What to Pack for Your Bar Harbor Getaway

The CAT is coming back to Bar Harbor this summer and we’re so excited that we’ve already started making our packing list for a Maine adventure. And we’re sharing that list with you! Here are the essential items you’ll want to bring along when you travel to Bar Harbor aboard The CAT.

Sunscreen and a Good Book

sand beach

Being an island town, the closest beach in Bar Harbor is always just a quick stroll away. Play among the crashing waves or lay out on white sand and escape into the pages of that book or magazine you’ve been wanting to read.

Just remember to put on some sunscreen! We recommend at least SPF 30 and make sure it’s waterproof if you’re swimming. After all, you don’t want to look like one of the famous and delicious Maine lobsters waiting for you at one of the many seafood restaurants in town.

Clothes You Don’t Mind Getting Wet

summer sunset lake paddleboarding detail

Beaches aren’t the only fun water activity around town. Try stand up paddle boarding—SUP for short—for a serene lake trip or a scenic harbour adventure. While you might fall in, there’s nothing nicer than taking a refreshing dip on a hot day out on the water. Now that’s what’s up!

A sea kayaking tour around the coastline gives you a special view of Acadia National Park, a great way to see one of the top 10 most visited parks in the United States. Not a kayaking pro? No worries, a trained guide will show you the basics of paddling and help your eagle eye spot wildlife along the way.

Hiking Shoes for Park Exploration

hiking path

Bring a pair of shoes that you’ll be comfortable in as you hike around Acadia, a park that covers 49,000 acres—including nearly half of Mount Desert Island, several smaller islands, and Schoodic Peninsula. With 125 miles of trails in the park, there’s a path for everyone from the casual walker to the adventurer looking for a challenge.

For a nice early-morning stroll in town, catch some of those magical dawn golden sun rays on the Shore Path. First constructed in 1880, this seaside path winds its way along the water past multi-million dollar estates and the historic Bar Harbor Inn—making for fantastic photo opportunities.

Binoculars for an Up-Close Glimpse of Wildlife


You never know what wildlife you’ll see from the deck of The CAT—maybe a seal, dolphin, or even a whale—so be sure to keep your binoculars handy. A pair of binoculars gives you a chance to see these creatures from a safe distance while letting them stay happy in their natural habitat. And while you’re in Acadia National Park, keep your eyes peeled for peregrine falcons, sea birds, herons, sandpipers, otters, foxes, deer, and moose, as well as over 1,000 plant species.

Your Camera to Capture That Natural Beauty

Bass Harbor Lighthouse

Don’t forget to pack a camera, even your smartphone will do. From your hikes and adventures through Acadia to sunrise walks around town, there’s lots of beauty to capture.

Mount Desert Island is home to the Bass Harbor Head Light, a lighthouse where you’ll find one of the most beautiful views in all of New England. When visiting, you can explore the grounds, but not the lighthouse itself since it’s still in operation by the U.S. Coast Guard.

If you want to see more lighthouses, there’s a 19-lighthouse guided tour by boat. On this family friendly tour, you spend 8 to 10 minutes at each location, where you’ll get a little history lesson and a chance to take photos with a hand from a lighthouse photography expert.

A Light Jacket for the Evenings

dock at night

Being next to the ocean means the weather in Bar Harbor is a little cooler in the summer compared to the inland areas of Maine. Even the most glorious beach days can turn into a comfortable, yet cool, evening. So bring a light jacket or sweater to play it safe. Remember, layering is always your friend!

Now that you know what to bring, it’s time to get excited to experience everything Maine has to offer. Book your passage on The CAT today!

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