harbor. It's the old town cemetary and it's located right next door to St. Saviour's Episcopal Church on West Street.
There are MARKED graves in the cemetary from as early as 1886, and there is also a memorial to the town's Civil War veterans. Additionally, the cemetary is the site of the "old village burying ground". The first burials in this burying ground date back to the late 18th century - George Washington's time!
If you are like we are, and you appreciate the peace and history of old cemetaries. spend half an hour walking around this one.
Another peaceful and relaxing place to spend time in Bar Harbor is Agamont Park. It's right out at the edge of the harbor, on a high point of land. There are lovely rose and other flower gardens, and a nicely decorated garden trellis at the edge. There are several park benches, and a nice spread of lush green grass that's just perfect for (as we say in the south) "just sittin' for a spell". It's a great place to watch the boats out on Frenchman's Bay, and there are great views of the town pier and the Porcupine Island(s) out in the bay.
Drive the 20-mile Park Loop Road for breathtaking views of ocean, mountains, and forests. Don't forget the 3.5-mile road up Cadillac Mountain. Driving the entire road, including short stops to read wayside exhibits or enjoy the scenery, takes three to four hours.
Walk the 1/3-mile loop trail (part of which is accessible) atop Cadillac Mountain.
The first U.S. National Park created east of the Mississippi, Acadia is made up almost entirely of once-private land donated by ultra-rich tycoons, like John D. Rockefeller, who were concerned about the region's lasting preservation. It's a truly gorgeous, wild place with mountains, forests and cliffs stretching right down to the sea. There are miles and miles of hiking and bike trails as well a 27-mile loop road for sight-seeing from cars. You can swim at Sand Beach, climb Cadillac Mountain, roam the forests and see all kinds of wild animals including deer, moose and bald eagles, and although thousands of people visit each year it's very easy to find a spot where you can be alone with your thoughts.
It cost $20 for a one-week group pass (a group is however many people fit in your car) and $40 for a yearly pass, which is worth it if you plan on making more than one visit or staying longer than two weeks. Passes are available at the Park Visitors Centers in downtown Bar Harbor as well as the main Visitors Center at the Park's entrance on Eden Street.
Acadia is open all year, though many of the Park's roads are not. If you plan on doing some winter camping or cross country skiing you may want to check and see what's happening before you go.
This is great little boat tour, especially for kids. Lasting about 1 1/2 hours, you can cruise out into Frenchman Bay on Miss Samantha and see how lobsters are caught, as well as view seals hauled out of the water on the rocks and check out a number of cool sea creatures living in the boat's onboard tank. The tour is led by a local naturalist who explains all about lobsters and how lobster traps work. As part of the tour they haul a few traps out of the water so that everyone can see how it's done. They also demonstrate how fishermen measure lobsters to determine if they are of legal size and explain how you can tell if a lobster is male or female. They pass some of the lobsters around for people to look at as well. Many other things besides lobsters are also caught in the traps, like stone crabs, sea cucumbers and fish, which kids think is really cool.
The scenery on the tour is also very nice, as it passes by the Porcupine Islands in the Bay.
One of the most famous in Maine, this little lighthouse lies at the very southern end of Mount Desert Island, south of Bar Harbor. It was built in 1858 and is today owned and operated by the United States Coast Guard. In fact, a real family lives in the house attached to the light so it's important when you visit to be as conscientious of this as possible. The light coming from the tower is fixed and red, not white and flashing as in most lighthouses, meant to warm ships of the Bass Harbor Bar as well as mark the entrance to Blue Hill Bay.
There is a parking lot at the lighthouse, but it often gets very crowded so it's best to go early in the morning or during times when fewer people will be around, like when it's raining. The Island Explorer bus also has a stop nearby.