With stunning coastal views, mild summer temperatures and lobster at every turn, Bar Harbor, Maine, is a summer paradise for an unforgettable getaway. Located on Maine’s Mount Desert Island, Bar Harbor was made popular in part by its most famous visitors of the Gilded Age: the Rockefellers, Morgans and Astors. But Bar Harbor is more than its cliff-side mansions. Today, visitors come for adventure, wildlife, views, and, yes, lobster.
Whether you’re going for a weekend or a week, check out our list below for things to see and do. And for a truly unique and personalized experience getting to the island, and schedule a charter flight with Seven Jet today.
Bar Harbor is located on Mount Desert Island on Frenchman Bay in the Down East region of Maine. It is easily accessed by our private jets and charter planes at the Hancock County-Bar Harbor Airport, which is just 12 miles away from the town center.
For a secluded, off-the-beaten-path setting with panoramic views of Frenchman Bay, choose Balance Rock Inn, which has a selection of upscale guest rooms or luxury suites, each one unique. Originally built in 1903 as a family “cottage” for a wealthy tycoon, today the Balance Rock Inn prides itself on charm, scenery and attention to detail.
Make sure you visit the large “balancing” rock, for which the inn is named, on the coast of Frenchman Bay, just outside the property.
All of Bar Harbor is rich with history, but as far as hotels go, there is none quite so historic as the Bar Harbor Inn. The Bar Harbor Inn, located just steps away from the harbor and center of town, traces its beginnings to the Oasis Club and Reading Room. Built in 1887, its original purpose was to promote “literary and social culture.” That tradition continues with elegant accommodations and fine dining overlooking Frenchman Bay.
WHERE TO EAT
Most of Bar Harbor’s best dining is within walking distance from all the popular hotels in the town center. For a casual atmosphere and quick seating, choose the Side Street Cafe on Rodick Street. They offer quick and easy seating, pub fare, excellent burgers and various lobster dishes (like lobster rolls and lobster cobb salad).
For something with a more artsy feel, there’s Cafe This Way tucked into a cottage-filled alley on Mt. Desert Street. Cafe This Way offers pricier meals like Pecan Crusted Halibut ($25) and Grilled Ribeye ($26) for sit-down dinners, but they are also known for their reasonably priced and tasty breakfast options from 7:00-11:30 a.m.
If an authentic, side-of-the-road lobster pound is what you crave, visit the Trenton Bridge Lobster Pound 11 miles outside of Bar Harbor (and very close to the Hancock airport).
For an upscale date-night atmosphere and fine dining, travel to Red Sky in nearby Southwest Harbor, about a 25-mile, view-filled drive from Bar Harbor.
THINGS TO SEE AND DO
Acadia National Park – No trip to Bar Harbor is complete without a visit to Mt. Desert Island’s famed Acadia National Park. There are 47,000 acres of rocky shores, woodlands and granite cliffs for hiking, camping, biking and sight-seeing. Thunder Hole, on the Park Loop Road, offers amazing views of the rocky coastline and, when the tide is coming in, a thunderous sound as waves crash against a cavern in the rocks.
Throughout the park, there are carriage roads made of crushed rock that are popular for bicyclists of all different abilities. From an easy family bike to a tougher trail with mixed terrain, there is something for everyone.
Not a biker? Book a horse-drawn carriage ride through the park with Wildwood Stables.
Rock Climbing – There are several private climbing companies, like Acadia Mountain Guides Climbing School, in downtown Bar Harbor that offer day trips to Acadia Park for climbing for beginners and experts.
Whale Watching – For more than 25 years, the Bar Harbor Whale Watching Company has taken millions of visitors into the Gulf of Maine to observe the largest animals on earth, plus puffins and other aquatic animals along the way.
Watch the Sunrise – The sun rises here before it does anywhere else in the United States. View it from Cadillac Mountain and also take in views of Frenchman Bay and the surrounding islands and lakes.
Golfing – Nestled between the mountains of Acadia National Park, Kebo Valley Golf Club, the 8th oldest in the country, has consistently ranked among the best golf courses in America.