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Mount Desert Island is home to the town of Bar Harbor as well as Cadillac Mountain and Acadia National Park. The area has long been a summer getaway for well-to-do Americans, including J. P. Morgan, Cornelius Vanderbilt, John Astor and William Howard Taft. Take a short self-guided walking tour to see mansions and hotels built for these celebrities.
Industry giant John D. Rockefeller donated lands for development of the national park in the early 1900s and built 50 miles (80 kilometers) of carriage paths with cut stone guard rails. Hike or bike these trails that were set up with reasonable grade to accommodate horse carriage travel.
Inside the park, Cadillac Mountain, at 1,528 feet (470 meters) tall, is the highest point along the North American coastline. It’s also one of the places in the U.S. where the sunrise is first visible. Join other early risers to drive or hike to the top of the mountain to see and photograph the sun rising over the Atlantic Ocean. Park rangers frequently give sunset talks atop the mountain, highlighting local geography, flora and fauna and overhead constellations.
The rugged granite of Mount Desert Island is ideal for rock climbing; the cliffs can also be treacherous. Hire an accredited guide from a local mountain climbing organization to ensure safety. You’ll learn how to tie knots, belay and find footing and handholds. Or, go on a guided sea kayaking or canoeing trip in the ocean waters around the island.
Sign up for a whale-watching excursion; you’re likely to see whales breaching and clearing their blowholes and you may see porpoise, sharks, dolphins, tuna and puffins.
The town of Bar Harbor has numerous art galleries, souvenir shops and dining areas. See lobster farming at the Mount Desert Oceanarium and Lobster Hatchery and local history at the Abbe Museum. Or, visit the free Sieur de Monts Spring and Nature Center to learn about the plants and animals in the park. In summer, enjoy classical and jazz music festivals.
Car parking in Bar Harbor is generally plentiful and free. Sites and activities have fees.
Accommodation in Bar Harbor
Secure a reservation for one of the 48 Bar Harbor hotels or other lodgings featuring on Expedia's Bar Harbor lodging guide before you start your trip.
The Colonel's Suites, 143 Main Street, and the Bluenose Inn, at 90 Eden St, are two nice examples of high-end Bar Harbor lodgings. If those two places don't meet your exact needs, the Holiday Inn Resort Bar Harbor - Acadia Natl Park and the Asticou Inn might offer all the services and features you need.
Situated in Bar Harbor, this spa hotel is within a 5-minute walk of Newlin Gardens, George B. Dorr Museum of Natural History, and College of the Atlantic Natural History Museum. Beatrix Farrand Gardens and Criterion Theater are also within 1 mi (2 km).
Situated in Bar Harbor, this hotel is steps from Newlin Gardens, George B. Dorr Museum of Natural History, and College of the Atlantic Natural History Museum. Beatrix Farrand Gardens and Criterion Theater are also within 1 mi (2 km).
Situated in Bar Harbor, this resort is within a 10-minute walk of Pirate's Cove Adventure Golf and Pirate's Cove Miniature Golf. Hulls Cove Visitor Center and Hulls Cove Visitor Center are also within 3 mi (5 km).
Situated in a rural location, this spa hotel is steps from Bar Harbor Whale Watching, Bar Harbor Whale Museum, and Shore Path. Agamont Park and Island Artisans are also within 5 minutes.
Offering direct access to the beach, this Bar Harbor hotel is in the city center, steps from Newlin Gardens and Beatrix Farrand Gardens. George B. Dorr Museum of Natural History and College of the Atlantic Natural History Museum are also within 5 minutes.
Located in Salsbury Cove, this hotel is 2.7 mi (4.4 km) from Hulls Cove Visitor Center and 5.3 mi (8.6 km) from Shore Path.
Situated in Bar Harbor, this hotel is within a 10-minute walk of George B. Dorr Museum of Natural History and Newlin Gardens. College of the Atlantic Natural History Museum and Beatrix Farrand Gardens are also within 15 minutes.