The town of Bar Harbor is located on the northeast shore of Mount Desert Island more than halfway up the coast of Maine. With an area of 108 square miles, the island is the largest off the Maine coast. French Explorer Samuel Champlain named it “Isle des Monts Deserts” (Island of Barren Mountains).
Originally a fishing and shipbuilding community, Bar Harbor attracted a colony of artists who were drawn to its austere beauty. Over time, the town became a favorite 19th century summer retreat for the very rich and wealthy, and mansions rivaling those in Newport, Rhode Island were built on what became known as Millionaire’s Row. That all changed in 1947 when one of the worst wildfires in US history burned nearly half of the eastern side of the island, including over 10,000 acres of adjacent Acadia National Park. While the downtown business district was spared, most of the palatial summer homes and grand hotels were not.
Today, Bar Harbor is once again a popular retreat, now best known for the rugged beauty of Acadia National Park. Due to the scenic foliage, the area attracts tourists in fall as well as summer. The 27-mile Park Loop Road National affords visitors easy access to prime views. With an elevation of 1,528 ft, Mt. Cadillac offers a stunning panorama of the area. The summit is reachable by hiking trails and a paved road.
In addition to hiking, visitors can enjoy a multitude of outdoor activities, including sailing, kayaking, fishing, swimming, rock climbing, camping and golfing. Long- distance cycling is also popular.
Bar Harbor is easily accessible by car from several Interstates and scenic Route 1. Travelers from all over the world visit by cruise ship, and Hancock County-Bar Harbor airport is just 12 miles from town.
Bar Harbor Things to Do
Of course Acadia National Park is one of Bar Harbor’s major attractions. But there are many other wonderful things to do when one is done with the National Park. You can take in a music festival, or go whale watching among the many other wonderful things to do in Bar Harbor. Following are some of the things to do in Bar Harbor, Maine:
Bar Harbor Arts and Culture Attractions
- Bar Harbor Music Festival – Bar Harbor, Maine
- Cranberry Fest – Islesford, Maine
- Criterion Theatre and Arts Center – Bar Harbor, Maine
Bar Harbor Attractions / Things to Do
- Bar Harbor Cellars Winery – Bar Harbor, Maine
- Margaret Todd Windjammer Cruises – Bar Harbor, Maine
- Rock Climbing – Bar Harbor, Maine
- Schooner Rachel B. Jackson – Southwest Harbor, Maine
- Sea Kayaking – Bar Harbor, Maine
- Whale Watching – Bar Harbor, Maine
Bar Harbor Museums
- Abbe Museum – Bar Harbor, Maine
- Bar Harbor Whale Museum – Bar Harbor, Maine
- George B. Dorr Museum of Natural History – Bar Harbor, Maine
- Mount Desert Oceanarium – Bar Harbor, Maine
- Wendell Gilley Museum – Southwest Harbor, Maine
Bar Harbor Hotels
Bar Harbor Weather
Precipitation averages from 2.93 inches in August (typically the driest month) to 6.42 inches in November (typically the wettest). The highest temperatures are typically in July, averaging 80 °F during the day and 57 degrees Fahrenheit in the evening. The lowest temperatures are usually in January, with temperatures averaging 10 degrees Fahrenheit in the evening and 32 degrees Fahrenheit during the day.
Current Bar Harbor Weather
- 2:48 PM EDT on June 17, 2018
- 3:00 PM EDT on June 18, 2018