Destination Spotlight: Bar Harbor

June 10, 2022  |  Share:

Bar Harbor, Maine (New England)

Overlooking the Atlantic Ocean and Porcupine Islands, Bar Harbor is a town on Mount Desert Island along the Frenchman Bay of Maine, serving as a gateway to Acadia National Park and Cadillac Mountain. Bar Harbor is best known for its stunning coastal beauty and scenic drives, especially during the fall season within its region of New England.

Getting there

Bar Harbor is one of the most sought-after destinations for tourism, where many travel the distance to witness the stunning autumnal foliage colours blending during the fall. The majority of voyages stop off at Bar Harbor, which gives you a choice to enjoy the destination in either season.

Bar Harbor and its surrounding areas are extremely popular, with several cruise lines combining American & Canadian itineraries. Guests embark on these seasonal voyages to experience the region of New England at its very best. Bar Harbor has a relatively high turnover with cruise lines during the fall or spring seasons, ranging from large ocean liners such as Princess Cruises to smaller vessels including Seabourn, Silversea and Windstar.

Should your cruise not stop in this location, a local ferry provides a seasonal service between Bar Harbor and Winter Harbor between June and September (with connections to Acadia National Park).


Originally known as Eden, the town was founded on the northeast shore of Mount Desert Island before the name was changed to Bar Harbor in 1918. During the 19th century, Bar Harbor had become the site for elegant summer estates for the wealthy, until many of them were destroyed in October 1947 when forest fires swept the island; the oldest lodging establishment to survive the fire is the Coach Stop Inn. Bar Harbor is now a popular cruising destination known for its yachts and lobster boats. 


The autumnal colours of Acadia National Park attracts thousands of visitors each year

The autumnal colours of Acadia National Park during the fall attract many tourists each year.


Things to do

Located on Maine’s mount desert island, Acadia National Park covers 47,000 acres and is an absolute must-see whilst visiting Bar Harbor. The recreation area features a combination of woodland, rocky beaches and is home to Eagle Lake and Cadillac Mountain. Towering over Acadia, Cadillac Mountain boasts spectacular views of the Cranberry Islands and is the highest point on the East Coast of America, whilst Eagle Lake is the largest freshwater lake within the park.

Frenchman’s Bay is nestled in the Bar Harbor Village and is another prominent location for boat tours. You can uncover the incredible rock formations, marine life, and beautiful woodlands around the island at sea. Additionally, if you are visiting during October, you’ll have the opportunity to capture that iconic autumnal photo of New England during the fall.

You can also take a scenic ferry ride to the small fishing island of Winter Harbor, sailing past its famous lighthouses (Mark Island Light and Egg Rock Light) sitting on offshore islands. You’ll also pass through the neighbouring town of Birch Harbor.

Furthermore, Bar Harbor is famous for its beautiful hiking, kayaking and cycling routes, including the not-to-be-missed ocean trail to where the natural beauty will surround you.


The famous lobster rolls of Bar Harbor

The famous lobster rolls are delicious and worth the wait.



Bar Harbor is known for its seafood, particularly the iconic lobster rolls.  

The chart room is a classic New England restaurant and a favourite among the locals, where various seafood, pasta & prime rib dishes are on the menu. The chart room is just a few miles from the downtown district and sits right on the water, where you can enjoy spectacular views of the ocean and the Hulls Cove beach.

Eagle’s Nest Restaurant is a small family-owned venue perched alongside the Penobscot River towards Bangor. They serve a daily selection range of fresh seafood, including the “world-famous lobster roll” and all-you-can-eat haddock. Eagle’s Nest is an excellent option if you’re searching for lunch with a view. 

If you are after an immersive atmosphere, then the Route 66 restaurant is a must. The eatery is a family-owned, 1950’s inspired restaurant that offers one of the largest menus in the area. The chefs use authentic recipes handed down from multiple generations of family members and are known to serve excellent hand-crafted burgers or fresh Maine lobster.


Best time to visit

Although Maine’s Bar Harbor is relatively cool all year round, the peak time to visit is between June and August. For those wanting to see the region of New England during the fall, the stunning autumnal foliage is at its best during October.


Enjoy watching the fishing boats in the harbor.

Watch the boats pass along Frenchman’s Bay.

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