Bar Harbor, Maine

Bar Harbor sunrise

The town of Bar Harbor sits at the edge of Acadia National Park on Mount Desert Island, Maine. Incorporated in 1796, Bar Harbor was originally called Eden. In 1918, the name of the town was changed to Bar Harbor.

IMG_7152 (1)
From the top of Cadillac Mountain, a view of Bar Harbor, Frenchman Bay, the five Porcupine Islands (foreground), and a cruise ship in port.
IMG_7296 (1)
Street view. Hotels and restaurants across from the waterfront.
IMG_7294 (1)
The beautiful Bar Harbor Inn sits right on the water.
IMG_7301 (1)
Early evening downtown. The shops stay open later for the tourists.

Traditionally a home for the East Coast wealthy, Bar Harbor has some beautiful old mansions, and gorgeous newer homes. Shopping ranges from fun and cheap to funky to expensive. Parking is limited and every public parking space that we saw had a parking meter. There are many restaurants and bars, too. We had lunch at a cute place called Side Street Cafe where the service and food was very good, and we didn’t have to wait to be seated!

IMG_7297 (1)
On the waterfront   

IMG_7298 (1)

Stewman’s was our top pick for dinner on our first night in Bar Harbor, and we were not disappointed. Lobster roll, anyone? How about a crab roll? This place had great food and great service, plus they played seventies music, so we’re giving them a big shout-out for all of the above! We highly recommend Stewman’s if you’re in Bar Harbor. Did we mention that they have indoor and outdoor dining? So there’s that.

Bar Harbor offers something for everyone in the way of entertainment. There are walking history tours, whale watching tours, guided tours to Acadia National Park, culinary tours, a beautiful golf course, and cruises on Frenchman Bay, just to name a few.

IMG_7536 (1)
This is the Four-Masted Schooner, Margaret Todd, out for an evening cruise.

While walking around Bar Harbor, bits of history can be found at every turn. The town’s historical society has done a great job of erecting “Museum in the Streets” signs describing the many points of interest. We enjoyed walking Shore Path which is a half mile trail that runs atop the cliffs along the edge of the water. There were stories about the old mansions tucked away behind tall hedges and gorgeous flowers to enjoy on our after dinner stroll, as well as watching the boats on the bay.

IMG_7531 (1)
Beach roses aka dune roses can be found all along the coast of Maine. This large shrub is full of rose hips left over after the blooms played out. We thought these were pretty and interesting.
We were lucky to find a few beach roses still blooming so late in the season.
IMG_7544 (1)
Pink and white hydrangeas in front of a home

We were especially fascinated by the beautiful churches, not only in Bar Harbor, but everywhere we went. The white churches with their steeples looming high above the trees are typically Congregational churches, and we found them everywhere in New England. These beautiful churches epitomized New England for us. So unassuming and welcoming, don’t you just want to go on in?

IMG_7471 (1)
Congregational Church in Bar Harbor

Another Bar Harbor church caught our attention, too. Saint Saviour’s Episcopal Church was first completed in 1877 and over the years has undergone several expansions to accommodate its large congregation.

Saint Saviour’s Episcopal Church, built between 1877 and 1938, has several Tiffany Studio glass windows, and sits next to the historic Village Burying Ground.
IMG_7460 (1)
Village Burying Ground
Interesting history about the Village Burying Ground
IMG_7458 (1)
Monument to Union Soldiers in the Village Burying Ground

Thank you for joining us on our tour of Bar Harbor, Maine. We hope that you will come back to our site again to catch up with us on our New England road trip. You never know where we’re going, so check back often. We will have more national parks, great camping spots, Quick Stops, and other exciting posts for you in the coming months, too. If you’re not already a follower become one so you never miss a post.

We will close this post with a picture of some exquisite dahlias we found in Bar Harbor.

IMG_7518 (1)

Until the next trip…

Travel safe, travel smart, and we will see you down the road!

Mike and Kellye

Badwater Basin

As always, we strive to be as accurate with our information as possible. If we made a mistake, it was unintentional. (Hey, we’re only human!) We aren’t paid for our recommendations, and we only recommend our own tried and true vendors and venues. Our suggestions are for places that we’ve heard good things about but haven’t visited personally, and our opinions are our own.











Acadia National Park

IMG_7147 (1)

  • Website link: Acadia National Park
  • Cost: $30.00 per private vehicle for a 7-day pass
  • Biking, hiking, bird watching, climbing, horseback riding, fishing, swimming
  • Winter activities: cross-country skiing, snowshoeing, winter hiking, ice fishing, snowmobiling
  • Campgrounds available in the park and outside the park. Make reservations early!
  • Picnic areas are located throughout the park
  • Jordan Pond House Restaurant is the only restaurant located in the park. Other restaurants are located in surrounding communities.
  • Hotels available in surrounding communities
  • Free park shuttles
  • When to go: any time
IMG_7284 (1)
Acadia coastline

Cadillac Mountain Summit – a very popular place to watch the sun come up. On our first afternoon at Acadia, the skies were partly cloudy, but, luckily, we could see the views of the surrounding islands and the Atlantic as we walked the summit trail. We were there on a Sunday. The summit was crowded and parking was limited, however, we got a parking place after just a few minutes of waiting. And, it was definitely worth the wait!

IMG_7153 (1)
Bar Harbor and Frenchman Bay from Cadillac Mountain summit

IMG_7170 (1)

Wild Gardens of Acadia. This feature of the park enabled us to take a peaceful stroll through the gardens where we familiarized ourselves with some of the plants that grow on Mount Desert Island. Next to the gardens is Sieur de Monts Spring, which some believe is the birthplace of Acadia National Park. George Dorr, who was instrumental in the establishment of Acadia as a national park, built the spring house over the spring in 1909.

IMG_7173 (1)
Bridge leading to the path to Sieur de Monts spring house pictured in the upper left

Sand Beach. The only beach in Acadia. This is a very popular place during warmer weather, though, the water is cold!

IMG_7219 (1)
Sand Beach under sunny skies
Rocky coast at Sand Beach

Thunder Hole. During high tide, the waves crash into a hole in the rocks and it makes a loud sound like thunder.

Wave crashing in Thunder Hole


Jordan Pond Path. This is a 3.5 mile trail around Jordan Pond. Part of the path is on raised boards, part of the path is on flat ground, and part is over rocks. Most of the trail is easy, however, and the scenery is beautiful. We took off early in the morning, and saw no other people for at least the first 90 minutes. What a great hike! We had intended to have brunch at Jordan Pond House, but we finished before they opened.

Jordan Pond and The Bubbles, which are two small granite mountains
Boardwalk on Jordan Pond Path

Other Acadia Highlights…

IMG_7412 (1)
Beaver Dam Pond, Acadia
IMG_7447 (1)
Eagle Lake, Acadia
IMG_7442 (1)
Rock bridge over one of the carriage roads in the park

Bass Harbor Head Light. First built in 1858, the light station has gone through several improvements and changes over the years. The light, operated by the US Coast Guard, is now automated, and the keepers house is no longer used.

Bass Harbor Head Light, Acadia
IMG_7475 (1)
Bass Harbor Head Light up close. The red beacon is bright, even in the daylight.

Wonderland Trail. Not far from Bass Harbor Head Light, this is a relaxing, family friendly hike through the woods to the Mount Desert Island coastline and tide pools. 1.5 miles round trip.

IMG_7493 (1)
Wonderland Trail
IMG_7494 (1)
At the end of Wonderland Trail

We loved our time in Acadia National Park. But, as happens with every park we visit, we wish we could have spent more time there. Acadia has mountains, shorelines, crashing waves, a beach, lakes, lighthouses, forests, and the list goes on… What more could anyone want from a national park?

We hope you will come back to our site for more of our New England road trip posts, other exciting destinations, and tips and tricks to make the most of your travels. We appreciate your support, your input, and your comments. Remember, we post for you!

We will close this post with one more shot of  beautiful Jordan Pond.


Until the next trip…

Travel safe, travel smart, and we will see you down the road!



As always, we strive to be as accurate with our information as possible. If we made a mistake, it was unintentional. (Hey, we’re only human!) We aren’t paid for our recommendations, and we only recommend our own tried and true vendors and venues. Our suggestions are for places that we’ve heard good things about but haven’t visited personally, and our opinions are our own.