Bar Harbor, Maine. A quintessential coastal town. Home to the widely popular Acadia National Park. The vacation destination for many summer travelers.
Have you ever wondered why Acadia National Park is so popular, or why so many vacationers flock to Bar Harbor?
Perhaps it’s the Atlantic ocean, appealing to our senses. Perhaps it’s the fresh air and outdoor adventures beckoning us to experience them. Maybe it’s the call of the lobster roll, and other tasty sea-going fare that tempt us to taste them.
Or maybe it’s all of the above, and so much more! Here’s Top Ten Reasons why Bar Harbor and Acadia National Park should be one of your Top Ten vacation destinations.
1. Explore Acadia National Park On Foot
Whether you drive to a mountain top for an easy, one mile walk or set out on a strenuous eight mile trek, Acadia National Park has a trail to match your hiking style. In fact, there are so many trails, you probably won’t hike them all. But it will be fun trying!
Traveling with kids? They’ll love hiking in Acadia, and so will you. Nothing like a day of scrambling across rock strewn trails or climbing through rocky passages to keep their interest, and have them sleeping well at night.
For more on hiking in Acadia, read Seven Days and Seven Hikes in Acadia National Park.
2. Explore Acadia National Park on Bike
No worries! Cars aren’t allowed on Acadia National Park’s carriage roads. Just hikers, bikers and the occasional horses traverse these roads. Rent bikes, or bring your own, and enjoy a peaceful afternoon winding through wooded passages, up hills for amazing views, beneath and across stone bridges.
With no cars allowed, Acadia National Park is a great place to introduce a younger child to biking. Stop at Jordan’s Pond for a break and a yummy ice cream treat.
3. Meander Through The Town of Bar Harbor
Need a break from all that action? Spend a leisurely afternoon wandering the streets of Bar Harbor. Be sure to check out the town square. Maybe you’ll be in luck! On many a summer day, artisans display their goods for all to see, and purchase too.
Explore quirky shops. Sup on tasty local fare. Meander down to the waterfront to watch the ships.If you love ice cream, don’t miss Mt. Desert Island Ice Cream store!
4. Traverse Across Coastal Waterways
Bar Harbor is an ocean-front town. Acadia National Park is surrounded by water. What better way to explore than by getting out on the water? Whether you are a laid back land-lubber or an adventurous sea-goer, you’ll find a water adventure just right for you.
High adventure or relaxed dinner cruise. What’s your style? Canoe, kayak, sailboat, or cruise boat. Take your pick! Our choice? Canoeing calmer waters of an ocean tributary.
5. Delve Into a Local Tide Pool
Who knows what critters will be found in a local tide pool? Perhaps today it will be lots of starfish and snails, maybe even a few crabs. Watch closely for holes in the sand. There might just be a critter down there.
Kids and adults alike will enjoy this adventure. Time your arrival for low tide for optimal critter viewings. Please be gentle if you pick a critter up, and return it back to it’s home when finished.
6. Go Clamming or Fishing
Or go clamming and fishing! You’ll find opportunities for both here. Just make sure you follow the local fishing regulations, please. You don’t want an unpleasant visit from the local fishing warden.
Clamming isn’t the easiest activity! But if you luck into a load of clams, you’re in for a real dinner treat. Watch out for those crabs! They might just nip at your toes.
7. Enjoy A Family Mini Golf Challenge
In need of a break from all that adventure? Then hit the mini-golf circuit. There are several mini-golf courses in the area, each with it’s own take on a fun afternoon playing mini-golf. Winner buys dinner!
Our family favorite was Pirate’s Cove. Don’t worry, no children were harmed during this family mini-golf challenge.
8. Snack on Lobster Rolls and Crab Rolls
Lobster served on bread? Who knew such simple fare could taste oh-so-yummy? The people in Maine know! And when in Maine, eat lobster as the locals do. Don’t forget to also try the crab rolls. You’d be missing another delish meal if you don’t have at least one.
Food even finicky kids can enjoy. Skip the chicken nuggets, pass me that lobster roll, please! And a crab roll, too.
9. Jump, Skip or Relax Along a Rocky Shoreline
Rocks, rocks rocks, they’re everywhere in coastal Maine. Jump from rock to rock at Schoodic Point. Skip rocks out into the ocean at Ship Harbor. Take a break on a rocky outcrop near Sand Beach. Watch the kids on a rocky romp past crashing waves.
Bar Harbor and Acadia National Park are chock full of rocky shorelines. Just park your car and let the rocky adventure begin.
10. Witness a Spectacular Sunset
Wrap up an adventure-filled day in Bar Harbor and Acadia National Park with a stunning sunset across the water. Enough said!
Cadillac Mountain is a great spot for sunset views. You might want to arrive a little early, though. Others will be doing the same.
Is Bar Harbor Maine on Your Vacation Wish List?
Bar Harbor offers something for everyone. Whether young, or not so young – going solo, or bringing the whole family – looking for adventure or just a place to relax – you are bound to find it in Bar Harbor, Maine. So go on, create your own vacation memories!
Would you consider a vacation here? Have you already been to Bar Harbor and Acadia National Park? What was your favorite activity? Let us know in the Comments below.
Interested in a trip to Maine? Check out Seven Days and Seven Hikes in Acadia National Park, Maine.
All images from C.Biederman