May 13, 2019
Have you heard the news? This summer, The CAT is returning to Bar Harbor, and we’re a little bit excited! After all, Bar Harbor is full of fun for the entire family. There are art galleries, quaint seaside shops selling locally made clothing, crafts, and souvenirs, and some of the best seafood you’ll ever have the pleasure of eating. If you’re putting together a must-do list ahead of setting sail, check out the best of Bar Harbor with us.
History buffs rejoice, you’re going to love the Abbe Museum. For nearly a century, the Abbe has been home to a wonderful collection of artifacts that showcase the fascinating history of Maine’s Wabanaki people. The original inhabitants of Mount Desert Island, the Wabanaki settled here thousands of years before the arrival of Europeans. You’ll find more than 50,000 objects, from pottery and household items to tools and fishing gear, at the Abbe Museum—including the most extensive and best-documented basketry collection of Maine’s indigenous population. The museum is also home to several contemporary exhibits, including beautiful wood carvings and birch-bark containers.
When you’re on vacation, there’s nothing better than kicking back with a fantastic page-turner. Whether you’re a true crime aficionado, a romantic at heart, or a pulp fiction fanatic, you’ll find your new favourite book at Sherman’s. Maine’s oldest bookstore has been sharing their love of reading with the world since 1886, and their expert staff will be more than happy to help you find the perfect book for your tastes. While you’re here, you’ll also find plenty of Maine-themed souvenirs to bring home for friends and family.
Don’t let its small-town vibes fool you, in Bar Harbor, they take food very seriously—especially seafood. This is the type of town where the morning’s catch is the evening’s dinner—sometimes it’s even served directly from the boat! Shrimp, scallops, oysters, and lobsters are always on the menu, as are haddock, clams, flounder, and more. We love dining at Stewman’s Lobster Pound, the Fish House Grill, and Geddy’s to get our fix from under the sea. Oh, and don’t forget the Seafood Paella from Havana!
Of course, it’s not all seafood in Bar Harbour. Stroll along Cottage Street and you’ll find something for everybody—from classic American fare and craft beers at the Finback Ale House to pizza pies at Rosalie’s. Embrace your touristy side at Route 66 Restaurant or share a story with locals at the Thirsty Whale. You can relax in the Side Street Cafe on Rodick Street, or enjoy creative dishes at Blaze on Main Street.
Did you save room for dessert? Good! Because you’ll want to make your way to Mount Desert Island Ice Cream to sample their innovative flavours—all made in house. Consistently named one of America’s best ice-cream parlours, Mount Desert has four locations, but the original can be found at 7 Firefly Lane in Bar Harbour. So, want the scoop on our favourite flavour? Well, it depends! If you ask us today, it might be Maine Sea Salt Caramel, but ask us tomorrow and it might be Lemon Poppy Seed Berry Swirl. You better sample a few different options just to be safe!
What’s a seaside New England town without a few ghosts? You can hear all their stories (and maybe even see a spectre of your own) on a Bar Harbor Ghost Tour. It may come as a surprise to find out this ghost tour is surprisingly lively! As you make your way through downtown Bar Harbor, you’ll step foot in some of the most “spirited” places in town, including the Criterion Theatre—an Art Deco style theatre built in 1932 and believed to be the home of a caretaker who loved it so much that he never left. Ranked the third best ghost tour in all of America by USA Today, there’s no better way to discover the things that go bump in the Bar Harbor night!
Hiking and climbing and fishing, oh my! If you like the great outdoors, you’re going to love Bar Harbor. Here, you’ll find plenty of adventurers like yourself leading expeditions into the mountains or out on the water. There are plenty of wilderness trails geared toward walking and cycling, and you can even take a lesson in rock climbing. At this point, we haven’t even mentioned that Bar Harbor is the gateway to Acadia National Park—one of the most visited parks in the United States. More than three million people visit Acadia annually, and it’s easy to see why. You’ll find 158 miles of hiking trails, 45 miles of carriage roads with 16 stone bridges, ranger-guided tours, horseback riding, birdwatching, fishing, and more!
Vacation season can’t arrive fast enough, unlike The CAT, which will have you in Bar Harbor in just 3.5 hours! That means less time driving, and more time experiencing the best of everything Bar Harbor has to offer. Start planning your getaway today!