Explore Bar Harbor, Maine

This unique destination is nestled in the middle of Mount Desert Island and is home to the Acadia National Park. Bar Harbor has small town charm with big tourist attraction energy. Hiking, biking, kayaking and shopping are just some of the many highlights.

Located on Mount Desert Island, Bar Harbor is truly a unique destination filled with endless activities for every type of personality. Occupied by some of the nicest people, everyone you meet is eager to have a conversation or recommend their favorite restaurant and hiking spot. Forget about finding or paying for parking, the entire Island and Acadia National Park has its own FREE bus system. For a tourist town, you never feel overwhelmed with cowards of people and can always find a relaxing place to take in all this town has to offer.

Downtown Bar Harbor: Shops and Restaurants


In the heart of downtown Bar Harbor, is a small but beautiful park with plenty of shady or sunny areas to grab a spot in the grass and relax. This is also the central bus stop to catch connecting buses to Acadia or around Mount Desert Island. Downtown is filled with plenty of restaurants and bakeries to fill any craving you may have. You can find the most delicious lobster mac and cheese at West Street Café, and for dessert a highly recommended slice of wild blueberry cheesecake from Pink Pastry. While walking through downtown you can expect to find many local shops promoting products made right in Bar Harbor. It was here I tried my first ever blueberry soda, it was so tasty I bought a whole case! One unique downtown gem was the local movie theater positioned straight across from the park. We had some extra time and caught a cheap  movie but was surprised to have the ability to order pizza right to our seats!

Beehive Trail

A must do hike is the beehive summit trail in Acadia National Park, this trail has an elevation of 520 feet. The trail consists of high ledges, rock cliffs and metal ladder rungs that will all be endured on your hike up. The view at the top was well worth the mini panic I had looking up at what we were about to climb. As you reach the top more and more breathtaking views of ocean and forest around you become visible. There’s many spots along the way where you can snap pictures so bring a camera! I recommend hiking the face of the mountain up, packing a lunch or snack for the top to admire the view and taking the back of the mountain down.

Jordan’s Pond

Jordan’s pond is a beautiful crystal clear spring fed pond that sits in the middle of the mountains. Swimming and motor boats are prohibited, however, a walkable 3.6 mile shoreline trail goes around the entire pond. Along the way, the trail takes you through the forest on a wooden plank path which then turns into a light rock climbing path and ends into a pea gravel trail the rest of the way. On site is Jordan’s Pond House, a full service restaurant where you can catch lunch, dinner or a tasty popover. The restaurant also includes a gift shop and observation desk as well.

The Carriage Roads


57 miles of carriage roads and 16 beautiful stone bridges throughout the Acadia National Park were constructed between 1913 and 1940 as a motor free way to preserve the park. Today you can walk, bike, horseback or take horse drawn carriages through the pea graveled trails. The trails are marked with wooden signs to direct you in the way you wish to go. The carriages roads cover a lot of ground throughout the park and go by many popular tourist spots such as Jordan’s Pond, Bubble Pond, and Eagle Lake. Don’t forget to grab a map and stop by the individually unique bridges, you won’t be disappointed!  Biking the carriage roads is made easy by local bike shops, renting bikes are cheap and they will even drop you off and pick you up. I highly recommend making this a full day or half day adventure, as there is so many things to see.


Kayaking in the Atlantic


If you’re like me and live in the inland states the only place to kayak are rivers, lakes and ponds. So while visiting Maine kayaking on the cold North Atlantic was a must do! There are many places and tours to choose from in Bar Harbor, it’s easy to find one that fits into your schedule. We booked our two hour guided trip with Coastal Kayaking Tours, and loved everything about our experience. They set us up with a double kayak, paddles, waterproof bag for belongings and wetsuits. They also drove us and our kayaks to where we would launch. The instructors were patient, answered all questions and taught us how to paddle. Our guide made our trip fantastic; he was full of local knowledge and knew everything about the marine life we could see on our trip. He pointed out animals that could have been easily missed and taught us all about the lobster cages and business. Our guide even brought a camera, offered to take our picture and email them to us for FREE! Overall, we had an awesome experience on the waves of the North Atlantic; I would recommend this tour and company to all my friends!

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I loved everything about my time in Bar Harbor; and would go back in a heartbeat. We explored the Acadia National Forest by foot and bike, enjoyed tasty food, tried new things and even laughed at the movies. Everywhere we went we were surround by people who loved their town and were passionate about keeping the outdoors preserved in its natural beauty. A true gem, you won’t want to miss anything Bar Harbor has to offer. Don’t forget to check out all the things I couldn’t manage to fit into my trip such as whale watching, boat tours and Acadia Trolley Tour.

Always practice Leave No Trace ethics on your adventures and follow local regulations. We also acknowledge and thank the past, present, and future generations of all Native Nations and Indigenous Peoples whose ancestral lands we travel, explore, and play on.

Bri Czarnik

Your average Michigan brunette with a passion for adventure and traveling