Visit Bar Harbor Maine

 "That Wonderful Harbor Town"

Bar Harbor is an enchanting New England beach town on the hilly coast of Maine. Tucked into the east side of Mount Desert Island, this seaport draws visitors year-round to enjoy the astounding scenery, recreation, legendary seafood, and shopping – all alive with local hospitality.

Humble beginnings as a fishing and ship building village changed, as the beauty of the area's mountains and seascapes attracted the rich and famous. In the 19th century, Bar Harbor was considered New England's foremost summer resort.

In fact, at one point the town offered the largest hotel in North America. During this time, a cluster of breathtaking summer estates - called Millionaires' Row - was developed by America's most powerful clans: Rockefeller, Ford, Carnegie, Vanderbilt and Morgan, to mention a few.

Today, Bar Harbor, Maine is a vacationer's paradise. Thousands of beach and nature lovers visit each year, and the autumn landscape has lengthened the tourist season well into the fall. A few of the mansions have now been converted to inns and hotels, and many more hotels and resorts have been built to accommodate travelers.

Bar Harbor, Maine

A cruise ship sits at anchor as people stroll past the Bar Harbor Inn.

Hotels And Accommodations

Part of the fun in visiting Bar Harbor is planning where to stay. There is a generous supply of lodging in and around this exquisite seaport village. Take your pick from Resort or Inn, Bed and Breakfast, Campground, Cabin or Cottage.

A favorite of tourists is of course, The Bar Harbor Inn & Spa. The famous Inn has the best ocean-front location with a fantastic in-town experience. The Official Hotel Guide ranks the hotel as ‘superior first class'.

Other fine hotels are spread across town, and include well-known favorites like the Abbotts Chiltern Inn, the Acadia Hotel, the Bayview, Clefstone Manor, and The Inn at Bay Ledge.

Things to do in Bar Harbor

You'll quickly discover an outdoor vacation paradise. There's rock climbing, sailing, paddling, biking, brewery tours, boat excursions, golfing and more.

For an incredible experience, take a fully narrated whale watching tour on the gulf of Maine. You'll watch for and find different species of whales, as well as dolphins, porpoises, seals, eagles, and North Atlantic Puffins. You'll even view legendary Maine lighthouses, and learn their amazing history.

Golfers will have a great time playing at the Kebo Valley Golf Club, an 18-hole golf course with driving range, with its peak season during May through October. It is rich in history as the oldest golf club in Maine.

Experience the culture of Bar Harbor, ME by visiting the Abbe Museum, where it showcases the rich history and archaeology of the state. You'll enjoy the rare experience of learning about the Wabenaki Indians, the first settlers in Maine, and their past and present traditions.

Local Restaurants and Shops

A vacation at Bar Harbor means you're going to eat well! Fresh, delicious seafood is part of the heritage (think whole fresh lobsters, mussels, clams and chowder.) Treat yourself to a meal at The Quarterdeck, a superb, cozy restaurant set right on Frenchman Bay.

You'll find plenty of excellent restaurants that offer menus from around the world to down home family style - with ambiance ranging from fine dining to casual. Visit quaint pubs and breweries, like the world famous Geddy's or the comfy Leary's Landing Irish Pub. There are also super places to grab a bite on the run, or enjoy a full-course breakfast.

Shopping enthusiasts come year after year to explore the excellent boutiques and shops sprawling across town. Artisans feature the works and masterpieces of Maine's local artists and sculptors. If you need outdoor gear, outfitters are ready to fix you up with everything from hiking gear to cross-country skiing supplies.

Christmas shops feature one-of-a-kind gifts you can only find in Bar Harbor, as well as unique jewelry and craft stores showcasing incredible work by local artisans. Everybody loves "Cool As A Moose" clothing store, with great t-shirts and casual wear.

You can reach many restaurants and shops by foot, as Bar Harbor is a very walkable town.  

Acadia National Park - Where the Mountains Greet the Sea

Right alongside Bar Harbor, Maine is the natural wonderland of Acadia National Park. The park's beautiful lakes, granite-filled mountains, forests and sea cliffs cover 40 percent of the island.

The entire park can be seen and enjoyed in many ways. There are 55 miles of carriage roads for walking, riding and biking. At Acadia National Park, you can spend the day at the beach, or go bicycling, bird watching, camping, cross-country snow skiing and snowshoeing, trail and mountain hiking, horseback riding and more. Enjoy scenic cruises, driving tours and trips, visit the specialty gift shops, and enjoy guided walking tours.

Want to be the first in the USA to catch a glimpse of the sunrise? You can literally go from sea level to mountain top in one afternoon, as you hike or drive up Cadillac Mountain, the highest mountain on the Atlantic coast.

The sight from the summit is spectacular, with a panoramic view of the Atlantic Ocean and outer islands surrounding Bar Harbor. It's said that from the summit during the fall and winter months, you can catch the 1st rays of sunshine to hit the USA!


Traveling to Bar Harbor

  • Travel by car - follow I-95 to Bangor, Maine, pick up Rt.1A to Ellsworth, and follow Rt. 3 to Bar Harbor.
  • By plane, the Hancock County-Bar Harbor Airport is just 12 miles from Bar Harbor
  • By ferry, take the CAT ferry that runs from Yarmouth, Nova Scotia into Bar Harbor.

Spend a few days in the beauty of the Maine coast. Go sailing, take a sea-kayak tour, or hike or horseback ride among the secluded trails of Acadia. Simply stroll about town and enjoy the best meals you'll ever have. Once you visit this incredible harbor town, you'll return again and again.