The 10 Best Things to Do in Bar Harbor, United States

August 7, 2017 Karren Gelb

Mansions and majestic hotels serve as reminders of Bar Harbor’s past (in the 19th century, it was a favorite vacation spot of society’s upper crust). Today, visitors kayak, explore Acadia National Park, go bird- or whale-watching, and enjoy salty sea air and sandy beaches.
Restaurants in Bar Harbor

1. Mount Desert Island

Bar Harbor, Mount Desert Island, ME 04609 +1 207-288-5005
Excellent
88%
Good
9%
Satisfactory
1%
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5 based on 2 reviews

Mount Desert Island

Home to Acadia National Park, this island off the coast of Maine with its beaches, sweeping cliffs and mountains offers visitors numerous recreational activities, from hiking, biking and following nature trails to swimming, sailing and kayaking.

Reviewed By tikkitikkitembo

This is a magical place in nature that we have been visiting for 45 years from upstate New York, bring first kids, then grandkids and now as a couple still loving this wonderful island. The park is magnificent, tons of wonderful groomed, well marked trails that vary from easy to difficult, ponds and lakes and ocean beaches,guided ranger walks,miles and miles of bike trails that were biilt as carriage trails and impossibly gorgeous views of 80+ smaller islands that dot around the main island. There are great villages and harbors to visit, that offer good shopping, restaurants, and entertainment, boat trips, fishing trips, whale watches. We can NEVER get enough of this magical island!

2. Cadillac Mountain

Acadia National Park, Mount Desert Island, ME +1 207-288-3338
Excellent
83%
Good
14%
Satisfactory
1%
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5 based on 2 reviews

Cadillac Mountain

The East Coast's highest mountain at 1,530 feet and Acadia's best known sight.

Reviewed By Alberta S - Washington DC, District of Columbia

You drive to the top then hike the mountain and get beautiful views of a rugged coast carved by the glaciers. It is the highest point on the east coast, so definitely worth the trip.

3. Beehive Trail

Acadia National Park, Mount Desert Island, ME +1 207-288-3338
Excellent
88%
Good
10%
Satisfactory
1%
Poor
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5 based on 449 reviews

Beehive Trail

Reviewed By 966shrutir

We started at 8.30 am and reached the top by 9.15 am. Climbed down via the bowl trail.

Views are gorgeous throughout the hike. It was pretty windy at the top so carry a jacket in your backpack.

Hike- well marked trail, not too strenuous. I am 5’2 and were able to climb easily without any difficulty.

Photography - some of the best photos of Acadia National Park trip were clicked here . There’s a spot just before the top of the summit which is a great photo op.

Facilities - there’s plenty of parking and restrooms are clean.

4. Acadia National Park

20 McFarland Hill Dr, Bar Harbor, Mount Desert Island, ME 04609-7387 +1 207-288-3338
Excellent
91%
Good
7%
Satisfactory
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Poor
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5 based on 287 reviews

Acadia National Park

Reviewed By Bill B - Bucksport, Maine, United States

Acadia offers to tourists from foreign countries and those from here in the USA interior a chance to see Ireland here in Maine. Beautiful vistas from shore. Rocky crags, pounding surf, lobster boats with real working crews. A chnce to witness whales, camping swimming,Light houses. Acadia has ity all.

5. Park Loop Road

Acadia National Park, Mount Desert Island, ME +1 207-288-3338
Excellent
80%
Good
15%
Satisfactory
3%
Poor
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Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 1 reviews

Park Loop Road

A major national park in Maine where the attractions and sights are well known along the 20-mile Park Loop Road.

Reviewed By akorn222 - New York City, New York

This trip is well worth it and there is something for everyone. You can get out and hike, stroll, walk or just stand there and take in the views. You have the option of being active or driving and both offer something. Very underrated part of this country. I recommend to all nature lovers or those who just want to be wowed!

6. Precipice Trail

Acadia National Park, Mount Desert Island, ME
Excellent
89%
Good
7%
Satisfactory
4%
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5 based on 193 reviews

Precipice Trail

Half-mile long trail for experienced hikers at Acadia.

Reviewed By JeepGirl19 - Worcester, Pennsylvania

So I'm in good shape, have done many lengthy hikes, workout regularly, etc. Not a huge fan of heights, but I have been skydiving, so I guess I'm not *that* afraid...

I wanted to do this and I completely psyched myself out the day before watching YouTube videos. It's not the height that bothered me, it's knowing people (very small %) have fallen/died.
We were careful, we made it to the summit, and when you're on the ladders- don't look down!

Things that will help you on this hike:
gloves, upper body strength, good footing, high hiking boots, decent balance, long legs/reach

Things that will hinder you: fear of heights, ladders, improper footwear (saw a guy doing this in Toms and another in sandals !?!!?), being of short stature, panicking

There are several tight spaces and a very large boulder scramble in the first part. We saw a family with 3 kids under age ~10 climbing this! (They all made it!)

A fun, challenging, very rewarding hike, but not to be taken lightly.

7. Schoodic Peninsula

Bar Harbor, Mount Desert Island, ME +1 207-801-9444
Excellent
87%
Good
11%
Satisfactory
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5 based on 313 reviews

Schoodic Peninsula

Reviewed By Margaret B - Dublin, Ohio

We drove the perimeter of The Schoodic Peninsula. It is a beautiful Park with a rugged coastline and worth your time. We are unable to do any hiking but it looks like they have wonderful trail system there for hiking. Of course biking is big there too!

8. Ocean Trail

Bar Harbor, Mount Desert Island, ME
Excellent
79%
Good
17%
Satisfactory
2%
Poor
1%
Terrible
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4.5 based on 770 reviews

Ocean Trail

Walking trail along Frenchman Bay.

Reviewed By Moments4Life - Highland Village, Texas

This little path is a nightmare; there are 42,000 sidewalks in Manhattan that are less crowded. Perhaps it gets better as the path goes on, but it still looked crowded near Thunder Hole. However, it is worth beginning down this path to get the rocks that line the right side of Sand Beach. Large smooth boulders that gently slope downward to the water- very pretty with scenic shots.

9. Gorham Mountain Trail

Acadia National Park, Mount Desert Island, ME
Excellent
83%
Good
16%
Satisfactory
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Poor
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5 based on 236 reviews

Gorham Mountain Trail

Reviewed By Jay H - Lewistown, Pennsylvania

This was one of our last hikes in Acadia, but it should have been a first. The Gorham Mountain Trailhead is located just down from Sand Beach and Thunder Hole. It's a moderately-difficult hike, but nothing that a first-time hiker in decent shape can do. If you are afraid of heights, but still want to experience the beauty of beach and bay from above, the Gorham Trail will do that for you as you ascend a few hundred feet over the course of a couple miles.

You can do the hike to the summit and backtrack to the trailhead, or you can do what I recommend: make a big loop of it. Start at the trailhead, make your way to the summit, then continue down until you link up with the Bowl trail. Take that away from the Bowl and you'll pass the trailhead for the Beehive Trail. Move on toward the road and reconnect with the Ocean Path near Sand Beach and continue to take in the scenery with an easy hike back to the Gorham Trailhead, where you started. It'll be a bit of a longer hike, but it'll also be worth it!

10. Frenchman Bay

Bar Harbor, Mount Desert Island, ME
Excellent
82%
Good
16%
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5 based on 328 reviews

Frenchman Bay

Reviewed By Taylor B - Chicago, Illinois

The thing about visiting Acadia National Park on Maine's Mount Desert Island is there is always something to look at, spectacular scenery, mountains, seaside cliffs, crashing surf, beaches, lots of ocean, magnificent sunrises and sunsets. Frenchman Bay is a scenic wonder in itself. Bounded on the east by the Schoodic Peninsula and on the west by Mount Desert Island, Frenchman Bay extends for about 15 miles and spans seven miles at its widest point. It contains numerous islands, the largest of which is Ironbound Island. The highest elevation of the islands in the bay is found on Jordan Island. Of course, the largest town on the bay is Bar Harbor, one of the most popular resort towns in New England. The known history of Frenchman Bay dates to 1604, when it was discovered by French explorer Samuel de Champlain. From the summit of 1,500-foot Cadillac Mountain, the tallest mountain in the area, visitors can get a sweeping view of Frenchman Bay and its environs.

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