Bar Harbor Travel Guide

  • Fishing Dinghies
    Fishing Dinghies
    by peach93
  • Stewman's Lobster Pound
    Stewman's Lobster Pound
    by peach93
  • The Bar Harbor Inn, on Frenchman's Bay
    The Bar Harbor Inn, on Frenchman's Bay
    by 850prc

Bar Harbor Things to Do

  • Lighthouse tour with Bar Harbor Whale...

    I decided to do this pretty much at the last minute and mainly because it would give me a different perspective of the area. The guide gives a good commentary and you get to really appreciate the beauty of the Acadian scenery. The boat is a spacious catamaran and so it provides for a comfortable journey. You get to see five different lighthouses...

  • Rock Climbing with Acadia Mountain...

    It is some years since I have climbed and so I was certainly rusty. You can book half or full days climbing instruction with a personal instructor. All equipment is provided. At first glance it looks fairly expensive but when you stop and think about what you are getting, it is certainly value for money and it made the time spent in Bar Harbor...

  • Oli's Trolley Tour

    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....


Bar Harbor Hotels

  • Bar Harbor Inn

    Our family has stayed here several times over the past 25 years, usually in the Ocean Front Lodge....

  • The Bayview

    We stayed at the Bayview Hotel in July 2005. Our room was large, deck huge, view incredible,...

  • Best Western Inn

    We stayed at the Best Western Inn in Bar Harbor for 2 nights. It is conviniently located 2 miles...


Bar Harbor Restaurants

  • Best in Bar Harbor

    We saved the Bar Harbor Inn Reading Room restaurant for dinner our last night in Bar Harbor. The building has a history as a club and restaurant going back to 1922, but the current operation was established in 1999. A hotel has operated in the building since 1950 after the terrible fire of 1947 wiped out every other hotel on the island. This is a...

  • Jordan Pond House-Not to be missed!

    Jordan Pond House is the only restaurant inside the boundary of Acadia National Park. I would say it is one of the top two iconic places to eat when visiting Bar Harbor and Acadia National Park. It is very popular and has a great view of the lake named Jordan Pond and the mountains, including the iconic pair of peaks called 'The Bubbles'. A wide...

  • Testa's for Breakfast!

    Testa's has been in Bar Harbor since 1921. It is a full service Breakfast Lunch and dinner casual dining restaurant on Main street close to the harbor. They also have a location in Florida and specialize in seafood, and Italian cuisine, with plenty of standard American fare also. We never managed to get there for lunch or dinner, but we had...


Bar Harbor Nightlife

  • Hilarious Live comedy theater

    ImprovAcadia features witty, sophisticated, and hilarious improvised comedy. The professional actors from Chicago create spontaneous scenes and songs from audience suggestions. The 8PM shows are appropriate for families with kids of all ages. The 10pm can get a little more adult but is still smart.They do shows 7 nights a week from Memorial Day...

  • Cigars

    On our first night in Bar Harbor Lou decided he needed a cigar, he often decides this when we are on vacation. So before going to cook diner and relax for the night at our campsite, we drove into town on a quest. Since Bar Harbor reminded us so much of New Hope, PA where A Little Taste of Cuba is located, we figured there must be a cigar shop in...

  • Small Town Bar

    The night I was here there was a live two-person band playing with one being a great violinist, and the music was great! Not sure what nights they have music, though the bar looks like a good place to relax and grab a beer. They have sports on and there is a pool table.


Bar Harbor Transportation

  • Canada Anyone?

    If you have a desire to visit Canada for part of your trip, a quick and easy way to Nova Scotia is the "Cat". A superfast ferry that will take you and your car across to Yarmouth, NS in less than 3 hours. The office is on Main Street.

  • No more Bar Harbor-Yarmouth Ferry

    I'm researching an upcoming trip to Acadia National Park and came across the bummer news that the high-speed ferry between Yarmouth, Nova Scotia to/from Maine is no longer operating as of the 2010 season...

  • Free Island Explorer Buses

    The Island Explorer buses are sponsored by Acadia National Park and L.L. Bean and are free of charge to all passengers. They run on natural gas and are part of the Acadia's efforts to reduce carbon emissions and improve the air quality in the Park and on Mt. Desert Island. The buses travel all over the National Park, including its campgrounds, Bar...


Bar Harbor Shopping

  • Locally made gifts

    A huge selection of locally made artist wares that is different from the usual run of the mill tourist souvenirs. There is a huge variety of wares available ranging that includes jewellery, pottery, baskets and embossed paper. I bought a beautiful whale made by a local artist out of driftwood. Slightly more expensive than many of the gift shops.

  • Great Irish/Scottish/Welsh stuff!

    Celtic Rainbow Gifts is a gift shop with goods from around Ireland, Scotland, England and Wales. It's a great find down on West Street that seems off the beaten path. Very small and quaint, they carry mostly silver and gold jewelry, as well as clothing, crosses, music and other things. A great find! Wonderful selection of celtic rings, and jewelry...

  • Christmas Stuff in Summer

    When we travel Karen and I often buy Christmas tree ornaments as a reminder of the special places we visit. Apparently many other people do the same thing, or why else would a place like Christmas Spirit Shop do business year round. As I am writing this tip, it is the holiday season and our Christmas tree is up and decorated in the living room....


Bar Harbor Local Customs

  • diver-x's Profile Photo

    by diver-x Written Sep 2, 2003

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    There are a few local breweries of interest on Mt. Desert Island. We tried some from Bar Harbor Brewing Company and Maine Coast Brewing Company. Both the Cadillac Mountain Stout (Bar Harbor Brewing) and the Black Irish-Style Stout (Maine Coast) are highly recommended.

    Gettin' local
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    • Beer Tasting

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Bar Harbor Warnings and Dangers

  • A good place and time to "spruce up"...

    Parking is a hassle in Bar Harbor. Most of the nearby parking is out on the street, your standard parallel parking. There are very few, if any, actual parking meters. BUT, the signs clearly say "two hour limit" on parking. Now, you're probably going to want or need more than a couple of hours in Bar Harbor, especially if you're hanging around for...

  • Softshell Lobsters

    Lobsters molt their shells in the summertime when the water warms up, usually in August in northern Maine. After lobsters molt they surround their bodies (inside of their new shells, which are soft to the touch) with seawater in order to stretch them out, making their shells a bit larger than their bodies so that they'll have a bit of space to grow...

  • Cruise ships

    When we arrived in town I was a little surprised to see so many people since it was off season but then I saw the reason why, a large cruise ship docked in port. Someone said they are there almost every day in season, the good news is that they seem to leave by nightfall making it a little easier to get into restaurants.


Bar Harbor Tourist Traps

  • Don't Go to Geddy's

    Our family visits Bar Harbor often and we feel like we are stating to get the know the town pretty well and talk to a lot of the locals.Geddy's is the quintessential tourist trap. They lure people in by decorating the place with all kinds of kitchy eye catching junk but the food and the service are awful.According to the locals I've spoken with the...

  • Parking Tickets

    I received a $10 ticket. Here is how it happened, and how to avoid it.I had driven to an outfitter to arrange a kayak trip. The kayak trip would last 4 hours. The only parking nearby was 2 hours, and the person directed me to a spot that was 3 hour parking. It was a chance to take, and unfortunately I received a ticket, albeit a relatively small...

  • Where Did All These People Come From!

    This is not exactly a tourist trap, though a head's up which is that at any time there may be a cruise ship passing through. While this is great for local business, it does make things a little more congested at restaurants, shops, et al. Unfortunately, though, I don't know how one could plan around this. It would seem like someone in town...


Bar Harbor What to Pack

  • Shorts or pants

    Glad I had along my zip off shorts/pants. Came in handy in the changing weather. We had a perfect day in mid August to see Acadia National Park.

  • Don't forget your Mosquito Repellent!

    You better pack some jungle-strenght Mosquito Repellent, you're going to need it especially when camping. Do and you will be fine, though. I had just one, on my way back from the shower to our tent on the campground!

  • Packing List

    Be sure to bring warm clothing with you, even in the summer months. Just make sure you have a jacket and full length pants if you are hiking or boating. High winds at the top of the mountains can make your time spent there uncomfortable and short. And it is not uncommon for temperatures to fall considerably, especially if a downeaster weather...


Bar Harbor Off The Beaten Path

  • Drive along shore toward Seal and...

    I recommend taking this drive instead of entering Acadia National Park directly from Bar Harbor as you will get to see lots of shoreline and you can stop along the way and enjoy the scenery BEFORE entering the park from what seems like the back side.When you are walking in the green seaweed you must be careful as it is very slippery and you will be...

  • Cool local bakery

    We discovered the Morning Glory Bakery on our last day in BH, and we were so sad that we didn't find it sooner. It is right in downtown, but it is easy to miss on the little side street. If you can find it, it is a great place to grab some great baked goods and check out the local flavor, we went there three times on our last day, we couldn't get...

  • Cruise to Nova Scotia

    As I was researching this trip, I came across day trips to Nova Scotia that left from Bar Harbor. I thought about it briefly but then decided it was too much for this trip and really wouldn't do the area justice. But should I ever return to this area I will definitely be looking into taking The Cat ferry to Nova Scotia, with our rental car if...


Bar Harbor Sports & Outdoors

  • The best sea kayaking experience

    We have been to Bar Harbor on several occasions. In the past we have gone out with two of the local sea kayak guide services. One of them was with Coastal kayaking in Frenchman's Bay which was not a great experience. The guide was very young and didn't really seem to care about the job he was doing. The other time was with National Park Sea Kayak...

  • Bar Island Trail

    There are numerous hiking opportunities in and around Bar Harbor. One of the most interesting, and within shouting distance of downtown Bar Harbor, is the Bar Island Trail. This is a very easy trail but still one which has a special sense of adventure - even a certain bit of danger. It can only be hiked at low tide, when a gravel bar is exposed...

  • Sea Kayaking

    Part of the reason I took a trip up this way was to specifically sea kayak. I had a fun time as we kayaked around the Bar Harbor islands. The weather was actually too rough to go kayak around Acadia. There are several outfitters in town. The one I went to was on Cottage Street - well just about everything is on this street or on Main.


Bar Harbor Favorites

  • Bar Harbor Labs

    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. 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 -...

  • Want a nice walking map?

    Here's a website where you can get a nice little walking map of Bar Harbor. It can be downloaded as a .pdf file.

  • The First Sunrise in America

    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...


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