From its majestic granite cliffs to its rocky windswept shore, Bar Harbor has been a playground for Northeasterners for more than a century. Thanks to a well-preserved downtown, scenic lighthouses, and access to the nearby 47,000-acre Acadia National Park, any of our Bar Harbor vacation rentals make the perfect home base from which to explore the sights of New England.
Outdoor Activities in Bar Harbor, ME
Bar Harbor is an outdoor-lover's dream destination. Much of that is due to its location on its own island off the mainland. Most visitors head first to nearby Acadia National Park. Avid hikers have been heading here since 1919, thanks to groups such as The Civilian Conservation Corps, a New Deal organization, that constructed many of the trails - 120 miles in all - and campgrounds used today. Visitors can camp at four sites, some year-round, and even enjoy food at the Jordan Pond House, the only restaurant on parkland. Acadia boasts the tallest mountain on the U.S. Atlantic coast and the Bass Harbor Headlight, as well as lakes, streams and a museum.
Staying right in town in one of our Bar Harbor cottage rentals? The town itself offers many recreational activities. Guests love to bike the 45 miles of carriage road around town. Coastal fishing, canoeing, snowmobiling, and whale watching are all popular activities. Stand-up paddleboarding has become all the rage in recent seasons, and sea kayaking remains popular with active visitors. Agamont Park on the waterfront is a nice place for a summer picnic or to watch the sunset.
Things to Do in Bar Harbor, ME
If the great outdoors are not your cup of tea, Bar Harbor boasts many indoor opportunities around town sure to lure you from our cozy Bar Harbor cabins! The Abbe Museum focuses on Maine's indigenous population and the Bar Harbor Historical Society boasts many historical manuscripts and exhibits. Bar Harbor hosts an annual fine arts and music festival, and the College of the Atlantic presents Family Nature Camps throughout the summer. You can tour the local winery and brewery, and even take carriage-driving lessons at Wild Iris Farms.
Lighthouses are a New England fixture, and Bar Harbor boasts six well-maintained structures. Head to Blue Hill Bay or Frenchman Bay to watch the flashing lights and fog blasts. Students can study marine biology at the Great Duck Island Light, and guests can have dinner at the Isle au Haut Light.
Day Trips from Bar Harbor, ME
The town is a great base from which to embark on day trips. The Schoodic Point section of Acadia National Park is less busy and more tranquil than the Mt. Desert portion. You can swim or play on the nearby rocks.
Bar Harbor has many ferries heading up as far as New Brunswick, Canada, and down to nearby islands. Little Cranberry Island, a local favorite, can be reached by mailboat and boasts a museum as well as restaurants to enjoy the lobster. Swan's Island features a summer folk music festival and a recently built general store. Isle de Haut is accessible by mailboat via Stonington, and features a lighthouse as well as many spots to picnic and enjoy the summer weather.
Quaint Camden is just two hours south of Bar Harbor, and you'll spy many even sleepier coastal towns along the way. Take a jaunt to the observation deck of the Penobscot Narrows Bridge or enjoy the view of Camden Harbor and part of Penobscot Bay from the top of Mt. Battle in Camden Hills State Park.
From touring lighthouses to taking a lobster ferry to hiking Acadia National Park to enjoying a meal in town, our Bar Harbor vacation rentals are a great base from which to enjoy it all!