Visitors from around the world are drawn to Bar Harbor, Maine for the natural beauty of the area, amazingly fresh seafood, charming, and easy reach of some of the best attractions in Maine. Bar Harbor is the jumping off point for exploring nearby Acadia National Park which includes the highest point on the east coast - Cadillac Mountain.
There’s seemingly no end to the scenic hiking trails you can explore or the lobster dishes you can try! Booking a stay at a bed and breakfast in Bar Harbor, Maine affords visitors the chance to experience the area like a local. The heart of Bar Harbour has some of the best bed & breakfasts near Acadia National Park and many other area attractions. You can walk from your Bar Harbor bed and breakfast to locally owned shops, ice cream parlours, and the waterfront with its museums, art galleries and plenty of options for oceanside dining. A variety of bed and breakfasts around town offer accommodations in a range of price and configurations, with something for every visitor. Most are housed in mansion-style homes, many with an interesting history.
Dense woodlands, craggy, glacier-capped peaks, steep bluffs that plunge into the ocean, these are just a few of the spectacular natural features that make Bar Harbor and the surrounding area so captivating. The hike up Cadillac Mountain, the tallest mountain on the east coast, isn’t the easiest hike around, but the views are spectacular, especially at sunrise. In the summer, the area beaches offer welcome relief to the warm temperatures, and year-round they offer a nice chance to enjoy the sounds of the waves and beautiful views. During low tide, you can walk across the town’s namesake sandbar to the nearby Bar Island, a small, uninhabited island in Frenchman Bay, just across from the town.
The town now known as Bar Harbor has long been a summer resort for the well-to-do. Located on Mount Desert Island near Acadia National Park, the town was originally known as Eden when it was founded in 1763. Later, the name was changed to Bar Harbor, owing to the sand bar that connects it with another island. Over the years, many fashionable lodging establishments were built in what became the largest town on Mount Desert Island. The oldest of these to survive is the Coach Stop Inn. What was originally a tavern and stopover for stagecoach drivers is now a fashionable bed and breakfast which continues to house visitors to the area as it has since 1855. Today, many of the area’s historic mansions have been converted into bed and breakfasts, offering visitors to the area an opportunity to step back into time, while enjoying comfortable accommodations.
Bar Harbor and Mount Desert Island offer a number of exciting activities for travelers. Acadia National Park is one of the main reasons people visit. The park protects a majority of the island’s land from development. One of the best things to do in Bar Harbor is to take a nice walk along the Shore Path. The trail starts at Ells Pier in town and winds along the coast, past the Bar Harbor Inn. The views along the Shore Path include many nearby islands and stunning scenery as well as interesting historic homes. If you’re up for more walking, take the Free Island Explorer Shuttle to the Ocean Path. The Ocean Path is a well-maintained, scenic walking trail inside Acadia National Park that starts from Sand Beach and winds along the shores, offering fantastic opportunities to enjoy some of the best scenery in the area.
In town, the West Street Historic District contains an exceptional collection of well-preserved historic homes, built by the wealthy in the early 20th century to serve as summer cottages. Walking or biking through the historic district is a nice way to appreciate the roots of Bar Harbor.
The whale watching season in Bar Harbor falls in the summer months when the seas are warmer and the tourist season is in full swing. Several companies offer whale-watching tours where you may see Finback, Humpback and Minke whales as well as sharks or Giant Tuna. After your whale watching tour, check out the Whale Museum to learn even more about these fascinating creatures and the coastal waters of Maine.
Lobster Rolls, lobster crepes, lobster omelets and whole lobster anyway you like it - lobster is the star of the Bar Harbor cuisine scene. You’ll find it being served at a variety of local places around town with many different presentations. Other types of fresh seafood are certainly available, with a variety being caught daily and served at both classy, sit down restaurants and unfussy cafes throughout Bar Harbor. Other types of cuisines are available with something to suit every palate including Italian, Asian, Mexican and American restaurants as well as local coffee shops and ice creameries. Some reliable places to start include Galyn’s Restaurant, Stewman’s Lobster Pound and Ben & Bill’s Chocolate Emporium, where they even serve Lobster Ice Cream.
While staying at a bed and breakfast in Bar Harbor, you’ll find plenty of interesting things to do to fill your time. The town has a nice waterfront area which includes the main town pier. The pier is the hub for all sorts of activities on the water of Frenchman Bay, such as sightseeing, whale watching and nature cruises as well as fishing, kayaking and other water activities. The Village Green, a nearby park, offers a nice shady spot to relax, have a picnic, or enjoy a quiet walk right in the center of town.
Relive Bar Harbor’s gilded age with a walk through the historic streets with turn-of-the-century mansions designed in an opulent fashion as a summer retreat for the rich and famous. Cleffstone Manor and Aysgarth Station are some of the highlights - both homes with an interesting past that still welcome many visitors to Bar Harbor to this day.
While Bar Harbour is the largest town on Mount Desert Island, and is the easiest access point to Acadia, the nearby towns of Southwest Harbor, Mount Desert, and Tremont offer additional things to do and places to explore. If you are looking for a quieter place to stay, check out the Quiet Side. There are fewer tourists here, but the scenery is just as fabulous and the local town of Southwest Harbor offers accommodations, shops and dining.
Summer is decidedly the high season in Bar Harbor when warm days and mild nights bring crowds to the seaside town. There is a fair bit of humidity during this time of year, and short summer rain storms are common, so you’ll want to pack your rain gear.
Spring is rainy, cool and foggy, but the sometimes dreary conditions are off-set by the blooming flowers and budding trees. Springtime temperatures are usually in the 60s and 70s during the day and can reach freezing at night.
Fall is a beautiful time to visit as the fall colors are incredible and the crowds are thin. Winds can be chilly, as can the evenings, but the daytime highs can reach the 70s, so exploring area attractions is still comfortable.
Winter is the least popular time to visit Bar Harbor, owing to freezing rain, ice storms, and frigid temperatures. However, some still bundle up and visit to experience the magical beauty of winter weather. Regardless of the time of year, the weather in Bar Harbor can be unpredictable, so packing for a variety of conditions is a wise choice.
With all of the interesting accommodation options in Bar Harbor, you might ask why you should you consider staying at a Bed & Breakfast? The answer is simple. Bed and breakfasts offer an unmatched personal experience and cozy, home-like accommodations that you can’t find in a chain hotel. You’ll be greeted by a friendly innkeeper who has chosen to make welcoming guests to Bar Harbor their life and their livelihood. The personal touch and having a local to guide you as you plan your days are priceless.
Additionally, if you appreciate history, bed and breakfasts offer an opportunity to step back in time. Victorian mansions and sprawling seaside vacation homes make the perfect setting for you to live like a local during your Bar Harbor getaway.
Additionally, many bed and breakfasts in Bar Harbor are pet-friendly, so you can bring your 4-legged family member along on your trip.
There are so many great bed and breakfasts in Bar Harbor that you will be spoilt for choice.
Bar Harbor bed and breakfasts on the ocean are particularly sought after. The Saltair Inn is one of the best bed and breakfasts in Bar Harbor. The 1887 home sits in an enviable oceanfront location with views out over the Frenchman Bay. The Balance Rock Inn on the Ocean is another oceanfront property. This property is one of the best pet-friendly bed and breakfasts in Bar Harbor, so feel free to bring along Fido.
The West Street Historic District of Bar Harbor is known for its beautiful examples of historic architecture. The inns in this part of town offer a convenient location right near the village of Bar Harbohur, and within easy reach of the ocean. The Manor House Inn is one of the best bed in breakfasts in Bar Harbor’s historic district. Anne’s White Columns Inn is another, both offer convenient access to the village shops, but a quiet place to relax and enjoy the properties. The same group that owns Anne’s White Columns operates other bed and breakfasts in Bar Harbor, including the Thornhedge Inn which is similarly beautiful and well-located. The 1903 Maples Inn is a comfortable, Victorian bed and breakfast with tasteful furniture, off-street parking and plenty of common areas for mingling with other guests and relaxing, all near the convenience of downtown.
The Holland Inn has taken on a farmhouse style with neat, but unfussy decor and modern amenities, all right in the heart of downtown Bar Harbor. Nearby, the Mira Monte Inn is a romantic Bar Harbour Bed and Breakfast, spread across three historic buildings near the village shops.
The Bass Cottage Inn is one of the more modern bed and breakfasts in Bar Harbor. It’s marked by careful attention to detail, and luxury amenities with a nod to the past. Another more contemporary property is the recently renovated Primrose Inn. The new owners have kept the historic charm of the property while bringing it into the 21st century.
Each bed and breakfast in Bar Harbor will offer their own unique amenities, but all are comfortably appointed and provide everything you need to enjoy your stay. You can expect street parking at most properties, although a few have off-street parking spots. Private baths are standard in most properties, and many have large tubs for soaking. You won’t have to worry about staying connected with your friends back home as free WiFi is standard. One of the main draws of staying in a bed and breakfast is breakfast. Most properties serve a full breakfast with a local touch. Many use fresh, local ingredients and serve up the spread in a communal dining room where you’ll get a chance to mix and mingle with other guests if you’d like.
When visiting Bar Harbor by plane, you have two options of arrival airport. You can fly into Bangor International Airport (BGR) or the smaller Bar Harbor/Hancock County airport (BHB). There is bus service available from both airports into the town of Bar Harbor. Taxis are available at Bangor International. Car rentals are available at both airports.
One of the biggest benefits of staying at a bed and breakfast in Bar Harbour is that most of them are located within walking distance of of downtown. Once you have arrived, if you don’t have a car, you can get to many of the major attractions on the fare-free Island Explorer bus. This seasonal shuttle bus operates throughout all of the towns and villages on Mount Desert Island and the Schoodic Peninsula. The Island Explorer buses can carry bicycles as well for those who wish to explore by bike. To go further off the beaten path, there are several ferries and mailboats that provide connections between Mount Desert Island and other islands in the area.
Visitors from around the world are drawn to Bar Harbor, Maine for the natural beauty of the area, amazingly fresh seafood, charming, and easy reach of some of the best attractions in Maine. Bar Harbor is the jumping off point for exploring nearby Acadia National Park which includes the highest point on the east coast - Cadillac Mountain. There’s seemingly no end to the scenic hiking trails you can explore or the lobster dishes you can try!
Booking a stay at a bed and breakfast in Bar Harbor, Maine affords visitors the chance to experience the area like a local. The heart of Bar Harbour has some of the best bed & breakfasts near Acadia National Park and many other area attractions. You can walk from your Bar Harbor bed and breakfast to locally owned shops, ice cream parlours, and the waterfront with its museums, art galleries and plenty of options for oceanside dining. A variety of bed and breakfasts around town offer accommodations in a range of price and configurations, with something for every visitor. Most are housed in mansion-style homes, many with an interesting history.