A beautiful sunset over the harbor, one of the best things to do in Bar Harbor Maine in the summer

A Quintessential Summer Vacation in Bar Harbor, Maine!

Select Registry - April 14, 2022

Gateway to Acadia National Park!

One of our favorite things to do in Bar Harbor Maine is to explore the quaint downtown shops

If you’re looking for a memorable East Coast getaway this summer, you’ll be hard-pressed to find something better than the charming community of Bar Harbor. There are so many great things to do in Bar Harbor, Maine, not least of which is enjoying the breathtaking coastal beauty alongside some of the freshest and most delicious seafood in the country. 

Aside from being a charming seaside community, Bar Harbor is known as the gateway to Acadia National Park. Visiting the park is easily one of the most popular things to do in Bar Harbor, Maine, and drives upwards of 3.5 million visitors to the area each year.

With so much demand for this amazing part of the country, it’s easy to see why it’s more important than ever to plan your getaways well in advance. That’s where our collection of Maine Bed and Breakfasts come in! When it comes to finding the best places to stay in Bar Harbor, nothing that outcompetes the luxury, ambiance, and hospitality of our Select Registry Bed and Breakfasts. 

Select Registry has been a leading brand in the hospitality industry for 50 years. Each member has been through the most rigorous inspection in the industry, and they lead the way in accommodations and on-site experiences. Located in some of the most sought-after destinations in the country, Select Registry has positioned itself to be your go-to source for lodging. 

That includes your trips to the Maine Coast. Every detail of your stay will be tended to, leaving you free to relax, unwind, and enjoy all of the fun things to do in Bar Harbor, Maine. Don’t miss the opportunity – book your stay at one of our Maine Bed and Breakfasts today!

Take in the views of Frenchman Bay, one of the best things to do in Bar Harbor, Maine

Best Things to do in Bar Harbor, Maine

Though Bar Harbor is often thought of as the Gateway to Acadia National Park, which we’ll cover in more detail below, there are so many more things to do in Bar Harbor than this one park. Bar Harbor is situated on Maine’s rugged coastline on Frenchman Bay. Like many coastal towns in Maine, it’s a former fishing village and still an excellent place to find delicious local lobster and other seafood. 

From the town of Bar Harbor, you’ll enjoy picturesque views of the bay, including the beautiful islands that lie just off the coast. The bay itself is often filled with yachts and lobster boats and, as such, is an excellent boating destination. 

Given that it’s located in the northern part of Maine, the temperature in Bar Harbor is cool year-round, with June – August being the best time to visit. The fall months in Acadia National Park are spectacular, too. Whenever you manage to visit, though, this stunning natural paradise will not disappoint. Here are just a few of our favorite things to do in Bar Harbor, Maine.

  1. Don’t miss a visit to the Bar Harbor Pier. It’s the thriving heart of downtown Bar Harbor and not only one of the most popular things to do in Bar Harbor, Maine, but also one of the most popular places to snap a picture!
  2. Take a walk on the Shore Path from the pier, which offers beautiful views of things like The Porcupine Islands, Balance Rock, Egg Rock Light, and the Schoodic Peninsula.
  3. Getting out on the water is one of the best things to do in Bar Harbor, Maine, and there are plenty of ways to do it. Rent a kayak or paddleboard and explore on your own. If you’d rather take a guided tour, consider one of these sea kayak tours
  4. If paddling isn’t for you, you can also take a scenic tour like this Puffin and Lighthouses tour through the harbor and the neighboring islands. There are also plenty of sailing companies offering a variety of sailing adventures throughout the area, too. 
  5. Go whale watching! It’s one of the most popular things to do in Bar Harbor, Maine, especially between May and October. 
  6. Visit the beautiful lighthouses in the area, including the Bass Harbor Head Light, pictured below, and the beautiful Egg Rock Lighthouse
  7. Get in on some traditional Maine summer fun and enjoy lobster fishing and seal watching
  8. At low tide, walk across the land bridge to Bar Island. Once you’re there, there’s a mile-long hike that will take you to the highest point on Bar Island, which offers exceptional views back at Bar Harbor and Frenchman Bay. It’s fun and tricky, making it one of the most exciting things to do in Bar Harbor. Time it carefully!
  9. Visit the original Abbe Museum (named Sieur de Monts Spring), which showcases a broad array of art, history, and culture of the area’s native people. Each July, the museum also hosts the Native American Festival.
  10. Visit Bar Harbor’s historic homes, like La Rochelle Mansion or the Woodlawn Museum, Gardens, & Park

This really is just the tip of the iceberg for great things to do in Bar Harbor, Maine. Below, we’ll go into great detail on Acadia National Park, ranked #1 of things to do in Bar Harbor, Maine. 

Visiting this beautiful Bass Harbor lighthouse is one of the top things to do in Bar Harbor Maine This Summer

Visit Acadia National Park in Maine

Visiting Acadia National Park is one of the most popular things to do in Bar Harbor, Maine – and for a good reason! Acadia is actually one of the most visited National Parks in the country, thanks to its incredible beauty and vast, protected wilderness. Acadia National Park is also the most visited place in Maine.

Within Acadia National Park, you’ll find vast areas of untouched nature, including lush forests, rugged coastlines, and majestic mountains. There’s no doubt that this park offers some of the most astonishing scenery in the entire North East. 

There are plenty of great things to do in Acadia National Park. It’s an area teeming with wildlife and photo-ready scenery. We recommend you pack a picnic with you, as there aren’t many options available in the park itself. Plan to spend at least two days, if not up to four, exploring all the things to do in Acadia National Park. 

If you’re ready to start planning, here are the best things to do in Acadia National Park: 

  1. Much of Acadia National Park can be seen by a car driving Park Loop Road. This 27-mile loop introduces you to the best of Acadia National Park and is perfect if you’re short on time. 
  2. Hike (or drive) up to the top of Cadillac Mountain and enjoy exquisite views of Bar Harbor and Maine’s Coastline. This is easily one of the most popular things to do in Bar Harbor, Maine. You’ll enjoy truly astonishing views of Acadia National Park and Frenchman Bay, and it’s a stunning place to watch a sunrise.
  3. Paddle a canoe on Jordan Pond, where you’ll enjoy beautiful clear and translucent waters in this glacier-formed tarn. Paddling here is one of our favorite things to do in Bar Harbor, Maine, let alone within the park. 
  4. Another great part of the Acadia National Park to visit is the Schoodic Peninsula. It’s a great area to enjoy some hiking. You’ll find stunning granite headlands, picturesque lighthouses, and thickly forested sections teeming with wildlife. 
  5. Witness the power of Mother Nature at Thunder Hole, where the water can shoot in the air as high as 40 feet. There’s also a pretty fantastic view of the area from here. 
  6. If you’re looking for a day at the beach, you can’t beat a visit to Sand Beach
  7. For more picture-perfect views, head to Otter Cliff, where you’ll see noticeable erosion by the waves. 

If you miss a visit to Bar Harbor and Acadia National Park this summer, don’t forget about the spectacularly colorful fall season ahead. Acadia National Park is one of the best places to see fall foliage, and we have your guide to some of the best Acadia National Park hiking trails to try this fall. Whenever you visit, the rugged, beautiful world of Bar Harbor is waiting. Book your room at one of our Maine Bed and Breakfasts today!

Best Places to Stay in Bar Harbor

The Inn at Bay Ledge

Nestled in the Maine Coast’s magnificent scenery, the Inn at Bay Ledge combines the comforts and congeniality of a small country inn.  Imagine fresh ocean breezes, panoramic views, beautiful sunrises and sunsets from the inn or strolling on our pebble beach.
Perched on a bay front bluff, many of our guest rooms offer awninged private decks, Summer Cottage has bay views from every room and it’s deck!  We are just minutes to Bar Harbor and Acadia National Park.  The inn is perfect seaside getaway!

Ullikana

The Ullikana Cottage is tucked away in a secluded area of the village of Bar Harbor, situated in the best place in town by the coast of Frenchman Bay. Relax in the afternoon with refreshments as you watch the sailboats and ships come and go in the harbor, or settle into a cozy chair by the fireplace to wind down from your happy day.

The center of Bar Harbor Village is a brief stroll from the cottage with all the shops, restaurants, indoor and outdoor activities, and natural beauty. Dramatic colors and sophisticated styling contribute to a sense of liveliness and fun.

Balance Rock Inn - On the Ocean

Rich in history and opulence…Balance Rock Inn is Bar Harbor, Maine’s premier boutique hotel. Commanding a breathtaking waterfront location the Inn offers privacy and serenity with incomparable lodging and service. And just steps away from art galleries, shopping, and culinary delights in the heart of Bar Harbor’s Village District.

The historic summer home has been lovingly restored preserving the splendor of the Gilded Age – offering old-world charm with today’s modern amenities. Balance Rock Inn has it all a perfect vacation destination for Spring, Summer, or Fall.

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