Things To Do in Bar Harbor, Maine

Bar Harbor Attractions

Bar Harbor, Maine may be a quaint seaside village, but visitors to this world-famous locale can enjoy an endless variety of Maine activities on both land and sea while in residence at the Harborside Hotel, Spa & Marina. Explore the miles of hiking and biking trails in Acadia National Park, treat your loved ones to a windjammer cruise or go lobstering on an authentic Down East-style lobster boat. Guests interested in the unique history of Bar Harbor will enjoy the town's numerous museums as well as its unique shops and waterfront restaurants. Bar Harbor's enchanting natural beauty and recreational activities have inspired generations of visitors, and the Harborside Hotel, Spa & Marina is just moments from it all.

Bar Harbor Tours & Cruises


Recreational Areas in Bar Harbor & Acadia National Park


Bar Harbor Shopping

For even more information on nearby Maine activities and things to do in Bar Harbor, visit the Maine Tourism website.

Sea Kayaking in Bar Harbor

Whether you are an expert kayaker or this is your first time out in the water, the sea kayaking in Bar Harbor is an activity everyone should experience. Several area companies offer expert sea kayaking instruction and tours around Acadia National Park and the surrounding islands.

  • National Park Sea Kayak provides its guests with quality Ecological Sea Kayak Tours on the Western side of Acadia. National Park Sea Kayak is owned and operated by an Acadia/Mount Desert Island native. Paddle with experienced professional Maine sea kayak guides and discover why the remote "West Side" is the preferred paddling area to view wildlife and explore the undeveloped coast of Maine.
  • Located just a short walk from our downtown Bar Harbor hotel, Coastal Kayaking Tours offers a variety of guided sea kayaking tours that depart daily from June through mid-October. Watch for seals, eagles and porpoise while enjoying breathtaking vistas of Acadia National Park and historical Bar Harbor as you kayak along the rocky, tree-lined coast of Mount Desert Island. Sea kayaking tours are also available to the smaller Porcupine Islands, which are primarily owned by the park, and offer a glimpse into the region’s abundant wildlife and stunning natural beauty. Half-day, full-day, and sunset kayaking tours are available. Reservations are highly recommended, call 207.288.9605 for more information.

Bar Harbor, Maine's Famous Lighthouses

Maine is known far and wide for its famous lighthouses, and Bar Harbor is no exception. The Bass Harbor Head Light is a fully operational lighthouse that is listed on the National Historic Register and guards the southern entrance of Blue Hill Bay and Bass Harbor. Today, the U.S. Coast Guard mans the station, and visitors can tour the lighthouse grounds at Bass Harbor Head, but not the lighthouse itself.
Visitors traveling to Bar Harbor can also explore the five additional lighthouses located on Mount Desert Island. The Mount Desert Rock Light and Great Duck Island Light are owned by a local college and allow students to study the area's whale population and nesting seabirds. Additional nearby lighthouses include Bear Island Light (located at the entrance to Northeast Harbor), Egg Rock Light (which is closed to the public and best viewed by boat), and Isle au Haut Light (accessible by ferry from Stonington).
All of these historic lighthouses can be viewed and photographed on local boat tours that reveal their incredible histories. Guests of the Harborside are strongly encouraged to experience these unique treasures during their stay at our Bar Harbor hotel.

The Best of Bar Harbor is just Steps from the Harborside Hotel

One of the best ways to explore downtown Bar Harbor is on foot. A historic walking tour of Bar Harbor starts in the Village Green and guides you past 25 structures, including some of the city’s elegant mansions, churches and municipal buildings. The best part? The tour only includes three rights and three lefts, making it hard to get lost. The tour ends back at the Village Green.

Experience The Arts in Bar Harbor

Bar Harbor, Maine has long been renowned as a premier artist community, starting from its earliest days when Thomas Cole and Frederic Church captured the world's imagination with their paintings of Bar Harbor's distinctive landscape. It was these paintings that began Bar Harbor's rise to prominence as a summer destination for society's elite. Today, Bar Harbor is home to several art galleries as well as annual music and fine arts festivals. Contact our "Consider it Done" agents to learn more about Bar Harbor art events that coincide with your vacation dates.

Discover the Unique History & Culture of Coastal Maine

While Bar Harbor isn't the largest city, it definitely has its share of notable history and a unique coastal culture that deserves to be celebrated. Guests looking to learn more about island's rich heritage should start at the Abbe Museum. Located just half a mile from our downtown hotel in Bar Harbor, the Abbe Museum features a variety of exhibitions and educational programs for visitors of all ages.
Guests interested in the wildlife and natural history of coastal Maine will find endless enjoyment at the Bar Harbor Whale Museum as well as the George B. Door Museum of Natural History, both less than a mile from the Harborside. Slightly further away, the Mount Desert Oceanarium offers guests up close and personal experiences with lobsters and other marine life; while the Sieur de Monts Spring & Nature Center invites visitors to learn about the area's plants and animals through hands-on exhibits.
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