Bar Harbor is located on Mount Desert Island in Maine, about 3 hours north of Portland. The New England vacation spot gets four distinct seasons: superb summers, relatively harsh winters, a foggy springtime, and chilly and spectacular autumns. Here you will find granite cliffs meeting with the Atlantic on the dramatic coastline.
Settled in 1763, Bar Harbor holds a rich history for fisherman, artists, and seaside culture that can still be enjoyed year-round at any age. Outdoorsmen, photographers, beachcombers, artists, and foodies alike will find the national parks, outdoor living, shopping, and history of Bar Harbor worthwhile.
A highlight of the entire region is Bar Harbor’s Acadia National Park. Over 50 square miles of freshwater lakes, mountains for hiking, and biking trails with stunning coastal views make up the protected land. 2016 marks the park’s centennial, which will be celebrated with events and festivals throughout the year.
45 miles of carriage roads offer maintained routes for bikers, walkers, cross-country skiers, and snowshoers, depending on the season. Kayaking in warmer weather provides dramatic views of the rocky coastline from the sea.
Hiking is paramount at Bar Harbor. The island even boasts the tallest mountain on the east coast, Cadillac Mountain, which overlooks the Atlantic. Take in the local wildlife with a bird watching tour through the national park, or whale watch along the coast. In the summer you can wade into the tide pools that host an abundance of marine life at your toes!
Whether you’re fine dining or stopping off at a seafood shack, you’ll find incredible locally caught lobster available. After treating yourself to local delicacies, take the historic walk that loops through downtown Bar Harbor and passes 25 notable and historic mansions, churches, and structures dating from 1860.
Shore Path, less than a mile long, begins at Frenchman Bay near Agamont Park. The trail is lined with roses and provides sprawling views of the Porcupine Islands across the water. The Bar Island walk takes you across a shelly sand bar from Bridge Street to Bar Island, and you’ll get to see views of West Street’s Millionaire’s Row. Make sure to check for low tide to get across!
Check the Bar Harbor events calendar for monthly art walks and biweekly concerts in the summer. For more culture, check out the Abbe Museum, which is affiliated with the Smithsonian and commemorates the Native American history of the island’s Wabankaki tribe.
Camden and Rockland are two popular stops about a two hour drive south of Bar Harbor, and you’ll pass plenty of other seaside towns along the way. Hike to the top of Mt. Battle for incredible views of the harbor and Penobscot Bay. The Penobscot Narrows Bridge and Observatory in Fort Knox State Park is the only one of its kind in the country. Take in 360 degree views from the tower.
Lubec is rural coastal town nearby two hours north of the island. The tranquil and rugged community is home to the West Quoddy Lighthouse (the easternmost point of the United States). Canada’s Capobello Island is across the bridge, with historic structures and the famous Bay of Fundy (of course, you’ll need your passport to cross the border). On the way, stop for a picnic at Jasper Beach, made up of billions of polished pebbles (make sure you bring collapsible chairs for more comfortable seating)!
Cottages, cabins, and spectacular seaside homes make up Bar Harbor’s rental options. Choose from over 200 lovely stays on Tripping.com. There are plenty of options on Mount Desert Island, or you consider spots across the water at Winter Harbor. A 45 minute ferry ride connects the two towns and runs multiple times each day.
The nearest airport is Hancock County-Bar Harbor, a quick 20 minute taxi from downtown. For a larger airports with more flight options, try Bangor International Airport (50 miles away). Local taxi services are available from the airport, ferries, bus stations, and cruise ship drop off points.
Rent bikes or walk to get around locally. Check the Island Explorer bus services for getting to hiking trails, carriage roads, beaches, and shopping around Mount Desert.
Find the best Bar Harbor vacation rentals on Tripping.com. With over 325 home rentals, take your pick from a wide variety of choices including studio apartments, luxury condos, and cozy cabin rentals. Prices in Bar Harbor range from $40 a night. Many rentals can also be booked directly online.Vacation home rentals found on Tripping.com offer more amenities than the average hotel room along with many of the comforts of home. Going on a business trip or need to stay connected? 297 homes in Bar Harbor offer high-speed WiFi Internet so you won’t miss a beat. Travelling with kids? Let them splash around in any of the 54 rentals with pool or jacuzzi, or relax with the family in one of the 285 homes with cable TV.For all those pet owners with dogs or cats, Bar Harbor offers 68 pet-friendly vacation rentals for your extended family. Find the perfect vacation rental that matches your budget and style on Tripping.com.Search properties from 6 vacation rental sites in Bar Harbor where the top providers in that area are HomeAway, TripAdvisor, and Booking.com. There are 142 HomeAway rentals, 91 TripAdvisor short term rentals and 37 Booking.com vacation rentals.