Surrounded by the majestic mountains of Acadia National Park and the Atlantic Ocean, is the town of Bar Harbor, Maine. From the rocky coast and towering granite cliffs, Bar Harbor has welcomed the tourist for over a hundred years.
The road leading into the village itself is both stone walled and tree lined. They have a wide selection of activities; dining and accommodations exist for every price range and the shopping is excellent.
Many things are very close to the town of Bar Harbor. The main part of Arcadia National Park, the Schoodic Peninsula, Campobello Island and the summer home of President Franklin Roosevelt are all with a short driving distance.
For a long time this town was just a quiet resort. Today, it bustles with summer visitors, tourists coming to view the colorful fall foliage, and/or people coming to enjoy its spectacular winter wonderland.
Abundant, fresh seafood is a mainstay for Maine restaurants. Grab it on the run, have an al fresco lunch under the Maine sun, or, enjoy a leisurely evening in a romantic restaurant after playing “tourist” for the day. You can enjoy seafood and other dishes at the 60+ eateries in the area. The Downeast restaurant sign says it all – “Come on in and eat, or we’ll both starve.”
You won’t be bored while you’re there. In addition, to relaxing and shopping, there is hiking, whale watching, sailing, and kayaking. Or, enjoy a free tour and tastings at the Atlantic Brewing Company. It’s located on a 10-acre estate going back to the 1870’s. (Visit www.Atlanticbrewingcompany for more details.)
While you’re there, visit the historic St. Saviour’s Episcopal Parish. Every Wednesday, and Friday at noon, and, on Sunday following the 10am service, tours are given of the church and its renowned stained glass windows. The windows are Tiffany, English glass and Italian stone work. The tours are free but please call to register and confirm times. The local number is 288-4215.
Mid July is the time for their annual music festival which has been going on for over 40 years. Each year, music is performed at a variety of local venues and you’ll find a list of performances from opera to string quartets and everything in between. For more information, go to barharbormusicfestival.org
One of the places to stay is the Bar Harbor Manor, nestled on two acres in the heart of town. Here, there are five historic homes and a hotel and they all create a village within Bar Harbor. They have over 25 newly renovated rooms and/or suites and many come with balconies, fireplaces, whirlpools and kitchens. The surrounding grounds have beautiful gardens and carefully groomed lawns. Their elegant parlor in the Main Inn acts as a meeting room for the guests.
The Bar Harbor Inn & Spa has an oceanfront location on Frenchwater Bay. Their luxury spa and gym is brand new, having been completed in spring of 2006. In addition to three buildings, each with a variety of guest rooms, the property is comprised of eight acres of colorful gardens and spacious lawn, plus a mile walk shore path. Each room features queen or king beds with jetted tubs in the bathroom.
The Harbour Cottage Inn is a charming B & B. It is a casual, yet elegant Victorian inn built in the 1870’s. It’s located on top of Dirigo Hill overlooking Southwestern Harbor. Although about 15 minutes from Bar Harbor, it’s within walking distance of shops, restaurants, marinas, and lobster wharves. Guests can enjoy a gourmet breakfast on the old-fashion front porch, the sweeping lawn, or in their sunny dining room. The public rooms are furnished with antiques and original art. For more information, visit www.harbourcottageinn.com.
There area has several other options for hotels and motels – a Days Inn, a Best Western motel, Comfort Inn and others. Be sure to make reservations as they fill up quickly at certain time of the year.