Located in Mount Desert Island in Hancock County, Bar Harbor, Maine is home to approximately 5,200 people. More than anything, Bar Harbor is known for being a popular tourist destination in Maine, attracting thousands of out-of-staters every year from around the globe. Bar Harbor offers visitors the chance to explore Acadia National Park, specifically Cadillac Mountain, which is the highest point within twenty-five miles of the coastline of the Eastern United States.
According to the United States Census Bureau, Bar Harbor is 63 square miles. Sitting on Frenchman Bay, the town is home to the College of the Atlantic, Jackson Laboratory, and MDI Biological Laboratory as well. Visitors can easily get in and out of Bar Harbor via the Hancock County-Bar Harbor Airport, which serves year-round direct flights to Boston, Massachusetts.
The town attracts a large number of outdoor enthusiasts who come to Bar Harbor to hike, bike, explore the trails of Acadia, or try to spot Maine’s beautiful wildlife throughout the summer, spring and fall months. Marine life enthusiasts often go to Bar Harbor’s marina at the end of Main Street and sign up for tours that feature puffins, whales, lobster, seals, pelagic seabirds, and island lighthouses.
In terms of weather, Bar Harbor has humid, warm summers and extremely cold winters. However, due to all the town has to offer, Bar Harbor is truly a fantastic place to visit year-round. Throughout the spring and fall months, the days hover between 50-60 degrees, and cool off to the 30-40’s. During this time of year, the town offers many outdoor activities such as movies in the park, communal nature walks and wildlife tours. Also, Bar Harbor also hosts many long-distance cyclists, as it is the eastern terminus of the Adventure Cycling Association's Northern Tier Bicycle Route (which ends in Anacortes, Washington), and the northern terminus of its Atlantic Coast Bicycle Route (which ends in Key West, Florida).
In addition to tourists visiting Bar Harbor to hike Acadia National Park, another popular way that visitors flock to the town is via cruise ships. In fact, cruise ships arrive in the harbor from May through October (most often in September), with 31 ships expected to make 180 visits with as many as 250,000 passengers in 2018.
Although some popular hotels will close for the winter in Bar Harbor, such as the Harborside Hotel, there are plenty of cozy B&Bs and hotels open year-round. It’s important to ask whether or not the smaller bed and breakfasts and local hotel chains take winter bookings prior to planning your trip to Bar Harbor.
In terms of cuisine, there are some incredible restaurants in Bar Harbor, such as Havana, which is a fine-dining staple in Bar Harbor, offering American cuisine with a Latin flair. Be sure to explore all of our restaurant options for the town.
5 Fast Facts About Bar Harbor, Maine:
- Mount Desert Island is the largest island off the coast of Maine and the sixth largest island in the contiguous United States.
- By 1880, there were 30 hotels in Bar Harbor, including the Mira Monte Inn, a historic landmark that would later survive the massive fire in 1947.
- President William Howard Taft played golf at Br Harbor’s Kebo Valley Golf Club in 1920.
- In October, 1947, during a severe drought, sparks at a landfill eight miles from town ignited a wildfire that would intensify over ten days, destroying 67 palatial summer houses on Millionaires’ Row. Five grand hotels and 170 permanent homes were also destroyed, as well as 10,000 acres of Acadia National Park.
- Looking for some spooky entertainment? The town offers Ghost Tours! You can learn more and book yours today by calling (207) 404-4113.