Bar Harbor, Maine is one of the hidden gems not only of New England but the entire country. Tucked away on Mount Desert Island, it’s incredibly beautiful and picturesque. If you love the ocean, nature, and the rocky shorelines of Maine, this is the spot to visit. 

In this post, we’ll cover some of the things you need to know about any visit to Bar Harbor. So, if you’ve been planning to make a visit soon, keep reading!

Getting There

There are some ways to reach Bar Harbor. By car, it’s off Route 95, the highway that runs all the way from Florida to Maine. It is approximately a five-hour drive from Boston. During the summer months, bus service is also available from Boston to Bar Harbor. 

If you’d prefer to fly into the area, there are a few options. The closest airport is the Hancock County-Bar Harbor Airport which has flights from Boston. During the summer, you can take a free shuttle from the airport to downtown Bar Harbor. Or you can also fly into Portland International Airport, rent a car for the 3.5-hour ride up Route 95.

Once you’re in Bar Harbor, consider ditching the car and wandering either on foot, bicycle or by using the free Island Explorer buses that run throughout the summer and fall.

Things to Do

Once you’re in Bar Harbor, there is to do. Activities range from hiking, water sports, history and more. You’ll be sure to have a very good time. 

If you love nature, this area has plenty of it. You can take the short ride to Acadia National Park, the only National Park in all of New England. Here, you’ll have plenty of opportunities for hiking. 

For hiking that’s a bit closer to the town itself, consider trails like The Shorepath, Ocean Trail, Great Head Trail, and Bar Island which is only accessible during low tide. 

Bar Harbor, Maine

 

Of course, any trip to Maine should include some time on the water, and Bar Harbor is perfect for that. If you want to explore by doing some paddling, some local sea kayaking tours go around Mount Desert Isle and also within the confines of Acadia. 

Bar Harbor, Maine

Couple kayaking together.

Sailing is another option. You can hire a local captain to take you and your party around the area, or enjoy a sunset cruise around Bar Harbor on a schooner like the Margaret Todd

Don’t forget about whale watches too! This part of New England is typically known as a favorite feeding ground for whales during the summer and fall. So, the chances are good that you might be able to encounter some of these gentle giants on a tour. 

Imid-1860s 1860s, Bar Harbor, was known as ‘the’ summer spot for the estates of the wealthy and well-connected of New England. Because of that, the down has some beautiful old buildings from the 1800s that still dot the area. 

To learn more about the area and it’s history, visit the Bar Harbor Historical Society. If you’d like to learn more about the Native tribes and people who lived in the area, be sure to visit the Abbe Museum.

Enjoy!

No matter when you visit, you’re going to have a great time in Bar Harbor, Maine. Be sure to bring your camera!

The Author

Liz Froment loves exploring all over the US for hidden gems during her journeys around the country, and especially in her native New England.
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