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Few states can claim to have as many famous panoramic pictures as Maine. When travelers think of that northern New England state, images of waves smashing against a rocky shore, fishing harbors packed with wonderful lighthouses, colorful boats, and high pine trees come to mind. Miles and miles of moose habitat possess their own allure, conjuring thoughts of a lone canoe just riffling the surface of a lake embraced by mesmerizing forest or rainbow trout leaping from clear waters. The lovely village of Bar Harbor also crosses any tourist’s mind when planning a vacation to Maine. The town is situated near the magnificent Acadia National Park on Mount Desert Island. It is one of the most popular tourist attractions on the East Coast, and it offers historical charm, fantastic restaurants, a stunning coastline, and a variety of activities. The top things to do in Bar Harbor, Maine, for a day trip or weekend break are listed below.


Related: See The Best Of Bar Harbor By Visiting Off-Season

Visit The Bewitching Acadia National Park

Over 3.5 million people visit Acadia National Park each year for its world-class hiking routes, wonderful expansive panoramas, and views of the coastline. The park is just a few minutes from the center of Bar Harbor and is among the most visited national parks every year. Acadia National Park is also the hub of a splendid location, Thunder Hole, one of the park's most famous places, and which is situated along Loop Road. It is made up of a crack in the rocky beach that stations the water from crashing waves into a small channel, creating a dramatic and picturesque spectacle resembling a geyser. If tourists are interested in approaching close, it is feasible to do so. The sound and power of the flowing water may be felt from a fair distance. However, it is better to be cautious and daring due to the slippery nature of the wet rocks' uneven surface.

  • Best hiking trails: The Beehive, the Precipice, and the Thunderdome trails

Tour Bar Harbor Shore Path

Bar Harbor, which has a population of just over 5000, is still a little town with a strong connection to the seaside, but during the summer, the area is overrun with visitors. The Shore Path is the best route to take if tourists truly want to experience Bar Harbor. Starting at the town pier, they have to take this short route to the magnificent shoreline, where they may enjoy lovely views of the surrounding islands, boats, and yachts. They can also take a cruise on a ship.

  • Cruise availability: From spring to fall.

Related: A Guide To Traveling Off-The-Beaten-Path In Bar Harbor

Watch Whales Swimming Near Bar Harbor

The Bay Harbor area is home to several tours offered by the Bar Harbor Whale Watch Company, including whale watching, sunset viewing, as well as natural, cultural, and tourist excursions. Visitors may observe finback, humpback, and minke whales as well as seals, porpoises, offshore birds, dolphins, and North Atlantic puffins on whale-watching cruises that take them right into the heart of the whales' habitat. On the Sunset Tour, tourists will take in the breathtaking panoramas of Frenchman's Bay. They can also join Miss Samantha's team for a fun-filled and educational tour of the beautiful Maine coast that includes lobster fishing and observing seals. Additionally, they may see seasoned fishermen haul in their catch. Throughout the summer, daily and various trips offered by the company to please all the tourists leave from the town pier in the center of Bar Harbor.

Discover Bar Harbor’s Museum

Visiting a museum might not be tourists’ first choice of activity, especially in a picturesque town like Bar Harbor. But a quick trip to the Abbe Museum is well worthwhile. The Abbe Museum, one of Maine's oldest museums and the only institution in the area devoted completely to the culture and history of Maine's Native people, the Wabanaki, was established by Dr. Robert Abbe in 1928. Maine's Native American traditions, which have a long history dating back thousands of years before European immigrants arrived, sometimes get overshadowed by more well-known sights like the gorgeous Acadia National Park.

Abbe Museum originally belonged to the park, but it has now grown to include a new component that has been in the heart of Bar Harbor since 2001. Both buildings of the Abbe Museum are available to the public and are among the best places in the state to go if tourists are interested in learning about the history of the local Native Americans. It is currently a part of the Smithsonian Institute because of its importance and top-notch collection.

  • Location: There are two locations for the museum, one of which is at 26 Mount Desert Street in the heart of Bar Harbor and the other of which is in the national park at Sieur de Monts Spring.
  • Opening time: Both locations are open from Memorial Day weekend until the middle of October.

Indulge In Bar Harbor Food

No trip is perfect without delicious food, and visiting Bar Harbor without tasting local lobsters and drinking Blueberry Beer is a missed opportunity. Maine produces most of the country's blueberries and 90% of its lobsters. The finest adult-only way to savor all that delicious fruit is to eat fresh Maine lobster and drink blueberry beer while visiting Bar Harbor.

  • Recommended restaurants: Side Street Café, The Reading Room, and Galyn’s.